This weeks reading is from Parashat Chayei Sarah (Bereshit / Genesis 23:1-25:18). This week’s reading is relatively short and may be outlined in the following way, (i) Sarah Abraham’s wife dies (Bereshit / Genesis 23:1-3), (ii) Abraham bargains for a piece of land from the sons of Heth to bury his wife (Bereshit / Genesis 23:4-20), (iii) Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac (Bereshit / Genesis 24:1-4), (iv) Eleazar meets Rebecca at the watering spring (Bereshit / Genesis 24:11-21), (v) Abraham marries Keturah (Bereshit / Genesis 25:1-6), and (vi) Abraham dies (Bereshit / Genesis 25:7-8). It is interesting to note how Abraham acted righteously before the people living in Eretz Canaan, by acting honestly to purchase of a piece of land to bury his wife. We read that Eleazar (אֱלִיעֶזֶר, Bereshit / Genesis 15:2) had faith in the God of Abraham to help him in his task to find a wife for Isaac. The name אֱלִיעֶזֶר consists of two words, אֱלִי meaning “my God” and עֶזֶר meaning “helps;” thus, Eleazar means “my God helps.” Eleazar realized the importance of his name, the God of Abraham is mighty, and will help him in his task to find a wife for Isaac. Eleazar prays saying הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נִצָּב עַל-עֵין הַמָּיִם וְהָיָה הָעַלְמָה הַיֹּצֵאת לִשְׁאֹב וְאָמַרְתִּי אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי-נָא מְעַט-מַיִם מִכַּדֵּךְ “behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, Please let me drink a little water from your jar;” in Bereshit / Genesis 24:43. As a result, God prepared the minds and lives of those involved for the selection of Isaac’s wife and allowed everything to occur in the proper order so that Eleazar would know that he had found God’s choice for Isaac. Can this happen today for those who trust and obey God?
כתבי הקודש / The Holy Scriptures
ספר בראשית פרק כד
מב וָאָבֹא הַיּוֹם אֶל-הָעָיִן וָאֹמַר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵי אֲדֹנִי אַבְרָהָם אִם-יֶשְׁךָ-נָּא מַצְלִיחַ דַּרְכִּי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי הֹלֵךְ עָלֶיהָ: מג הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נִצָּב עַל-עֵין הַמָּיִם וְהָיָה הָעַלְמָה הַיֹּצֵאת לִשְׁאֹב וְאָמַרְתִּי אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי-נָא מְעַט-מַיִם מִכַּדֵּךְ: מד וְאָמְרָה אֵלַי גַּם-אַתָּה שְׁתֵה וְגַם לִגְמַלֶּיךָ אֶשְׁאָב הִוא הָאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר-הֹכִיחַ יְהוָֹה לְבֶן-אֲדֹנִי: מה אֲנִי טֶרֶם אֲכַלֶּה לְדַבֵּר אֶל-לִבִּי וְהִנֵּה רִבְקָה יֹצֵאת וְכַדָּהּ עַל-שִׁכְמָהּ וַתֵּרֶד הָעַיְנָה וַתִּשְׁאָב וָאֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי נָא: מו וַתְּמַהֵר וַתּוֹרֶד כַּדָּהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ וַתֹּאמֶר שְׁתֵה וְגַם-גְּמַלֶּיךָ אַשְׁקֶה וָאֵשְׁתְּ וְגַם הַגְּמַלִּים הִשְׁקָתָה:
Bereshit / Genesis 24:42-46
24:42 ‘So I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; 24:43 behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar’; 24:44 and she will say to me, ‘You drink, and I will draw for your camels also’; let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’ 24:45 ‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew, and I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 24:46 ‘She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’; so I drank, and she watered the camels also. (NASB)
Abraham made Eleazar swear never to take his son Isaac back to the land he had come from, and not to take a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites (וְאַשְׁבִּיעֲךָ בַּיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וֵאלֹהֵי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תִקַּח אִשָּׁה לִבְנִי מִבְּנוֹת הַכְּנַעֲנִי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי יוֹשֵׁב בְּקִרְבּוֹ). When Eleazar arrives at the spring (Bereshit / Genesis 24:13-14) he speaks to the Lord in prayer asking the Lord to help him to find a wife for Isaac in a way that would ensure he would be able to recognize the woman that God has chosen. Eleazar says in Bereshit / Genesis 24:14 וְהָיָה הַנַּעֲרָ אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ הַטִּי-נָא כַדֵּךְ וְאֶשְׁתֶּה וְאָמְרָה שְׁתֵה וְגַם-גְּמַלֶּיךָ אַשְׁקֶה אֹתָהּ הֹכַחְתָּ לְעַבְדְּךָ לְיִצְחָק וּבָהּ אֵדַע כִּי-עָשִֹיתָ חֶסֶד עִם-אֲדֹנִי now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’ may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness (grace, חֶסֶד) to my master.’ (NASB) The phrase וְאָמְרָה שְׁתֵה וְגַם-גְּמַלֶּיךָ “ve’amrah shetah ve’gam-gemaleycha” reveals Eleazar’s faith in the Lord that He (God) that will cause the woman to have the willingness to give water to Eleazar and to all of his camels. Eleazar, throughout his journey and the task that was set before him, trusted in the Lord to ensure that his journey was successful. Do we trust in God with such great faith today? According to these Scriptures, the Lord goes before us and prepares the path ahead so that we will have success. The Scriptures tells us that Eleazar knew of God’s promise into Abraham when he said in Bereshit / Genesis 24:27 (כז וַיֹּאמֶר בָּרוּךְ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵי אֲדֹנִי אַבְרָהָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָזַב חַסְדּוֹ וַאֲמִתּוֹ מֵעִם אֲדֹנִי אָנֹכִי בַּדֶּרֶךְ נָחַנִי יְהֹוָה בֵּית אֲחֵי אֲדֹנִי:, 24:27 He said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, the Lord has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.’ (NASB)) In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, he may have been thinking of Eleazar’s journey and his faith and what the Lord had done for Eleazar, Abraham, and Isaac when he wrote Romans 8:28, saying οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν, 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB) A little bit later Paul also wrote in Romans 12:1 Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ, παραστῆσαι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν θυσίαν ζῶσαν ἁγίαν εὐάρεστον τῷ θεῷ, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν: 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (NASB) He said we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices and that this is our spiritual act of worship. Therefore, the way we live is a spiritual act of worship before the Lord. Based upon these verses from Parashat Chayei Sarah and Paul’s letter to the Romans, it appears that everything that we do is spiritual and has a spiritual impact in our lives. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 shows us the characteristics of God’s love, the Love of God expresses itself outwardly in acts of righteousness. The Scriptures this week speak to us that like Eleazar we too need to remember God’s promises and be willing to serve Him by the offering of ourselves in righteous deeds which is our spiritual act of worship in Yeshua the Messiah. BTT_Parashat Chayei Sarah-2013