The Bible - Genesis


I have a question. I hope this is where I ask it. If it is not the correct place to ask it, forgive me - I'm new. OK, here is my question. In Genesis, Chapter 15, God's Covenant with Abram, God told Abram to collect some animals and birds for sacrifice. Abram was told to cut in two each animal and place each half opposite each other. Abram did this except for the birds; why not the birds? I think I'm pretty clear on the overall significance of the sacrifice. Please don't tell me because the birds were too small. Thank you in advance for your consideration of my question.

God Blesses Us All...ALL THE TIME Lots of Love & Prayers, San Ramon Del


according to this site, he made big mistake.

God called on Abraham to make a sacrifice. Making this offering would lay a foundation of faith. Abraham was to take a heifer, ram, she goat, pigeon and turtle dove, cut them in half and offer them to God. Abraham cut the larger animals in half, but not the birds. Scriptures relate that birds of prey descended upon the offering. The minor error of not cutting the birds provided an opportunity for Satan, represented by the birds of prey, to invade the offering, with two consequences. First, Abraham was called upon to make a condition of greater indemnity by offering his son, and, second, he was told his descendants would have to undergo a 400-year period of slavery to indemnify the error.

By not cutting the birds in half, Abraham failed to make the necessary condition of purifying the sacrifice before it was offered to God. In the same way that Adam had to be divided into Cain and Abel, God instructed Abraham to divide the sacrifice, symbolically separating Cain from Abel in the offering, draining out the fallen blood and separating the fallen elements from the good.

The birds, male and female, represented man and woman in the formation stage of restoration; the ram and she goat represented man and woman in the growth stage and the heifer represented the unified being of man and woman in the completion stage. In making the offering, Abraham was setting up a condition for the restoration of humankind through the three stages. When the birds were not cut, Satan was able to invade the foundational formation stage of the sacrifice, thereby claiming the whole offering.

Abraham was determined to restore this mistake, and, despite the unspeakable difficulty, he prepared to sacrifice his son, as God had asked him. Before doing so, he once more had to pass through a process of separation from Satan, restoring the conditions which were annulled through the failed sacrifice. His family was again subjected to a trial similar to that which it had experienced in Egypt, but this time it was King Abimelech of Gerar who tried to seduce Sarah. As with the pharaoh, the king was warned by God that he would be punished if he kept her, and in fear he returned Sarah to Abraham who then left Abimelech’s kingdom safely. Abraham’s family had once more separated itself from Satan in preparation to lay a foundation of faith.

Abraham Offers His Son


[quote="the, post:2, topic:345703"]
according to this site, he made big mistake


Umm... you realize, don't you, that you're citing a quotation attributed to Thomas Cromwell, that's provided on a site dedicated to Rev. Moon's Unification Church... don't you?

It's hardly a site that Catholics should flock to for Scriptural wisdom. Just sayin'... ;)

In any case, if you look at Gen 15:9, God doesn't say "cut them all up"; He simply says "bring me...". So, Abraham obeys God, in the context of a culturally-recognized covenant ritual. Scripture neither identifies why he didn't cut up the birds nor does it condemn Abraham for not doing so.

However, if you're really scratching your head, consider this: the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible has this to say...

(Gen 15:9) anticipates the sacrifices deemed suitable by later Levitical law (Lev 1:2, 10, 14).

(Gen 15:10) anticipates a requirement of later Levitical Law (Lev 1:17).

So... if the narrative of Genesis 15 speaks to a later people who practice sacrifice according to Mosaic law, then both the requirements of the animals and the lack of splitting the birds would make sense to them.


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