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Meaning and etymology of the name Iscah

Iscah Iscah

There's only one Iscah mentioned in the Bible. She's the daughter of Haran, and the sister of Milcah and Lot (Genesis 11:29). It's a bit peculiar that we don't hear any more of this Iscah - she is after all the niece of Abraham. Some scholars believe that Iscah is the same as Sarah, Abraham's wife. This by itself would not be that odd since Iscah's sister Milcah marries Abraham's brother Nahor. Still, in Genesis 20:12 Abraham informs Abimelech that Sarah is the daughter of Abraham's father Terah, so it seems far more likely that Iscah is not the same person as Sarah.

The meaning of the name Iscah is difficult to establish. BDB Theological Dictionary deems the "etymology dubious," so dubious even that they don't even attempt one. NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names go with a verb that does not occur in Biblical Scriptures, namely sakhah (sakhah), meaning to look at. Hence NOBS reads Watchful and Jones reads She Will Look Out, or She Will See.

However, there's also a verb that's used quite often in the Bible, namely suk (suk), meaning to pour or anoint. This verb is used in all the expected ways of anointing people for recreational or hygienic reasons (2 Samuel 12:20), medicinal reasons (Ezekiel 16:9) or as part of a sacred ritual (Exodus 30:32). The name Iscah may be seen as constructed from a future form made feminine. Thus Iscah means She Will Anoint.

Another root that's spelled the same as the previous one, is suk (suk), meaning to surround, hedge or fence about (Job 3:23, 38:8). Following this verb, the name Iscah may also mean She Will Hedge In.



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