ISAAC Mr or pcir., "he laughs"; Iracitc,10-cocos), the only child of Abraham and Sarah, was born when his parents were respectively a hundred and ninety years of age (Gen. xvii. 17). Explanations of the name seem to be intended by the sacred writer in more than one reference to the incredulous or joyous laughter of his parents when a son was promised to them (Gen. xxi. 6, xviii. 12, xvii. 17). Like his father, Isaac lived a nomadic pastoral life, bat within much narrower local limits, and with an occasional experiment in agriculture (Gen. xxvi. 12). After the death of his mother, he married Rebekah the daughter of his cousin Bethuel, by whom after twenty years of married life he became the father of Esau and Jacob. He died at the age of one hundred and eighty. Tho most striking episode of his life as related in. the Biblical record is that which took place while he was still young, "in the land of Moriah," when at the last moment he was by angelic interposition released from the altar on which he was about to be sacrificed by his father in obedience to a divine command. Other occurrences which have been recorded have striking resemblances to incidents in the life of Abraham. Of a less marked and energetic individuality than his father and sons, Isaac is by general consent of the Christian church taken as a representative of the unobtrusive, restful, piously contemplative type of human character. By later Judaism, which fixed its attention chiefly on the altar scene, he was regarded as the pattern and prototype of all martyrs. The Mahometan legends regarding him are curious, but trifling. Among the far-fetched attempts of those who prefer a mythological interpretation of the early incidents of the Bible narrative may be mentioned those of Goldziher, who sees in Isaac a personification of the smiling light of the ruddy evening sky, and of Popper, who identifies the name with 01A-of the dragon A zhi dabitka of Eranian folklore. See Ewald, d. V. Jar., vol. i. ; and Herzog-Plitt, Realencylc. vol. vii., art. " Isaak."