The sacrifice of Isaac

"Laughter." The only son of Abraham by Sarah, born when Abraham was one hundred years old, at Gerar. He was the longest lived of the three patriarchs.1 He was circumcised when eight days old;2 and when he was probably two years old a great feast was held in connection with his being weaned.

The next memorable event in his life is that connected with the command of God given to Abraham to offer him up as a sacrifice on a mountain in the land of Moriah.3 When he was forty years of age Rebecca was chosen for his wife.4 After the death and burial of his father he took up his residence at Beer-lahai-roi,5 where his two sons, Esau and Jacob, were born,6 the former of whom seems to have been his favorite son.7

In consequence of a famine8 Isaac went to Gerar, where he practised deception as to his relation to Rebecca, imitating the conduct of his father in Egypt9 and in Gerar.10 The Philistine king rebuked him for his prevarication. After sojourning for some time in the land of the Philistines, he returned to Beersheba, where God gave him fresh assurance of covenant blessing, and where Abimelech entered into a covenant of peace with him.

The next chief event in his life was the blessing of his sons,11 where he was tricked by Rebecca in blessing Jacob instead of Esau, his first-born. Isaac died at Mamre, "being old and full of days,"12 one hundred and eighty years old, and was buried by his sons in the cave of Machpelah.

In the New Testament reference is made to his having been "offered up" by his father,13 and to his blessing his sons.14 As the child of promise, he is contrasted with Ishmael.15

In Islam he is called Ishaq.




  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.