Isaac

Isaac (I´zik)

The second of the three patriarchs of the Israelites (Exod 2:24; Exod 3:6; Jer 33:26). Born to the hundred-year-old Abraham (Gen 21:5) and the ninety-year-old Sarah (Gen 17:17), Isaac was the fulfillment of the divine promise of an heir to Abraham, with whom God would establish his eternal covenant (Gen 17:15-21, Gen 18:10-15, Gen 26:2-5, Gen 26:25). The word “Isaac” comes from the Hebrew word for “laughter” (cf. Gen 17:19 with Gen 18:12, Gen 18:13, Gen 18:15, Gen 21:3, Gen 21:6-7), which was Sarah’s reaction when she heard the prediction that she would bear a son even though she was well past the age of childbearing (Gen 18:10-11). Isaac was the first person to be circumcised at eight days as commanded by God (Gen 21:4 cf. Gen 17:12). The major event of Isaac’s life in the biblical narration may be the story in (Gen 22). Abraham’s loyalty to God is tested by a divine command to sacrifice his beloved son and sole heir (after the expulsion of Ishmael) on a mountain in the land of Moriah (vv. 1–2). An angel cries out from heaven, and a ram is substituted for Isaac. In biblical narratives, Isaac is typically portrayed as the passive, naive innocent who is unaware of the intention of others—he does not know of God’s plan for his sons, Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:23), or of Rebekah’s and Jacob’s conspiracy to get his blessing transferred from Esau (Gen 27). On the other hand, he is protected by God, all his doings are greatly blessed by God, and he attains great wealth and power (Gen 26:1-33). Isaac dies at the age of 180, attended by his sons (Gen 35:27-29). There is far less biblical material concerning Isaac than either Abraham or Jacob, which may indicate that many traditions have been lost. For instance, the origin of the phrase “fear of Isaac” (Gen 31:42; Gen 31:53) is unknown. His individual importance is attested by Amos (Amos 7:9, Amos 7:16). Isaac is frequently mentioned in the NT, along with Abraham and Jacob, as one of the ancestors of God’s chosen people (Matt 1:2; Luke 3:34, Acts 7:8). The binding of Isaac is mentioned in (Jas 2:21), and Paul emphasizes his wondrous birth (Rom 9:7; Rom 9:10) and the promise of God associated with him (Gal 4:28).

Exod 2:24

24God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Exod 3:6

6He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look a ... View more

Jer 33:26

26would I reject the offspring of Jacob and of my servant David and not choose any of his descendants as rulers over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ... View more

Gen 21:5

5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Gen 17:17

17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, ... View more

Gen 17:15-21

15God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.16I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son ... View more

Gen 18:10-15

10Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.11No ... View more

Gen 26:2-5

2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you.3Reside in this land as an alien, and I will be with yo ... View more

Gen 26:25

25So he built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac's servants dug a well.

Gen 17:19

19God said, “No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for hi ... View more

Gen 18:12

12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”

Gen 18:13

13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’

Gen 18:15

15But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”

Gen 21:3

3Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him.

Gen 21:6-7

6Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”7And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would n ... View more

Gen 18:10-11

10Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.11No ... View more

Gen 21:4

4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

Gen 17:12

12Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought wit ... View more

Gen 22

The Command to Sacrifice Isaac
1After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”2He said, “Take your son, your only s ... View more

Gen 25:23

23And the Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder sha ... View more

Gen 27

Isaac Blesses Jacob
1When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, ... View more

Gen 26:1-33

Isaac and Abimelech
1Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to King Ab ... View more

Gen 35:27-29

The Death of Isaac
27Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had resided as aliens.28Now the days of ... View more

Gen 31:42

42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my af ... View more

Gen 31:53

53May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor”—the God of their father—“judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac,

Amos 7:9

9the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the swor ... View more

Amos 7:16

16“Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’

Matt 1:2

2Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Luke 3:34

34son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,

Acts 7:8

8Then he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of ... View more

Jas 2:21

21Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

Rom 9:7

7and not all of Abraham's children are his true descendants; but “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”

Rom 9:10

10Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac.

Gal 4:28

28Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.