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, chayei sarah, “the life of sarah”

And he said, "Blessed by the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master."

Genesis 24:27

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

The paragraph divisions for chayei sarah are posted here. Although I am not wise enough yet to make a single chiastic structure from chayei sarah, it forms an interesting chiastic structure with the final paragraph of vayeira, which is posted here.

There is an amazing and elegant chiastic structure within chayei sarah, from Gen 23:1-24:67, which is posted here, with its explanation.

Now as I was meditating this week on what could be the encompassing theme of chayei sarah, from Gen 23:1-25:18, I realized something, that the Hebrew paragraph divisions will help us see:

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)

The Gen 23:1 paragraph is about Sarah and what she needs (a burial place). The Gen 24:1 paragraph is about Isaac and what he needs (a bride). The Gen 25:1 paragraph is about the seed of Abraham by Keturah. And the Gen 25:12 paragraph is about the seed of Abraham by Hagar.

In other words, the strong paragraph from Gen 23:1-24:67 could be said to be about Sarah and her seed, and the remaining paragraphs could be said to be about Keturah and her seed, and Hagar and her seed. The entire parashah could be said to be about the blessing of YHVH on Abraham, in providing him with wives, seed from his wives, a possession in the land of his sojourning to bury his wife, a bride for his heir, who is not a woman of the land of his sojourning, neither a pagan, nor a Canaanite, nor a Hittite, nor a Philistine; and all the provision needed to establish his heir, to provide for his sons separately from his heir, and the blessing of YHVH on all his sons, but most particularly on Isaac, the son of the promise.

As the servant says, “Blessed be YHVH, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master …” Gen 24:27, for in Gen 12, God began to promise Abraham land and descendants, and by Gen 25, at the end of Abraham’s life, we see that God has begun to keep His promises, in lovingkindness and in truth.

more studies in chayei sarah

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