Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah and the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac married Rebecca. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham obeyed, but the angel of the LORD cancelled the command at the last moment.
Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah, just as the LORD had promised. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Abraham was the one who named the baby Isaac. He named him Isaac because in Hebrew, Isaac means "he laughs."
When Isaac got a bit older, the LORD commanded Abraham to offer Isaac. Abraham agreed and early the next morning, Abraham cut wood for the sacrifice. Isaac, Abraham, a donkey, and two servants headed out to the place got told Abraham about. Abraham soon told the rest to stay at a spot while he and Isaac go worship. Abraham made Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice and he himself carried a knife and live coals for starting the fire. When they reached the spot Abraham placed Isaac on the alter, above the wood. As soon as Abraham picked up the knife to kill Isaac, the LORD stoped him and told him not to hurt the boy.
Isaac later married Rebecca. Rebecca gave birth to two children, Esau, and Jacob. Isaac blindly granted the birthright to Jacob, thinking he was Esau. Rebecca preferred Jacob while Isaac preferred Esau. Isaac lived to be 180 years old and he died. His sons Jacob and Esau buried him.
The anglicized name Isaac is a transliteration of the Hebrew term יִצְחָק which literally means "He laughs/will laugh." (but compare this to צָדוֹק which means "righteous"). 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 and Sarah, rather than El. According to the biblical narrative, Abraham fell on his face and laughed when 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 Elohim questioned Abraham about it.
- Strong's Concordance, Strong, James, ed., Isaac, Isaac's, 3327 יִצְחָק 3446, 2464
- Encyclopedia of Religion, Isaac.
- Singer, Isidore; Broydé, Isaac (1901–1906). "Isaac". in Singer, Isidore; Adler, Cyrus; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=174&letter=I&search=Isaac. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
- Hirsch, Emil G.; Bacher, Wilhelm; Lauterbach, Jacob Zallel; Jacobs, Joseph; Montgomery, Mary W. (1901–1906). "Sarah (Sarai)". in Singer, Isidore; Adler, Cyrus; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=245&letter=S&search=sarah. Retrieved October 13, 2011.