In this week’s Portion, Tol’dot, we finally arrive at the generations (that’s what Tol’dot means) of Abraham. We have already seen the lengthy generations of Nahor and Ishmael; and will see Esau’s in this Portion. But here Abraham’s generations consists of: Isaac… a pretty short list for one who is called “The Father of Many”!
We see the birth of the twins Jacob and Esau when Isaac was 60 years old. We see these two brothers fighting in Rebekah’s womb and they (and their descendants) have been fighting ever since! All because of the “stolen” birthright – with was actually sold!
When Isaac travels to Gerar, we see an almost identical account of Abraham’s travels to the same place back in chapter 20. It is here that God re-confirms His Covenant with Abraham to Isaac. It is also here that Isaac makes a peace pact with Abimilech.
In Isaac’s old age, he was blind (both physically and spiritually) and at Rebekah’s urging, Jacob deceives Isaac into giving him the blessing of the Firstborn. By this time Esau realizes he shouldn’t have sold his Blessing for a bowl of beans and begs Isaac to bless him. But what’s done is done; the blessing of the Firstborn stays with Jacob (as God had promised).
This enmity between the two brothers drives Jacob back to Mesopotamia, to the land of Abraham’s kin. This is where he chooses his cousin Rachel for a wife and ……. well, that is next week’s Portion!