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Isaac; grc, Ἰσαάκ, Isaák; ar, إسحٰق/إسحاق, Isḥāq; am, ይስሐቅ is one of the three
patriarchs The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church (above major archbishop and primate (bishop), primate), the Hussite Church, Church of the East, and some Independent Catholicism, Independent Catholic Chur ...
of the
Israelites The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
and an important figure in the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions are a group of religions centered around worship of the God in Abrahamic religions, God of Abraham. Abraham, a Hebrews , Hebrew patriarch, is extensively mentioned throughout Abrahamic religious scriptures such as the B ...
, including
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') 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 ...
,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
, and
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. He was the son of
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
and
Sarah Sarah (born Sarai) is a Patriarchs (Bible)#Matriarchs, biblical matriarch and Prophet, prophetess, a major figure in Abrahamic religions. While different Abrahamic faiths portray her differently, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all depict her ...
, the father of
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Jacob in Islam, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel (name), Israel, is regarded as a Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch of the Israelites and is an important figure in Abrahamic religi ...
and
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 ...
, and the grandfather of the
twelve tribes of Israel The Twelve Tribes of Israel ( he, שִׁבְטֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Šīḇṭēy Yīsrāʾēl, lit=Tribes of Israel) are, according to Hebrew Bible, Hebrew scriptures, the descendants of the biblical Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch ...
. 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 Canaan (; Phoenician language, Phoenician: 𐤊𐤍𐤏𐤍 – ; he, כְּנַעַן – , in pausa – ; grc-bib, Χανααν – ;The current scholarly edition of the Septuagint, Greek Old Testament spells the word without any accents, c ...
. According to the narrative, he died aged 180, the longest-lived of the three patriarchs.


Etymology

The
anglicized Anglicisation is the process by which a place or person becomes influenced by Culture of England, English culture or Culture of the United Kingdom, British culture, or a process of cultural and/or linguistic change in which something non-English ...
name "Isaac" is a transliteration of the
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
name () which literally means "He laughs/will laugh."
Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language, classified by some as a dialect of the Amorite language and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the Ugaritic texts discov ...
texts dating from the 13th century BCE refer to the benevolent smile of the Canaanite 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, ) 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

After God changes Abram and Sarai's names to ''Abraham'' and ''Sarah'', he tells Abraham that he will bear a second son by Sarah named Isaac, with whom a new covenant would be established. In response, Abraham began to laugh, as both he and Sarah were well beyond natural child-bearing age. Some time later, three men who Abraham identifies as messengers of God visit him and Sarah, and Abraham treats them to food and niceties. They repeat the prophecy that Sarah would bear a child, promising Isaac's birth within a year's time, at which point Sarah laughs in disbelief. God questions why the pair laughed in disbelief at his words, and if it is because they believe such things were not within his power. Now afraid, they futilely deny ever having laughed at God's words. Time passes as Isaac is born. Although this was Abraham's second son (Abraham's first son was
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic: إِسْمَٰعِيْل; Modern Standard Arabic: إِسْمَاعِيْل ''ʾIsmāʿīl''; la, Ismael was the first son of Abraham, the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions; and is cons ...
, with
Hagar Hagar, of uncertain origin; ar, هَاجَر, Hagar in Islam, Hājar; grc, Ἁγάρ, Hagár; la, Agar is a biblical woman. According to the Book of Genesis, she was an Ancient Egypt, Egyptian slave, a handmaiden of Sarah (then known as ''Sa ...
) it was Sarah's first and only child. On the eighth day from his birth, Isaac was
circumcised Circumcision is a surgical procedure, procedure that removes the foreskin from the human penis. In the most common form of the operation, the foreskin is extended with forceps, then a circumcision device may be placed, after which the foreskin ...
, as was necessary for all males of Abraham's household, in order to be in compliance with
Yahweh Yahweh *''Yahwe'', was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. The origins of his worship reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age if not somewhat earlier, ...
's covenant. After Isaac had been weaned, Sarah saw Ishmael playing with him, and urged her husband to cast out 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 (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ''Mōrīyya''; Arabic: ﻣﺮﻭﻩ, ''Marwah'') is the name given to a mountainous region in the Book of Genesis, where the binding of Isaac by Abraham is said to have taken place. Jews identify the region me ...
. 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 In various theistic religious traditions an angel is a supernatural spiritual being who serves God. Abrahamic religions often depict angels as wikt:benevolent, benevolent celestial intermediaries between God (or Heaven) and humanity. Oth ...
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 (Genesis 25:20), Abraham sent
Eliezer Eliezer (, "Help/Court of Elohim, El") was the name of at least three different individuals in the Bible. Eliezer of Damascus Eliezer of Damascus () was, according to the Targums, the son of Nimrod. Eliezer was head of the patriarch Abraham's ...
, his steward, into
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
to find a wife for Isaac, from his nephew
Bethuel Bethuel ( – ''Bəṯūʾēl''), 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 was also a town i ...
's family. Eliezer chose the
Aramean The Arameans ( oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; syc, ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ, Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, first recorded in historical sources from the late 12th century B ...
Rebekah Rebecca, ; Aramaic, Syriac: , ) from the Hebrew (lit., 'connection'), from Semitic root , 'to tie, couple or join', 'to secure', or 'to snare') () appears in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. According to ...
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 ...
and
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Jacob in Islam, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel (name), Israel, is regarded as a Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch of the Israelites and is an important figure in Abrahamic religi ...
. 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 his having concubines.


Migration

Isaac moved to '' Beer-lahai-roi'' after his father died. When the land experienced famine, he moved to the
Philistine The Philistines ( he, פְּלִשְׁתִּים, Pəlīštīm; Koine Greek Koine Greek (; Koine el, ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, hē koinè diálektos, the common dialect; ), also known as Hellenistic Greek, common Attic, the ...
land of
Gerar Gerar ( ''Gərār'', "lodging-place") was a Philistine town and district in what is today south central Israel, mentioned in the Book of Genesis and in the Second Book of Chronicles of the Hebrew Bible. Identification According to the Internation ...
where his father once lived. This land was still under the control of King Abimelech 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 or Beer Sheva, officially Be'er-Sheva ( he, בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע, ''Bəʾēr Ševaʿ'', ; ar, بئر السبع, Biʾr as-Sabʿ, Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven), is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. ...
, 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 Laban, 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 th ...
''
''Isaac''


Burial site

According to local tradition, the graves of Isaac and
Rebekah Rebecca, ; Aramaic, Syriac: , ) from the Hebrew (lit., 'connection'), from Semitic root , 'to tie, couple or join', 'to secure', or 'to snare') () appears in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. According to ...
, along with the graves of Abraham and Sarah and Jacob and
Leah Leah ''La'ya;'' from wikt:𒀖, (; ) appears in the Hebrew Bible as one of the two wives 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 mother of Jacob's ...
, are in the
Cave of the Patriarchs , alternate_name = Tomb of the Patriarchs, Cave of Machpelah, Sanctuary of Abraham, Ibrahimi Mosque (Mosque of Abraham in Islam, Abraham) , image = Palestine Hebron Cave of the Patriarchs.jpg , alt = , caption = Southern view of the com ...
.


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. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi – known as ''semikha'' – following a course of study of Jewish history and texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of ...
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, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
traditions.''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-d ...
'', ''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 ("binding"). According to a version of these interpretations, Isaac died in the sacrifice and was revived. According to many accounts of
Aggadah Aggadah ( he, ''ʾAggāḏā'' or ''Haggāḏā''; Jewish Babylonian Aramaic: אַגָּדְתָא ''ʾAggāḏəṯāʾ''; "tales, fairytale, lore") is the non-legalistic exegesis which appears in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, ...
, unlike the Bible, it is
Satan Satan,, ; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or , ; ar, شيطانالخَنَّاس , also known as Devil in Christianity, the Devil, and sometimes also called Lucifer in Christianity, is an non-physical entity, entity in the Abrahamic religions ...
who is testing Isaac as an agent of
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
.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'', Word stem, stem , ''martyr-'') is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, or refusing to renounce or advocate, a religious belief or other cause as demanded by a ...
dom to violation of the
Jewish law ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), 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 bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church (above major archbishop and primate (bishop), primate), the Hussite Church, Church of the East, and some Independent Catholicism, Independent Catholic Chur ...
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 the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (region), Palesti ...
. 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 Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) Spread of Christianity, spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, alre ...
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 Christianity, early Christian author from Roman Carthage, Carthage in the Africa (Roman province), Roman province of Africa. He was th ...
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 List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
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 holiness, likeness, or closeness to God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of ...
along with other biblical patriarchs. 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''. Isaac is commemorated in the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
on 25 March or on 17 December.


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 ...
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 Ancient Greek, Greek (pl. ), meaning "not different or differentiable") is the negation of ''diaphora'', "difference". In Cynicism (philosophy), Cynicism, adiaphora represents indifference to the s of li ...
, with the rejected older son Ishmael, symbolizing slavery;''Encyclopedia of Religion'', ''Isaac''. Hagar is associated with the Sinai covenant, while Sarah is associated with the covenant of grace, into which her son Isaac enters. The
Epistle of James The Epistle of James). is a general epistle and one of the 21 epistles (didactic Didacticism is a philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature, art, and design. In art, design, architecture, and lands ...
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 ( grc, Πρὸς Ἑβραίους, Pros Hebraious, to the Hebrews) is one of the books of the New Testament. The text does not mention the name of its author, but was traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle. Most ...
, 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 ( grc-x-biblical, ἀνάστασις τοῦ Ἰησοῦ) is the Christianity, Christian belief that God in Christianity, God Resurrection, raised Jesus on the third day after Crucifixion of Jesus, his crucifixion, ...
, 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 termed a sal ...
.


Islamic views

Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
considers Isaac ( ar, اسحاق, Isḥāq) a
prophet In religion, a prophet or prophetess is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings f ...
, and describes him as the father of the
Israelites The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
and a righteous
servant of God "Servant of God" is a title used in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized ...
. Isaac, along with
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic: إِسْمَٰعِيْل; Modern Standard Arabic: إِسْمَاعِيْل ''ʾIsmāʿīl''; la, Ismael was the first son of Abraham, the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions; and is cons ...
, is highly important for Muslims for continuing to preach the message of
monotheism Monotheism is the belief that there is only one deity, an all-supreme being that is universally referred to as God.F. L. Cross, Cross, F.L.; Livingstone, E.A., eds. (1974). "Monotheism". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 ed.). Ox ...
after his father
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
. Among Isaac's children was the follow-up Israelite patriarch
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Jacob in Islam, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel (name), Israel, is regarded as a Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch of the Israelites and is an important figure in Abrahamic religi ...
, who is also venerated as an Islamic prophet. Isaac is mentioned seventeen times by name in the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...

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 (). In a fuller description, when
angel In various theistic religious traditions an angel is a supernatural spiritual being who serves God. Abrahamic religions often depict angels as wikt:benevolent, benevolent celestial intermediaries between God (or Heaven) and humanity. Oth ...
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 in its theme of God's anger provoked by man's sin (see Book of Genesis, Genesis 19:1–28). They ar ...
, his wife,
Sarah Sarah (born Sarai) is a Patriarchs (Bible)#Matriarchs, biblical matriarch and Prophet, prophetess, a major figure in Abrahamic religions. While different Abrahamic faiths portray her differently, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all depict her ...
, "laughed, and We gave her good tidings of Isaac, and after Isaac of (a grandson) Jacob" (); 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 thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...

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. In the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...

Quran
, it later narrates that Abraham also praised
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...

God
for giving him Ishmael and Isaac in his old age (). Elsewhere in the Quran, Isaac is mentioned in lists: Joseph follows the religion of his forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob () and speaks of
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...

God
's favor to them (); Jacob's sons all testify their faith and promise to worship the
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...

God
that their forefathers, "Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac", worshiped (); and the Quran commands
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...

Muslim
s to believe in the revelations that were given to "Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Patriarchs" (; ). In the Quran's narrative of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son (), 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 thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
. 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 social group. The predominant worldwide usage of the term in English language, English is in the discipline of anthropology. This definition is contested, in p ...

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 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 settlement in Can ...
, 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 (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
tribes were not yet sedentary. In the course of looking for grazing areas, they had come in contact in southern
Philistia Philistia (; Koine Greek (Septuagint, LXX): Γῆ τῶν Φυλιστιείμ, romanized: ''gê tôn Phulistieìm''), also known as the Philistine Pentapolis, was a confederation of cities in the Southwest Levant, which included the cities of ...
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 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 (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...

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 central religious text of Islam, contains references to List of people in both the Bible and the Quran, more than fifty people and events also found in the Bible. While the stories told in each book are generally comparable, the ...
* Testament of Isaac * Wife–sister narratives in the Book of Genesis – three such narratives, involving Abraham (two) and Isaac (one)


Notes


Citations


References

* * * * * * * * * *


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 Catholic saints Eastern Orthodox saints