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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Abraham Never Demanded by God to Sacrifice his Son nor a Ram. Go VEGAN! By Dr. Chapman Chen

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Summary: Abraham was never demanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac nor a ram caught in a nearby bush as a substitute. God loves His creation (Psalm 145:8-9) and He already has everything (Psalm 50:12). Indeed, God has explicitly said that He hated burnt offering (Isaiah 6:18). So why should He need or want any sacrifice, human or animal, from us (Hosea 6:6)? How could He, who is love (1 John 4:7-21), possibly order anyone to do any evil act as a test of their obedience to Him? Genesis 22:1-18 needs to be looked at from a Freudian-Christian perspective:- Abraham was tricked by the Devil into projecting to God his faith crisis and unconscious, murderous, Oedipal feelings toward his own son, and into thinking that he, Abraham, had to sacrifice his only son, or some other sentient being like a ram, in order to prove his loyalty to Jehovah.

1. Methodology:

According to Freud (1930), competing for the mother's love, every little boy harbors jealous, aggressive, murderous feelings toward the father, just like King Oedipus. Due to the castration dread, these feelings are pushed into the unconscious, generating a sense of guilt or a need for punishment. Reciprocally, every father, just like King Oedipus's father, experiences the same toward the son. Freud calls this complex of feelings the Oedipus complex, which, he argues, though unconscious, are universal, manipulating everybody to different degrees from behind the scenes.

Also, According to Freud (1990:132), projection is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against disowned and highly negative parts of the self by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others, breeding misunderstanding and causing untold interpersonal damage.

2. Source Text:

According to Genesis 22, Prophet Abraham was told by God in a dream to sacrifice his son Isaac. As he was about to do it, God stopped him and saved his son. Abraham then killed a ram instead. Many meat-eating Christians justified their paying someone to murder animals for their carnivorous diet, i.e., to sacrifice innocent creatures of God to their own belly, by referring to this biblical story.

In Genesis 22:2 NIV, God allegedly said to Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

"When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham...bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar...and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!" (Gen. 22:9-11 NIV).

“Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” said the angel to Abraham (Gen. 22:12 NIV).

"Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide." (Gen. 22:13-14 NIV).

The angel of God again addressed Abraham, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky" (Gen. 22:15-17 NIV).

3. God is Compassionate

This article argues that God never demanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac nor a ram caught in a nearby bush as a replacement. This is because "God is love" (1 John 4:16 NIV). He loves all His creation:- " The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made" (Psalm 145:8-9 NIV).

4. God Loathes Sacrifice

Indeed, God has explicitly indicated that He abominates sacrifice:- "The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—how much more so when brought with evil intent!" (Proverbs 21:27 NIV); “For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering” (Isaiah 6:18 KJV); “Keep your foot when you go to the house of God; for to draw near to hear and obey is better than to give the sacrifice of fools too ignorant to know that they are doing evil” (Ecclesiastes 5:1 The Amplified Bible).

5. God already Has Everything

"For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all it contains." (Psalm 50:12 NIV). He desires neither human sacrifice nor animal sacrifice from us humans. In Hosea, God unequivocally announces, "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6 NIV) This is echoed by Jesus Christ when he admonished the Pharisees:- "But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’" (Matthew 9:13 NIV) {The animal sacrifice ritual described in Leviticus 21, Exodus, etc. must be an evil cult concocted by the "lying pen of the scribes" (Jeremiah 8:8 NIV).}

6. Thanksgiving rather than Animal Sacrifice!

Meanwhile, God asks us to offer thanksgiving rather than animal sacrifice to Him:- "I will not take a bull from your house, no goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine... for the world is mine, and all that is in it...Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High...” (Psalm 50:7-14, 23 NKJV).

7. God does not Tempt Anyone with Evil

How could God, who is "righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works" (Psalm 145:17 ESV), possibly order anyone to commit any evil act as a test of their obedience to Him? Why would God have given Abraham a son in his senior age, if He wanted to take back the son later on? If God wanted to teach Abraham a lesson, did He really need to use such a brutal means? Whoever wanted to try Abraham in this way was definitely Satan or his advocate but not All Loving God. "For the Divine Spirit", to quote Saba (2006: 67), "deals not with any one treacherously nor tempt anyone with evil."

8. Abraham in a Faith Crisis

This can be explained from a Freudian cum theologian perspective. At that time, Abraham was experiencing doubt in his soulful allegiance to God or his faith in God and thus felt very guilty. For instance, in Genesis 15, God said to Abraham, "I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” (Gen. 15-7 NIV). But Abraham replied, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” (Gen. 15:8 NIV).

9. Isaac and Oedipus

Unconsciously, Abraham also harbored Oedipal murderous impulses towards his consciously beloved son Isaac. Sigmund Freud seized upon the story of Oedipus as a template for family conflict. Children, as in the story here, have aggressive impulses toward their parents. The Holy Scripture complements the analytic picture. The psychiatrist Eric Wellisch (1954:131) read " The Binding of Isaac" psychodynamically: it is about the enmity that parents have toward their kids. The rage does not merely go one way. Wellisch (1954) attributes infanticide to the father forestalling the incestuous love of the son for the mother.

10. Projection of Father-son Complex to God

Satan then took the opportunity to implant in his mind the phantasy that God ordered him to sacrifice his son to God in order to test his loyalty. In other words, being misled by the Devil, Abraham projected his doubt in faith and father-son complex to God Himself.

11. Another Fatal Mistake

Fortunately, when Abraham was about to kill his son, God, through an angel, intervened and stopped the cruel, crazy, barbarous act. Nonetheless, Abraham, confused by Lucifer, still thought that he needed to sacrifice to God some sentient being instead of Isaac. Right at this very moment, he spotted a ram caught in a nearby thicket by his ("his" instead of "it" is used here for a ram is a sentient being rather than an inanimate object) horns. Now, in such a situation, any loving follower of All-kind God, would try to rescue the poor creature and release him from the predicament. Under the influence of the fallen angel, Abraham, however, again mistook that as a God-sent replacement for his son, and made another fatal mistake;- he went over, caught the innocent ram, butchered him in cold blood, and sacrificed him as a burnt offering in lieu of his son (cf. Saba 2006: 69).

12. Birds of Prey Came down on the Carcasses

At this point, meat-eating Christians may bring up Genesis 15:7 to query our vegan Christian standpoint:-

He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. (Genesis 15:7-10 NIV)

According to Pastor Frank L. Hoffman (2019), the verse Genesis 15:11 actually seems to confirm that God did not desire an animal sacrifice, because if this is in reality what God desired, the birds would probably not have come to consume the carcasses. And here is where we ought to be suspicious for the reason that animal sacrifice does not pertain to Jehovah's celestial purpose, and for sure does not bring peace to the non-human sentient creatures who desire to live just as fervently as we do. "Or did God have something else in mind to do with the animals, and Abram just assumed they were for a sacrifice because he brought it with him from Ur of the Chaldees?" asks Hoffman (2019). Or, has this passage been manipulated by some lying scribe (Jeremiah 8:8)? We don't know but we do know that Jehovah's grand scheme includes peace.

13. Conclusion: Meatism is Animal Sacrifice Detested by God

In the bible, there are other verses claiming that animal sacrifice is a food offering for God's consumption, emitting "an aroma pleasing to the Lord" (e.g. Leviticus 1:9 NIV, Exodus 29:18 NIV). In reality, as aforementioned, God never delights in animal sacrifice (Psalm 51:16-17); He is fed up with it (Isaiah 1:11-12); He prefers thanksgiving to it (Psalm 50:7-14, 23). Leviticus 16 claims that animal sacrifice can take away human sins, but Hebrews 10:4-10 stresses that this is impossible.

Again, both God and Jesus Christ have explicitly said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6 NIV, Matthew 9:13 NIV, Hebrews 10:8). In expelling from the Holy Temple vendors who sold innocent animals to be slaughtered and sacrificed there, Jesus offended the Pharisees and scribes, who then plotted to have him killed (Mark 11:18).

True Prophets protested against the sacrificial cult and offered to God bread instead of burnt animal flesh [Leviticus 21:6, 21-22]. The animal sacrifice ritual must be an evil cult concocted by the "lying pen of the scribes" (Jeremiah 8:8 NIV). Otherwise, how would God, who is LOVE (1 John 4:16), delight to see innocent creatures slaughtered and bled to death, and go on to consume them as His favorite dish?

Eating animals is animal sacrifice detested by God. For eating animal flesh means sacrificing innocent animals' lives, a sacrifice to the idol god of the belly (Philippians 3:19), and a sacrifice to gluttony (Proverbs 23:20-21) (cf. Hicks 2018; Chen 2022a). Thus, go VEGAN!


Chen, Chapman (2022a). "Meatism is Animal Sacrifice Detested by God. Go VEGAN!" June 29, HKBNews (

Chen, Chapman (2022b). "Jesus did NOT Eat Meat. Go VEGAN!" April 17, TOHKNEWS (

Chen, Chapman (2021a). "Which One was Vegan? Cain or Abel?" July 27, HKBNews (

Chen, Chapman (2021b). "Follow Christ's Words n Love your Neighbors, includ. Animals." June 15, HKBNews. ( )

Frank L. Hoffman (2019). "God’s Intent Included Peace: A Sermon Delivered to The Compassion Internet Church." March 17, All Creatures Org. (

Freud, Sigmund (1990). Case Histories II (PFL 9). Trans. James Strachey. Ed. Angela Richards. London: Penguin.

Gwillim, Don (2009). "Is a Vegan Lifestyle God's Will for Humankind?", Talk given at the London Vegan Fair 2009. (

Hicks, Ryan (2018). Why Every Christian Should Be A Vegan. Dallas: Taughttoprofit.

Saba (2006). The Lord Christ Jesus was a Vegan. Milton Keynes: Authorhouse.

Wellisch, Eric (1954). Isaac and Oedipus. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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