Issachar was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. His mother was Leah, who also gave birth to Reuben, Judah, Simeon, Levi and Zebulun. Issachar is the ancestor of the Tribe of Issachar. When Jacob blessed his sons, in Genesis 49, Issachar was described as a beast of burden who would submit to forced labor. (Genesis 49:14-15). Issachar's name is often linked together with Zebulun, his brother.
In the Song of Deborah, Issachar is mentioned in a favorable light in regards to the tribe's battles with the Canaanites. One of the Judges of Israel, named Tola, was from the region of Israel that was named after Issachar. During the era in which David was king, the Tribe of Issachar gained a reputation for its wise men. In Revelation 7:1-8, Issachar is among the tribes who are promised the Seal of God for 12,000 of its members. The name Issachar means "there is a reward."