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Scroll to Scroll: Today’s Parsha #5: Chayei Sarah (Life of Sarah) STUDY QUESTIONS FROM LAST WEEK’S PORTION (Vayera

) 1) Why does Abba YHWH seem to need to “go down” and look upon Sodom when He already can perfectly see and understand what is going on there from His position in heaven? Because Abba YHWH ultimately will require two or more witnesses in the Torah to condemn people to death (Deuteronomy 19:15), so the two angels perform that function, but Abba YHWH initially goes down with them as the third “angel” which counsels Abraham. If the two angels disagreed with Him, they could have in theory prevented Sodom’s destruction. However, the other functionality of this process is to give the Sodomites more time to repent. 2) There is one righteous element in the city of Sodom that has nothing to do with Lot or his family. What is it?

Then Yahweh said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is so grave, (Genesis 18:20 NJB) If this is related to how Abel’s blood cried out from the ground in Genesis 4, it seems to indicate that Sodom’s victims, or their blood, have cried out against the city to Abba YHWH. 3) If you know the answer to #2, where is this same righteous element repeated in yet another wicked city? (Rev 18:21) And a Messenger took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying: "So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will no more be found: (Rev 18:22) and the voice of harpers and musicians and pipers and trumpeters will no more be heard in you;65 and no artificer of any trade will be found any more in you. (Rev 18:23) And the light of a candle will not be seen in you;66 and the voice of a bridegroom and bride will no more be heard in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all nations were seduced by your sorceries. (Rev 18:24) And in her was found the blood of prophets and Set Apart believers, and of all those that have been slain on the earth." Obviously here “Babylon” is Rome.


4) How is one important future event predicted twice, first in last week’s parsha and second in this one? The answer is Passover, because last week Abraham got the vision of it happening in Genesis 15 and in this parsha we have Lot performing a kind of miniature seder. It is Lot who serves unleavened bread and whose family is delivered out of a mass pestilence that kills the natives but preserves the obedient in Lot’s family. You might even refer to these Messengers as “angels of death” because that is ultimately what they deliver to Sodom. 5) There is a man who is mentioned in this parsha who may have become more famous under another name. Who is he? UTZ (22:21) = Some rabbis think this another name for Job, probably because the same word is used to name the place Job was from. This is Edomite territory in Saudi Arabia, where the prophet Job was from. Another possibility is that this is the person for whom Uz was named after, and Job then is born in this same land some time later. 1) Meaning of this week’s Torah portion and summary of contents: Chayei Sarah means “life of Sarah” but ironically it begins with her death! The full meaning actually is “the Life of Sarah WAS”. In the wake of her death, Abraham must find an appropriate place to bury his wife. Ephron the Hittite first offers some land to Abraham for free, but Abraham insists on paying (actually OVERPAYING according to the rabbis) and signing a contract for the land to avoid future strife. Chapter 24 then gives us the beautiful love story between Isaac and Rebecca. It becomes clear that while Isaac himself gets relatively little attention in Torah compared to his ancestors and descendants, he certainly did very well in the marriage department—Rebecca is in a way his inheritance and treasure. The portion ends with Abraham’s death and a reunion at his funeral with Isaac and Ishmael. 2) Parsha (English-Genesis 23:1-25:18). This week we will read the entire portion. 3) “Play by Play commentary” where appropriate.

Vayihyu chayey Sarah me'ah shanah ve'esrim shanah vesheva shanim shney chayey Sarah. Vatamot Sarah beKiryat Arebah hi Chevron be'erets Kena'an vayavo Avraham lispod le-Sarah velivekotah. Vayakom Avraham me'al peney meto vayedaber el-bney-Chet lemor.


4) Point out key Hebrew words/terms. “Color Commentary”: VAYIHYU CHAYEH SARAH MEAH SHANAH VE’ESRIM SHANAH VESHEVA SHANIM SHNEY CHAYEY SARAH (23:1) = And Sarah lived 127 years. These were the years of Sarah’s life. Genesis 17:17 puts Sarah at 90 years old, 10 years younger than Abraham, at the time of Isaac’s birth. This means that 37 years had passed from the events in Genesis 17 until Sarah’s death (127-90 = 37). It is also 25 years into the 430 year prophecy Abraham had at age 75. During this 37 year period (Abraham is from 100-137 years old), Isaac is born, Ishmael is driven away and Isaac is later nearly sacrificed on an altar by his father Abraham. With this information, we can figure out precisely the years these things happened. One of the ways we do this is to pay close attention to the details. In Genesis 17:17 Abraham is 99 years old, and talking about that IF Sarah gets pregnant in the near future, he will be 100 and she will be 90 by the time Isaac is born. At that moment also Ishmael is 13 years old, and will be 14 years old at that same time as well. Then the events of Abraham’s 99th year (again Sarah is 89, Ishmael is 13) are carried over through Genesis 18, 19 and 20. It is in the opening of Genesis 21 that Sarah becomes pregnant…so in order for Isaac to be born at the start of the following year according to Abba YHWH’s prediction, no more than 3 months could have passed for these events, to which we add of course 9 months for Sarah’s pregnancy. But Genesis 21 has time move much more quickly than the previous three chapters. After Isaac is circumcised we get this key Hebrew phrase, “and the child grew” which always indicates a period of some years. In this case, it is referring to the 5 years from circumcision to weaning the child. On the day of Isaac’s weaning, Abraham holds a great feast that never happens again in any part of the Scripture. Why is this weaning feast unique? I believe it is because Isaac’s weaning had to be tied to the 400/430 year prophecy Abraham got, and the 30 year difference is the difference between the 25 years from the vision to Isaac’s birth, plus the 5 more years to Isaac being weaned. This also dovetails with what we see later:

'If it be from five years even to twenty years old then your valuation for the male shall be twenty shekels and for the female ten shekels. 6 'But if they are from a month even up to five years old, then your valuation shall


be five shekels of silver for the male, and for the female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver. (Leviticus 27:5-6 NAU) These details of valuations are based on milestones in the child’s life. For a male, that first milestone is circumcision at 8 days old, but for both male and female children, the “official” milestone is after 30 days, and from there, after they turn 5 years old, the latter matching the time they were weaned. Also note than in Genesis 21, Ishmael is only 14 when the chapter opens—too young to take a wife—but he is married by chapter’s end AFTER Isaac is weaned. 18-19 years old is about the right time for a young man to get married in this culture though women are married a bit younger than this on occasion. Proof of this assertion is in the fact that a recently married man is assumed to be of military age (20 years old) and that he is exempted for year due to his marriage from service that would otherwise be required of him at that time of his life (Deuteronomy 24:5). All these “small: details point to the only way the Scripture cannot be broken, harmonizing with weaning at age 5.

KIRYATH ARBA (23:2) = City of the Four. This was the original name for Hebron; see Joshua 14:15, Judges 1:10. Also see Joshua 15:54, 20:7. The name Kiryath Arba literally means 'City of the Four,' or 'City of Arba.' Some say that Arba was the father of a number of giants who lived there (Joshua 15:13, 21:11), and according to this, Arba was the greatest of the Anak-giants (Ibn Ezra here; Joshua 14:15, Rashi ad loc.). It also could have been called 'City of the Four' because four giants lived there, Sheshai, Achiman, Talmi, and their father (Rashi here; Numbers 13:22, Joshua 15:14, Judges 1:10. See Artscroll commentary). Others say that it was given this name because of the four pairs buried there: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah (Bereshith Rabbah 58; Rashi). According to the Talmud, the giant mentioned in Joshua 14:15 is Abraham (Yerushalmi, Shabbath 16:1), and hence 'City of the Four' might have referred to the four allies, Abraham, Aner, Eshkol and Mamre (Genesis 14:13, 14:24; Bereshith Rabbah 58). This name was still retained in later times; Nehemiah 11:25. BNEY CHET (23:3) = the sons of Heth. These are traditionally identified with the Hittite people. However, some secular historians think this is an anachronism in the text. This is because the Classic Hittite civilization, depending on which Biblical chronology one uses, often comes after Abraham’s time. In Rabbinic chronology, Abraham’s 100th year of life would have coincided with 2,048th year after Adam’s creation, or about 1713 BCE. (In my chronology this same moment happens 140 years earlier, in 1853 BCE.) Depending on who you talk to the rabbinic chronology is either right at the beginning of or prior to the rise of the Classic Hittites.


However, there was an earlier group of people who inhabited Hittite territory who were known as the HATTI, and their origins go back much earlier, to more than 2000 BCE. The man Abraham knows is called the “father of the Hittites” and may represent the time one group transitioned into the other group, or Heth could be from a long line of Hatti before the classic Hittite group arose. Either way the Scripture works with the wider historical record, even if some details from the latter are lacking. MACPHELAH (23:8) = Double cave, because it has two chambers. Commentary on 23:15 from A shekel was a unit of weight, equal to 22.8 grams or 0.8 ounces. A silver shekel was therefore a little smaller than a silver dollar, and worth around $1.00. Abraham therefore paid 20 pounds of silver, or about $400 for the cave. Considering land values at the time, this was highly excessive. Thus, for example, King Omri paid only 6000 shekels for the entire territory of Samaria (1 Kings 16:25), and Jeremiah paid only 17 shekels for a property that was at least as large as Makhpelah Field (Jeremiah 32:9). For comparison, according to the Hammurabi Code of that time, a year's wage for a working man was between six and eight shekels. L’EPHRON (lacking a VAV) 23:16 = TO EPHRON. Commentary from Stone, p. 109:

‫פר ֹן‬ ְ‫ע‬ ֶ‫ל‬ ְ (To Ephron) Throughout this chapter, Ephron’s name is spelled with

a VAV, but here, where money changed hands and the sale was consummated, the VAV is omitted. Thereby Torah implies that his stature was diminished—he started out by making grandiose offers of a gift but then revealed himself as a greedy man who extorted far more than the land was worth. EL AVDO ZEKAN (24:2) = The elder servant. This is probably Eliezar who would have inherited Abraham’s estate were it not for Isaac being born. TACHAT YERECHI (24:2) = under my thigh. This is emblematic of a sacred oath, such as Jacob getting his thigh touched by YHWH. TACHAT is not just “under” but means “under this authority” indicating a binding covenant vouchsafed by the thigh. Genesis 46:26 and Exodus 1:5 employ the idiom “thigh of my father” which links to being begat by one’s father. The thigh is therefore a symbol of reproduction for a male. ARAM NAHARAYIM (24:10) = Aram of the rivers, because it is between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. NACHOR (24:10) = As in the city of Nachor, perhaps named after Abraham’s brother who lived in this area (Genesis 11:27,31).


LE’ET EREV LE’ET TSET HASHO’AVOT (24:11) = It was evening when the women come to draw water. This is a very helpful clue in understanding the time clues in the Gospel of John (4:6). In that case, the evening was the “6th hour”, on what I call Roman daylight time. The Roman system ran on 2 12 hour cycles, one from midnight to noon and the other from noon to midnight. When Y’shua arrives at the Samaritan well after being exhausted from a day of walking, that was 6 hour from noon time that day. The Samaritan woman is drawing water from the well at that same time, when the temperatures were cooler. NEZEM (24:22) = golden ring. The word also can denote a nose ring or an earring (Genesis 35:4). Matara (my Tanakh project) footnote: [1]Took a golden ring. Aramaic word here in Onkelos and Jonathan is qadasha, and this has often been confused for the word for “holy”. In the Aramaic Renewed Covenant, Y’shua uses this word in Matthew 7:6 to say “do not hang earrings on dogs” as opposed to the more awkward “do not give holy things to dogs” as is understood in the Greek. In that case, as commented on in the AENT, the idea makes sense that animals (dogs and pigs) should not be given precious jewelry that they cannot appreciate, the jewelry itself being symbolic of the truth. The word can also mean “amulet” or “ornament”. BEKA (24:22) = half a shekel, the same amount for the Atonement Temple tax and that Y’shua paid in Matthew 17:24-27. 24:33-36: And there was set (Jonathan Targum and Samaritan Pentateuch: poisoned) food before him to eat. But he said, I will not eat, until I have told you of my errand. And he said, Speak on. And he said, I am Abraham's servant. Therefore YHWH has blessed my master greatly, and he is become great and has been given flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and men-servants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys. ALAH (24:41) = dread oath. ALAH actually means both “oath” and “curse”. In this case, it means BOTH because if the OATH is broken a CURSE will result, hence the term “dread oath”. LO NUCHAL DABER ELEYCHA RA O TOV (24:50) = [1]With the phrase “bad or good” the Rabbis posit also that Laban recognizes YHWH’s great power in selecting his sister for Isaac, so even though Laban doesn’t worship YHWH, he does fear Him enough to not stand in His way. [Stone Chumash, p. 117] VEYITZKHAK BA MIBO BE’ER LAHAY ROI (24:62) = and Isaac was on his way coming to Beer Laharoi. Some rabbis think this was to visit Hagar. Footnote from Matara: [1]Jonathan Targum: “And Isaac came from the school of Rabba Shem, by the fountain where the Living and Eternal One had been revealed to him, who sees and is not seen, and he lived in the land of the South.” Jerusalem Targum is identical except for substituting with “where had been revealed to him the Shekinah of YHWH.”


VAYASHALECHU ET RIVKA ACHOTAM (24:69) = and sent away Rivka and her servant. Probably her nurse, Deborah (Genesis 35:8). KETURAH (25:1) = [1] Jonathan: “who is Hagar who has been bound.” Keturah is a name derived from keter (to be bound) which the Targumist is interpreting as a title rather than a name for Hagar. Since Hagar was a servant before, this makes perfect sense. Also KETER can mean “crown”. I however maintain that Hagar and Keturah are two different women. MEDAN (25:2) = Medan. Some identify this falsely as being linked to the Medean Persians, or modern day Iran. However, all the locations given in this part of the Torah are located in Saudi Arabia. In this case, MEDAN is most likely MEDINA today, the second most important city in Islam. SHUACH (25:2) = Shuach. The place name SHUACH is also identified with Saudi Arabia and with Bildad, a friend of Job who was from that same place. There is an ancient western Arabian city called SACHIAH in Ptolemy’s Geography that many scholars believe is the biblical SHUACH. EL ERETZ QEDEM (25:6) = country to the east. Probably Saudi Arabia, confirmed by Josephus (Antiquities 1.15.1). VAYEH’ASEF EL-AMAV (25:8) = and he was gathered to his people. Not just buried but an idiom that he will be immortalized as righteous among his people. The righteous get to be remembered as a group and this is reflected in several ancient prayers, especially memorial/mourning prayers where deceased men and women are linked with righteous men and women from the past. BEER LACHAI ROI (25:11) = The same place Hagar had passed by earlier (Genesis 16:14) is also likely where she and Ishmael settled later, according to tradition. Therefore it seems Isaac had settled in this region perhaps to be near Hagar and his half brother. NEBAYOTH…KEDAR (25:13) = From Nebayoth Nevayoth in Hebrew. The Torah later specifies that it was his sister who married Esau (Genesis 28:9, 36:3). It appears that the people of Nebayoth were nomads engaged in sheep-raising (Isaiah 16:7; Radak ad loc.). They are identified with the Nabetaeans, who lived in northern Arabia, to the south of the Dead Sea (Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:29; Josephus, Antiquities 1:12:4. See 1 Maccabees 5:25, 9:35, 2 Maccabees 5:8; Strabo 16:4; Pliney 12:37). Their capital was Petra, the ancient site of Kadesh (Strabo 16:799, 17:803; Pliney 6:32). Also see Josephus, Antiquities 14:3:3. 14:6:4. Kedar


The Targum renders this as Arabia; cf. Ezekiel 27:21. This was a well known nation; see Isaiah 21:16,17, 42:11, Jeremiah 2:10. They were an eastern tribe (Jeremiah 49:28), raising and dealing in sheep (Isaiah 60:17, Ezekiel 27:21), living in black tents (Song of Songs 1:5), and they were hostile (Psalms 120:5). They were associated with a city Chatzor (Jeremiah 49:28). Some identify them with the Kidru found in Assyrian writings, and with the Cedrei in ancient geographies (Pliney 5:11). My commentary: According to Islamic tradition, the Kedarites, descended from the second son of Ishmael, are the same tribe that Mohammed arose from. One such traditional “lineage” is here: (Obviously I do not support the theologies and claims of the above link!) CHAVILAH AD-SHUR (25:18) = Havilah by Shur. King Saul will later pursue the Amalekites through this same area (1 Samuel 15:7). However, this is most likely NOT the Havilah mentioned in Genesis 2:11, 10:7, 10:29. There may be at least 3 places with this name: The first in northern India, near the current border of Pakistan “where there is gold”. The second one is likely near Ethiopia (Cush) in Genesis 10:17 and 29. The third one is this reference on the road towards Egypt. Please note that the references to Havilah in Genesis 10 are talking about PEOPLE rather than geography, though it must be admitted that places are often named after people. Also Cush is associated in Genesis 2 not with the first river (Pishon) that leads to “Havilah where there is gold” but with the second river, Gihon, which is probably the Nile. The Indian association is backed by Targum Jonathan and Josephus:

Now Joktan, one of the sons of Heber, had these sons: Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. These inhabited from Cophen, an Indian river, and in part of Asia adjoining to it. And this shall suffice concerning the sons of Shem. (Antiquities, 1:147) Torah Question of the Week: How did Genesis 24:15-16 help prove the rabbis wrong and (to some extent) the Christians right about Yeshayahu 7:14? END PART 1


PART 2: THE HAFTORAH Torah Question of the Week: How did Genesis 24:15-16 help prove the rabbis wrong and (to some extent) the Christians right about Yeshayahu 7:14? NAARA…BEYTULA (24:15-16) = maiden…virgin. This usage brings us squarely into the debate about a virgin birth in in Isaiah 7:14. The rabbis there use a word for “maiden” as if to suggest she was not a virgin being prophesied to give birth to a son who is Messiah. Christians counter that there is nothing miraculous about a young woman conceiving and giving birth to a son with a common Hebrew name, making the “maiden” meaning less likely in their eyes which a virgin birth is a miraculous sign. This verse shows that the cultural assumption is that a “maiden” is in fact a “virgin”— especially when unmarried—unless the text specifically says otherwise. Bonus Torah Thought for the Week: Isaac and Ishmael: The Summit that Failed Isaac is a patriarch that I personally find fascinating. As we will see next week, I call Isaac the “Quiet Patriarch” because relatively speaking, when compared with Abraham and Jacob, there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on. But I also think, again anticipating our discussion next week, that said quietness is by design and evidence of a righteous heart and deliberate planning from a brilliant mind that thinks things through in the long term. Isaac is, in his own way, an unheralded genius. Right now though what I would like to focus on is Isaac the behind-the-scenes leader. He doesn’t need a lot, but he surely earns what he has. Take his wife Rebecca—his ONE wife Rebecca—who is more than enough for him. He loves her from the moment he lays eyes on her to the moment she dies. This is his soul mate—period and end of story. How many of us can say that? But Isaac also is clearly different than his father Abraham. Whereas Abraham regretfully sent Ishmael away and seems to have moved on from that point with little consideration for that part of the family afterwards, Isaac stands apart as a man and leader who wants to check in on his step-mom and half-brother. The text is also as seemingly “quiet” about the low key way it mentions these facts. Isaac “settles in Gerar” or he “lives in Beer ha Laroi” but never “Isaac was checking in on the abandoned part of his family in the regions of Gerar and Beer ha Laroi”. Maybe that’s because Isaac wanted it that way perhaps. Isaac is in fact so subtle that we have determine his deeds not from the direct references of them, but the effect those deeds had on other events in Genesis. Again, the Torah doesn’t trumpet this, but maybe it should. Isaac could have settled anywhere…but chose


this particular region because he had a long-term agenda—one of reconcilement I believe—and this was step 1 in carrying that agenda out. One need only look at Ishmael to see the effects of Isaac’s planning. After all, the Torah is quite vocal about Ishmael being a “wild ass of a man” who “fights with his brothers” but for whatever reason, it never says he fought specifically with Isaac! Isn’t that interesting? But then, Ishmael becomes an archer and marries a pagan Egyptian woman, which would further separate him from his Abrahamic ties and put him more in the direction of his mother’s ancestry. Isaac, for his part, could have written Ishmael off for that very reason…but he didn’t. Instead, he seems to have just set up his tents next door to Hagar and Ishmael and waited. It is, if I am reading between the lines correctly, a brilliant strategy. Isaac probably knows that Hagar and Ishmael have ongoing resentments against his parents, Abraham and Sarah. Rather than try to “go around” his parent’s wishes however, Isaac simply waits for them to die and then he conveniently makes himself available for his estranged relations to see if they will contact him. When Abraham then at last dies at age 175—and this is 33 years after his mother Sarah died—next thing we know this happens:

These are all the years of Abraham's life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. 9 Then 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, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife. 11 It came about after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac lived by Beer-lahai-roi. (Genesis 25:7-11 NAU) So after Isaac gets his brother Ishmael to help him bury their father, Isaac is “blessed” by Abba YHWH and (coincidentally?) the first thing Isaac does is relocate to where Ishmael is. In this light, the intent seems clear: Isaac had just re-connected with his brother after many years and he wants to be accessible to him moving forward. Good move for Isaac! But, as good as Isaac’s intentions were, we also know that he failed, but not for lack of trying on his part. Ishmael, for whatever reason, did not reciprocate the olive branch given to him by his brother. Now some of you out there may say “Of course, for such was prophesied” but that sort of misses the point. It may have been predicted, but Isaac still acted as if there was a chance to change history for the better. He didn’t throw up his hands in disgust, nor does he appeared to have expressed frustration when his efforts ultimately proved fruitless. For


Isaac, I believe, it was enough that he made the effort and did his best. It’s a powerful lesson, but also a very quiet one. 1) Haftorah portion: (English- 1 Kings 1:1-31) and discuss common themes with the Torah portion. Read entire portion first.

Vehamelech David zaken ba bayamim vayechasuhu babegadim velo yicham lo. Vayomeru lo avadav yevakshu l'adoni hamelech na'arah vetulah ve'amdah lifney hamelech utehi-lo sochenet veshachvah vecheykecha vecham l'adoni hamelech. Vayevakshu na'arah yafah bechol gevul Yisra'el vayimtse'u etAvishag haShunamit vayavi'u otah lamelech.
2) Our linguistic commentary… NAARAH…BEYTULA (1:2) = maiden…virgin. The same linkage we discussed with respect to Rebecca as both almah and virgin applies here. ABISHAG (1:3) = The woman who comforts David has a name that means “My father is a wanderer”. Perhaps this may refer to latter years of David’s life where he feels isolated because of the sin he committed against Uriah the Hittite. BTW “Uriah” means “My light is Yahweh”—not a good choice for David to kill! VEHAMALECH LO YEDA’AH (1:4) = but the king did not know (have sexual relations) with her. VADONYA VEN CHAGIT (1:5) = and Adonijah son of Chagit. The names come together to mean “My Master is Yah (who is) joyous”. Chagit is where we get “chag” (feast/festival). YOAB…AVYATHAR (1:7) = Joab…Abiathar. The names mean together “Yah is Father (Joab) the Father is a Great One (Abiathar)”! ZADOK…BENAIAH…YEHOIDA (1:8) = These names spell out: Righteousness (Zadok) Yahweh has built up (Benaiah) [and] Yahweh knows (Yehoida)”! EVEN HA ZOCHELET (1:9) = The stone of Saturn! I was surprised too…here is what Brown Driver Briggs said: 2594 ‫לת‬ ֶ ‫ֹח‬ ֶֶ֫ ‫[ ז‬2595] (Hebrew) (page 267) (Strong
2120) † ‫לת‬ ֶ ‫ֹח‬ ֶֶ֫ ‫ ז‬n.f. mng. dub.; perh. crawling thing, serpent (We:Skizzen iii. 171 cites Ar. Zuhéal = Saturn, in connex. with 1 K 1:9; cf. Lane & Wetzst in De:Hiob 2, 428 on view that


Zuhéal = he who withdraws, because of planet Saturn's remoteness)—only c. art., in design. loc. ‫עם‬ ִ

‫לת‬ ָ ‫ֹח‬ ֶ ‫הז‬ ַ ‫בן‬ ֶ‫א‬ ֶ 1 K 1:9


‫בן‬ ֶ‫א‬ ֶ ad fin.)

3) Renewed Covenant portion: (English). Matthew 8:19-22 and Luke 9:37-62 (all the way through with applicable footnotes.) Matthew 8:22 100) George Lamsa suggested this could mean, "let the town bury their dead." In Jewish culture immediate family members observe a seven day bereavement called "shivah" (seven), right after the burial. This extends into a less intense duration called shloshim (thirty) where the mourner begins to return back into society. Additionally, there is a 12 month period (that includes shloshim) in which to return to one's regular routine. The 12 month period comes from an ancient Jewish custom where at the end of 12 months the bones are "gathered together" and placed into a stone vault along with those of ancestors (1Ki_13:31). Y'shua says, "leave the dead to bury their dead" because the importance of attendance is now diminished. This does not refer to burial or sitting shivah. Mashiyach is not asking his disciple to dishonor his father or mother by not allowing him to attend the burial. "Honor your father and mother..." (Exo_20:12). Luke 9:41 63) Or, "O tribe/family of mine!" 64) The root of this word, sebar, also means Hope/Good News. Y'shua's point, using this same word, is that until people know the Hope/Good News, he must "endure" seeing them suffer needlessly and in ignorance. Luke 9:49 65) Khabouris has shaida whereas 1905 and other Peshitta manuscripts have dewa. This proves both words have interchangeable meanings in the same contextual place, that of "demon" or "unclean spirit." This reading in the ancient record affirms the literal rendering and denies the assertion by a few modern commentators like Lamsa that one of these terms could refer to insane humans not under demonic influence. Luke 9:54 66) Y'shua's talmidim take their lead from Eliyahu who defied the priests of Baal by invoking and declaring the sovereign Name of YHWH; see 2Ki_1:9-16. Luke 9:60 67) Some scholars postulate that "let the dead bury their dead" shouldn't be taken


literally but is better understood as, "let me take care of my father until he dies." However, a key is in the next line where Y'shua responds: "but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of Elohim." Therefore Y'shua's statement "let the dead bury their dead", helps the man realize the supreme importance of the Kingdom. In the meantime the man would be proclaiming the Kingdom, and perhaps like some other "Sent Out ones" of Y'shua, even he may have been raising the dead! In the next chapter (Luk_10:2) Y'shua appointed 70 and sent them out "to all regions and cities that he was about to go." A second key is the urgency in which the man is making his request, with a promise to return and follow at a later date. Y'shua's disciples had just left a "village of the Samaritans" where they were getting ready to call down fire upon it. They just came from a major trial and were on the road to their next destination when they met the man and there was tension in the air. What might happen in the next village? In Luk_9:61 another said, "let me go and reassure my household and I will come." All these things happened in the context of returning "to Urishlim" (Luk_9:51), perhaps some were even pondering about trouble ahead with the religious establishment in Jerusalem? Perhaps some were simply thinking of creative ways to bypass what they imagined to be a looming disaster? The reality was that those who agreed and said "hineni" (here I am) and went out in Y'shua's name returned to him with "great joy" (Luk_10:17). (See also Mat_8:22 footnote.) 4) Highlight common themes in Aramaic (terms in footnotes which I will read): 5) Apply these themes/issues to modern issues in the Netzari faith. (The Gospel accounts of spiritual warfare may seem quaint to some moderns. Aramaicist George Lamsa, for example, typically translated Aramaic words that clearly meant “demons” or “devils” into “lunatics” because he didn’t literally believe in the existence of demons. That was one of the first reasons I was inspired to do the AENT. In any case, I am here to tell you that spiritual warfare is VERY REAL and it is not something that is simply folklore passed down from pre-scientific generations. It was something, for example, that was very evident in my trip to Israel, as the Enemy came against each and every one of our party to frustrate our goals. HaSatan nearly succeeded, but we fought back and got the victory anyway, Baruch Hashem YHWH!) 6) Relate to all or part of an Appendix portion of AENT or footnotes from a portion (“Spiritual Armor”, p. 957-962). STUDY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED NEXT WEEK 1) There is something very particular about Abraham’s personal life that he only shares with one other person (as far as I know) in Tanakh. What is that personal detail and who is the other person Abraham shares it with? 2) If you know the answer to #1, how does this detail get developed in the teaching of the Apostle Paul?


3) Why did Abraham insist on getting a wife for his son Isaac from his original country of Ur rather than the Promised Land of Canaan? Wouldn’t Abba YHWH want Abraham to put down roots in the land that was go to his descendants forever? 4) Laban does something in this parsha that has very likely been condemned by his descendants for thousands of years since, right up until the present day. What is it? 5) What does this Haftorah portion teach us about David and Bathsheba in their twilight years? Torah Thought for the Week: What Today’s CEOs and Bankers Could Learn from Abraham We usually think of Abraham as a great prophet, a man of Elohim and as a man of righteousness—surely all these things are true—but Abraham the Entrepreneur? Abraham the CEO? Yes actually. Abraham comes down to us as a very gifted leader. And, while the spiritual aspects of that leadership are critical to us, I think what often gets lost is how good a manager, employer and investor Abraham was. I want to do this in particular because this is the Torah portion Abraham dies and leaves the stage of history, so let’s TAKE STOCK (pun intended) of ALL the great attributes of this man, especially since I kind of “ragged” on him last week with his big mistake. So Abe (may I call you Abe?), here’s my way of making it up to you. The first great attribute of a gifted financial leader is being proactive, or nipping small problems in the bud before they become massively costly. Abraham shows this gift over and over again. In Lech Lecha he corrects a dispute with Lot before it gets out of control. When word reaches him that Lot’s workers and his are clashing over land, Abraham humbles himself before his subordinate. Specifically, Abraham in no way needs to give Lot an inch of land. Abraham is the absolute tribal authority and until Isaac is born not one scrap of Canaan has to pass from him. Understanding all that, why does Abraham—not only give land away to Lot for free—but even lets Lot choose the land he will take? Absolutely stunning! The answer is, of course, to avoid even greater (and more expensive) problems down the road. By giving Lot the choice, Lot takes ownership of his own territory and separates from Abraham, making it crystal clear to all parties who is in charge of what. So what could have turned into intertribal warfare is settled up front for a pretty small piece of real estate. Score 1 for Abraham!


Next great attribute: Knowing when to aggressively negotiate and when to stop. In Genesis 18, Abraham does the unthinkable: He bargains with YHWH. How Abraham does this is in itself a great case study in negotiation tactics, even if it is Yahweh Himself sitting at the other end of the proverbial table. First Abraham does what we call in the sales trade (yes I was in sales) FAB or “FeatureAdvantage-Benefit”. Here is what he says: Abraham came near and said, "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth 2deal justly?" (Gen 18:23-25 NAU) So the FEATURE is: There COULD be 50 righteous people in Sodom that can be spared by saving the whole city! The ADVANTAGE is: You won’t slay the righteous with the wicked! Yay! The BENEFIT is: All will know you deal justly and make a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked. RESULT: Abraham works YHWH down from sparing the city for 50 righteous all the way down to 10, INCLUDING Lot and his family. Pretty effective pitch I’d say. In fact, it is so effective that Moshe will use a very similar argument to get YHWH not extinguish Israel—TWICE. But once Abraham gets YHWH down to 10, he knows he can’t go further than that. He knows that YHWH is determined already that Sodom is doomed and there is no point trying to remit the destruction of those who are deserving, so the negotiations end from a point of strength for both sides, and any business expert will tell you that’s the way to go. (I know because I have read just about every sales/negotiation book known to man. I had to, which is why I got out of sales!) Okay, two down. Great attribute #3: Abraham looks ahead of the short term gain. Sometimes a windfall comes your way and you might be tempted to take it, but you shouldn’t, because the long term risk exceeds the short term gain. When Sarah dies and Abraham is of course grief stricken, he is still able to keep his head and make careful judgments on the gifts he receives. Ephron the Hittite wants to give Abraham Macphelah for free. Perhaps this is because Ephron calls Abraham “a mighty prince among us” and it will be good PR to have Abraham’s family plot in his territory.


But what may be good for Ephron is not good for Abraham, because Abraham knows if he doesn’t PAY for the land AND sign a contract for it, Ephron’s descendants may dispute the claim. So they sign on the bottom line, as they SHOULD have. Finally, even though many rabbis believe Abraham got gouged for the price of the cave, I still think in the end it was a small price for Abraham to pay out of his vast fortune to prevent costs from future litigation or even a land war. The sons of Heth—Heth-ites— are actually the forbears of warrior people we call the Hittites. Considering what happens in later history, this is a good investment! Another thing with respect to Ephron and Abimelech, great attribute #4: The first person who names the price LOSES. In particular with Abimelech, Abraham doesn’t set the price of praying for him. Rather, he lets Abimelech’s own fear dictate the price, and does very well as a result…more than making up for the cost of Machpelah. And finally, Abraham practices humility when dealing with powerful people or those below him. As a result, he always impresses his negotiation counterparts with his wisdom and grace. Since they know they can trust Abraham they give him lots of cash when they need to. Translation: People by from whom they LIKE and people LIKE those they can TRUST. Do today’s financial leaders, bankers and CEOs understand these things? I’m no economist—my Dad of blessed memory was the finance genius in the family—but I would say no. If the current stewards of our economy were really paying attention a few years back, none of these economic woes we are under would have happened. Abraham simply wouldn’t have stood for it. I’m Andrew Gabriel Roth and that’s your Torah Thought for the Week! Next week we will be exploring Toldot or Genesis 25:19-28:9. Our Haftorah portion will be Malachi 1:1-2:7 and our Renewed Covenant reading will be from Romans 9:6-16. Stay tuned!