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Parashat Chayei Sarah

Updated on November 11, 2017
Genesis 23:1 - Genesis 25:18
Genesis 23:1 - Genesis 25:18

Introduction

Sarah is one hundred twenty-seven (127) years old when she dies. Avraham buries his beloved Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah (23:19), which he has purchased from Ephron the Hittite for four hundred (400) shekels of silver*. (23:16).

Avraham sends his servant, Eliezer, though he is not named in this parashat account, to find a wife for Yitzhak; but, Avraham mandates that Eliezer returns to Avraham’s own people, entreating Eliezer to look beyond Canaan for a wife for Yitzhak. Eliezer takes ten camels of Avraham’s and loads them with a variety of wealth from Avraham’s household, then, with the morning sun, makes his way to the land of Nahor, Avraham’s brother.

As Eliezer approaches the well of Nahor’s city, he stops. The camels kneel, and Eliezer waits until the time when the women of the city come to the well to draw water for their homes. Eliezer prays to Elohim that a sign be given by a woman that Eliezer should know which woman will answer to her divine assignment. Eliezer asks of Elohim that the right woman be the one to offer drink to the camels and to himself.

The daughter of Bethuel, who is the son of Nahor and Milcah, a most beautiful woman, makes an appearance at the well. Eliezer runs to meet her, saying, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.” (23:16), and Rebekah said for him to drink, afterward saying, “I will also draw for your camels.”** (23:18). It is at this time that Eliezer gives to Rebekah a golden ring and two bracelets, and Rebekah runs home to make ready for Eliezer’s visit to her family. Eliezer regales Rebekah’s family, too, with “jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing” (24:53). The next morning, Rebekah acknowledges her divine assignment by saying, “I will go.” (23:58).

Yitzhak is in the field, in the cool of the evening, meditating and praying when he catches sight of movement beyond him. He sees camels approaching and then sees Rebekah. When Eliezer confirmed for Rebekah that it was Yitzhak approaching them, Rebekah covered herself with her veil. Yitzhak marries Rebekah and loves her as his beloved. It is this love that Yitzhak has for Rebekah that Yitzhak is able to bear the burden of the love he has for his mother, Sarah, now deceased.

Avraham himself marries a woman, Keturah, who bears Avraham six other sons; Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah (28:2). And, though they are six sons, Yitzhak is the only heir of promise.

Avraham dies when he is one hundred seventy-five (175) years old and is buried next to his beloved wife Sarah by his sons, Ishmael and Yitzhak.

Rebekah
Rebekah

What does this mean for Believers today?

Rebekah had a divine assignment that YHVH purposed for her to fulfill.

We know that Eliezer was sent to the city of Nahor, but his name is not mentioned in this parashat. This is because this parashat was about the mission that Eliezer was on and not about Eliezer. There was not one moment on this mission that Eliezer drew attention to himself. The mission was about finding a young woman who would acknowledge her own divine mission. And, by Eliezer making himself to be nothing throughout this mission, the authority of Avraham was with him as was the ruling authority of Elohim.

We all have a divine assignment, and each of our divine assignments are the same yet different.

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when Ruach HaKodesh has come upon you. You will be witnesses to Me in Yerushalayim, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the Earth.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “He gave some to be emissaries; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; for the perfecting of the holy ones, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of ha-Meshiach.”

Does your divine assignment engage you as an emissary, a missionary? There are four million (4,000,000) plus missionaries in the world today reaching lives and souls in the one hundred ninety-five (195) countries of this planet.

Does your divine assignment engage you as a prophet? The job of a prophet is to wait in the presence of Elohim to receive a word from Elohim.

Does your divine assignment engage you as an evangelist? An evangelist is a bearer of glad tidings of Yeshua ha-Meshiach.

Does your divine assignment engage you as a shepherd? Shepherds are responsible for the welfare and safety of Yeshua’s flocks.

Does your divine assignment engage you as a teacher? A teacher’s job is to give aid to the pastor, to instruct, coach, or tutor through truth and Truth (Yeshua).

Emissary. Prophet. Evangelist. Shepherd. Teacher.

Ambassador.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of ha-Meshiach, as though Elohim were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of ha-Meshiach, be reconciled to Elohim.”

Eliezer was entreated by his master, Avraham, to seek out a wife for Yitzhak. We are entreated by our Master, the Master, Yeshua ha-Meshiach to seek out and help those who would covenant themselves with Elohim. We are nobodies yet we are somebodies. The mission is not to draw attention to ourselves yet to give glory and honor and praise to Abba and to Yeshua ha-Meshiach.

Interesting Tidbits

*In today’s currency, the field that Avraham purchases at Machpelah where which to bury Sarah, and where he would later be buried, which he purchased for four hundred (400) shekels of silver from Ephron the Hittite, would be worth $1,036,914.

**A single camel can drink as much as thirty (30) gallons of water at one time. Eliezer had ten camels with him, equalling three hundred (300) gallons of water needed. If Rebekah could have carried five (5) gallons from the well each time, it would have taken her sixty (60) draws from the well in order for her to water all ten camels.

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