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Isaac, ''Isaák''; ar, إسحٰق/إسحاق, ; am, ይስሐቅ is one of the three
patriarchs The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Or ...
of the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
and is an important figure in the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family ...

Abrahamic religions
, including
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
, and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. He was the son of
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...

Abraham
and
Sarah Sarah (; ar, سَارَة ) born Sarai ( ''Sāray'') is a biblical matriarch and prophetess In religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, ...

Sarah
, the father of
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State ...

Jacob
, and the grandfather of the
twelve tribes of Israel The Twelve Tribes of Israel ( he, שבטי ישראל, translit=Shivtei Yisrael, lit=Tribes of Israel) are, according to Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic religious texts, the descendants of the biblical Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch Jacob, also kno ...
. Isaac's name means "he will laugh", reflecting the laughter, in disbelief, of Abraham and Sarah, when told by God that they would have a child. He is the only patriarch whose name was not changed, and the only one who did not move out of
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
. According to the narrative, he died aged 180, the longest life of the three patriarchs. After a century of exhaustive archaeological investigation, no evidence has been found for a historical Isaac.


Etymology

The
anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in . The term commonly refers ...
name "Isaac" is a transliteration of the
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
term () which literally means "He laughs/will laugh."
Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct , classified by some as a of the and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the discovered by French in 1929 at , including several major literary texts, notably the . It has be ...
texts dating from the 13th century BCE refer to the benevolent smile of the
CanaaniteCanaanite may refer to: *Canaan and Canaanite people, Semitic-speaking region and civilization in the Ancient Near East *Canaanite languages *Canaanite religion *Canaanites (movement), an early Israelite non-Zionist movement. {{disambig Language an ...
deity El. Genesis, however, ascribes the laughter to Isaac's parents, Abraham and Sarah, rather than El. According to the biblical narrative, Abraham fell on his face and laughed when God (Hebrew, ''
Elohim In the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a few passa ...

Elohim
'') imparted the news of their son's eventual birth. He laughed because Sarah was past the age of childbearing; both she and Abraham were advanced in age. Later, when Sarah overheard three messengers of the Lord renew the promise, she laughed inwardly for the same reason. Sarah denied laughing when God questioned Abraham about it.


Genesis narrative


Birth

It was prophesied to the patriarch Abraham that he would have a son and that his name should be Isaac. When Abraham became one hundred years old, this son was born to him by his first wife Sarah. Although this was Abraham's second son (Abraham's first son was
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of t ...
, with
Hagar Hagar ( he, הָגָר, ''Hāgār'', of uncertain origin; ar, هَاجَر ; gr, Ἁγάρ, ''Hagár''; la, Agar) is a biblical figure. According to the , she was an slave, a handmaiden of (then known as ''Sarai''), whom Sarah gave to her o ...

Hagar
) it was Sarah's first and only child. On the eighth day from his birth, Isaac was
circumcised Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis. In the most common procedure, the foreskin is opened, adhesions are removed, and the foreskin is separated from the glans. After that, a circumcision device may be placed, and ...
, as was necessary for all males of Abraham's household, in order to be in compliance with
Yahweh Yahweh was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. His origins reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age. In the oldest biblical literature, he is a Weather ...
's covenant. After Isaac had been weaned, Sarah saw Ishmael mocking, and urged her husband to cast out
Hagar Hagar ( he, הָגָר, ''Hāgār'', of uncertain origin; ar, هَاجَر ; gr, Ἁγάρ, ''Hagár''; la, Agar) is a biblical figure. According to the , she was an slave, a handmaiden of (then known as ''Sarai''), whom Sarah gave to her o ...

Hagar
the bondservant and her son, so that Isaac would be Abraham's sole heir. Abraham was hesitant, but at God's order he listened to his wife's request.


Binding

At some point in Isaac's youth, his father Abraham took him to Mount
Moriah Moriah (, ar, ﻣﺮﻭﻩ, Marwah) is the name given to a mountainous region in the Book of Genesis The Book of Genesis,, "''Bərēšīṯ''", "In hebeginning" the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, is an ac ...

Moriah
. At God's command, Abraham was to build a sacrificial altar and sacrifice his son Isaac upon it. After he had bound his son to the altar and drawn his knife to kill him, at the last moment an
angel An angel is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such ...

angel
of God prevented Abraham from proceeding. Instead, he was directed to sacrifice a nearby ram that was stuck in thickets.


Family life

Before Isaac was 40 (Gen 25:20) Abraham sent
Eliezer Eliezer (, "Help/Court of El") was the name of at least three different individuals in the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, commo ...

Eliezer
, his steward, into
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
to find a wife for Isaac, from his nephew
Bethuel Bethuel ( – ''Bəṯūʾēl'', “house of God”), in the Hebrew Bible, was an Arameans, Aramean man, the youngest son of Nahor, son of Terah, Nahor and Milcah, the nephew of Abraham, and the father of Laban (Bible), Laban and Rebecca. Bethuel ...
's family. Eliezer chose the
Aramean The Arameans (Old Aramaic language, Old Aramaic: 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; Greek language, Greek: Ἀραμαῖοι; Syriac language, Syriac: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ / Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, fi ...
Rebekah Rebecca, ; SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity ...

Rebekah
for Isaac. After many years of marriage to Isaac, Rebekah had still not given birth to a child and was believed to be barren. Isaac prayed for her and she conceived. Rebekah gave birth to twin boys,
Esau Esau ''Ēsaû''; la, Hesau, Esau; ar, عِيسَوْ ''‘Īsaw''; meaning "hairy"Easton, M. ''Illustrated Bible Dictionary'', (, , 2006, p. 236 or "rough".Mandel, D. ''The Ultimate Who's Who in the Bible'', (.), 2007, p. 175 is the elder son o ...

Esau
and
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State ...

Jacob
. Isaac was 60 years old when his two sons were born. Isaac favored Esau, and Rebekah favored Jacob. The narratives about Isaac do not mention him having concubines.


Migration

Isaac moved to '''' after his father died. When the land experienced famine, he moved to the
Philistine The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries by Assyria, was finally destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar I ...
land of
Gerar Gerar ( ''Gərār'', "lodging-place") was a Philistine The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries b ...

Gerar
where his father once lived. This land was still under the control of as it was in the days of Abraham. Like his father, Isaac also deceived Abimelech about his wife and also got into the well business. He had gone back to all of the wells that his father dug and saw that they were all stopped up with earth. The Philistines did this after Abraham died. So, Isaac unearthed them and began to dig for more wells all the way to
Beersheba Beersheba (; he, בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע ' , ar, بئر السبع, lit. ''Well of the Oath'') is the largest city in the Negev The Negev or Negeb (; he, הַנֶּגֶב; ar, ٱلنَّقَب ') is a desert upright=1.5, alt=se ...

Beersheba
, where he made a pact with Abimelech, just like in the day of his father.


Birthright

Isaac grew old and became blind. He called his son Esau and directed him to procure some venison for him, in order to receive Isaac's blessing. While Esau was hunting, Jacob, after listening to his mother's advice, deceived his blind father by misrepresenting himself as Esau and thereby obtained his father's blessing, such that Jacob became Isaac's primary heir and Esau was left in an inferior position. According to Genesis 25:29–34, Esau had previously sold his birthright to Jacob for "bread and stew of lentils". Thereafter, Isaac sent Jacob into Mesopotamia to take a wife of his mother's brother's house. After 20 years working for his uncle
LabanLaban is a French language, French surname. It may refer to: Places * Laban-e Olya, a village in Iran * Laban-e Sofla, a village in Iran * Laban, Virginia, an unincorporated community in the United States * 8539 Laban, main-belt asteroid People S ...
, Jacob returned home. He reconciled with his twin brother Esau, then he and Esau buried their father, Isaac, in Hebron after he died at the age of 180.''
Jewish Encyclopedia ''The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day'' is an English-language encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on the ...
''
''Isaac''


Family tree


Burial site

According to local tradition, the graves of Isaac and
Rebekah Rebecca, ; SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity ...

Rebekah
, along with the graves of Abraham and Sarah and Jacob and
Leah Leah ''La'ya;'' from wikt:𒀖, () is an important figure in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the unloved wife of the Biblical patriarch Jacob. Leah was Jacob's first wife, and the older sister of his second (and favored) wife Rachel. She is the ...
, are in the
Cave of the Patriarchs , alternate_name = Tomb of the Patriarchs, Cave of Machpelah, Sanctuary of Abraham , image = Palestine Hebron Cave of the Patriarchs.jpg , alt = , caption = Southern view of the complex, 2009 , map_type = West Bank#Palestine , map_alt ...
.


Jewish views

In rabbinical tradition, the age of Isaac at the time of binding is taken to be 37, which contrasts with common portrayals of Isaac as a child.''The New Encyclopedia of Judaism'', ''Isaac''. The
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civili ...

rabbi
s also thought that the reason for the death of Sarah was the news of the intended sacrifice of Isaac. The sacrifice of Isaac is cited in appeals for the mercy of God in later
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
traditions.''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ...
'', ''Isaac''.
The post-biblical Jewish interpretations often elaborate the role of Isaac beyond the biblical description and primarily focus on Abraham's intended sacrifice of Isaac, called the ''aqedah'' ("binding"). According to a version of these interpretations, Isaac died in the sacrifice and was revived. According to many accounts of
Aggadah Aggadah ( he, אַגָּדָה or ; Jewish Babylonian Aramaic אַגָּדְתָא; "tales, fairytale, lore") is the non-legalistic pardes (Jewish exegesis), exegesis which appears in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, particularly the ...
, unlike the Bible, it is
Satan Satan, (''śāṭān''), meaning "adversary"; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or σατάν (''ho satanas'' or ''satan''); ar, شيطان (''shaitan''), meaning "astray", "distant", or sometimes "devil" also known as the Devil, is an entity in th ...

Satan
who is testing Isaac as an agent of
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...
.Brock, Sebastian P., ''Brill's New Pauly'', ''Isaac''. Isaac's willingness to follow God's command at the cost of his death has been a model for many Jews who preferred
martyr A martyr (, ''mártys'', "witness", or , ''marturia'', stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some ...

martyr
dom to violation of the
Jewish law ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halacho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
. According to the Jewish tradition, Isaac instituted the afternoon prayer. This tradition is based on Genesis chapter 24, verse 63 ("Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide"). Isaac was the only
patriarch The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, ...

patriarch
who stayed in Canaan during his whole life and though once he tried to leave, God told him not to do so. Rabbinic tradition gave the explanation that Isaac was almost sacrificed and anything dedicated as a sacrifice may not leave the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical ...

Land of Israel
. Isaac was the oldest of the biblical patriarchs at the time of his death, and the only patriarch whose name was not changed.Easton, M. G., ''Illustrated Bible Dictionary'', 3rd ed., ''Isaac''. Rabbinic literature also linked Isaac's blindness in old age, as stated in the Bible, to the sacrificial binding: Isaac's eyes went blind because the tears of angels present at the time of his sacrifice fell on Isaac's eyes.


Christian views

The
early Christian church The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the present. Christianity originated with the ministry of Jesus Jesus; he, ...
continued and developed the New Testament theme of Isaac as a type of Christ and the Church being both "the son of the promise" and the "father of the faithful".
Tertullian Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christian The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religio ...

Tertullian
draws a parallel between Isaac's bearing the wood for the sacrificial fire with Christ's carrying his cross. and there was a general agreement that, while all the sacrifices of the Old Law were anticipations of that on Calvary, the sacrifice of Isaac was so "in a pre-eminent way". The
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
and the Roman Catholic Church consider Isaac as a
saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' depends on the context and Christian denomination, denominatio ...

saint
along with other
biblical patriarchs#REDIRECT Patriarchs (Bible) The patriarchs ( he, אבות ''Avot'' or ''Abot'', singular he, אב ''Ab (Semitic), Ab'') of the Bible, when narrowly defined, are Abraham, his son Isaac, and Isaac's son Jacob, also named Israel, the ancestor ...
. Along with those of other patriarchs and the Old Testament Righteous, his feast day is celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church on the Second Sunday before Christmas (December 11–17), under the title ''the Sunday of the Forefathers''.


New Testament

The
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
states Isaac was "offered up" by his father Abraham, and that Isaac blessed his sons. Paul contrasted Isaac, symbolizing
Christian liberty Adiaphoron (, plural: adiaphora from the Greek language, Greek ἀδιάφορα (pl. of ἀδιάφορον), is the negation of διάφορα, meaning "not different or differentiable". In Cynicism (philosophy), Cynicism, adiaphora represents ...
, with the rejected older son Ishmael, symbolizing slavery;''Encyclopedia of Religion'', ''Isaac''. Hagar is associated with the covenant, while Sarah is associated with the covenant of grace, into which her son Isaac enters. The
Epistle of James The Epistle of James, the Letter of James, or simply James ( grc, Ἰάκωβος, Iakōbos), is a General epistle The catholic epistles (also called the general epistlesEncarta-encyclopedie Winkler Prins (1993–2002) s.v. "katholieke brieven ...
chapter 2, verses 21–24, states that the sacrifice of Isaac shows that justification (in the Johannine sense) requires both faith and works.''Encyclopedia of Christianity'', Bowden, John, ed., ''Isaac''. In the
Epistle to the Hebrews The Epistle to the Hebrews, or Letter to the Hebrews, or in the Greek manuscripts, simply To the Hebrews (Πρὸς Ἑβραίους, ''Pros Hebraious'') is one of the books of the New Testament. The text does not mention the name of its author ...

Epistle to the Hebrews
, Abraham's willingness to follow God's command to sacrifice Isaac is used as an example of faith as is Isaac's action in blessing Jacob and Esau with reference to the future promised by God to Abraham. In verse 19, the author views the release of Isaac from sacrifice as analogous to the
resurrection of Jesus The resurrection of Jesus ( gr, ανάσταση του Ιησού) is the Christianity, Christian belief that God in Christianity, God Resurrection, raised Jesus on the third day after Crucifixion of Jesus, his crucifixion, starting – or Pr ...
, the idea of the sacrifice of Isaac being a prefigurement of the sacrifice of Jesus on the
cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique lines, in the shape of the Latin letter X, is also termed a ...

cross
.


Islamic views

Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
considers Isaac (Arabic:اسحاق ''Ishaaq'') a
prophet of Islam Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals to serve as examples of ideal human behavior and to spread God's message on Earth. Some prophets are categorized as messenger ...
, and describes him as the father of the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
and a righteous
servant of God "Servant of God" is a title used in the Catholic Church to indicate that an individual is on the first step toward possible canonization as a saint. Terminology The expression "servant of God" appears nine times in the Bible, the first five in ...
. Isaac, along with
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of ...
, is highly important for Muslims for continuing to preach the message of
monotheism Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciou ...
after his father
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...
. Among Isaac's children was the follow-up Israelite patriarch
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State ...
, who is also venerated as an Islamic prophet. Isaac is mentioned seventeen times by name in the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, often with his father and his son, Jacob. The Quran states that Abraham received "good tidings of Isaac, a prophet, of the righteous", and that God blessed them both (37: 112). In a fuller description, when
angel An angel is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such ...

angel
s came to Abraham to tell him of the future punishment to be imposed on
Sodom and Gomorrah Sodom and Gomorrah () were two legendary biblical cities destroyed by God for their wickedness. Their story parallels the Genesis flood narrative The Genesis flood narrative is the flood myth A flood myth or deluge myth is a myth Myt ...
, his wife,
Sarah Sarah (; ar, سَارَة ) born Sarai ( ''Sāray'') is a biblical matriarch and prophetess In religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, ...

Sarah
, "laughed, and We gave her good tidings of Isaac, and after Isaac of (a grandson) Jacob" (11: 71–74); and it is further explained that this event will take place despite Abraham and Sarah's old age. Several verses speak of Isaac as a "gift" to Abraham (6: 84; 14: 49–50), and 24: 26–27 adds that
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
made "prophethood and the Book to be among his offspring", which has been interpreted to refer to Abraham's two prophetic sons, his prophetic grandson Jacob, and his prophetic great-grandson
Joseph Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in th ...
. In the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, it later narrates that Abraham also praised
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
for giving him Ishmael and Isaac in his old age (14: 39–41). Elsewhere in the Quran, Isaac is mentioned in lists: Joseph follows the religion of his forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (12: 38) and speaks of
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
's favor to them (12: 6); Jacob's sons all testify their faith and promise to worship the
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
that their forefathers, "Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac", worshiped (2: 127); and the Quran commands
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
s to believe in the revelations that were given to "Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Patriarchs" (2: 136; 3: 84). In the Quran's narrative of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son (37: 102), the name of the son is not mentioned and debate has continued over the son's identity, though many feel that the identity is the least important element in a story which is given to show the courage that one develops through faith.


Quran

The Quran mentions Isaac as a prophet and a righteous man of
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...
. Isaac and Jacob are mentioned as being bestowed upon Abraham as gifts of God, who then worshipped God only and were righteous leaders in the way of God:


Academic

Some scholars have described Isaac as "a
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
ary figure" or "as a figure representing
tribal The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living o ...

tribal
history, or "as a leader." The stories of Isaac, like other patriarchal stories of Genesis, are generally believed to have "their origin in folk memories and oral traditions of the early Hebrew pastoralist experience." ''The Cambridge Companion to the Bible'' makes the following comment on the biblical stories of the patriarchs: According to
Martin Noth Martin Noth (3 August 1902 – 30 May 1968) was a Germany, German scholar of the Hebrew Bible who specialized in the pre-Exilic history of the Hebrews and promoted the hypothesis that the Israelite tribes in the immediate period after the settleme ...
, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, the narratives of Isaac date back to an older cultural stage than that of the West-Jordanian Jacob. At that era, the
Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israe ...
tribes were not yet sedentary. In the course of looking for grazing areas, they had come in contact in southern
Philistia Philistia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek langua ...
with the inhabitants of the settled countryside. The biblical historian A. Jopsen believes in the connection between the Isaac traditions and the north, and in support of this theory adduces
Amos AMOS or Advanced Mortar System is a Finno-Swedish 120 mm automatic twin barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of ...
7:9 ("the high places of Isaac"). Albrecht Alt and Martin Noth hold that, "The figure of Isaac was enhanced when the theme of promise, previously bound to the cults of the 'God the Fathers' was incorporated into the Israelite creed during the southern-Palestinian stage of the growth of the
Pentateuch The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebre ...

Pentateuch
tradition." According to Martin Noth, at the Southern Palestinian stage of the growth of the Pentateuch tradition, Isaac became established as one of the biblical patriarchs, but his traditions were receded in the favor of Abraham.


In art

The earliest Christian portrayal of Isaac is found in the
fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the ...

fresco
es. Excluding the fragments, Alison Moore Smith classifies these artistic works in three categories:


See also

*
Biblical and Quranic narratives The Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which var ...
*
Testament of Isaac The Testament of Isaac is a work now regarded as part of the Old Testament apocrypha. It is often treated as one of a trio of very similar works, the other two of which are the Testament of Abraham and Testament of Jacob, though there is no reason t ...
* Wife–sister narratives in the Book of Genesis – three such narratives, involving Abraham (two) and Isaac (one)


Notes


Citations


References

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External links


Isaac in Jewish Encyclopedia
*
Abraham's son as the intended sacrifice (Al-Dhabih, Qur'an 37:99, Qur'an 37:99–113): Issues in qur'anic exegesis
journal of Semitic Studies XXX1V/ Spring 1989 * * {{Good article Biblical patriarchs Children of Abraham Christian saints from the Old Testament Esau People whose existence is disputed Vayeira