Abraham finds himself in a situation not entirely different from Laius, the father of Oedipus. Like Laius, Abraham is a leader of his people. Laius gets guidance, or a warning from an oracle who is in touch with Laius’s god, Apollo. Abraham is spoken to by his God.
Laius take action because his god tells him son will kill him. And for his part, Abraham is prepared to sacrifice his son because of direct instruction from his God.
But readers of this story from The Book of Genesis have a very different opinion of Abraham and his predicament than do readers of Oedipus Rex, and the difficulties of Laius, Oedipus’s father.
The author, or at least, the transcriber(s) of Abraham and Isaac, are trying to assert some pretty clear lessons about Abraham and his role in a new mono theocratic society. The lesson asserts things about Abraham, and it also effectively discredits things about those pre-Abraham religions, those pagan religions, such as were believed in the time of Sophocles and Oedipus.
What then, are readers of Abraham and Isaac supposed to learn, to believe, based on what Abraham goes through, in contrast to the lessons readers are supposed to gather from reading about Laius and Oedipus?
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