FI Y4 WK 6 Parashah TOLDOT (Generations) Genesis 25:19-28:9 PART A: CONTRADICTION (An Evening Devotion for this day)

It is ironic that the previous Parashah CHAYEI SARAH (23:1-25:18) began with the end of the life of Sarah. The parashah is named CHAYEI SARAH because of the first sentence in 23:1, “Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years; the years of Sarah’s life.^” But the perspective of that parashah is the continuation on earth of the historic unfolding of the lives of the next generations of the covenantal patriarchs through Isaac and Jacob. God was at work bringing to pass in sequential time the grand redemption of both humanity and the cosmos* from the curse of sin-and-death which was caused by the fall of our primal parents.

[^ STONE Translation.

*“and the cosmos”: see Romans 8:19-23. The Greek term Paul uses is ktisis, “creature, creation….” The idea he expresses is that the entire creation is waiting for God to consummate his purpose for humanity, currently in a fallen position of sinfulness but destined to be raised from the death that has become temporal man’s lot; the divine purpose is to bring fallen man, by means of saving redemption in the Messiah, into the fulness of his original design for human beings before Adam and Eve made the fateful choice to disobey God’s one negative command in the Garden of Eden. This redemption in Messiah is why Paul refers to Jesus as “the second Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47.


Jesus is the beginning of an entirely new creation which God started with his only-begotten Son through the “Seed of the Woman.”  With this New Creation, God generated a humanity that proceeds from the Spirit rather than from the Flesh (See John 1:13-14 with Luke 1:34-35: the conception of Jesus was initiated not by human flesh through a man but by the Holy Spirit in a manner similar to when God took dust from the earth and fashioned the original Adam, a man of the earth.)


Messiah is “the second Adam,” but now on this occasion from the ovum of a woman, rather than from the dust of the ground—a miraculous new creation directly generated by the Holy Spirit from her*. Therefore, Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man in an elevated condition by means of this new creation. And in him, we have been born again of the Spirit of God, destined to be resurrected into his glorious likeness when our Lord returns to take the Kingdom over Creation directly into his immediate custody unto the glory of God the Father to the end that all enemies of God are subjected unto him. At that time, Messiah will return the Kingdom to the Father and resume his role as Lordly Son at the right hand of God the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28 and John 3:4-13 et al along with Proverbs 8:22-36 and Psalm 2:6-12).

[*Keep in mind that the dust from which Adam was created was not itself a living substance but that the ovum of the virgin from which The Word Incarnate came forth was already a living substance so that Jesus as the Second Adam is the product of Life from life—eternal in duration.]


In doing this, God intends to elevate born-again humanity through the Resurrection into a higher state of existence that is comparable in transcendent terms to the capabilities of the angelic host (Matthew 22:30). At the same time, resurrected and glorified humanity will continue to dwell in natural bodies that have been transformed into the likeness of our Lord’s resurrected and glorified body—under Messiah, we will function eternally as the priestly and kingly mediators of the physical creation unto the glory of God the Father. (See John 20 concerning the capacities of the body of Jesus after his resurrection. Our glorified bodies will know no death, no physical defect and no undesigned limitation. They will be capable of operating in the natural creation but also of dwelling forever with the direct Presence of God in His Transcendent Glory. See Revelation 21-22.]


The heart of the parashah CHAYEI SARAH is taken up with finding a bride for Isaac (Rebecca) and introducing her brother Laban to the narrative (Genesis 24). He will be a key figure in the life of Jacob in the next generation. He will become Jacob’s designated “enemy” used to refine the third patriarch. Like Esau, Laban too was “a man of the flesh,” but he was also a conniving and soulish man.


The parashah further includes the negotiation for the double-cave burial place for the patriarchs and matriarchs (Genesis 23) and the summary of the last days of Abraham. That summary details his marriage to Keturah (probably Hagar elevated after the death of Sarah to the status of a wife), and his begetting more sons by her (since God had restored his body to procreative capacity). The parashah also gives details about the sons of Ishmael whom Hagar bore to Abraham before the birth of Isaac (Genesis 25). In verse 17 the scripture says simply, “His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre.” Verse 11 is a powerful statement of transition from the first to the second patriarchal generation, saying, “And it was, after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son, and Isaac settled near Beer-lahai-roi (“Well of the Living One My Seer,” that is, “Well of the Living One Who Sees Me”—STONE and STRONG).


It is at this juncture in the life of Abraham that we see what I refer to in the title of this devotion as “CONTRADICTION.” Abraham begat through Sarah’s handmaid Hagar a son of the flesh: Ishmael. This became a contradiction, a source of conflict. This son was not the son that God promised through Sarah. But this son was Abraham’s true son by Hagar whom Sarah gave as a surrogate mother to Abraham to bear for him a son for posterity. He was the product of the despair of Abraham and Sarah when they both had passed the times of male and female menopause. (Hebrews 11:11-12) Nonetheless, when God cut the covenant of circumcision with Abraham in Genesis 17, He promised a son through Sarah with whom God said he would establish the covenant. Immediately, Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live before you!” (KJV) And God said, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto you at this set time in the next year.”


So, we see that God always makes his plans known to us by means of supernatural signs rather than by means of humanly engineered schemes. Otherwise, the glory for his workings would be misdirected to us.


Because of the two sons, one natural and the other supernatural, the natural-and-spiritual natures of humans were set in tandem against each other in a perpetual opposition—a contradiction. The entire New Testament can be seen as the ascendency of the Spiritual Man over the Natural Man. The inner warfare of every individual Christian is between his (her) own flesh and spirit. (Romans 7) But the Spirit will prevail, and we will be raised up in Messiah to reign with him in life*, both now and forever, in the seat of authority granted to us by God our Father in his Son. This is a very heady reality. It is our great task while in this life to learn to rule our flesh, to put it under the authority of Jesus who dwells in our hearts by faith through the Holy Spirit. In doing so, we increasingly possess our inheritance from God both now and into eternity.

[*Romans 5:17]


May you prayerfully pursue this wonderful work each day as you engage yourself in faithful devotion and service to God our Father through our Lord Jesus the Messiah in the power of the blessed Holy Spirit. Amen.



(A Morning Devotion for this day)


Genesis 25:21,

The Hebrew of this verse is extremely revealing:


“And Isaac (literally) burnt incense in worship to YHVH in front of his wife.”

The KJV translates it like this,

“And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife”

(because she was barren).

Instead of “for his wife,” the STONE Tanakh uses the better expression “opposite  his wife” or “in front of his wife.”


The picture being displayed is a joint entreaty to ADONAI by the couple, with Isaac acting as the intercessor and Rebecca acting as joint-suppliant, presenting herself before the LORD in agreement with her husband, with the smoke of incense of worship rising to God from them both, requesting a child—an heir to the covenantal Promise.


The second half of the verse immediately records,



“And YHVH was entreated of him

and Rebecca his wife conceived.”

The STONE translation says,

“HASHEM allowed Himself to be entreated by him….”


Your intercessions in worship and according to the known will of God are very powerful. Husband and wife agreement during worshipful intercession is powerful to the extreme.


The STONE commentary (which represents the view of Orthodox Judaism) points out that all three matriarchs were barren, unable to naturally conceive children SO THAT Israel would be the result of miraculous conception in all three of the covenant-making generations from Abraham and Sarah through Isaac and Rebecca through Jacob and Rachel (the favored wife who bore Joseph, the inheritor of the Birthright). The next major part of the story of God’s covenant people involves a miraculous “birth” of the whole nation from the womb of Egypt in the great event of the EXODUS, followed by a WATER ERUPTION** at the end of the birthing event when Israel passed miraculously through the birth canal of the waters of the Red Sea into the wilderness pathway to the land of promise. Paul the Apostle would later make this point about the Red Sea crossing in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4:


Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

And did all eat the same spiritual food;

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah.


This language is the language of communion: spiritual drink and spiritual food (bread and wine in the Passover symbolism).


With these words Paul made clear that the natural events of the Torah were parallels to events in the realm of the Spirit. Messiah has been present with Israel from the beginning to bring to pass the will of the Father in the material world of creation*. Messiah’s manifestation into the world through the virgin Mary was simply the consummation of what God had been working through him in transcendence all along, finally coming to maturity with his entrance into Time in order to put an end to the root problem of sin, fulfilling all things prophesied concerning this great work. (Daniel 9:24) Sin no longer has dominion over us who are in Christ. (Romans 6:14) After this he ascended back to his place in Transcendence (Heaven) to make intercession for us according to the will of the Father and by means of his intercessory Priesthood in eternity in order to thwart the accusations of the Wicked One before the Eternal Court. (Job 1-2) We now have the advantage, and we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us and gave himself for us.^

[*Once again Proverbs 8:22-36; John 1:1-18; 1 John 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:11, et al.

^Romans 8:31-39; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 7:25

** “water eruption”: cf. 1 John 5:6]


The rest of this parashah involves the growing conflict between Jacob and Esau. It results with Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans after an exhausting hunt and then losing his blessing when Jacob obeyed the scheme of Rebecca and feigned himself to be Esau in the presence of his father who had become blind in his old age. Having lost all of his spiritual advantages as the firstborn of the two twins, and after Isaac sent Jacob away to Padan Aram to find a wife from among his mother’s kin, Esau resorted to marrying a daughter of Ishmael, his father’s old rival. Thus, the fleshly man fell further away while the spiritual man continued to ascend by much travail and conflict and testing—and perseverance.


Keep in mind that because you are “in Christ” (see Ephesians 1-3), you are in a favored position in the eternal realm. From that position in Jesus our Lord you have a destiny of blessing that has been mapped out for you from before the foundation of the world. (Jeremiah 29:11-14) It is up to you to walk it out, according to “the way, the truth and the life” that Jesus has set before you. (John 14:6)


Therefore, let this wonderful exhortation strengthen you today:

Hebrews 12:1-2,


Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


This is your time in the arena. Run your race. Finish your task. Make full proof of your ministry.

There is more that is for you than is against you. You will overcome because you will persevere to the end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *