Joseph A. Fitzmyer, «The sacrifice of Isaac in Qumran literature», Vol. 83 (2002) 211-229
Gen 22,1-19 the account of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, is discussed first in its Hebrew and Old Greek form; then as it was developed in the Book of Jubilees 17,15–18,16, and especially in the form of Pseudo-Jubilees, as it is preserved in 4Q225 2 i and ii (4QPs-Juba 2 i 7-14, 2 ii 1-14), in order to ascertain how much of the development of the account can be traced to pre-Christian Palestinian Jewish tradition prior to the New Testament. Finally, building on such evidence, the article traces the development in other texts of the first Christian century and in the later targumic and rabbinic tradition about the Aqedah.
The story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac is well known because of the account of it in Genesis 22. Well known too is the way allusion is made to this story in some writings of the New Testament (e.g., Jas 2,21-23; Heb 6,13-14; 11,17-19; possibly Rom 8,32). Even more well known is the understanding of that account in the rabbinical tradition among the Jewish people, where it is known as the ‘Aqe4dat Yis9h9aq, ‘Binding of Isaac’, or simply the Aqedah or Akedah. It is not surprising, then, that a Qumran text might be found that sheds some light on the understanding of that famous account in the Book of Genesis.
The name Aqedah, however, is used with different connotations today, and so it is necessary to be clear from the outset about the sense in which it is being used. Sometimes it is used to denote only the vicarious expiation of the sacrifice of Isaac, i.e. the offering of Isaac on behalf of others (people of Israel); sometimes it means the story of the sacrifice of Isaac as it developed in the Jewish tradition in contrast to the bare account in Gen 22; and sometimes it connotes the totality of events depicted in art and literature that builds on Gen 22,1-191. The noun hdq( does not appear in the biblical account of Genesis or in the