B'resheet (Genesis) Chapter 25

B'resheet 25:1-4 Now Avraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. And she bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah. And Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim and Letushim and Leummim. And the sons of Midian were Ephah and Epher and Hanoch and Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.

Many people are not aware that Avraham had another wife and 6 more sons. They are the fathers of the various Arab tribes to the east of Israel.

B'resheet 25:5-6 Now Avraham gave all that he had to Yitz'chak; but to the sons of his concubines, Avraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them away from his son Yitz'chak eastward, to the land of the east.

It is again stressed that Yitz'chak was the sole inheritor. All of the other sons were given gifts and sent off.

B'resheet 25:7-11 And these are all the years of Avraham's life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. And Avraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. Then his sons Yitz'chak and Yishma'el buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, the field which Avraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Avraham was buried with Sarah his wife. And it came about after the death of Avraham, that G-d blessed his son Yitz'chak; and Yitz'chak lived by Beer-lahai-roi.

Gathered to his people - This phrase reminds us of life after death and being reunited with previously departed loved ones.

B'resheet 25:12-18 Now these are the records of the generations of Yishma'el, Avraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maid, bore to Avraham; and these are the names of the sons of Yishma'el, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the first-born of Yishma'el, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam and Mishma and Dumah and Massa, Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These are the sons of Yishma'el and these are their names, by their villages, and by their camps; twelve princes according to their tribes. And these are the years of the life of Yishma'el, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. And they settled from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives.

G-d promised that Yishma'el would have 12 sons. (See B'resheet 17:20-21). Here we see their names listed.

B'resheet 25:19-21 Now these are the records of the generations of Yitz'chak, Avraham's son: Avraham became the father of Yitz'chak; and Yitz'chak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Yitz'chak prayed to the L-RD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the L-RD answered him and Rivkah his wife conceived.

Here we have another example of a barren wife and a miraculous birth after prayer to the G-d of Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov. This time we would have a double blessing.

The letter corresponding to this chapter is Gimel - loving-kindness; culmination, as in planting a seed and caring for it until it matures.

B'resheet 25:22-23 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the L-RD. And the L-RD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples shall be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger."

Struggled together within her - We see this struggle continuing until this very day.

B'resheet 25:24-26 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esav. And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esav's heel, so his name was called Ya'akov; and Yitz'chak was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

Esav - Completely formed, that is, having hair already

Ya'akov - He catches by the heel, he supplants.

B'resheet 25:27-30 When the boys grew up, Esav became a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Ya'akov was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Yitz'chak loved Esav, because he had a taste for game; but Rivkah loved Ya'akov. And when Ya'akov had cooked stew, Esav came in from the field and he was famished; and Esav said to Ya'akov, "Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom.

Edom - Red - The region of southern Jordan is where his descendants, the Edomites, lived. Petra is located in this area. It has beautiful red sandstone mountains and valleys that are similar to Zion National Park in Utah, Sedona or Monument valley in Arizona.

Esau was a man's man hunting and living off of the land. He was his father's favorite.

Jacob was more interested in the comforts of home. He was his mother's favorite.