Chayei Sarah Slides (PDF)
Chayei Sarah Notes (PDF)
This week’s Portion, Chayei Sarah, concludes Abraham’s story. It starts with the Death of Sarah – thus the name of this Portion – and concludes with Abraham’s death.
God had promised Abraham that he would possess the land and he would have descendants. We see them starting to take shape in this Portion. Up to this point Abraham has only dwelled in The Land; he has not actually owned any of it. Upon Sarah’s death, Abraham negotiated with the Sons of Heth to purchase the Cave at Machpelah to bury Sarah. Ultimately, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives will all be buried here.
We saw the start of Abraham’s descendants last week with the birth of Isaac. This week we see the promise of descendants start to take shape with the selection of Rebekah as Isaac’s wife. Abraham sends his servant – unnamed in this Portion, but we know him as Eliezer from chapter 15 – to his family in Ur of the Chaldees. There Eliezer selects Rebekah, Abraham’s niece, and brings her back to Canaan for Isaac.
Abraham lives another 37 years beyond Sarah’s death and marries (or perhaps takes as a concubine) Keturah and has 6 more sons with her. Of the 8 sons that Abraham fathered, God recognizes only Isaac as his son.
The Portion concludes with the death of Abraham and the accounting of the descendants of Ishmael.