The name of the Torah portion חיי שרה Chayei Sarah means “life of Sarah,” but it starts with the matriarch’s death. We see how Abraham works hard to find a final resting place for her, but her death had a huge impact on Yitzkhak (Isaac) as well, affecting him for years. Her death also played a larger than life role in how Abraham’s most trusted servant, Eliazer of Damascus, set out to find a suitable wife for Yitzkhak to carry out Abraham’s legacy.
When we are pushed to our limits, God promises us that the ways of the Kingdom of God are far more profitable in the long term than trying to avoid pain. That’s what Abraham and Sarah learned over many years of their lives. It’s all the more relevant today for increasing social and physical pressure put on believers in the Holy One of Israel and the Anointed One of God. This lesson of faith is the backdrop of the Torah portion (parashah) חיי שרה Chayei Sarah (“life of Sarah,” Gen. 23:1–25:18).
Why did Abraham the nomadic “father of faith” pay so much for a tomb for his wife Sarah? What’s the connection between Abraham’s and King David’s picking a certain son as the successor over other, older sons? Are does the symbol of a well in the account of Yitzkhak marrying Rivkah and in Yeshua’s encounter with the Samaritan woman teach us about the Mashiakh’s work of bringing new life out of death? These are questions tackled in this discussion of the Torah portion חיי שרה Chayei Sarah (“life of Sarah”), covering Genesis 23-25.
The eight days of חֲנֻכָּה Chanukah (Festival of Dedication, John 10:22–39), historically parallel the eight days of Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles). But there is a startling parallel to eight women in the Bible for whom having children would have been miraculous — including the mother of Yeshua — yet these women dedicated themselves to God’s mission to restore the Earth.
We boast in our pride, we constantly demand our rights, we put our trust in our government to protect these rights, but we don’t ask God to protect us. Ya’akov (Jacob) needed to return to Beit ’El (Bethel) to fulfill the vow he had made to the Lord when he was fleeing from Esau. God protected Ya’akov and his entourage from being pursued by those who would have wanted to take revenge on Ya’akov’s family for what happened in Shechem (Genesis 34). He put a great terror on those who wanted to pursue them and convinced them to leave them alone.
Yitzhkak (Isaac) seems to have repeated a number of events from Abraham’s life: a famine and claiming his wife was his sister. Yitzkhak also seems to have been obsessed with digging wells, but what should get our attention are messianic symbols of three days of live and death in the ground.
What is the connection between this account of the death of Abraham and the prophecy of warring children in the womb of Rivkah (Rebecca) and the accounts of Creation and of the Flood?