Notes for Issachar:
His name in Hebrew is: יששכר Yissâskâr (yis-saw-kawr’) (strictly yis-saws-kawr’)
Strongs #: 3485; he will bring a reward. His name in Greek is: Ίσαχάρ Isachar (ee-sakh-ar’)
Jacob, Issachar’s father was 89 when Issachar was born.
Jacob had already been living in Haran for twelve years when Issachar was born.
At the age of 8, Issachar left with his family to return to where Jacob came from
and met with a few hardships along the way. (1)
The place of abode upon arriving in Canaan from Haran was outside the town of Shechem
where they stayed 18 months. (2)
Upon the kidnapping of Issachar’s sister, Dinah, Issachar’s older brothers Simeon
and Levi laid waste the city of Shechem.
It looked like Issachar would be going to his first battle at the age of 9, but it
turned out that the Canaanites decided that it wouldn’t be a very good idea. If
two can take a city, then an army of 112 would be devastating. (3)
At 10, Issachar and his family moved to Bethel for a six month stay.
At 11, his Aunt Rachel died at childbirth while bringing Benjamin into the world.
At 16, Issachar and his family came again to Shechem but their arrival made headline
news amongst the Canaanites since they didn’t want to lose their city again. This
time war was inevitable!
The armies of the seven Canaanite kings came against them, but to make a long story
short, Issachar and his brothers destroyed the kings as well as seven cites, although
it took several days to do it. (4)
Issachar’s mother, Leah died when Issachar was 17, and it was after that time that
his half-brother Joseph started making a nuisance of himself. Although Joseph ranked
himself better than his brothers, Father Jacob still loved the brat so much that
Jacob made a colorful coat for him with long sleeves. (5)
What was the most annoying were Joseph’s dreams, and since Issachar had the gift
of interpreting dreams it made him dislike his brother all the more! (6)
The only relief from Joseph was to look after the cattle with his brothers in Shechem
(they had been dwelling in Hebron with Grandfather Isaac), but Joseph still found
his brothers even when Issachar moved with his brothers 15 miles north to Dothan.
Even before Joseph arrived at the camp, Issachar planned to be part of the plot to
kill Joseph, but Reuben wanted nothing to do with the plan, so Joseph was placed
in a pit so Reuben could secretly let Joseph return home.
While Reuben was away from the camp, Issachar and his brothers sold Joseph to the
Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver, but Issachar later regretted it.
With Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites and taken to Egypt, Issachar came up with
the idea on how to cover their tracks with the selling of Joseph into Egypt. The
idea was to tear Joseph’s coat and dip it in the blood of a goat and deliver it to
Twenty years later at the age of 39, Issachar was sent to Egypt with his brothers
(except Benjamin) to buy corn since there was a severe famine in Canaan.
Upon arriving in Egypt, the brothers met with Zaphnathpaaneah, the stern governor
of Egypt who accused the brothers as being spies. Then Simeon was bound in prison
and the brothers were instructed to bring their youngest brother with them on their
next trip to prove that they weren’t spies. (8)
Therefore, the brothers returned home with their grain, but were forced to return
to Egypt 14 months later with Benjamin, much to the sorrow of Jacob. (9)
Upon Issachar and his brother’s return back to Egypt fourteen months later, troubles
began after Issachar and his brothers had dined with the governor, and that was when
Benjamin was accused of stealing the Governor’s cup. However, the excitement didn’t
really begin until the governor said that he would use Benjamin as a slave in his
This act grieved Issachar and his brethren, but it wasn’t until the governor saw
that the brothers were willing to fight for their younger brother that he reviewed
himself to them that Zaphnathpaaneah was actually Joseph.
This act both gladdened and frightened Issachar.
Issachar returned home with all his brethren telling Jacob the glad tidings in which
they made the trip back to Egypt with the whole family, and was able to witness the
joyous reunion of father and son in Egypt.
Seventeen years later, when Issachar was 58, his father died and requested to be
buried in the Cave of Machpelah, but the funeral procession was halted for short
time while by Issachar’s Uncle Esau. (12)
Because of the battle at the Cave of Machpelach, another one ensued with the Edomites
in which some Edomites were taken captive and taken to Egypt. Having captive Edomites
in Egypt for slaves to the Israelites was considered a shame to the Edomites, so
war was waged against the Children of Jacob as well as the Egyptians, but the Edomites
ended up losing the battle the third time. (13)
After Issachar had lived in Egypt for 81 years, he died at the age of 122. (14)
More About Issachar:
Burial: 1387BC in Zidon, Canaan