Akeidat Yitzchak and the Covenant at Sinai

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Introduction

As noted by Yonatan Grossman,1 there are several similarities between the Sinaitic Covenant described in Shemot 24, and the story of Akeidat Yitzchak.  The analysis below will attempt to analyze whether these are intentional allusions and what significance they may have.

Content Parallels

The two stories have a number of content similarities. In both, Hashem's representative (Avraham or Moshe) is ordered to go to a heavenly mountain (Mt. Moriah or Mt. Sinai) for a Divine revelation and sacrifice. They are joined by a companion (Yitzchak or Yehoshua) and a group of followers (Avraham's servants or the priests and elders), although the latter are left behind and do not actually climb the mountain. At the mountain there is a ritual sacrifice involving youths (Yitzchak and נערי בני ישראל), followed by a revelation where they encounter God but are not harmed.

Literary Allusions

Analysis

Points of Contrast

Conclusions

While at first glance, the parallels between Akeidat Yitzchak and the Covenant at Sinai seem to be plentiful, a closer analysis shows that many of them are superficial and not particular to these stories. It is thus questionable whether there is enough evidence to support the claim of a fundamental relationship between the stories.
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