From the November, 2003 issue of Touchstone

The Laughter of Isaac by Patrick Henry Reardon

The Laughter of Isaac

Isaac is one of the most engaging figures in Holy Scripture, probably because he is the most associated with the exuberance of laughter. Isaac was named for laughter, in fact, because that name, formed from the verbal root shq, literally means “he will laugh.” It is ever a marvel and a grace, for sure, to hear a little infant laugh, and I confess, for my part, a preference for the view that babies, when they come to earth, bring along with them the laughter of the angels.

In the birth of Isaac, however, the circumstances attendant on his unexpected appearance in this world afforded an even ampler ground for mirth. No one felt this better than his mother, Sarah, who conceived him at the age of 89, and the happy laconism that she delivered, right after delivering her son, was smartly to the point: “God has made me la . . .


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