Scientists have deciphered what they describe as a 1,500-year-old 'magical papyrus' that was discovered near the pyramid of the Pharaoh Senwosret I.The text seems to have an unusual, but not unprecedented, take on the Aqedah:
The text dates to a time when Christianity was widely practiced in Egypt.The unnamed person(s) who wrote the incantations in Coptic, an Egyptian language that uses the Greek alphabet, invoked God many times.
Several times in the papyrus God is called "the one who presides over the Mountain of the Murderer" a phrase that likely refers to a story in the Book of Genesis in which God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, wrote Michael Zellmann-Rohrer, a researcher in the department of classics at Oxford University, who described the magical papyrus in the journal Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde.For more on the tradition that Isaac was actually sacrificed, notably covered in Shalom Spiegel's book The Last Trial, see here and here.
The Book of Genesis says that God stopped Abraham before he actually sacrificed his son. However in this papyrus the story is described in such a way that it sounds as if the sacrifice wasn't stopped wrote Zellmann-Rohrer noting that other texts from the ancient world also claim that the sacrifice was completed. "The tradition of a literal sacrifice seems in fact to have been rather widespread," Zellmann-Rohrer wrote.
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