Gen 23:1–25:18 Chayei Sarah (A Gospel Oriented Torah Study)

This is a gospel-oriented Torah study guide. Our goal is to connect the good news of Yeshua the Messiah (the gospel message) to its Hebraic, pro-Torah roots or foundations. The information given here is more than head knowledge. Understanding and wisdom (the right application of knowledge that is based on truth) is taught thus making biblical truth practical, relevant and applicable to your daily life. The truths of the Bible not only have the power to transform your life here and now for the better, but eventually to take you past the veil of death and into eternity.

This Torah study is subdivided in sections by topic in a magazine format thus making it easy to watch at several sittings.

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Another Appearance of the Pre-Incarnate Yeshua in the Torah


YHVH Appears to Abraham and Sarah and Promises Them a Son

1 And YHVH appeared [ra’ah, which is the common Hebrew word meaning “see, look, behold, show, appear, observe, have vision, present oneself, be seen”] unto [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 8 And [Abraham] took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they [i.e. YHVH and the two other malakim/heavenly messengers] did eat. 13 And YHVH said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for YHVH? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. 33 And YHVH went his way, as soon as he had left communing [rcs, the common Hebrew word meaning speak, say, talk, promise, tell, pronounce, utter, command] with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

In this passage of Scripture, we find YHVH appearing in visible form to Abraham (verse 1), most likely eating a meal with Abraham (verse 8), conversing with Abraham and Sarah (verse 13–14), and having an ongoing discussion with Abraham over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 16ff), and finally leaving Abraham after this lengthy time of communing or conversing with Abraham (verse 33).

The literal or peshat meaning of this scripture passage should be very clear. There are no hidden meanings, no metaphors or symbolisms. There is no allegorical language. It is simple historical narrative of the events that occurred. The writer presents it in a literal, matter-of-fact manner. Nothing could be more straight forward. YHVH appears to Abraham in some “diminished,” less potent form that humans can physically endure, he interacts at length with them through the partaking of a meal and conversation. But to Continue reading


Who Was Sarah?


Sarah—A Great Woman of Faith

Sarah was very beautiful in character and physical appearance, since the two are related (Gen 12:10–20). A person with an ugly, angry, bitter disposition will not have a beautiful, attractive countenance.

At age 90 she was still youthfully beautiful, or else why would King Abimelech have abducted her and wanted to marry her? (Gen 20:2). Sarah was of such honorable character, demeanor and bearing that a king would honor her by wanting to marry her.

Sarah was coequal with Abraham in the covenantal promises. Prior to Gen 17:15-22 the covenant was solely with Abraham. Here Sarah was made an equal party in this covenantal promise. And just as Abraham’s new role was signified by a change of name, so was Sarah’s. The word Sarai, means “my princess,” implying that she owed her greatness to her status as Abraham’s wife. Henceforth she would be called only Sarah, which signifies that she would become a “princess to all the nations of the world.” Prior to the covenant, Sarai’s personal majesty made her the princess of Abraham (and his country Aram). Now, however, all limitations were removed. She was princess “par excellence”—to all mankind (The Stone Edition Chumash, p. 75).

Sarah protected the spiritual atmosphere of her home. She was guarding her righteous son, Isaac, from the profaneness and mockery of the unrighteous Ishmael. She was concerned that Ishmael’s behavior toward Isaac would impede or prevent Isaac from fulfillment of his godly mission. Any relationship with wicked people would have been harmful to Isaac and his children as Abraham recognized when he decided that he could not remain together with Lot. This is why Sarah demanded that Abraham drive Ishmael and Hagar away, and why YHVH ratified Sarah’s righteous request (The Stone Edition Chumash, p. 97, Gen 21:10–11). “Evil conduct corrupts good manner” (1 Cor 15:33).

Sarah was obedient and respectful to her husband, and Paul used her as an example for righteous women to follow.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed [to listen, to hearken to a command, be obedient, to submit to] Abraham, calling him lord [Gr. kurios means “master, sir; a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence”]: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Pet 3:1–7)

Sarah, like Abraham, had faith in Elohim. Behind Abraham, a great man of faith, was Sarah, who was a great woman of faith.

Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. (Heb 11:11–12)


Following YHVH Can Be Tough on Marriages

Genesis 22:19; 23:2, Abraham dwelt at Beersheba…Sarah died in…Hebron. At this point, Abraham and Sarah lived in two separate towns some 50 miles apart. Why was this? The Scriptures don’s say, so we can only speculate. Perhaps the trial of Abraham’s faith in the previous chapter where YHVH asked him to sacrifice Isaac and Abraham’s compliance to do so put such a strain on their marriage that they separated. Perhaps the idea that YHVH would ask Abraham to sacrifice their only son was so hard for Sarah to believe that she questioned whether Abraham had even heard correctly from YHVH about this.

20243059Whatever the case, following YHVH can be tough on marriages and families as Yeshua notes in Matthew 10:34–39. Sometimes families split as a result. Abraham wasn’t unique in his situation.

In Exodus 4:24–26, in all likelihood, Zipporah and Moses split up over YHVH’s request to circumcise their two sons, for we never hear of Zipporah again, except that Moses had sent her away (Exod 18:2). Some Bible scholars take this mean that he put her away or divorced her (likely because of her refusal to follow him onto the mission field). Later, we find Moses remarrying a Cushite woman (who was likely black; Num 12:1).

David had to leave his first wife Michal, the daughter of Saul, because she despised him for dancing before YHVH’s ark of the covenant (2 Sam 6:14–16, 23).

The situation with the prophet Hosea is notable, as well, in this regard. YHVH required him to marry a wife of harlotry as part of his spiritual walk, so that he would better understand the experience of YHVH who was married to the adulterous nation of Israel. Hosea didn’t even know whether the children born to his wife were his own, or those of another man, yet he was to love her unconditionally anyway.

In the apostolic era, we hear virtually nothing about the wives of the apostles. This in no way indicates that their marriages were troubled, but one can only wonder given the rigors of the spiritual assignment YHVH had given them.

Paul is a case in point. He was likely married, since it would have been uncommon for someone of his spiritual stature to not to have been married in the Hebraic culture in which he lived, yet no mention of his wife is made. At the same time, he mentions a thorn in the flesh to buffet him and to keep him humble (2 Cor 12:7). On can only wonder if this isn’t a reference to a difficult marriage situation. Perhaps his wife became antagonistic at his conversion to Yeshua resulting in his leaving the prestigious and affluent life of the religious elite of his day, and counting his past life as dung (Phil 3:8). This may have been too much for her to bear.


A New Spiritual Identity and a New Name

Genesis 11:29, Iscah. According to rabbinical commentary, Iscah is another name for Sarah, Abraham’s wife. It was not uncommon in ancient and Hebraic culture to have more than one name. We find this to be the case in the Scriptures in many instances.

20474058For example, Jethro (Yitro, Exod 3:1), the father-in-law of Moses, was known by two other names: Hobab (Num 10:29; Judg 4:11) and Reuel (Exod 2:18). Sometimes a person’s name would reflect exploits or achievements accomplished in that person’s life, one’s character traits or one’s destiny. Often when one was given a new mission or calling in life a new name was given to that person to reflect their new destiny. Examples of this would be Abram (“exalted father”) becoming Abraham (“father of a multitude”), Sarai (princess) becoming Sarah (“noblewoman, queen”), Jacob (“prevailer, heelcatcher”) becoming Israel (“El prevails, prince of El”), or Hoshea (“savior, deliverer”) becoming Joshua/Yehoshua (“Yah saves/delivers”). It is not uncommon for redeemed believers returning to the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith to take a new name to reflect their new spiritual journey, mission, destiny or identity. Some may think this a strange thing to do, but in Hebraic culture this was a very acceptable practice. Often Elohim did the renaming as in all the examples given above.

Interestingly, YHVH promises a new name as part of their spiritual inheritance to those saints who overcome the world, the flesh and the devil (Rev 2:17; 3:12). Do you have your new name yet?