By Ismail Sloan
The biggest gulf between the Bible, the Torah and the Koran comes in the Story of Abraham, where Abraham took his son up the mountain to be sacrificed. All three books tell almost exactly the same story. There is only one significant difference: The Bible and the Torah say that Abraham took his younger son, Isaac, to be sacrificed. The Koran says that Abraham took his elder son, Ishmael, to be sacrificed. Which is correct? Which is wrong?
The difference is vital from the Jewish point of view. The Jews claim that, as a result, Isaac and his descendants are heirs to the entire land of Canaan. The Muslims also find this difference to be vital, but for different reasons.
It can be demonstrably proven from the Bible itself that Ishmael, and not Isaac, was the son to be sacrificed, as follows:
Abraham was the son of Terah (Genesis 11:27). Abraham was originally from Ur, which was in modern day Iraq. Abraham did not arrive in Canaan until he was 75 years old. He had a brief sojourn in Egypt, during which he allowed his wife, Sarah, to be taken by the Pharaoh (Genesis 12:11-16). Abraham later allowed his wife to be taken by Abimelech, King of Gerar (Genesis 20:2).
Sarah was the half-sister of Abraham. They had the same father, but different mothers (Genesis 20:12). Sarah was 10 years younger than Abraham (Genesis 17:17). Sarah was barren, so she gave her handmaid, Hagar, to Abraham as a wife (Genesis 16:3). Hagar became pregnant with Abraham's child when Abraham was 85 years old!!! After Hagar became pregnant, Sarah twice drove her away: Once before the child was born, (Genesis 16:4-12), and once after (Genesis 21:9-20).
It is to be noted that the Bible often does not present events in chronological order. The story of Sarah driving Hagar and Ishmael away comes after stories of Ishmael as a teenager. Yet, it is clear that Ishmael was an infant when Sarah drove them out (Genesis 21:15-18). This story is related in the Koran as well. The Koran describes Ishmael as an infant, too young to walk.
The story of Abraham taking his son up the mountain to be sacrificed is in the Bible in (Genesis 22:2-12).
Isaac was born to Sarah when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 (Genesis 21:5). This is one of the great miracles of the Bible: A child born to a woman of age 90.
All sides agree that Ishmael and Isaac were brothers. They further agree that Ishmael is the father of all Arabs and that Isaac is the father of all Jews. Thus, the three great religions agree that the Arabs and the Jews are brothers; a point often overlooked by those who have not studied these religions.
Clearly, the Arabs outnumber the Jews. There are more than 100 million Arabs in the world, and less than 10 million Jews.
Throughout the Book of Genesis, God promises Abraham that his descendants will be of great multitude. God says that he will make Abraham a great nation (Genesis 12:2). God says that the descendants of Abraham shall be as numerous as the dust of the Earth, (Genesis 13:16), and shall be in number as the stars of the sky (Genesis 15:5). God says that Abraham will be a father to many nations (Genesis 17:4) and that his descendants will have the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:8). God makes similar promises about Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac. He tells Hagar that her descendants shall be a great multitude (Genesis 16:10). God tells Abraham that Sarah will be a mother of nations (Genesis 17:16). He says to Abraham that Ishmael will beget 12 princes (Genesis 17:20).
The key to the dispute comes at Genesis 22:17, when God says to Abraham: "I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens and the sand that is on the seashore."
Isaac was 14 years younger than Ishmael. When Abraham took his son to be sacrificed, that son appears to have been about 13. God several times refers to Abraham's son as his "only son." God says "Take now your son, your only son, Isaac." (Genesis 22:2). God says, "You have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." (Genesis 22:12).
Did God make a mistake?? Did God not know that Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac?
Obviously, God did not make a mistake. What really happened was that Isaac was not born yet. Ishmael, at age 13, was Abraham's only son. Isaac was born one year later. The Bible is in error.
When Abraham died at the age of 175, Ishmael and Isaac buried him together (Genesis 25:9). By then, Abraham had taken another wife, Keturah, and had had six sons by her (Genesis 25:2). This last wife, Keturah, produced more children for Abraham than the others combined, another fact often overlooked.
It is logically obvious that it was Ishmael and not Isaac who was to be sacrificed. Consider the alternative: If it was Isaac, then Isaac was 13 and Ishmael was 27, Abraham was 113 and Sarah was 103. It is unlikely that a 113 year old man could climb a mountain, split wood, build an alter, tie up his son, and later kill a ram, all of which the Bible says that Abraham did on the occasion in question.
Moreover, if he did all that, why did not Abraham call upon his then 27-year-old son, Ishmael, for assistance?
Furthermore, whereas the descendants of Ishmael are of a great multitude, numbering more than 100 million today, the descendants of Isaac have waxed and waned and have been found and lost over the centuries. The descendants of Isaac only had their own kingdom for a brief period in history, and then only long after Isaac had died and many generations had passed. Before then, they were slaves in Egypt. Later, they were conquered by the Babylonians and again taken into slavery. Even when they had their own kings, some of their kings, such as Ahab and Ahaz, worshipped Ba'al and not God (1 Kings 16:32 and 2 Chronicles 28:2).
Many believe that most of the European Jews of today, especially the Russian Jews, are not descendants of Isaac at all, but are descendants of the Kazars, the so-called "13th Tribe", which was centered in the area of Kiev and which converted to Judaism by order of their rulers in the Ninth Century, AD.
If God did promise Isaac that his descendants would be in number as the dust of the Earth, as the stars in the sky, and as the sand in the seashore, this was a false promise which has not been fulfilled.
Another promise that was not fulfilled, if indeed it was made, was the promise to give Isaac all of the Land of Canaan. The Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, have occupied Canaan from that day to this. Canaan is the valley on the right and left banks of the Jordan River. Today, the Right Bank is controlled entirely by Arabs. More than 90% of the population of the Left Bank is Arab as well. The Jews only recently re-arrived as rulers of part of that area after an absence of nearly 3,000 years.
The sons of Ishmael became kings immediately. The Bible says that they lived in a land East of Egypt (Genesis 25:18). It was a caravan from the tribe of Ishmael that took Joseph to Egypt (Genesis 37:25) and 39:1). Since Ishmael was 14 years older than Isaac, and since Isaac was 60 years old before his first and only sons were born, it is apparent that by the time that the 12 tribes of Israel got off to their big start, the tribes of Ishmael had long been well established.
The Bible contains many obvious errors and inconsistencies. Starting from Genesis, it first says that Enoch and his son Mathushael and his son Lamech were direct descendants of Cain along the male line (Genesis 4:18). It later says that Enoch and his son Methuselah and his son Lamech were direct descendants of Seth along the male line (Genesis 5:21-25). Both could not be true, except in the unlikely event that there were two identical sets of persons with these names.
In the New Testament, Matthew 1 lists 42 generations between Abraham and Joseph, the presumed father of Jesus, whereas Luke 3 lists 55 generations. The names in these lists are different after King David as well. Matthew says that Jesus is a descendant of David through his son, King Solomon. Luke says that Jesus is a descendant of David through another son, Nathan. The Luke version is more believable because it is more detailed and because the Matthew version tends to list kings and famous personalities as ancestors of Jesus, whereas Luke lists common or otherwise unknown people. Jesus is supposed to have been a common man.
The Bible describes Sarah as a beautiful woman whom even the Pharaoh of Egypt would want and whom a man would kill another man to get (Genesis 12:11-15) and 20:11). Yet, Sarah was apparently already 65 years old when she first arrived in Egypt.
Deuteronomy 23:2 says that an illegitimate child may not enter the Assembly of God even until the Tenth Generation. Yet, Perez was clearly the illegitimate son of Tamar, who sold herself as a harlot to her father-in-law Judah (Genesis 38:24-29). The Bible makes it clear that Judah never married Tamar. Yet, the descendants of Tamar to the Tenth Generation were Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse and King David!!
The Bible says that the Children of Israel stayed in Egypt for 430 years (Exodus 12:40). Yet, this could not possibly have been true. It is evident that the Jews could not have remained there for much more than 200 years at the longest, because Moses was the son of Jochebed, who was the daughter of Levi (Exodus 6:20 and Exodus 2:1). Moses was 80 years old when he talked with Pharaoh (Exodus 7:7). Since a woman cannot give birth to a child much beyond the age of 40, and since Levi did not live beyond the age of 130 and Levi was born before Joseph and was born in Canaan, the total length of time that the Jews were in Egypt cannot have been more than 250 years.
The Bible has been transcribed and re-transcribed a thousand times over the centuries. What we can see here is that somewhere along the line, some scribe wrote in that Abraham intended to sacrifice Isaac, whereas in reality he intended to sacrifice Ishmael. The motivation for this alteration is obvious, because it forms the basis to the Hebrew claim to have the legal right of ownership of the entire Land of Canaan.
The Bible says that Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac (Genesis 2:5). However, it is apparent that Abraham did not give and could not have given the birthright of Ishmael to Isaac. Isaac and his immediate descendants never ruled the Land of Canaan. They merely lived there.
Isaac was not even capable of finding himself a wife. When Isaac was 40 years old and still unmarried, his then 140-year-old father, Abraham, sent a servant to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24). After the dutiful servant brought a wife to Isaac, it took Isaac another 20 years before he was able to make her pregnant. Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, first and last gave birth when Isaac was 60 years old and Rebecca was probably about 36 (Genesis 25:26).
Except for Isaac, none of the other patriarchs of the Bible seemed to have any trouble finding women and in conceiving children with them. Perhaps Isaac was a closet gay, who never came out.
By a simple substitution of the name Ishmael for the name Isaac in just four places in Genesis 22:2-7, all of the prophecies become true. As the passages would then state, the rulers and descendants of Ishmael did become the rulers and kings of the area. The descendants of Ishmael did quickly multiply and become in number as dust of the Earth, stars in the sky or sand on the seashore.