Did God Command Murder?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by John of Japan, Apr 27, 2012.

?

Did God command Abraham to murder Isaac?

Poll closed May 27, 2012.
  1. Yes, God commaned Abraham to murder Isaac.

    28.6%
  2. No, God did not command Abraham to murder Isaac.

    66.7%
  3. I don't know.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other

    4.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    In the recent ethics thread, the argument was made that since God commanded Abraham to murder his son when He told him to offer Isaac on the altar, then it was okay to lie to save lives. Now I don't want to rehash the lying discussion, since we hashed that pretty good! :thumbs: But I do feel like this particular subject wasn't completely discussed, and want to know what ya'll think of this argument that God commanded Abraham to murder his son.

    I just flew back from a conference in Mass. where one of the other missionaries was Jeff Johnson, a wonderful missionary to the Jews (http://www.israeltodayministries.org/). I highly recommend his minisitry. Jeff is a scholar of Jewish antiquities with a Ph. D., a Th. M. and a Th. D., so I asked him about this conundrum, trying not to let him know what my view was so as to hear an unbiased exegesis.

    Jeff immediately said no, God did not command murder. He pointed out that Abraham did not believe he was going up the mountain to murder his son, but to worship with his son, and planned to come back down together: "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you" (Gen. 22:5).

    Jeff described the whole story as a "kiss from God" in Jewish thinking. It was a special event in which God showed His love to Abraham and Isaac, renewing His covenant. Abraham had received God's sacred promise, which would apply to Isaac and his seed also, so of course Abraham would know that the command was not to commit murder, but to perform an act of worship.

    What think ye? :type:
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,833
    Likes Received:
    114
    God never commanded Abraham to kill Isaac in the same definition of the word kill in the commandment "thou shalt not kill." That term means murder. That's what Cain did.

    God asked Abraham specifically to offer Isaac up "as an offering". When Genesis 22 says that that Abraham lifted up his hand to slay Isaac - the word slay there is the word that means kill as a sacrifice.

    Interestingly, the same word "slay" where Esau says "I will slay my brother, Jacob" is a different word altogether that means murder.

    There is no word in the Genesis 22 passage that I can see that translates in Hebrew as "murder".

    In the New Testament book of Hebrews, it says that Abraham was considered righteous because he knew that God would raise Isaac from the dead even if he obeyed God and offered him as a sacrifice.

    There is no murder in the story of Abraham and Isaac.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Very good points, Scarlett. Thank you. :wavey:
     
  4. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Scarlett, Abraham did not believe he was being told to murder his son, and fully expected God to raise him from the dead.

    Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
    18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
    19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
     
  5. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    37
    John, I was just about to start a thread about Abraham and saw this so I think I will add it here for I believe it to be relative.

    For wrapped up in this is the words believe, faith and imputed righteousness.

    James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    As I have posted to you before I know, no Greek therefor you will have to help me out. Per James above God tempts no man. Therefore God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Issac could have not been temptation to sin. Neither do I believe God was testing him nor proving him.

    God called Abraham. I believe God called Abraham to be a believer. God taught Abraham to be a believer and then imputed the righteousness of God to him.

    Rather than God tempting Abraham to sin by killing his son I say God was teaching Abraham the gospel of the kingdom of God and the necessity for the Lamb of God, his Son and also the seed of Abrahan according to the flesh to die and be given life again from the dead, for inheritance into the kingdom of God for Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. God was teaching Abraham who would be heir of the world.

    About 430 years after Issac was to be sacrificed passover was held in Egypt
    and fifty days from the morrow after the sabbath following passover God put the people under a schoolmaster, under the law.

    Paul tells us while they were under the schoolmaster, the law in Gal 3:22 that this was before the faith came and in verse 25 that after the faith came they were removed from being under the law. I understand this is for the elect, that is, the called to be believers just as Abraham and just as Paul was called by Jesus. When Jesus called Paul he went from unbelief to being a believer.

    1 Tim 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief.

    The belief of Abraham was not Abraham's faith. Abraham was called of God to be a believer and was imputed with the righteousness of God. These all died in faith that is in the faith to come by the obedience of Jesus unto death even the death of the cross. The sacrifice of Issac was a picture of that obedience and hence the resurrection.

    Faith in Hebrews 11 is what God was doing through those whom he called as believers.



    Your thoughts on my thoughts.
     
  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,833
    Likes Received:
    114
    Thanks for the citation. I didn't take time to look it up. I think this verse best describes why Abraham was righteous before God even though he made some serious mistakes in his life.

    Ultimately, it boiled down to the fact that he finally got to the point that he completely believed God and trusted God no matter what.
     
  7. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    37
    I do believe we have to consider these verses in the context of the discussion.

    Rev 13:8 The Lamb slain. That for sure means killed, yet did God kill him? No.
    However Isa. 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten (to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill) of God, and afflicted. I do believe the concept of death is meant here. Once again, did God kill him? No.

    Why? Because: having become obedient unto death -- death even of a cross,
    The obedience of faith, see previous post.

    But God allowed, Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

    My Question.
    Luke 22:42-46 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Heb. 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,striving against sin.

    Had He not been obedient unto death even the death on the cross would God have killed him?
     
  8. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    37
    I thought there was a place that spoke of trying Abraham but could not find it for I was looking in the OT.
     
  9. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, Jesus said he could call on God and he would send twelve legions of angels to deliver him.

    Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
    54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

    The implied answer to Jesus's question is YES. He could have called on God to save him from the soldiers when they came to take him in the garden. But then we see that Jesus willingly submitted to his Father's will.

    And notice how Jesus asked "how" shall the scriptures be fulfilled? In other words, he had to obey for the scriptures to be fulfilled, which implies that if he had requested God send the angels to deliver him the scriptures would not have been fulfilled. Think on that one awhile.
     
  10. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    37

    God did send an angel just prior to this who gave him strength yet Jesus was still in agony striving against sin.

    And he who was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin, overcame this temptation. The temptation was past when the man's ear got cut off.
    Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
    And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly:

    Do you thing he was suffering at this time and learning obedience?

    From your post: Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
    54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

    Let me ask the question in a different manner.

    Was it possible for Jesus to have been disobedient? Was Jesus really tempted like as we are?
     
  11. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think Bro. Winman and Sis. Scarlett hit the nail on the head! :thumbs:

    Now, to add to what they stated. I tend to lean that way, but I kinda think that Abraham knew that if he were to really sacrifice Isaac, that God would have raised him up, because of God's promise to him in that in Abraham's seed, would be the blessing. So, even if Abraham would have sacrificed Isaac, He would have risen him again. But we see where the ram in the thicket became the sacrifice. Does anyone else see this ram as an allegory to Jesus as I do?
     
  12. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    If by "murder", you mean did God command Abraham to engage in a ritual of human sacrifice, otherwise utterly deplorable and permissible under no conditions...yes, God did indeed command Abraham to do that.
     
  13. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes Willis, the ram is a picture or figure of Christ. And notice what Abraham said to Isaac.

    Gen 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
    8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

    Abraham didn't say "God will provide a sacrifice", he said, "God will provide HIMSELF a lamb for a burnt offering"

    And to answer Percho's question, could Isaac have prevented Abraham from tying him up? Yes. Isaac was a very young man when this happened, while his father Abraham was probably at least 120 years old. Isaac could have easily resisted his father if he wanted. So Isaac is a figure of obedience to his father's will, but he surely had the power to resist if he had wanted to.

    Gen 22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

    As far as Jesus being tempted, I can only say what the scriptures say, that he was tempted in ALL POINTS as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)
     
    #13 Winman, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2012
  14. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    It was not human sacrifice, it was self sacrifice. There is a HUGE difference.

    When a soldier leaps on a hand grenade to keep his fellow soldiers from being killed, do we call that deplorable? No, we call that man a hero. When a fireman rushes into a burning building to rescue a small child he hears crying and dies in the fire, do we call that deplorable? No, we call that man a hero also.

    God didn't murder Jesus, he offered him to save us. And likewise, Jesus willingly offered himself to save us. It was self-sacrifice.

    Jhn 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
     
  15. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, post!! :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

    Isaac was a picture of the Messiah to come, and He did not resist/struggle with them as they nailed Him to the cross. Neither did Isaac resist his father Abraham as he was bound and laid upon the altar.
     
  16. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    For Isaac's part yes, but the question was about God's command to Abraham, not Abraham's command to Isaac.

    .

    Indeed, but what does this have to do with God's direct un-mistakable command to Abraham to: Gen 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. As I said if by murder you mean:
    No one is suggesting that God sinned here somehow, or was morally unjustified, but that is what God commanded Abraham to do, per the question in the OP.

    We understand that Isaac was a type of Christ, just as Joshua might be, just as the lambs sacrificed in the temple and tabernacle were: but types do not furnish accurate representations of every detail. Note your verse here:

    What "friends" was Isaac laying down his life for? He was merely being obedient.
     
  17. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  18. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,137
    Likes Received:
    320
    Something shared?

    Genesis 22
    15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
    16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
    17 That in blessing I will bless thee...

    HankD
     
  19. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,970
    Likes Received:
    128
    Was Jesus murdered?

    ...it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer… Isaiah 53:10a (NIV)

    Rob
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    I agree with you completely here. The Greek word for "tempted" in James 1:13 is peirazo, which can mean either to tempt to sin or to test, depending on the context. Obviously in James 1:13 the context is clearly to tempt to sin.

    In order to say God commanded Abraham to sin one would have to say either that (1) God can commit sin, or (2) that murder is not a sin when done for a good cause. This second option is clearly situtation ethics, and includes the belief that there are no absolutes--in itself an absolute statement and therefore logically impossible.
    I agree. Abraham offering his son is a type of God the Father offering Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world.

    My thoughts agree with your thoughts. :type:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...