The first patriarch mentioned in the Old Testament is Abraham. He is also called the Father of Faith because he believed for 25 years that God was going to give him a son and numerous descendants. This promised son was Isaac. What is the story of Isaac, son of Abraham? Read on to learn about Isaac through biblical passages, as well as about the relationship between Isaac and Rebekah, between Isaac and his brother, Ishmael, and between Isaac and his sons, Jacob and Esau.
God had made the promise to Abraham that he would create a great nation from him, and that this lineage would be given to him by Sara. It is through faith that at the age of 100 years, Abraham had this son whom he named Isaac, which means: “he laughs.”
The Bible tells us that Abraham gave all his goods as inheritance to his son Isaac, and that he continued to work and multiply his father's possessions. However, the Philistines became jealous of Isaac and “So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.” (Genesis 26:15) Even after Abimelek was driven out of that land, Isaac was not discouraged. He continued to work by digging wells until Abimelek acknowledged that God was with Isaac and came to meet and form a covenant with him.
Before his death, Abraham asked his servant to find a woman for his son Isaac, a woman who came from their country and not from the land of Canaan. Returning from this journey, this servant brought Rebekah with him. Isaac loved her and took her as a wife. However, she was sterile, but “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.” (Genesis 25:21) she had twins; Jacob and Esau.
“Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:3-6)
“… and she said to Abraham, ‘Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.’ The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. (Genesis 21:10-11)
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. (Genesis 22:2-3)
“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.” (Genesis 26:12-13)
“Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 24:67)
“After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:26-28)
“So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, ‘Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.” (Genesis 27:27-29)