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Issachar/Yissachar (Hebrew: יִשָּׂשׁכָר, Modern Yissaḫar Tiberian Yiśśâḵār ; "Reward; recompense") was, according to the Book of Genesis, a son of Jacob and Leah (the fifth son of Leah, and ninth son of Jacob), and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Issachar; however some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite confederation.[1] The text of the Torah gives two different etymologies for the name of Issachar, which textual scholars attribute to different sources - one to the Yahwist and the other to the Elohist;[2] the first being that it derives from ish sakar, meaning man of hire, in reference to Leah's hire of Jacob's sexual favours for the price of some mandrakes;[3] the second being that it derives from yesh sakar, meaning there is a reward, in reference to Leah's opinion that the birth of Issachar was a divine reward for giving her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob as a concubine.[4] Scholars suspect the former explanation to be the more likely name for a tribe, though some scholars have proposed a third etymology - that it derives from ish Sokar, meaning man of Sokar, in reference to the tribe originally worshipping Sokar, an Egyptian deity.[5]

In the Biblical account, Leah's status as the first wife of Jacob, is regarded by biblical scholars as indicating that the authors saw the tribe of Issachar as being one of the original Israelite groups;[5] however, this may have been the result of a typographic error, as the names of Issachar and Naphtali appear to have changed places elsewhere in the text,[6] and the birth narrative of Issachar and Naphtali is regarded by textual scholars as having been spliced together from its sources in a manner which has highly corrupted the narrative.[7][8] A number of scholars think that the tribe of Issachar actually originated as the Shekelesh group of Sea Peoples[9][10] - the name Shekelesh can be decomposed as men of the Shekel in Hebrew, a meaning synonymous with man of hire (ish sakar);[11] scholars believe that the memory of such non-Israelite origin would have led to the Torah's authors having given Issachar a handmaiden as a matriarch.[12]

In classical rabbinical literature, it is stated that Issachar was born on the fourth of Av, and lived 122 years.[5] According to the midrashic Book of Jasher, Issachar married Aridah, the younger daughter of Jobab, a son of Joktan; the Torah states that Issachar had four sons, who were born in Canaan and migrated with him to Egypt,[13] with their descendants remaining there until the Exodus.[14] The midrashic Book of Jasher portrays Issachar as somewhat cowardly, or at least pragmatic, with him taking a feeble part in military campaigns involving his brothers, and generally residing in strongly fortified cities, opening the gates whenever challenged.[5]

The Talmud argues that Issachar's description in the Blessing of Jacob - Issachar is a strong ass lying down between the sheepfolds: and he saw that settled life was good, and the land was pleasant; he put his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave under forced labour[15] - is a reference to the religious scholarship of the tribe of Issachar, though scholars feel that it may more simply be a literal interpretation of Issachar's name, and the justification for the tribe of Issachar being a tributary to the Canaanites.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Peake's commentary on the Bible
  2. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, who wrote the bible
  3. ^ Genesis 30:16
  4. ^ Genesis 30:18
  5. ^ a b c d Jewish Encyclopedia
  6. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia, Tribe of Issachar
  7. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who wrote the bible?
  8. ^ Peake's commentary on the Bible
  9. ^ Yigael Yadin And Dan, Why Did He Remain in Ships
  10. ^ SANDARS, N.K. The Sea Peoples. Warriors of the ancient Mediterranean, 1250-1150 BC. Thames & Hudson,1978
  11. ^ ibid
  12. ^ Peake's commentary on the Bible
  13. ^ Genesis 46:13
  14. ^ book of Exodus
  15. ^ Genesis 49:14-15
  16. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia, Tribe of Issachar

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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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See also Issachâr




Old Testament Hebrew יִשָּׂשׁכָר (Issachar), a son of Jacob.

Proper noun




  1. (Biblical) Ninth son of Jacob, by his wife Leah.
  2. (Biblical) One of the Israelite tribes, descended from Issachar.
  3. A male given name


  • 1611King James Version of the Bible, Genesis 35:22b-26
    Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: 24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: 25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: 26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padan-aram.
  • 1611King James Version of the Bible, Joshua 21:28
    And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,


See also

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: hired

(Gen 30:18). "God hath given me," said Leah, "my hire (Heb. sekhari)...and she called his name Issachar." He was Jacob's ninth son, and was born in Padan-aram (comp. Gen 28:2). He had four sons at the going down into Egypt (Tola, Phuvah, Job, and Shimron, Gen 46:13; Num 26:23ff).

Tribe of Issachar: during the journey through the wilderness, along with Judah and Zebulun (Num 2:5), marched on the east of the tabernacle. This tribe contained 54,400 fighting men when the census was taken at Sinai. After the entrance into the Promised Land, this tribe was one of the six which stood on Gerizim during the ceremony of the blessing and cursing (Deut 27:12). The allotment of Issachar is described in Josh 19:17ff. It included the plain of Esdraelon (=Jezreel), which was and still is the richest portion of Palestine (Deut 33:18f; 1Chr 12:40).

The prophetic blessing pronounced by Jacob on Issachar corresponds with that of Moses (Gen 49:14f; comp. Deut 33:18f).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Facts about IssacharRDF feed
Child of Leah  +, and Jacob  +
Parent of Tola  +, Phuvah  +, Job  +, and Shimron  +


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Sex: Male
Father: Jacob
Mother: Leah



  • Book of Genesis
  • Book of 1 Chronicles

This article uses material from the "Issachar" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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