Issachar


Issachar

Issachar/Yissachar (Hebrew Name|יִשָּׂשׁכָר|Yissaḫar|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 ["Peake's commentary on the Bible"] . 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 [Richard Elliott Friedman, "who wrote the bible"] ; 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 [Genesis 30:16] ; 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 [Genesis 30:18] . 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 ["Jewish Encyclopedia"] .

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 ["Jewish Encyclopedia"] ; 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 ["Jewish Encyclopedia", "Tribe of Issachar"] , 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 [Richard Elliott Friedman, "Who wrote the bible?"] ["Peake's commentary on the Bible"] . A number of scholars think that the tribe of Issachar actually originated as the Shekelesh group of Sea Peoples [Yigael Yadin "And Dan, Why Did He Remain in Ships"] [SANDARS, N.K. The Sea Peoples. Warriors of the ancient Mediterranean, 1250-1150 BC. Thames & Hudson,1978] - the name "Shekelesh" can be decomposed as "men of the Shekel" in Hebrew, a meaning synonymous with "man of hire" ("ish sakar") [ibid] ; 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 ["Peake's commentary on the Bible"] .

In classical rabbinical literature, it is stated that Issachar was born on the fourth of Ab, and lived 122 years ["Jewish Encyclopedia"] . 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 [Genesis 46:13] , with their descendants remaining there until the Exodus ["book of Exodus"] . 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 ["Jewish Encyclopedia"] .

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" [Genesis 49:14-15] - 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 ["Jewish Encyclopedia", "Tribe of Issachar"] .

See also

*Tribe of Issachar
*Sea Peoples

Citations


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • ISSACHAR — (Heb. יִשָּׂשכָר), the ninth son of Jacob and the fifth of Leah; eponymous ancestor of the tribe bearing this name. Issachar s birth was considered by Leah to be a sign of divine favor, after a long intermission in childbearing, in reward for… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Issachar — • Ninth son of Jacob, and name of the tribe descended from him Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Issachar     Issachar     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Issachar — (en hébreu : יִשָּׂשׁכָר, « homme de récompense ») est le neuvième fils de Jacob et le cinquième des sept enfants que Léa eut à Paddam Aram. Il est le cinquième des douze fils de Jacob et Léa dans le récit de la Genèse. Léa voyait… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Issachar — m Biblical: name, probably meaning ‘hireling’ in Hebrew, borne by one of the sons of Jacob: ‘And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar’ (Genesis 30: 18). The name is… …   First names dictionary

  • Issachar — Issachar, s. Isaschar …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • ISSACHAR — 9. fil. Iacob, 5. ex Lea uxore sua. Gen. c. 30. v. 18. 1. Reg. c. 4. v. 17. Vide Isachar …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Issachar — son of Jacob by Leah (O.T.), name of a biblical tribe of Israel, from Gk. issakhar, from Heb. Yissakhar, probably [Klein] from yesh sakhar there is a reward (Cf. Gen. xxx.18) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Issachar — [is′ə kär΄] n. 1. Jacob s ninth son, whose mother was Leah: Gen. 30:18 2. the tribe of Israel descended from him: Num. 1:28 …   English World dictionary

  • Issachar — Zwölf Stämme Israels Ruben Simeon Levi Juda Dan Naftali Gad …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Issachar —    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. 28:2). He had four sons at the going down into Egypt (46:13; Num. 26:23,… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary


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