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Parashat Toldot

Updated on November 18, 2017


Yitzhak has married his beloved Rebekah, and after twenty years of marriage, they are blessed with a pregnancy. Rebekah, though, has difficulty in pregnancy because the “babies jostled each other within her” (25:22). When Rebekah sought Adonai for a reason for her difficulty, He said, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (25:23).

The first child, a son, born is Esau (being very red-skinned), meaning, “hairy” or “famous bearer”. Esau becomes a “skillful hunter, a man of the open country” (25:27).

The second child, also a son is born grasping the heel of his older brother. Ya’akov (Jacob), meaning, “heel catcher” or “supplanter”, and he is more “content to stay at home among the tents” (25:27).

As Yitzhak more favors Esau so does Rebekah more favor Ya’akov.

After a day of hunting, Esau returns home in a state of hunger and asks Ya’akov for some of Ya’akov’s red stew (25:30). And, from that time on, Esau is known as Edom, “red”, either in reference to Esau being a hunter of the “red” earth, Esau’s reddish skin coloring and red hair, or even a reference to the red of Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) from whence man was formed of the [red] dust of the Earth. Esau relinquishes his birthright to Ya’akov for a bowl of Ya’akov’s [reddish]-colored-lentil stew and a piece of bread (25:31).

A famine covers the land and Yitzhak presents himself to King Abimelech of Gerar, king of the Philistines. As his father had done before him, Yishak told his wife to say she was his sister, because his wife was so beautiful and Yitzhak feared, as his father had previously feared, that his wife would be forcibly taken from him and he would be harmed himself. When the king finds out that Rebekah is Yitzhak’s wife, he commanded that Yitzhak and his wife not be harmed upon penalty of death. And Yitzhak’s wealth increased “a hundredfold” (26:12) as Adonai continued to bless him.

Esau then marries two Hittite women- Y’hudit (Judith), daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. This becomes a source of contention between Esau and his parents.

Yitzhak grows old and can no longer see. He knows his appointed time is nearly come and beckons his son, Esau, to prepare him his favorite dish of wild game, which Esau has done for him always. Rebekah is listening to the discussion between her husband and son and decides that it shall be Ya’akov who is to be blessed. She and Ya’akov scheme by having Ya’akov dress in his brother's clothing and dressing his hands and neck with goatskins. Rebekah prepared some goat meat in the way she knows Yitzhak likes, and Ya’akov presents himself to his father as his brother.

Yitzhak accepts Ya’akov as Esau- Ya’akov and his mother have done a good job disguising him as Esau -and blessed him with the blessing and rights of the firstborn son. “Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Adonai has blessed. Elohim give you of the dew of the sky, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine. Let people serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you.” (27:27-29).

Esau returns home from hunting up some of his father’s favorite game and cooks it up for his father. He takes his father’s favorite dishes into his father’s tent and there it is revealed that his father has already blessed Ya’akov whom he thought was Esau. Esau begins weeping uncontrollably, begging his father to bless him also. Yitzhak finally says, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of Heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.” (27:39-40). And the grudge between older and younger brother grows even more. Esau planned Ya’akov’s death, which would have to wait until Yitzhak’s passing and burial.

When Rebekah heard tell of Esau’s plan to kill Ya’akov, she wants to send Ya’akov to her brother’s (Laban) land in Harran where he will be safe. Rebekah tells Yitzhak that Ya’akov must not marry a Hittite woman like his brother did, and Yitzhak sends Ya’akov to his Rebekah’s family to find a suitable wife, and, again, blesses his son, “May El-Gibbor bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of people. May He give you and your descendants the blessing given to Avraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land Elohim gave to Avraham.” (28:4).

Esau hears about how Ya’akov was blessed, yet again, and was sent to find a wife of noble character, not a wife of the Hittites as He himself had done, and was filled with even more rage as he begins to understand just how detestable his marriages are to his parents. Esau marries a third woman, Machalat, who is the wife of his uncle, Ishmael.

What does this mean for Believer's today?

If you noticed, Esau’s third wife is the daughter of Ishmael, his uncle- the brother of his father (Yitzhak) and also the son of his grandfather (Avraham).

Sarah, in her impatience for the heir of promise to be born to her husband, Avraham, convinced Avraham to marry her servant, Hagar, in order that Avraham would conceive a child, a son, who would be his heir. Sarah, in essence, “jumped the gun”. Sarah took Elohim’s divine plan and tried to help it along. Ishmael was born but was not the heir of promise. After Yitzhak, the heir of promise was born to Avraham and Sarah, Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away due to conflict. Ishmael was the first born, but Yitzhak was the recipient of the divine blessing.

Like her mother-in-love (law), Rebekah thought she would help the divine plan by her own actions. Scheming to have Ya’akov get the blessing that was Esau’s. But, Elohim had already blessed Ya’akov when he wrestled with his brother in his mother’s womb. And, had, Rebekah remembered that conversation between her and Elohim, she would have realized that no inheritance from Yitzhak to Esau could have ever compared to the blessing given Elohim had already given to Ya’akov. And, now there is conflict.

Do you find yourself in a state of impatience? Have you been given a divine promise, and have you taken it upon yourself to see your divine promise “helped along”?

We need to do less helping Elohim do His job and more standing in patience and letting Elohim fulfill all that He has promised. He has never once failed in a promise, and I guarantee you, because I know, he will never fail in a promise.

A Personal [Emotional] Testimony

Most of you know I am previously [twice] divorced. My second divorce was a bit hard, not just for me but for him as well. And, for the four children of our union. I am not going to go into all the personal details of the marriage and divorce; but, I can tell you that the situation, already “hairy”, became “hairier”. There were trust issues, not so much between him and me, but between my children and me. Specifically my daughter, Taysa. She was five years old when her father and I divorced, and she knew most of everything, more so than her three siblings. For me, I always wanted to stay on his “good side”. I thought, in some perverted way that if I stayed on his good side, it would be better for the kids. Every time Taysa divulged something to me, I would speak to her father about it, especially if I thought it was “wrong” or would somehow be harmful. What I was really doing was gaining Taysa’s mis-trust. It got to the point where Taysa refused to visit with me or even talk to me on the telephone. She told me, “Mom, I just can’t trust you.” My “good intentions” was really about me. And, I didn’t know what to do. I talked to my mom about it; she told me to pray about it. Let me tell you, I didn’t want to pray. I needed to act, and I needed to act N.O.W. In the end, I prayed.

And, I prayed.

And, I prayed.

And, on and on. And, I still felt like I needed to do something. I just couldn’t let Taysa slip away from me. My relationship with her was too important to me.

Then, I really started to pray. I started being honest with YHVH, and I started being honest with myself. I told YHVH my fears and my worries. I spoke to YHVH with an open and honest heart, bearing everything to Him.

One night, he gave me a dream while I slept. I dreamed that I was with Mark at some grand party. It must have been an anniversary party because Mark and I were the guests of honor. In my dream, all my children- Melissa, Adam, Taysa, Caleb, Breanna, Michaela, Jackson, and Alana -were grown and had children, even grandchildren of their own. As each of my children came up to me and Mark to hug us and give us congratulations, Taysa, too, hugged me tight and told me how much she loved me.

When I woke up the next morning, I prayed, and I asked YHVH what my dream could have meant. And, He told me, “My promise is relationship restoration.” YHVH had given me a promise that Taysa and I would reunite and rekindle our mother/daughter relationship, and this relationship would grow beyond the two of us.

I’ll tell you what; I wanted that promise to happen right then. But, I knew I would have some waiting to do. I’m not the most patient person in the world, even if I am learning more patience as the days come and go. I waited and I waited. And nothing happened. I would often text Taysa but would have to catch myself about asking about our relationship. Oh, but I wanted to. And, I waited and I waited. But, oh how I wanted to help YHVH make his promise fulfilled.

Today, Taysa and I are in the best place we have ever been! Praise Adonai!

Through [learned] patience, through enduring not knowing what would happen, through my persistence in reminding YHVH- not that he needed reminding but that I needed reminding -He has fulfilled His promise of relationship restoration.

Scripture Verses

1 Corinthians 16:13--”Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong!”

Ya’akovos (James) 5:8--”You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of Adonai is at hand.”


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