Bereisheet (Genesis): Toldot > Ch 25

Abraham takes another wife and has 6 more children. He dies at 175 years of age

  • Abraham took another wife and her name was Keturah. She bore him 6 children (see table below). Abraham gave all that he possessed to Isaac. And to the sons of concubines, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the East. Abraham was 175 years old. He expired and died in a good old age, old and satisfied, and he was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the Cave of Machpelah. G-d blessed his son Isaac, and Isaac dwelt near Be'er Lachai Ro'i.

Ishmael has 12 children, dies at 137 years of age

  • Ishmael had 12 children, twelve princes to their nations (see table below). Ishmael was 137 years old, and he expired and died and was gathered to his people. And they dwelt from Havilah to Shur, which borders on Egypt, going towards Asshur.

Isaac & Rebecca pray to have children and Rebecca gives birth to twins

  • Isaac was 40 years old when he took Rebecca for a wife. And Isaac prayed to the Lord opposite his wife because she was barren, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and Rebecca his wife conceived. The children struggled within Rebecca and she asked G-d why this was happening to her. And the Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two kingdoms will separate from your innards, and one kingdom will become mightier than the other kingdom, and the elder will serve the younger”.

Jacob buys the birthright from Esau

  • Rebecca gave birth to twins. The first one looked like a coat of hair, and they named him Esau. And his brother emerged, and his hand was grasping Esau's heel, and he named him Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old at that time. And the youths grew up, Esau was a hunter, a man of the field, whereas Jacob was an innocent man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he brought food, but Rebecca loved Jacob.
  • Now Jacob cooked a pottage, and Esau came from the field, and he was faint. And Esau said to Jacob, "Pour into [me] some of this red, red [pottage], for I am faint"; he was therefore named Edom. And Jacob said, "Sell me as of this day your birthright." Esau replied, "Behold, I am going to die; so why do I need this birthright?" And Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day"; so he swore to him, and he sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and a pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank and arose and left, and Esau despised the birthright.

Rashi Commentary

  • Ashurim and Letushim the names of the heads of nations (Gen. Rabbah 61:5).
  • And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, etc. Said Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba: Why were Ishmael’s years counted? In order to trace through them the years of Jacob. From the years of Ishmael we learn that Jacob studied in the academy of Eber for fourteen years after he left his father before arriving to Laban, for when Jacob left his father, Ishmael died (Meg. 16b, 17a).
  • and he expired Heb. וַיִגְוַע. [The term] גְוִיעָה is mentioned only regarding the righteous. [B.B. 16b]
  • birthright Since the [sacrificial] service was performed by the firstborn, Jacob said, “This wicked man does not deserve to sacrifice to the Holy One, blessed be He.” - [Gen. Rabbah 63:13]
  • and Esau despised Esau despised the service of the Omnipresent

Research & Analysis
  • Birthright – Isaac was born after Ishmael, and Jacob was born after Esau, yet in each case the righteous one was chosen by G-d to have the greater destiny.
  • Esau was a hunter, a man of the field, whereas Jacob was an innocent man Similarly Ishmael was an archer, but Isaac wasn’t.