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ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.


בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called

Genesis


~ 24 ~

Parashah 5: Hayyei-Sarah (continued)
(“Sara’s Life,” Gen. 23:1-25:18)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Hebron [MAP] ca 1828 BCE*]

B. A Wife for Yitzchak (chapter 24)

1. Avraham Instructs his Servant (24:1-10)

1Avraham was old, and well advanced in age. יְהוָה֒[GN] had blessed Avraham in everything. 2Avraham said to the chief servant of his house,[2a] who managed all that he owned, “Please put your hand under my thigh.[2b] 3I will have you swear by יְהוָה֒, the God of the heavens[GN] and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kena'aniCaananites, among whom I am dwelling. 4But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, to select a wife for my son Yitz'chakIsaac.”

5The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to come with me to this land? Sould I bring your son back to the land you came from?”

6Avraham said to him, “Make sure that you don’t take my son back there. 7יְהוָה֒, the God of heaven, Who brought me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, Who spoke to me, and Who swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman isn’t willing to come back with you, then you are released from this oath to me. Only don’t take my son back there.”

9So the servant put his hand under his master Avraham’s thigh, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all manner of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went the Nahor’s city[10] in Mesopotamia.

[Ur? [MAP] ca 1828 BCE*]

2. Servant Prays for Guidance (24:11-14) [Nahor]

(iii) 11When evening came, he made the camels kneel down outside the city near the well, at the time that women go out to draw water. 12He prayed, “יְהוָה֒, God of my master Avraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Avraham. 13Hinneh,[GN] I am[13] standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Let it happen that the young lady to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar, so that I may drink,’ then she says, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels,’ — let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Yitz'chak. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

3. Servant Meets Rivkah (24:15-21)

15Before he had finished praying,[15] RivkahRebekah, “ensnarer” came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of B’tu’elBethuel the son of Milkah, the wife of Avraham’s brother Nachor, 16The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin who not had relations with a man.[16a] She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up.[16b] 17The servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your jar.”

18She said, “Drink, my lord.” She quicly lewered her jar to her hands, and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will also water your camels until they have have had enogh to drink.”[19] 20She quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

21Meanwhile, the man silently watched her, wondering whether or not יְהוָה֒ had made his journey successful.

4. Rivkah is Daughter of a Relative (24:22-27)

 22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold ring weighing half a shekel,[22a] and two gold bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels. 23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to stay the night?”

24She answered, “I am the daughter of B’tu’el the son that Milkah bore to Nachor.” 25She continued, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in.”

26Then the man bowed down and worshiped יְהוָה֒.

(iv) 27Then he said, “Blessed be יְהוָה֒, the God of my master Avraham, Who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, יְהוָה֒ has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”

5. Lavan Offers Hospitality (24:28-32)

28The young lady ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Rivkah had a brother named LavanLaban, “white”. Lavan ran out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and had heard his sister Rivkah say, “This is what the man said to me,” he went and found the man was standing by the camels near the spring. 31“Come, you who are blessed by יְהוָה֒,“ he said. ”Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a placce for the camels.”

32The man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were given the camels, and water was provided to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.[32]

6. Servant Describes His Mission (24:33-41)

 33Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”

So Lavan said, “Please speak.”

34“I am Avraham’s servant,” he said. 35יְהוָה֒ has greatly blessed my master. He has become rich.[35] He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her old age, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37My master made me swear this oath, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kena'ani, in whose land I am living, 38but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives to take a wife for my son.’ 39I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come with me?’ 40He said to me, ‘יְהוָה֒, before Whom I have walked, will send His angel with you, and make your journey a success, so that you may take a wife for my son from my relatives, and from my father’s house. 41Then you will be released from my oath, when you come to my relatives, if they don’t give her to you, you shall be released from my oath.’

7. Servant Relates His Prayer (24:42-48)

 42So when I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O יְהוָה֒, God of my master Avraham, if you would make my journey successful — 43hinneh, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it be that the maiden who comes out to draw water, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,” 44then she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,” — let her be the woman whom יְהוָה֒ has appointed for my master’s son.’ 45Before I had finished praying in my heart, hinneh, Rivkah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of B’tu’el ben-Nachorson of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists. 48I bowed down and worshiped יְהוָה֒, and praised יְהוָה֒, the God of my master Avraham, Who had led me in the right way to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.

8. Hethuel Agrees to the Marriage (24:49-51)

 49Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; but If not, let me know so that I may go elsewhere.”

50Then Lavan and B’tu’el answered, “This thing is from יְהוָה֒; we have no choice in the matter. 51Rivkah is here before you. Take her, and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, just as יְהוָה֒ has decreed.”

9. Revkah Goes with the Servant (24:52-61)

52When Avraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the earth before יְהוָה֒. (v) 53Then he brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rivkah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and stayed the night. When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”

55Her brother and her mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she may go.”

56He said to them, “Don’t delay me, since יְהוָה֒ has made my journey a success. Send me on my so I may go to my master.”

57They said, “We will call the girl and ask her opinion.” 58They called Rivkah, and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

She said, “I will go.”

59So they sent their sister Rivkah on her way, along with her nurse, Avraham’s servant, and his men. 60They blessed Rivkah, and said to her, “Our sister, may you become thousands upon ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of their enemies.”

61Then Rivkah and her servant girls got ready, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rivkah and left.

[Hebron [MAP] ca 1828 BCE*]

10. Yitzchak Marries Rivkah (24:62-67) [Be'er Lahai Roi]

62Yitz'chak had just arrived from the Be'er-Lahai-Roi, [MAP] for he was liveing in the Negev. 63Early in the evening Yitz'chak went out to the field to meditate. He looked up and saw camels approaching. 64Rivkah looked up, and when she saw Yitz'chak, she jumped off the camel 65and asked the servant, “Who is the man in the field coming to meet us?”

The servant said, “It is my master.”

So she took her veil, and covered herself. 66The servant told Yitz'chak everything that he had done. 67Yitz'chak brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rivkah as his wife. And Yitz'chak loved her and was comforted after his mother’s death.

Chapter 25

_______________

2a. This would be the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of Hebron Drayage Company. See notes 2 and 3a on Chapter 13. It could well have been Eli‘ezer of Damascus (Gen 15:2-3). [RETURN]

2b. “The thigh was considered the source of posterity in the ancient world. Or, more properly, the ‘loins’ or the testicles. The phrase ‘under the thigh’ could be a euphemism for ‘on the loins.’ There are two reasons why someone would take an oath in this manner: 1) Abraham had been promised a ‘seed’ by God, and this covenantal blessing was passed on to his son and grandson. Abraham made his trusted servant swear ‘on the seed of Abraham’ that he would find a wife for Isaac. 2) Abraham had received circumcision as the sign of the covenant (Gen 17:10). Our custom is to swear on a Bible; the Hebrew custom was to swear on circumcision, the mark of God’s covenant. The idea of swearing on one’s loins is found in other cultures, as well. The English word testify is directly related to the word testicles.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/hand-under-thigh.html accessed 26 July 2021.) [RETURN]

10. Nachor was Avraham’s brother, so he probably still lived in Ur. [RETURN]

13. “Hinneh, I am standing …” could be translated, “See me standing…” Likewise verse 43. [RETURN]

15. God frequently provides the answer to our prayer even before we finish asking. [RETURN]

16a. Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) apparently felt that it was important for Moshe to clarify this point, as the Hebrew word for virgin, בְּתוּלָה (bethulah), can simply mean a young woman of marriageable age. Under the provisions of Torah Law, any bethulah who was not a virgin would have been stoned to death, but the Torah had not yet been given. [RETURN]

ancient well16b. Ancient wells and cisterns frequently had water that was far below ground level, and had steps or a ramp leadinig from ground level down to the level of the water. So Rivkah “went down” to fill her jar then “came back up.” See also “Woman and Wells in the Hebrew Bible.” [RETURN]

19. This was no small offer. Ten thirsy camels can drink a lot of water! [RETURN]

22. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces. [RETURN]

32. There must have been at least nine other men with him, one man for each camel, and perhaps several others. Avraham had a huge number of “security officers” that guarded his caravans. He surely sent security with this caravan, on such an important mission. [RETURN]

35. Rich: Heb. וַיִּגְדָּ֑ל (wayigdal), to grow, become great or important, promote, make powerful, praise, magnify, do great things; “rich” within the context of the following phrase. [RETURN]

Originally posted on Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
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SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!

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