christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

genesis 23:1-25:18, parashah chayei sarah, “the life of sarah”

Read Genesis 23:1-25:18 at Bible Gateway.

I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)

The Hebrew paragraph divisions are:

Gen 23:1-20 {s} Heth gives Abraham a possession in Canaan
Gen 24:1-67 {p} The servant finds a bride for Isaac, the promised seed
Gen 25:1-11 {p} The seed of Abraham by Keturah
Gen 25:12-18 {p} The seed of Ishmael (Abraham’s seed by Hagar)

Now this torah portion makes an interesting chiastic structure, using the last parsha that was hanging as a loose end at the end of parashah vayeira:

Gen 22:20-25:18
1a) Gen 22:20-24 p, The seed of Nahor;
1b) Gen 23:1-24:67 s+p, The life and death of Sarah + Isaac:
— 1) Gen 23:1-2, This is the life of Sarah, 127 years, and then she died;
— 2) Gen 23:3-20 s, Abraham buries Sarah in the cave of Machpelah;
— 3) Gen 24:1-67 p, The servant finds a bride for Isaac (the promised seed);
1c) Gen 25:1-4, The seed of Abraham by Keturah;
central axis) Gen 25:5, Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac (the promised seed);
2c) Gen 25:6, Abraham sent the sons of his concubines away from Isaac his son;
2b) Gen 25:7-11 p, The life and death of Abraham + Isaac:
— 1) Gen 25:7-8, This is the life of Abraham, 175 years, and then he died;
— 2) Gen 25:9-10, His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah;
— 3) Gen 25:11 p, After the death of Abraham, God blessed his son Isaac (the promised seed);
2a) Gen 25:12-18 p, The seed of Ishmael.

This parashah is about the seed of Abraham, through Sarah, Keturah, and Hagar. But it is going out of its way to highlight the fact that the heir of Abraham was Isaac, the promised seed, period. It is Isaac who inherits the covenant and blessing of YHVH.

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