Biblical People

Biblical People: Issachar

Issachar is Jacob’s ninth son and Leah’s fifth. That’s all Scripture tells us about him. But we can imagine what his life might be like.

With eight older brothers—four full brothers and four half-brothers—Issachar arrives to a packed household. We can suspect he receives little attention. 

It’s easy to see him getting lost. 

Issachar does nothing—good or bad—to record for us in Scripture. I’m not sure if we should be relieved or disappointed.

Yet he is one of Jacob’s sons, and his descendants become one of Israel’s twelve tribes.

How has our birth order affected the attention we receive and how we view ourselves? What should we accept about our circumstances and what should we seek to rise above?

[Read Issachar’s story in Genesis 30:18; 35:23; and 46:14.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at