TOLDOT (generations)

Birth of Jacob and Esau

Genesis 25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham gave birth to את־ Isaac. C-MATS

Question: Why does the Torah stress that Isaac was the son of Abraham? The Torah stresses that Abraham and Isaac were father and son. The cynics of that generation had been saying that Sarah must have become pregnant by Abimelech, since she and Abraham had been married for many decades without a child, but she had given birth only after being taken by the Philistine king. Therefore יהוה made Isaac’s features so undeniably similar to Abraham’s that even the scoffers had to admit that “it was indeed Abraham who begot Isaac!” (Tanchuma; Rashi). Chumash

Genesis 25:20 Isaac was 40 years old when he took את־ Rebekah as a wife, the daughter of Bethuel, the Syrian of Padan-aram and the אחֹות sister to Laban the Syrian. C-MATS

Question: Did Rebekah keep herself pure while she was in Aram? Although Rebekah’s genealogy was well known, the Torah repeats it to emphasize her praise: Though she was the daughter and sister of wicked men, and she was surrounded by wicked people in Aram, she did not emulate their evil ways (Rashi). Chumash

Genesis 25:21 Isaac prayed to ליהוה for אשְׁתו his wife because she was barren: and יהוה listened to Isaac and Rebekah אשְׁתו his wife conceived. C-MATS

Question: Where did Isaac go to pray? Isaac and his wife rose up and went to the land of Mt. Moriah to pray there and to seek יהוה, and when they had reached that place Isaac stood up and prayed to יהוה on account of his wife. Isaac knew that he would have children because יהוה had promised Abraham his father that he would have many descendants, but he begged יהוה that the blessing be realized though the worthy woman who stood opposite him. (Jasher)

Question: Were all the matriarchs barren? The Matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel were barren. The emergence of Israel is a miracle, for each new generation was a gift of יהוה to a mother who could not have given birth naturally. Their experience is a demonstration of the command that יהוה desires the prayers of the righteous (Yevamos 64a), whose pleas for Heavenly mercy and attempts at self-improvement show how human beings can raise themselves to spiritual heights. Chumash