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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: March 2021

2 - Blood after Isaac

from Part II - Blood Seeps in Where It Hardly Seems to Belong

Summary

“Blood after Isaac” reads the binding of Isaac, where some interpreters see blood, although the story never mentions it. This chapter introduces the pattern that blood seeps in where it seems not to belong. The little word "na," untranslated in English versions of the story, in modern Hebrew means simply "please," but in the Hebrew Bible indicates irony, as in "say, go ahead, see if I care." The chapter argues that the story of Isaac is best understood in terms of divine irony, God imitating Abraham as a trickster. Why does Abraham not catch on?

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