Isaac and Rebekah Biography

Isaac was the promised son born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. One can almost picture the elderly couple cooing over their baby like young parents. Think of the pampering he must have enjoyed, especially from his mother. When his mother passed away, Isaac would not be comforted until Abraham’s servant brought him a wife from Mesopotamia.

Isaac and Rebekah

Isaac and Rebekah

Apparently Isaac and his pretty wife, Rebekah, truly loved each other. One Scripture even mentions that Isaac was seen caressing Rebekah in public. This only underlines their love since, ordinarily, early customs of modesty would make outward show of affection rather inappropriate.

However, as sometimes happens, the deep intimacy of Isaac and his wife seems to have soured a bit with the years. Rebekah bore twins and each parent ended up favoring a different son. Isaac was partial to Esau because he became a great outdoorsman and hunter, and Isaac loved the wild game Esau cooked for him. Rebekah favored quiet Jacob who was more of a settler and agriculturalist. This favoritism degenerated into a bitter competition between both the parents and the two brothers.

Occasionally there is an individual whose one shining moment comes early—during childhood or adolescence. Then the remainder of the person’s life seems almost anti-climactic. Isaac may have been such a person—his greatest moment being when, as a boy, his father Abraham led him slowly up Mount Moriah to offer sacrifice to God. As they climbed, Isaac asked his father where the sacrifice was for the offering. Abraham said God would provide a lamb. After building an altar and placing wood on it, it was his own precious son Abraham bound atop the altar. Abraham raised the knife in the air to destroy his son, and only then did God stop him.

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac

One of the most remarkable things about this account is that Isaac was not reputed to have screamed profanities, or begged desperately, or fought frantically for his life. Undoubtedly he was terrified, but he lay on the altar not believing his father would do him harm if there was any possible way to avoid it.

Surely a bit of this implicit faith in his earthly father must have carried over into Isaac’s faith in Yahweh to continue blessing and protecting him and his family all the days of his life. Therefore he has never been discounted, for when the Hebrews speak of Yahweh they still address him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

What can we learn from Isaac and Rebekah?

Perhaps one thing we can learn from Isaac’s story is that spiritual dedication experienced early in life need not ebb and pale with the years. Instead it can deepen into wisdom and a love for God that sends shafts of brightness into the hearts of all we meet.

Bible Verses about Isaac and Rebekah

Gen. 21-28, 35:27-29, 49:31; Ex. 2:24; Acts 7:8, 32; Rom. 9:7, 10; Gal. 4:28; Heb. 11:17, 20; James 2:21

What questions does this help to answer?

  • Who was Isaac in the Bible?
  • Who was Rebekah in the Bible?
  • What happened when Isaac was sacrificed?

 

Author Info

Steve Fortosis served for six years as youth minister in several parishes.  Meanwhile he was also working toward his masters, then his doctorate in religious education.  Through the years he has enjoyed teaching on the college and seminary levels and writing professionally.  He has published a number of books including story and prayer compilations, missionary biography, Biblical character biography, devotional lit, children’s lit, and even stories of Bible translation. Presently he resides in Florida with his wife, Debra, where he teaches part-time and writes on a free-lance basis.

Steve Fortosis