I was involved in a conversation with two people who read my book, Men Djinn & Angels, and the question arose regarding my personal belief in the Abraham child sacrifice.  In my book, I seemed to lean to the idea that Ishmael was the child of sacrifice and not Isaac.  It may be difficult for many of us in the western hemisphere to accept, but the majority of the world leans the same way.  I don’t claim to know the answers, but there seems to be more weight on the Ishmael point of view than the latter.  Here are some reasons that I shared with them.

One of the first things I consider is that the accounts described in the Biblical text are not all in chronological order.  Let’s just say for the sake of continuity, Genesis chapter 21 describes a moment when Isaac was born and later weened.  There was a big party for the successful weening and then Sarah, the mother, becomes concerned that Abraham’s first born, Ishmael, the rightful heir to Abraham’s wealth would be given what he deserved.  In fact, as it is described in the Biblical text, Sarah was so selfish that she wanted it all for her son.  She was not at all so inclined to suggest a 90% to 10% split between the two.  She wanted everything for her son, so she demanded that Abraham discard his child.  In Chapter 22, we have the sacrifice where the script claims that Abraham, through divine command, was told to offer his only son, Isaac, as a burnt offering.  The continuity is obviously flawed.  There was no point ever where Isaac was the only son.  Considering this, I become suspicious of text tampering.

 

Another suspicion I have comes from the nature and concept of sacrifice. For one to make a sacrifice in Biblical times, one had to part with the thing that he loved or needed the most.  An example is when sacrifices were made, the owner needed to sacrifice his best goat or lamb – the one with no flaws. In this sense, the eldest son, in those times, was held in very high regard and would have been a more acceptable sacrifice that kept in line with tradition.  Not to say that it would not be heart wrenching for a parent to sacrifice any of his children, but in the character of sacrifice, it would have been more of a show of faith for Abraham to sacrifice his first born before a second was born. If we assumed the order of events as listed in Geneses is correct, I believe that Abraham would have seen the sacrifice of Isaac a punishment rather than a service – a punishment for sending his young son and the mother into the wild with little food and water.   Especially for the selfishness and inhumane reasons for the dismissal.  It does not seem divine that a person, Sarah in this case, would be rewarded with a son who deserved the blessings of Abraham’s faith and wealth when she exemplified the vices that the religion should discourage.  When I think about it, I ask myself, what virtues are we to learn from Sarah’s actions?  Additionally, when it comes to virtue, the Biblical account paints a picture of Abraham in a less than virtuous light when he is not honest with his son.  When “Isaac” ask his father regarding the lamb for the sacrifice, Abraham did not say that the sacrifice is you, my son.  Instead, he says that the lamb would be provided.  Some would say that he spoke out of faith and thus deserved the title Father of faith, whereas others may see this as a second character flaw, the first being to leave his firstborn child, fatherless.

 

When it comes to research, we are taught to question the authority of the sources that we use to make our conclusions.  In this, it is difficult to say that there is a credible source of Abraham’s existence, or his other sons.  That being said, when I look at the sources, I know that the sources claiming Isaac was the sacrificial son comes from the Jewish ideology.  It was allegedly written by Moses at a time when he needed to unify the different sects of Israeli faithful.  Keep in mind that Jacob (Israel) had over 70 children, only 12 of those and their families left the desert life to live in Egypt where they were subsequently taken into bondage.  The other 50 plus families remained outside of Egypt making two separate groups with various ideologies and cultures.  Being that Moses is the one credited with writing the Book of Genesis, he had only one commonality between the free Israelis and those who came from Egypt.  That was the common belief in Abraham.  It is likely, that Moses or whoever wrote the Book of Genesis altered some details to create unity between the two sections. Again, being that our most common source of information comes from just one of the lines from those many families, it seems opportune to have Isaac, not Ishmael be the sacrificial son.  For me, the source of information lacks credibility.  Whereas in the Arab world, even before Islam, the influence of Ishmael and Abraham’s relationship is paramount.

In the Arab world, there is the Kaaba, a cube like structure that was and is believed to have been originally structured by Abraham and Ishmael.  It has always played a vital roll in Arab tradition.  Before Islam, it was a place believed to hold such spiritual importance that the Arab tribes felt it important to have their idols housed there. It was believed by them that if they left their idols in the Kaaba, their gods would send blessings on them.  As a result, the Quraysh tribe who maintained the Kaaba charged the other tribes rent fees.  After Muslims were victorious over the polytheist tribes, the Kaaba was cleansed and placed as a cornerstone in the religious practices.  In this, I see that while the Arabs had veered away from Abraham’s theology, they retained the value of his relationship with Ishmael, even until this day where Abraham’s sacrifice is commemorated with a holiday celebration where the first-born sons are celebrated.  Additionally, as Abraham is depicted in the Islamic traditions, the sacrifice has more purity than the Biblical depiction.  In the Islamic tradition, Abraham is depicted as an honest man who is open and transparent with his son who is trusting and equally faithful.  The reward of a lamb in his place seems more inline with the values the lesson should teach.  In this, Ishmael and Abraham are rewarded for their good and faithful deeds, not for the selfishness, and hidden agendas depicted in the Biblical tradition.

My grandmother’s mom lived in rural Mississippi just outside of Greenwood where some of her ancestors of Choctaw and African descent spent their lives in forced servitude. Roxanne, my grandmother’s mom was never a slave; she was the family’s first born emancipated. As such, she was afforded the opportunity to have input on her future education and after taking a liking to a mid-wife, learning the trade, Roxanne delivered her first baby at sixteen year old. Not only did she win trust and respect from everyone in her community for her skills as a mid-wife, she was soon respected as a healer.
She learned what herbs and roots are needed to make medicines to stop pain, break fevers and treat burns. By the time she was twenty one, she was regularly called upon to tend the young and elderly until one day she was labeled as a witch by a doctor who came to treat a young boy and saw, to his surprise, the boy healed and active.
In those days and in those places, a medical doctor came to his patients with no intentions to visit blacks, natives, or poor whites unless he was already enroute to treat a worthy middle class or wealthy patient. Having no emergency room treatments available, those unfortunate souls needed to care for themselves. As such, it is easy to imagine that doctor’s disappointment and surprise when he saw that his services to the boy were no longer needed. He examined the boy and told his parents that Roxanne used “Black Magic” to heal their son. They knew little if anything about Voodoo, so everything that was unexplained was labeled as such. For Roxanne, the accusation not only caused her to lose the trust of her black neighbors – good Christian folk – but she was also ostracized like Hester Prynne.
I use her sad story to explain many things, one of which the misunderstanding that limits our ability to learn and improve as human beings. I have come to discover that throughout history, various forms of knowledge – beneficial knowledge – has been censored, forbidden and misrepresented to our disadvantage. Occult science is, without doubt one of the best examples.

by Jan Luyken
Original caption: The Anabaptist martyr Anneken Hendriks tied to a ladder being hoisted toward the fire in 16th century Holland. Undated copper engraving by Tieleman Janszoon van Braght (1625-1664). BPA#2 5474 1685

Over time, many falsely accused lives were unjustly taken. The famous Salem Witch Hunts is a gory example. There are few conversations presenting the possibility that occult science is not evil or anti-Christian. As we all know, Christianity has waged wars against all sciences, not just the occult. History shows that science and literacy have always been huge threats to the “True Faith.” Considering this, I grow curious to know if the war against the occult had alternate intentions. Was the Church protecting humanity or taking from it?
When I reflect on the history of literacy and study the devastating impact that the printing press had on the Catholic Church, I cannot help but to suspect an element of foul-play by the church in its self-preservation efforts. What need would we have for the church if occult science provided a way for humanity to have a direct link to the Supreme and His angels? What if the occult science provided insights to the use of human ability that is dwarfed by the educational and religious dogma looming over us?
It seems that the patrons of the occult sciences have answers to these questions. In addition, these patrons claim that the science is not a simple monolithic study, but a multileveled disciplined, one that includes biology, chemistry and physics. Occult science supporters claim that their studies, while including traditional science, are consistent with the Puranas, Vedas, Book of the Dead, and other such ancient writings. It accepts the concept of indestructible matter and that all mater is energy having force and principles of polarity ruling over them. It supports the concept of fractals as supported in Sacred Geometry and indirectly mentioned in biblical and Apocrypha text.
Whereas traditional science relies on the Scientific Method as a means to qualify facts, occult science differs in that its patrons believe that eyes and ears without an understanding of heart and intangible forces of energy is inefficient. Let’s take the example of the way planetary energy affects us. Modern science cannot, using the scientific method, explain how a sunny day affects the masses in an emotional or psychological way, but we know that it does. Occult science relies on the understanding and agreement that the energy released by the sun influences the energy that we receive and release in a cyclical way. Traditional science cannot call this fact, but our experiences tell us otherwise.
science

What is troublesome for me, when it comes to trusting science, is that results are often manipulated to fit a desired result. If we consider how often this happens, it becomes impossible us to know what science proves or doesn’t prove. Take for example the global warming issue. According to the promoted findings, the world is warming, and most of the lay people, like me, would believe as much until we, by chance, come across the mountain of evidence that contrast the global warming “facts.” If we go down that rabbit-hole, we’ll learned a few interesting things; most of which, is that the data and the way data is gathered is not accurate or consistent and is often more suggestive than fact. Not to bore the reader with details, but the data on earth temperatures cover a span of less than 140 years. It was agreed by most researchers that 1998 the earth’s temperature rose 1.12 degrees above the average. It was then believed that 2005 was higher, but there are other reports that show 2005 temperature was only 1.04 degrees higher than the average. Many hidden reports conclude that the earth’s temperature is not consistently rising.
What is more shocking is that our political leaders are well invested in the dissemination of “factual” scientific information and influencing the results of scientific study. As reported in U.K. Daily Mail, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change compiled results of a global warming study that revealed a 2007 report concluding that the earth’s average temperature had not risen in 15 years.
With all of this, one is left in limbo, not knowing what to believe. Whereas we cannot trust the information that is passed on to us in forms of general knowledge, we are pickled in that we have to head to the reported findings that influence our health and daily lives. When it comes to the occult science, ironically, there is a similar reliance on the same collection of data and conclusions. The only difference is that in occult science is a provision that allows us to experience and experiment first hand and individually. Natural Science or Occult … take your pick.