Who was Isaac in the Bible?

Isaac was the son of Abraham and the father of Jacob. He was one of the patriarchs of the nation of Israel, the heir promised to Abraham.

The son of promise

God promised Abraham a son. But Abraham and Sarah laughed at the idea, because they were both too old to have children. When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, Isaac was born ( Genesis 21: 1-3 ). Isaac means “he laughed”.

Discover Sara’s story here .

Isaac was the heir to everything Abraham had : his possessions, his social standing and his promise from God that his descendants would become a great nation. But when Isaac was still young, God sent Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham loved Isaac very much but he decided to obey God, believing that God could raise him up ( Hebrews 11: 17-19 ).

While going up the hill called Moriah to offer the sacrifice, Isaac asked his father where the lamb they were going to kill was . Abraham told him that God would provide the lamb ( Genesis 22: 7-8 ). Abraham bound Isaac and placed him on the altar to kill him. But God prevented Abraham from killing Isaac and provided him with a ram for the sacrifice. Then Abraham and Isaac returned home.

Here is the story of Abraham.

Isaac and Rebekah

When Isaac was 37, his mother died. He was very sad, but three years later he was comforted when he married Rebeca ( Genesis 24:67 ). Isaac loved Rebeca very much and there was never another woman in his life. Some time later, Abraham died and Isaac inherited all his father’s wealth ( Genesis 25:11 ).

Read here: who was Rebeca in the Bible?

Isaac went to live among the Philistines but was afraid that they could kill him to be with his beautiful wife. So he lied and said it was his sister. One day the king of the Philistines saw Isaac caressing Rebekah and rebuked him for his mistake ( Genesis 26: 9-10 ). The king protected Isaac but the people were jealous of him because he was very rich and God made him prosper in everything he did. Isaac left there but God told him not to be afraid ( Genesis 26: 24-25 ).

Family conflicts

Rebeca was sterile, could not have children. So Isaac prayed for her and, 20 years after her marriage, she became pregnant and had twins: Esau and Jacob. Isaac preferred Esau but Rebeca preferred Jacob ( Genesis 25: 27-28 ). This generated rivalry and conflict at Isaac’s home.

When Isaac was old and blind, he called Esau to bless him. While Esau was preparing, Jacob took his brother’s place and deceived Isaac. Thinking it was Esau, Isaac blessed Jacob and made him his heir. When Isaac discovered that he had been deceived, he did not withdraw his blessing from Jacob but acknowledged that it had to be so ( Genesis 27:33 ). It was God’s will.

See also: who was Jacob?

Jacob ran away from home because of his brother’s hatred. He only returned many years later, when Rebeca had already died. Isaac died some time after Jacob’s return, at the age of 180 ( Genesis 35: 27-29 ). He became known for being a man of peace, who had faith in God.


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