Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test. He said to him, " Abraham," and he answered, "Here I am." And He said, "Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you." (22:1-2)
Aḥat ha-devarim ha'eleh--"And it was after these things" (or, in the JPS translation, "Some time afterward"): the subject of this chapter is to be the culmination of Abraham's life. Here, God demands of Abraham (pleads with him, in Rashi's reading of the word na that modulates God's demand1) that he take his beloved son, Isaac (yeḥidkha, lit., your only one) and offer him as a sacrifice. As a burnt offering, Isaac will--technically -- be consumed totally; emotionally, existentially, this will leave Abraham with nothing to show for his life. "After these things" places the Akedah test in the sequence of Abraham's life; it suggests, too, that what is at stake is a judgment on Abraham's whole history.
The Talmud, however, understands the opening clause very specifically:
"After these things": after the words of Satan, as it is written, "The child grew up and was weaned, and [ Abraham ] held a great feast" [21:8]. Satan said to God, "This old man--You granted him fruit of the womb when he was a hundred years old. And yet of all the feasts that he made, he did not have a single turtle dove or a young bird to sacrifice to You!" God answered him, "He has done nothing that was not for his son -- and if I were to say to him, 'Sacrifice your son to Me,' he would immediately obey." Immediately after that, "God tested Abraham."2