Parashat Toldot

Family History — תולדות


Genesis 25:19 - 28:9


Malachi 1:1 - 2:7

Brit Chadashah

Luke 3:1-18

Torah Portion Outline

Haftarah Portion Outline

Portion Summary

The sixth reading from the book of Genesis is named Toldot (תולדות), which means “generations”. In this book we see the struggle between Esau and Jacob for the birthright and blessing. We also see Isaac's struggles in the land of Canaan and the reading ends with Jacob deceiving Isaac for the family blessing.

Portion Commentary

Up to Jacob we get the history of the Fathers.

From the twelve tribes up to Jesus Christ it is the history of the Sons.

After Christ, it is the events of the Church/Nations and Israel.

Abraham is the forefather recognized in Islam, Christianity and Judaism. This remarkable man of God YHWH who had to leave his native land and father's house to start a path of promise for his descendants and for himself.

Abraham is not presented as a super hero, but on the contrary he is described with all his mistakes and it must be a positive incentive for us that God uses who He wants, whenever He wants and as He wants. From us, faith and obedience are expected and he does the rest. Abraham's mistakes did not prevent him and his descendants from the promise of God, although they, the Israelites, paid many times for their mistakes, yet they received the promise land.

This patriarch walked a path of fear, but also heroism, little faith, doubt, but also faith believed to be his righteousness. It was a man who laughed at the Word of God concerning the birth of Isaac, yet it is a great man in our eyes. What prevents you from obeying God and following Him?

Then we come to Isaac. Little is written about Isaac and he does the same as his father. He lies over his wife. He also appears to be a passive figure, but YHWH is standing in His promise to Abraham and Isaac is highly blessed. In Genesis 26:12 we read how God blessed him a hundredfold. Here an idiom is used. When you were blessed fifty-fold, it was considered a good year. When you were blessed seventy-fold, it was an extraordinary year and a hundredfold, as mentioned here, was regarded as a supernatural good sight, as of God Himself. We also read in the Revised Covenant (New Testament) of the talents and also of the 100/60-fold blessing. The more we are blessed by God, the more He will require responsibility from us. Isaac was extremely blessed because of the covenant. You and I are in a covenant with God, can you believe today that you are blessed? Isaac's mistakes were one of the things that, although he knew the prophecy regarding the boys, the older is going to serve the younger, he still saw a chance to see the older one above the younger one. Note that food was his weakness here and he literally suffered by the carnal desires of the flesh than by the spiritual and he almost made a very big mistake.

Jacob, O Jacob, a man who wrestled with God, survived, deceived his father, deceived his brother, but everything came back to him. He was deceived with his wives. You see, you cannot sow and think you will not reap, even if you are the son/daughter of the covenant. God is not mocked, only what man sows will he reap and this counts for every living person. It is a law for every human being on earth. In Jacob's blessing it was pronounced that his brothers will bow before him, but he bowed before Esau. It says a lot. Even the blessing of Isaac's, he did not live in fullness, because he had reaped what he sowed. It must tell us today that we live under the promise of the blood covenant, but you still reap what you're sowing, even if you have all the promises. Therefore, everybody must watch how he lives. Do to someone else you want to be done to yourself and vice versa.

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