Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • This chapter is unavailable for purchase
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2014

1 - Sarah to Abraham

    • By David Holgate, Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme, Salisbury
  • Edited by Philip R. Davies, University of Sheffield
  • Publisher: Acumen Publishing
  • pp 1-4


I really don't know whether to laugh or cry today. I've shed so many tears since you nearly murdered my only son. (I sometimes think you forget that all I have is Isaac, while you have Ishmael as well.) I've just read the account you have sent me of that awful day on the mountain in Moriah – the high point of your life of obedience to El, you say. That leaves me stunned! I still don't understand why you did it, and I know that Isaac has been damaged by this experience too. He never speaks of it, but I see a shadow in him, now, that was not there before; and to think that his name means ‘laughter’!

Last time I challenged you about this, you told me that you believed that El was testing you then, and that you needed to show him, once and for all, that you would trust him. You were so aware of your failures in the past to trust the god who called you, you said. That's all very well, I said, but what about trusting me? Why sneak away with Isaac that morning, telling him that you were going to sacrifice together? And why, in heaven's name, did you not share this word from El with me? Was not Isaac a blessing of El to me as much as you? Shouldn't I have had a say in this show of trust? I don't see any change of heart in your memoir.