Parshas Toldos

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Toldos

Chapter 19

Rishon

19. These are the generations of Yitzchak, son of Avraham. Avraham fathered Yitzchak.

20. Yitzchak was 40 years old when he took Rivka, the daughter of Besuel the Aramean from Padan-Aram, the sister of Lavan the Aramean, as his wife.

21. Yitzchak prayed before Hashem because of his wife, who was infertile. Hashem accepted his prayer and his wife Rivka conceived.

22. The children pushed inside of her. She said, “If so, why do I exist?” She went to seek direction from before Hashem.

23. Hashem answered her, “Two nations are in your womb and two kingdoms will separate from your body. One kingdom will overpower the other kingdom and the larger will serve the smaller.”

24. When her time to give birth arrived, there were twins in her womb.

25. The first one came out red, completely like a hairy mantle, so they called his name Eisav.

26. After that, his brother came out. His hand was grasping Eisav’s heel so they called his name Yaakov. Yitzchak was 60 years old when they were born.

27. The boys grew and Eisav became a shrewd hunter, a man who goes out to the fields. Yaakov was a simple man, serving in the study hall.

28. Yitzchak favored Eisav because he would eat his game but Rivka favored Yaakov.

29. Yaakov was cooking a stew when Eisav came in from the field, and he was faint (from hunger).

30. Eisav said to Yaakov, “Let me taste some of that red, red stuff because I am famished,”—which is why his name was called Edom.

31. Yaakov said, “Sell me your birthright like this day.”[1]

32. Eisav said, “Seeing as I’m about to die, what use is my birthright to me?”

33. Yaakov said, “Swear to me like this day.” He swore to him and he sold his birthright to Yaakov.

34. Yaakov gave Eisav bread and lentil stew. He ate and drank, then he arose and departed. Thus, Eisav despised the birthright.

Chapter 26

1. There was a famine in the land, separate from the earlier famine that was in the days of Avraham, and Yitzchak went to Avimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar.

2. Hashem was revealed to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Dwell in the land that I will indicate to you.

3. Reside in this land. My word will help you and bless you because to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, fulfilling the oath that I swore to your father Avraham.

4. I will increase your descendants like the stars of Heaven and I will give your descendants all these lands. All the nations on Earth will be blessed because of your descendants

5. because Avraham listened to My word and kept the charge of My word, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”

6. So Yitzchak dwelled in Gerar.

Sheini

7. The men of the place inquired about his wife. He replied, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking, “The men of the place might kill me over Rivka because she’s beautiful.”

8. It happened, when he had been there some time, that Avimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out the window and saw Yitzchak making merry with his wife Rivka.

9. Avimelech sent for Yitzchak. He said, “Behold, she’s your wife! Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister?’” Yitzchak said to him, “Because I thought I might die over her.”

10. Avimelech said, “What have you done to us? One of the outstanding among the people[2] could easily have lain with your wife – you would have brought guilt on us.”

11. Avimelech then commanded all the people, saying, “Anyone who harms this man or his wife will be put to death.”

12. Yitzchak planted in that land and he found a hundred times what had been anticipated that same year. Hashem blessed him.

Shlishi

13. The man became great and he grew increasingly greater until he was extremely great.

14. He had flocks of sheep, herds of cattle and many servants, so the Philistines were jealous of him.

15. The Philistines stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Avraham, filling them with earth.

16. Avimelech said to Yitzchak, “Depart from us because you have grown far mightier than us.”

17. Yitzchak departed from there. He camped in the valley of Gerar and he settled there.

18. Yitzchak went back and re-dug the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Avraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Avraham died. He called them by the same names that his father had called them.

19. Yitzchak’s servants were digging in the valley and they found there a well of spring water,

20. The shepherds of Gerar argued with Yitzchak’s shepherds, saying, “The water is ours.” He called that well’s name Eisek because they quarreled with him.

21. They dug another well and they argued over that one as well, so he called its name Sitna.

22. He moved from there and dug yet another well. They didn’t argue over it, so he called its name Rechovos, saying, “Because now Hashem has made room for us and we can increase in the land.”

Revii

23. He went up from there to Be’er Sheva.

24. Hashem was revealed to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Avraham. Don’t fear because My word will help you. I will bless you and increase your descendants because of My servant Avraham.”

25. He built an altar there and prayed in the name of Hashem. He pitched his tent there and Yitzchak’s servants started digging a well there.

26. Avimelech came to him from Gerar, along with a group of his friends [3] and Fichol, the leader of his troops.

27. Yitzchak said to them, “Why have you come to me since you treated me as an enemy and drove me away from you?”

28. They said, “We now see clearly that Hashem’s word helped you. We said, ‘Let us uphold the oath that was between our fathers between us and you. Let us forge a covenant with you:

29. you won’t do us evil just as we didn’t harm you, and just as we only did right by you and sent you away in peace. You are now blessed of Hashem!’”

Chamishi

30. He made them a feast, and they ate and drank.

31. They got up in the morning and they swore to one another. Yitzchak sent them off and they departed from him in peace.

32. It was on that day that Yitzchak’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said to him, “We found water!”

33. He called its name Shiva; therefore the name of the city is Be’er-Sheva until this day.

34. When Eisav was 40 years old, he took Yehudis the daughter of B’eiri the Hittite and Basmas the daughter of Eilon the Hittite as wives.

35. They were rebellious and infuriating to the word of Yitzchak and Rivka.

Chapter 27

1. It happened when Yitzchak was old and his eyes were too weak to see that he called his older son Eisav. He said to him, “My son” and he answered, “Here I am.”

2. He said, “Behold, I have now grown old; I don’t know the day I will die.

3. Now take your gear – your sword and your bow. Go out to the field and hunt me some game.

4. Prepare me a dish as I like it; bring it to me and I’ll eat so my soul might bless you before I die.”

5. Rivka heard Yitzchak speaking to his son Eisav. When Eisav had gone to the field to hunt game to bring back,

6. Rivka said to her son Yaakov, “Behold, I heard your father speaking to your brother Eisav, saying,

7. ‘Bring me some game and prepare me a dish. I will eat and I will bless you before Hashem before I die.’

8. Now, my son, hearken to my voice, to what I command you.

9. Now go to the flock and get me two choice kids. I’ll make them into a dish for your father as he likes.

10. You will bring it to your father and he’ll eat so that he may bless you before his death.”

11. Yaakov said to his mother Rivka, “Behold, my brother Eisav is a hairy man and I am a smooth man.

12. Perhaps my father will touch me. I will appear to him as a deceiver and bring curses upon myself rather than blessings.”

13. His mother said to him, “It was told to me prophetically that curses will not come upon you, my son! Just hearken to my voice and go get it for me.”

14. He went and got it and brought it to his mother. His mother prepared a dish as his father liked.

15. Rivka took the clean clothes of her older son Eisav, which were with her in the house, and she dressed her younger son Yaakov.

16. She covered his hands and the smoothness of his neck with the hides of the kids.

17. She put the dish and the bread that she had made in the hand of her son Yaakov.

18. He came to his father and said, “Father.” He answered, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

19. Yaakov said to his father, “I am Eisav, your firstborn. I have done as you instructed me. Please get up, recline and eat from my game so that your soul might bless me.”

20. Yitzchak said to his son, “How is it that you found it so quickly, my son?” He said, “Because Hashem your God arranged it for me.”

21. Yitzchak said to Yaakov, “Come close so I may feel you, my son—whether this is my son Eisav or not.”

22. Yaakov drew close to his father Yitzchak, who felt him and said. “The voice is Yaakov’s voice but the hands are Eisav’s hands.”

23. He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like the hands of his brother Eisav, so he blessed him.

24. He said, “Are you really my son Eisav?” He answered, “I am.”

25. He said, “Come close to me and I will eat of my son’s game so that my soul might bless you.” He drew near to him and he ate; he brought him wine and he drank.

26. His father Yitzchak said to him, “Come close and kiss me, my son.”

27. He drew close and kissed him. He smelled the aroma of his clothes and blessed him, saying, “Behold, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that Hashem has blessed.

Shishi

28. “May God give you from the dew of Heaven and the richness of the Earth, and abundant grain and wine.

29. Peoples will serve you and kingdoms will be subordinate to you. You will rule over your brothers and your mother’s sons will bow down to you. Those who curse you will be cursed and those who bless you will be blessed.”

30. It happened as Yitzchak finished blessing Yaakov, just after Yaakov left his father Yitzchak’s presence, that his brother Eisav returned from his hunt.

31. He had also prepared a dish and he brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat from his son’s game so that your soul may bless me.”

32. His father Yitzchak said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Eisav.”

33. Yitzchak wondered with great astonishment. He said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate of it before you arrived and I blessed him. He will also be blessed!”

34. When Eisav heard his father’s words, he cried an exceedingly great and bitter cry. He said to his father, “Bless me, too, my father!”

35. He answered, “Your brother came with wisdom and received your blessing.” [4]

36. He said, “He was well-named Yaakov seeing that he outsmarted me these two times –he took my birthright and now he’s received my blessing!” He said further, “Have you not left a blessing for me?”

37. Yitzchak answered, saying to Eisav, “Behold, I have made him master over you and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and I have sustained him with grain and wine. What can I then do for you, my son?”

38. Eisav said to his father, “Have you just one blessing, my father? Bless me, too, my father!” Eisav raised his voice and wept.

39. His father Yitzchak answered, saying to him, “Behold, your dwelling will be from the richness of the Earth and from the dew of heaven above.

40. By your sword you will live and you will serve your brother. It will be when his descendants violate the words of the Torah that you will break his yoke from upon your neck.”

41. Eisav carried resentment against Yaakov because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him. Eisav said to himself, “Let the days of mourning period for my father come close and I will kill my brother Yaakov.”

42. The words of her older son Eisav were reported to Rivka. She sent and called for her younger son Yaakov and said to him, “Behold, your brother Eisav is planning against you, to kill you. [5]

43. Now, my son, accept it from me. Arise and depart to my brother Lavan, to Charan.

44. Stay with him for a few days until your brother’s fury is turned away.

45. When your brother’s anger has been turned away from you and he forgets what you have done to him, then I will send and retrieve you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”

46. Rivka said to Yitzchak, “I am disgusted with my life because of these Hittite women. If Yaakov takes a wife from the Hittite woman like these women of the land, what good is life to me?”

Chapter 28

1. Yitzchak sent for Yaakov and blessed him. He commanded him, saying to him, “Do not take a wife from the Canaanite women.

2. Get up, go to Padan-Aram, to the house of Besuel, your mother’s father. Take a wife from there, from the daughters of Lavan, your mother’s brother.

3. May Almighty God bless you, make you fertile and increase you so that you become an assembly of Tribes.

4. May He give the blessing of Avraham to you – to you and to your descendants along with you – so that you will inherit the land where you dwell, which God gave to Avraham.”

Shevii

5. Yitzchak sent Yaakov off and he traveled to Padan-Aram, to Lavan the son of Besuel the Aramean, the brother of Rivka, Yaakov’s mother, and Eisav’s.

6. Eisav saw that Yitzchak had blessed Yaakov and sent him off to Padan-Aram to take a wife for himself from there. As he blessed him, he commanded him, saying, “Do not take a wife from the Canaanite women.”

7. Yaakov obeyed his father and mother and went to Padan-Aram,

8. Eisav saw that the Canaanite women were unacceptable in his father Yitzchak’s eyes.

9. Eisav went to Yishmael and took Machalas the daughter of Yishmael son of Avraham, the sister of N’vayos, as a wife, in addition his (existing) wives.

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Notes:

1. i.e., as clear as day (see Rashi).

2. Avimelech is referring to himself (see Rashi).

3. As opposed to “Achuzat, his friend” (the name Achuzat meaning “an assembly of”).

4. Onkelos softens the Chumash’s more literal reading of Yitzchak’s criticism, i.e., that Yaakov came with deceit and took the blessing.

5. As opposed to consoling himself with thoughts of killing Yaakov.

© Copyright 2021 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz