Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Out of the three, only his name did not change. So, what does his name mean in the Hebrew language?
Isaac, the Patriarch
Isaac was Abraham’s promised son. “And God said, Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” (Genesis 17:19)
His name means “he laughs” in Hebrew because Abraham laughed. Genesis 17:17 says, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
Indeed, everyone laughed in great delight when Isaac was born. All of Abraham’s household rejoiced in the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Hebrew Word Study
Isaac is spelled: Qoof, Chet, Tsade, and Yood. And in the Hebrew alphabet, every letter represents a picture with its corresponding meanings.
So, Yood has a picture of a hand that means to work, a mighty deed, or make.
Tsade is a picture of a fishhook that means to catch, desire, and need.
Chet is a picture of an inner room. It means to separate, fence, or sanctuary.
Lastly, Qoof pictures the back of the head. It means behind, the last, or the least.
Based on its pictographic meaning, Isaac is also translated as a mighty deed, done out of a desire to separate and provide sanctuary for the last and the least.
We recall that Isaac was the father of Jacob or Israel. Then, they became a great nation because of God’s covenant with their forefathers. Deuteronomy 7:6-8 perfectly parallels Isaac’s pictorial translation.
It says, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord, your God, has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
Reference: Living Word