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According to the biblical Book of Genesis
Book of Genesis
, ISAAC (/ˈaɪzək/ ; Hebrew : יִצְחָק, Modern Yiṣḥāq, Tiberian Jisˤħɔ̆q; "he will laugh"; Arabic : إسحٰق/إسحاق‎‎, Isḥāq) was the son of Abraham
Abraham
and Sarah
Sarah
and father of Jacob
Jacob
; his name means "he laughs", reflecting Sarah's response when told that she would have a child. He was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites
Israelites
, the only one whose name was not changed, and the only one who did not move out of Canaan
Canaan
. He died when he was 180 years old, the longest-lived of the three.

The biblical narrative of Isaac
Isaac
has influenced various religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Modern scholarship doubts the existence of figures from Genesis, including Isaac.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 Genesis narrative

* 2.1 Birth * 2.2 Binding * 2.3 Family life * 2.4 Migration * 2.5 Birthright * 2.6 Family tree

* 3 Burial site * 4 Jewish views

* 5 Christian views

* 5.1 New Testament
New Testament

* 6 Islamic views

* 6.1 Quran
Quran

* 7 Academic

* 7.1 Documentary hypothesis

* 8 In art * 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 Citations * 12 References * 13 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The anglicized name Isaac
Isaac
is a transliteration of the Hebrew term Yiṣḥāq which literally means "He laughs/will laugh." Ugaritic 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
Abraham
and Sarah, rather than El. According to the biblical narrative, Abraham
Abraham
fell on his face and laughed when God (Hebrew, Elohim ) imparted the news of their son's eventual birth. He laughed because Sarah
Sarah
was past the age of childbearing; both she and Abraham
Abraham
were advanced in age. Later, when Sarah
Sarah
overheard three messengers of the Lord renew the promise, she laughed inwardly for the same reason. Sarah
Sarah
denied laughing when God
God
questioned Abraham
Abraham
about it.

GENESIS NARRATIVE

BIRTH

It was prophesied to the patriarch Abraham
Abraham
that he would have a son and that his name should be Isaac. When Abraham
Abraham
became one hundred years old, this son was born to him by his first wife Sarah. Though this was Abraham's second son it was Sarah's first and only child.

On the eighth day from his birth, Isaac
Isaac
was circumcised , as was necessary for all males of Abraham's household, in order to be in compliance with Yahweh
Yahweh
's covenant.

After Isaac
Isaac
had been weaned, Sarah
Sarah
saw Ishmael
Ishmael
mocking, and urged her husband to cast out Hagar the bondservant and her son, so that Isaac would be Abraham's sole heir. Abraham
Abraham
was hesitant, but at God's order he listened to his wife's request.

BINDING

The Akedah, mosaic on the floor of Beit Alfa Synagogue Main article: Binding of Isaac
Binding of Isaac
See also: Abraham
Abraham
and Isaac
Isaac

At some point in Isaac's youth, his father Abraham
Abraham
brought him to Mount Moriah
Moriah
. At God's command, Abraham
Abraham
was to build a sacrificial altar and sacrifice his son Isaac
Isaac
upon it. After he had bound his son to the altar and drawn his knife to kill him, at the very last moment an angel of God
God
prevented Abraham
Abraham
from proceeding. Rather, he was directed to sacrifice instead a nearby ram that was stuck in thickets. This event served as a test of Abraham's faith in God, not as an actual human sacrifice. The birth of Esau
Esau
and Jacob, as painted by Benjamin West
Benjamin West

FAMILY LIFE

When Isaac
Isaac
was 40, Abraham
Abraham
sent Eliezer , his steward, into Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
to find a wife for Isaac, from his nephew Bethuel 's family. Eliezer chose the Aramean 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
Isaac
prayed for her and she conceived. Rebekah gave birth to twin boys, Esau
Esau
and Jacob
Jacob
. Isaac
Isaac
was 60 years old when his two sons were born. Isaac
Isaac
favored Esau, and Rebekah favored Jacob.

Isaac
Isaac
is unique among the patriarchs for remaining faithful to his wife, and for not having concubines.

MIGRATION

At the age of 75, Isaac
Isaac
moved to Beer-lahai-roi after his father died. When the land experienced famine, he removed to the Philistine land of Gerar where his father once lived. This land was still under the control of King Abimelech
Abimelech
as it was in the days of Abraham. Like his father, Isaac
Isaac
also deceived Abimelech
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
Abraham
died. So, Isaac
Isaac
unearthed them and began to dig for more wells all the way to Beersheba , where he made a pact with Abimelech, just like in the day of his father. Isaac blessing his son, as painted by Giotto di Bondone
Giotto di Bondone

BIRTHRIGHT

Isaac
Isaac
grew old and became blind. He called his son Esau
Esau
and directed him to procure some venison for him, in order to receive Isaac's blessing. While Esau
Esau
was hunting, Jacob, after listening to his mother's advice, deceived his blind father by misrepresenting himself as Esau
Esau
and thereby obtained his father's blessing, such that Jacob became Isaac's primary heir and Esau
Esau
was left in an inferior position. According to Genesis 25:29–34, Esau
Esau
had previously sold his birthright to Jacob
Jacob
for "bread and stew of lentils". Thereafter, Isaac sent Jacob
Jacob
into Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
to take a wife of his mother's brother's house. After 20 years working for his uncle Laban , Jacob
Jacob
returned home. He reconciled with his twin brother Esau, then he and Esau buried their father, Isaac, in Hebron
Hebron
after he died at the age of 180.

FAMILY TREE

Terah

Sarah
Sarah

Abraham
Abraham

Hagar

Haran

Nahor

Ishmael
Ishmael

Milcah

Lot

Iscah

Ishmaelites

7 sons

Bethuel

1st daughter

2nd daughter

Isaac

Rebecca
Rebecca

Laban

Moabites

Ammonites

Esau
Esau

Jacob
Jacob

Rachel
Rachel

Bilhah

Edomites
Edomites

Zilpah

Leah
Leah

1. Reuben 2. Simeon 3. Levi
Levi
4. Judah 9. Issachar 10. Zebulun Dinah
Dinah
(daughter) 7. Gad 8. Asher 5. Dan 6. Naphtali 11. Joseph 12. Benjamin
Benjamin

BURIAL SITE

According to local tradition, the graves of Isaac
Isaac
and Rebekah , along with the graves of Abraham
Abraham
and Sarah
Sarah
and Jacob
Jacob
and Leah
Leah
, are in the Cave of the Patriarchs .

JEWISH VIEWS

In rabbinical tradition , the age of Isaac
Isaac
at the time of binding is taken to be 37, which contrasts with common portrayals of Isaac
Isaac
as a child. The rabbis also thought that the reason for the death of Sarah was the news of the intended sacrifice of Isaac. The sacrifice of Isaac
Isaac
is cited in appeals for the mercy of God
God
in later Jewish traditions. The post-biblical Jewish interpretations often elaborate the role of Isaac
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
, unlike the Bible, it is Satan
Satan
who is testing Isaac
Isaac
as an agent of God
God
. Isaac's willingness to follow God's command at the cost of his death has been a model for many Jews who preferred martyrdom to violation of the Jewish law .

According to the Jewish tradition, Isaac
Isaac
instituted the afternoon prayer. This tradition is based on Genesis chapter 24, verse 63 (" Isaac
Isaac
went out to meditate in the field at the eventide").

Isaac
Isaac
was the only patriarch who stayed in Canaan
Canaan
during his whole life and though once he tried to leave, God
God
told him not to do so. Rabbinic tradition gave the explanation that Isaac
Isaac
was almost sacrificed and anything dedicated as a sacrifice may not leave the Land of Israel . Isaac
Isaac
was the oldest of the biblical patriarchs at the time of his death, and the only patriarch whose name was not changed.

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

Isaac
Isaac
embraces his father Abraham
Abraham
after the Binding of Isaac
Binding of Isaac
, early 1900s Bible
Bible
illustration

The early Christian church continued and developed the New Testament theme of Isaac
Isaac
as a type of Christ and the Church being both "the son of the promise" and the "father of the faithful". Tertullian
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
Isaac
was so "in a pre-eminent way".

The Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
and the Roman Catholic Church consider Isaac
Isaac
as a Saint along with other biblical patriarchs . Along with those of other patriarchs and the Old Testament
Old Testament
Righteous, his feast day is celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church
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
New Testament
states Isaac
Isaac
was "offered up" by Abraham
Abraham
his father, and that Isaac
Isaac
blessed his sons. Paul contrasted Isaac, symbolizing Christian liberty , with the rejected older son Ishmael, symbolizing slavery; Hagar is associated with the Sinai covenant, while Sarah
Sarah
is associated with the covenant of grace, into which her son Isaac
Isaac
enters. The Epistle of James chapter 2, verses 21–24, states that the sacrifice of Isaac
Isaac
shows that justification (in the Johannine sense) requires both faith and works.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
, Abraham's willingness to follow God's command to sacrifice Isaac
Isaac
is used as an example of faith as is Isaac's action in blessing Jacob
Jacob
and Esau
Esau
with reference to the future promised by God
God
to Abraham
Abraham
In verse 19, the author views the release of Isaac
Isaac
from sacrifice as analogous to the resurrection of Jesus
Jesus
, the idea of the sacrifice of Isaac
Isaac
being a prefigure of the sacrifice of Jesus
Jesus
on the cross .

ISLAMIC VIEWS

Main article: Isaac in Islam
Isaac in Islam
Cave of the Patriarchs , Hebron
Hebron

Isaac
Isaac
(Arabic : إسحاق‎‎‎ ʾIsḥāq) is revered by Muslims to be a prophet of Islam
Islam
. Islam
Islam
considers Isaac
Isaac
as a prophet of Islam
Islam
, and describes him as the father of the Israelites
Israelites
and a righteous servant of God
God
.

Isaac, along with Ishmael
Ishmael
, is highly important for Muslims for continuing to preach the message of monotheism after his father Abraham
Abraham
. Among Isaac's children was the follow-up Israelite patriarch Jacob
Jacob
, who too is venerated an Islamic prophet.

Isaac
Isaac
is mentioned fifteen times by name in the Qur\'an , often with his father and his son, Jacob
Jacob
. The Qur\'an states that Abraham received "good tidings of Isaac, a prophet, of the righteous", and that God
God
blessed them both (37: 12). In a fuller description, when angels came to Abraham
Abraham
to tell him of the future punishment to be imposed on Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah
, his wife, Sarah
Sarah
, "laughed, and We gave her good tidings of Isaac, and after Isaac
Isaac
of (a grandson) Jacob" (11: 71–74); and it is further explained that this event will take place despite Abraham
Abraham
and Sarah's old age. Several verses speak of Isaac
Isaac
as a "gift" to Abraham
Abraham
(6: 84; 14: 49–50), and 24: 26–27 adds that God
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
Jacob
, and his prophetic great-grandson Joseph . In the Qur\'an , it later narrates that Abraham
Abraham
also praised God
God
for giving him Ishmael
Ishmael
and Isaac
Isaac
in his old age (14: 39–41).

Elsewhere in the Qur\'an , Isaac
Isaac
is mentioned in lists: Joseph follows the religion of his forefathers Abraham, Isaac
Isaac
and Jacob
Jacob
(12: 38) and speaks of God
God
's favor to them (12: 6); Jacob
Jacob
's sons all testify their faith and promise to worship the God
God
that their forefathers, "Abraham, Ishmael
Ishmael
and Isaac", worshiped (2: 127); and the Qur'an
Qur'an
commands Muslims to believe in the revelations that were given to "Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob
Jacob
and the Patriarchs" (2: 136; 3: 84). In the Qur\'an '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
Quran
mentions Isaac
Isaac
as a prophet and a righteous man of God
God
. Isaac
Isaac
and Jacob
Jacob
are mentioned as being bestowed upon Abraham
Abraham
as gifts of God, who then worshipped God
God
only and were righteous leaders in the way of God:

And We bestowed on him Isaac
Isaac
and, as an additional gift, (a grandson), Jacob, and We made righteous men of every one (of them). And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our Command, and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and to practise regular charity; and they constantly served Us (and Us only). — Quran, sura 21 ( Al-Anbiya ), ayah 72–73

And WE gave him the glad tidings of Isaac, a Prophet, and one of the righteous. — Quran, sura 37 ( As-Saaffat ), ayah 112

ACADEMIC

Some scholars have described Isaac
Isaac
as "a legendary figure" or "as a figure representing tribal history, or "as a seminomadic 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
Bible
makes the following comment on the biblical stories of the patriarchs:

Yet for all that these stories maintain a distance between their world and that of their time of literary growth and composition, they reflect the political realities of the later periods. Many of the narratives deal with the relationship between the ancestors and peoples who were part of Israel's political world at the time the stories began to be written down (eighth century B.C.E.). Lot is the ancestor of the Transjordanian peoples of Ammon
Ammon
and Moab, and Ishmael personifies the nomadic peoples known to have inhabited north Arabia , although located in the Old Testament
Old Testament
in the Negev
Negev
. Esau
Esau
personifies Edom (36:1), and Laban represents the Aramean states to Israel's north. A persistent theme is that of difference between the ancestors and the indigenous Canaanites… In fact, the theme of the differences between Judah and Israel , as personified by the ancestors, and the neighboring peoples of the time of the monarchy is pressed effectively into theological service to articulate the choosing by God
God
of Judah and Israel to bring blessing to all peoples."

According to Martin Noth , a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, the narratives of Isaac
Isaac
date back to an older cultural stage than that of the West-Jordanian Jacob. At that era, the Israelite tribes were not yet sedentary. In the course of looking for grazing areas, they had come in contact in southern Philistia with the inhabitants of the settled countryside. The biblical historian, A. Jopsen, believes in the connection between the Isaac
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
Isaac
was enhanced when the theme of promise, previously bound to the cults of the ' God
God
the Fathers' was incorporated into the Israelite creed during the southern-Palestinian stage of the growth of the Pentateuch tradition." According to Martin Noth, at the Southern Palestinian stage of the growth of the Pentateuch tradition, Isaac
Isaac
became established as one of the biblical patriarchs, but his traditions were receded in the favor of Abraham.

DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS

Main article: Documentary hypothesis

Form critics variously assign passages like Genesis chapter 26, verses 6–11, to the Jahwist source, and Genesis chapter 20 verses 1–7, chapter 21, verse 1 to chapter 22, verse 14 and chapter 22, verse 19 to the Elohist . According to the compilation hypothesis, the formulaic use of the word toledoth (generations) indicates that Genesis chapter 11, verse 27 to chapter 25, verse 19 is Isaac's record through Abraham's death (with Ishmael's record appended), and Genesis chapter 25, verse 19 to chapter 37, verse 2 is Jacob's record through Isaac's death (with Esau's records appended).

IN ART

The earliest Christian portrayal of Isaac
Isaac
is found in the Roman catacomb frescoes . Excluding the fragments, Alison Moore Smith classifies these artistic works in three categories:

" Abraham
Abraham
leads Isaac
Isaac
towards the altar; or Isaac
Isaac
approaches with the bundle of sticks, Abraham
Abraham
having preceded him to the place of offering .... Abraham
Abraham
is upon a pedestal and Isaac
Isaac
stands near at hand, both figures in orant attitude .... Abraham
Abraham
is shown about to sacrifice Isaac
Isaac
while the latter stands or kneels on the ground beside the altar. Sometimes Abraham
Abraham
grasps Isaac
Isaac
by the hair. Occasionally the ram is added to the scene and in the later paintings the Hand of God emerges from above."

SEE ALSO

* Judaism
Judaism
portal * Christianity portal * Islam
Islam
portal

* Biblical narratives and the Qur\'an * Testament of Isaac * Wife–sister narratives in the Book of Genesis
Book of Genesis
– three such narratives involving Abraham
Abraham
(two) and Isaac
Isaac
(one)

NOTES

CITATIONS

* ^ A B C deClaise-Walford 2000 , p. 647. * ^ Craig A. Evans; Joel N. Lohr; David
David
L. Petersen (20 March 2012). The Book of Genesis: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation. BRILL. p. 64. ISBN 90-04-22653-2 . * ^ Strong\'s Concordance , Strong, James, ed., Isaac, Isaac's, 3327 יִצְחָק 3446, 2464. * ^ A B C D E Encyclopedia of Religion, Isaac. * ^ Genesis 17:15–19 18:10–15 * ^ Singer, Isidore ; Broydé, Isaac
Isaac
(1901–1906). "Isaac". In Singer, Isidore ; Adler, Cyrus ; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia . New York: Funk & Wagnalls. * ^ Hirsch, Emil G. ; Bacher, Wilhelm ; Lauterbach, Jacob
Jacob
Zallel ; Jacobs, Joseph ; Montgomery, Mary W. (1901–1906). " Sarah
Sarah
(Sarai)". In Singer, Isidore ; Adler, Cyrus ; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia . New York: Funk & Wagnalls. * ^ Genesis 18:10–12 * ^ Genesis 16:15 * ^ Genesis 21:1–5 * ^ Genesis 21:8–12 * ^ Hebrews 11:17 * ^ Genesis 22 * ^ Genesis 25:26 * ^ Genesis 25:20–28 * ^ Title= Encyclopaedia Judaica Volume 10 pg=34 * ^ Genesis 35:22 * ^ Genesis 25:11 * ^ Genesis 26 * ^ Jewish Encyclopedia , Isaac. * ^ Genesis 35:28–29 * ^ Genesis 20:12: Sarah
Sarah
was the half–sister of Abraham. * ^ Genesis 22:21-22: Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, and Jidlaph * ^ A B C D E The New Encyclopedia of Judaism, Isaac. * ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
, Isaac. * ^ A B Brock, Sebastian P., Brill's New Pauly, Isaac. * ^ Genesis 24:63 * ^ Genesis 26:2 * ^ A B Easton, M. G., Illustrated Bible
Bible
Dictionary, 3rd ed., Isaac. * ^ Cross and Livingstone, Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1974, art ISAAC * ^ Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines, A & C Black, 1965. p. 72 * ^ The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church's liturgical traditions. – Catechism of the Catholic Church 61 * ^ http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sunday_of_the_Forefathers * ^ Liturgy > Liturgical year >The Christmas Fast – Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh * ^ Galatians 4:21–31 * ^ James 2:21–24 * ^ Encyclopedia of Christianity, Bowden, John, ed., Isaac. * ^ Hebrews 11:17–20 * ^ see F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
Marshall. Morgan and Scott, 1964 pp. 308–13 for all this paragraph. * ^ Encyclopedia of Islam, W. Montgomery Watt, Isaac * ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, C. Glasse, Isaac * ^ Quran
Quran
21:72 * ^ Quran
Quran
37:112 * ^ A B C D E F Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Christianity, Isaac, p. 744. * ^ Columbia Encyclopedia , Isaac. * ^ The Cambridge Companion to the Bible, p. 59. * ^ Morris, Henry M. (1976). The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Baker Book House . pp. 26–30. ISBN 0-8010-6004-4 . * ^ A B Smith, Alison Moore (1922). "The Iconography of the Sacrifice of Isaac
Isaac
in Early Christian Art". American Journal of Archaeology. 26 (2): 159–73. JSTOR
JSTOR
497708 . doi :10.2307/497708 .

REFERENCES

* Browning, W.R.F (1996). A dictionary of the Bible. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-211691-6 . * Paul Lagasse; Lora Goldman; Archie Hobson; Susan R. Norton, eds. (2000). The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). Gale Group. ISBN 978-1-59339-236-9 . * P.J. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam
Islam
Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912 . * Erwin Fahlbusch; William Geoffrey Bromiley, eds. (2001). Encyclopedia of Christianity (1st ed.). Eerdmans Publishing Company, and Brill. ISBN 0-8028-2414-5 . * John Bowden, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Christianity (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-522393-4 . * The New Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Incorporated; Rev Ed edition. 2005. ISBN 978-1-59339-236-9 . * Jane Dammen McAuliffe, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of the Qur\'an . Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-12356-4 . * Geoffrey Wigoder, ed. (2002). The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
Judaism
(2nd ed.). New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-9388-6 . * Lindsay Jones, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0-02-865733-2 . * deClaise-Walford, Nancy (2000). "Isaac". In David
David
Noel Freedman; Allen C. Myers; Astrid B. Beck. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-2400-4 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons has media related to ISAAC .

* Isaac
Isaac
in Jewish Encyclopedia * * Abraham\'s son as the