Problem

Did God tempt Abraham?

Genesis 22:1 - And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
James 1:13 - Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

In Genesis it says that God did tempt Abraham, but in James it says that God does not tempt any man. How do you explain this?


Solution

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The first thing to notice is that James is referring to temptation "with evil."

Secondly, if you keep reading in James, you will find that this temptation "with evil" is the temptation to sin:

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished , bringeth forth death." - James 1:14-15

Clearly James is referring to the temptation to sin, but that is not the type of temptation that was taking place in Genesis chapter 22. Note the following verse in the book of Hebrews:

"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son..." - Hebrews 11:17

Hebrews defines Abraham's temptation as a trial of faith, not a temptation to sin.

By simply comparing scripture with scripture and noting the context of these two passages of scripture, it can be seen that this is not a contradiction.

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