Saturday, November 11, 2023

From the Hebrew verb צחק (ts-ḥ-q), meaning "to laugh," the name Isaac (Hebrew: יצחק, or Yitzḥaq) means "he laughed." The name of the Hebrew patriarch comes from the story recorded in Genesis 17, when Abraham is told in verse 16 that he and his wife Sarah (who were 100 and 90 years old, respectively) would bear a child. Abraham laughs at this preposterous suggestion in verse 17 ("falling on his face" the text says, thinking the notion was so ridiculous), so God tells Abraham to name the child Isaac, or "he laughed," in verse 19 to remind Abraham of his response.