Torah Pearls #6 – Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)God’s desire and ability to establish a universal and eternal plan within three generations of a mere human family comes to the forefront. Discussions include: Are three related nations depicted among these generations? What is the symbolic significance of Isaac’s wells? Word studies include: “red,” “heel,” “trembled,” and how the KJV back-tracked to render a personified view of “satan.” We see familial patterns continue as Isaac echoes, “she’s my sister,” and Rebecca steps away from the daily grind to “seek Yehovah.”  The trio explores Jacob and Esau’s differences—a shepherd with a plan and a hunter in the moment—as well as the defining difference that altered their destinies. As Jacob sets off with the double portion, God’s mixed-multitude plan is set in motion—a plan to bring his covenant to all mankind. Jeannette wrote: “The discussion was amazing as usual. So many good Torah pearls today.”

I look forward to reading your comments!

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19 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #6 – Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

  1. Sarah handled the same problem directly: she told Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael, and God backed her up, telling Abraham to listen to Sarah. Did Rebecca do the same to no avail? Did she try to convince Isaac which of the 2 should receive the blessing? And remember Esau sold and despised his birthright long before this incident. Other incidents of deception include Rachab in the city of Jerico lying to hide the spies, and she was “punished” by being not only spared, but marrying into Israel and being a forebear of David and the Messiah…same for Tamar Judah’s daughter-in-law. She lied in order to get pregnant by Judah and she also thus became part of Messiah’s ancestral family tree. So this is not the only time deception occurs to further the agenda of the purpose of the Jewish people and nation. But does leave much to wonder, ponder and pray about.

  2. The understanding of the spiritual side of the blessing to Isaac, the passing on of the Covenant! I shouted Amen! Thanks, Nehemia!

  3. Nehemia, a 3-year old can’t water camels, haul that much water…. just for starters. This idea is just whacked!! just saying….

  4. This is a great Parashah as it reveals the family dynamic of sibling rivalry. Are not many causes for such rivalry is one child positing that they are somehow more highly esteemed of their parents ? ie; The classic play on this notion by the T.V. weekly show in the Sixties, ” The Smother’s Brothers Show ” where Dick, the older brother, is always telling Tommy, the younger brother, he is the “favored one”. That being said, I always figured into the deception used by Rivkah and Ya’acov to shrewdly acquire the blessing to be the result of the prophecy that Rivkah held in her heart concerning the ” older serving the younger”. Taking Rivkah’s remembrance of that prophecy, as a mother, she would be watching for evidence as her sons grew to substantiate why/how this would come to pass. Surely Rivkah understood the significance of her culture’s views on such matters.

    I see Genesis 26:34,35 as being one of the major revelations concerning Esav that Rivkah recognized as a precedent for her need to promote the younger son. Perhaps Rivkah was more realistic in understanding the ” Why” of the “older vs younger” with her sons, than Yitz’chak. Knowing that Esav’s bloodline would be contaminated by the Hitti women he married was a final straw. Rivkah was no dummy and she recognized Esav’s “MIXING” to be a curse. Hence, ” But they became ( Hitti wives of Esav) a cause of embitterment of spirit to Yitz’chak and Rivkah.” Surely Rivkah saw Esav’s mixing and his ongoing alliance with his neighbor- Uncle Yishmael, to be a threat for the family’s future and Rivkah’s need to guard the covenant.

    The notion of lying being acceptable under certain circumstances is quite interesting. In the movie, ” Jacob the Liar “, we see this play out as lying was a tool for giving HOPE to the Jews in the ghetto of Lodz, Poland during WW2. So, does the “spirit of the Law” take precedence over the ” letter of the Law” in difficult circumstances ? Is not the goal of Torah, LIFE ? Is TRUTH limited by human behaviors ? To a Catholic, would a Mortal Sin ever take a back seat to a Venial Sin ? The answer I will leave with Yehovah, but I will say, based on Jacob’s life after the deception, the goal was accomplished but the path to attain that goal was plotted with Jacob having to deal with deception repeatedly. I believe the bottom line is arrived at in this Parashah with Yehovah once again having to work His will through the limited capacity of a FALLEN humanity. To me, that is the awesomeness of Yehovah’s grace.

  5. I love the balance that all the parties involved in the discussion that I get to listen to each week. Thank you for doing the Torah Pearls and Prophet Pearls as well as your other teachings on line.

    It’s very rare that I disagree with what I hear but I have to disagree with Keith’s comment that Jacob was a mama’s boy. It is my understanding from studying in one of the chumash commentaries that a tent dweller was a student of the Torah. It makes sense that Jacob, “living in tents,” was learning Torah from his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac. NO WHERE does it state that Jacob was dwelling in the tent with his mother. That’s an assumption.

    Isaac loved Esau, Rivka loved Jacob. Could it be that this means that Isaac was loyal to Esau and Rivka was more loyal to Jacob?

    Was Jacob really deceptive to his father to get the blessing? Yes, but as a student of the Torah, I believe that Jacob knew what would happen if Esau would have received the birthright and the blessing. Is lying always wrong? That’s a tough question. If I was an anti-nazi hiding Jews in Germany during the Holocaust and the nazis came to my door and asked if there were any Jews in my house, what am I going to say? Absolutely not! It would be a lie. But what did that lie do? It preserved life and LIFE trumps the Torah. If Esau, who was out of covenant, where would that have left the covenant of Abraham and Isaac? Jacob’s deception was justifiable (at least to me) but he also reaped what he sowed when he had to deal with Laban.

    I am open to instruction if I’m wrong. Don’t believe anything that I write, but verify it. Let me know if I need to be corrected.

  6. Do you suppose Jacob says ‘Yehovah your Elohim caused it’ because it was necessary part of the deception? Esau had pagan wives and probably mixed religions, if he regarded any god at all. So, if Jacob is going to convince Dad that he is Esau, he would have to say something Esau would say. Yehovah is Jacob’s God, but likely not Esau’s.

    • Hi, Kevin! I think you are on to something regarding Esau. Esau was not in covenant because Yehovah said not to take wives from the land of Canaan, yet that is exactly what Esau did. In Isaac’s physical blindness, is he also spiritually blind to Esau’s doings? We all want what is best for our kids…I’ve overlooked things in my children’s actions as “learning curves.”

  7. Listened to this on Truth2U a while back but have been going over it again and was reading in Jeremiah 9:4, interesting. What do you think of it Nehemiah? Looks like it is saying do not trust brother and he will grab the heel.

  8. Nehemiah, I have listened to you for several years and read your writings. I have done so because there was/is a rare honesty that I found in what you wrote and spoke concerning the scriptures. I have learned a great deal from your expounding of the Hebrew scriptures. I sincerely thank you for returning to your work after what I feared would be a permanent hiatus. But in listening to your apologetic for Jacob’s words and deeds… for the first time I feel must ask the following questions:

    1. Your apologetic would suggest that the Great Creator must use lies, dishonoring one’s human parent, and using covet means in order to accomplish His will. Is this what you believe? Is it okay to break the Torah because of what Rebecca was told about the younger serving the older? Do you mean the Great Creator made eternal laws as the very foundation of the universe but if in fulfilling a promise made say to your Grandfather, it allows you to break all of His laws and make a mockery of them? Is your god (I say in jest) one who must “cause” humans to break all his commands, in order to work out His will to bless them? We both know the blessings come from being in harmony and the curses are for breaking these governing principles as clearly noted in Deuteronomy.

    2. You noted in reading the scripture that Jacob says ‘Yehovah your Elohim caused it’, when replying to Isaac. This at best is a manipulation of truth, for Jacob unless an imbecile, understood what his Dad was asking — Jacob’s intent was to not get caught in the deception he and his mother were perpetrating. The eternal and immutable principle of ‘do not lie’ was a lesson Jacob would have driven home not only with Laban but with his own sons who would dishonor him, causing years of grief by their betrayal of covet means and deceit. Or once again is the only way Joseph could have ascended to save millions from famine is by the murderous intentions of his brothers, followed by betrayal and deceit? Do you believe that God caused these men to break these principles? What does that do to the immutable principles of the Great Creator, if He makes you break them, then certainly how can He require them and even tell you there are penalties for breaking them… where is the logic?

    3. What does the Torah say regarding liars? The child who would dishonor his Dad with lies and in doing so use the name of Yehovah to further his deception? Under the law of Moses what should have been his end?

    4. I heard you take the Rabbis to task in regards to their handling of the story of David’s adultery and your realization that David was a sinner. Adultery was not the only law under which David would suffer physical penalties throughout his life. Do you think that your apologetic in this particular case is in the same spirit as Rabbinic traditions?

    The concept of ‘it is okay for the chosen (whoever they believe themselves to be) to sin in order to work out the Great Creator’s will’ is one put forward by many human philosophers for millennia. Relativism and situational ethics have long been the plague and scourge of mankind, and as such the Bible is replete with examples where humans justified their means because of the ends.

    You have reached out to people in so many walks of life, being a light by expounding the Ezekiel message that all people are a part of the Great Creator’s plan if they want to learn to live by His immutable principles that are to govern our interactions with Him and others. He put foundations in place to govern His creation and to break them is to set in motion ’cause and effect’ from which no human is exempt in their physical lives as evidenced over and over in the Hebrew Bible.

    I hope you will continue to use your understanding of Hebrew and your search for TRUTH to shed a light on the difference between opinion, traditions, and beliefs of men from what can actually be gleaned from the ancient texts.

  9. yeah, y’all got that right, should have edited out that stupid comment/stuyote about ONLY in Alabama – people being incestuous inbreds. hehehehehhhhhhhhhhhee a trio of nervous giggles & snickering, so that was your own gut sign that you were way out of line. It sort of ruined listening to the rest of the teaching for me, as my mother’s family were all from Alabama, and I spent half my life there.
    Excuse me, but didn’t Abraham marry his half-sister? What is THAT?

  10. I don’t think Revkah was worried about a curse she remembered (Zahar) what Yehovah had promised the elder shall serve the younger.

  11. Thank you Gordon, Keith and Jono for a very interesting discussion of Parashat Toldot. Afterwards, I was reading Malachi, and especially 1:1-5 in light of the very interesting point about the common understanding of the meaning of “Edom” that Gordon described. (1) was this meaning of Edom also true at the time of Malachi? (2) I am sure that you are aware that 1:4 “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins” was quoted many times in association with the Sept-11 destruction of the twin towers. Do you think “the wicked territory” applies to the US or to all the gentile controlled world?

    Blessings to you all for your work of sharing with us.

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