Genesis 25

Genesis 25


AbrahamI tookII anotherIII wife,IV whose nameV was Keturah.VI 

Notes on verse 1

I “Abraham” = Abraham. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
II “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
III “another” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
IV “wife” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
V “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
VI “Keturah” = Qeturah. 4x in OT. From the same as qitor (smoke, clouds, vapor); from qatar (to smoke or burn; especially of sacrifice – the fragrance of the offering); perhaps from qetoreth (smoke, incense, the scent of the sacrifice as it burned) or perhaps from Qatar (to shut in or join). This is Keturah, meaning “perfumed,” “incense,” or “indiscriminative distribution of society’s surplus.” See

She boreVII him Zimran,VIII Jokshan,IX Medan,X

Notes on verse 2a

VII “bore” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
VIII “Zimran” = Zimran. 2x in OT. Perhaps from zamar (making music; used specially of music to worship God; music with singing, singing praise, singing psalms); may be from zamar (to trim or prune); perhaps related to zemer (a sheep or antelope). This is Zimran, “musical,” “mountain sheep man,” “antelope,” or “one who prunes.” See
IX “Jokshan” = Yoqshan. 4x in OT. From yaqosh (ensnare, lay bait, lure, trapper; to snare literally or figuratively). This is Jokshan, “insidious,” “one who sets a snare,” or “fowler.” See
X “Medan” = Medan. 2x in OT. From the same as medan (strife); form the same as madon (strife, contention, brawling); from din (to judge, defend, dispute, govern, strive). This is Medan, meaning “strife” or “judgment.”

Midian,XI Ishbak,XII and Shuah.XIII 

Notes on verse 2b

XI “Midian” = Midyan. Related to “Medan” in v2. From the same as madon (see note XX above). This is Midian or a Midianite. It means strife or place of judgment.
XII “Ishbak” = Yishbaq. 2x in OT. From the same as Shobeq (Shobek, “forsaking”); related to Aramaic shebaq (to leave, quit, permit to remain). This is Ishbak, “he will leave,” “he will abandon,” “he will set free,” “leaving,” or “he will forsake.” See 
XIII “Shuah” = Shuach. 2x in OT. From shuach (to bow or sink down in a literal or figurative sense, humble) OR from shava (crying or shouting aloud; seeking freedom from some kind of trouble) OR from yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe; in a causative sense, to free someone). This is Shuah or Shuach, meaning “dell,” “bought low,” “prostration,” “a cry,” or “prosperity.” See

3 Jokshan was the father ofXIV ShebaXV and Dedan.XVI

Notes on verse 3a

XIV “was the father of” = yalad. Same as “bore” in v2. See note VII above.
XV “Sheba” = Sheba. From Ethiopic (man) OR from Hebrew saba (to imbibe) OR from shaba (to capture (like a captive) OR from sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness); {from shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; this is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times)}. This is Sheba or Sabean. It is somewhere in Africa or southwest Arabia as well as a personal name. It may mean “man,” “drunk,” “captive,” “splinter,” “seven,” or “oath.” See
XVI “Dedan” = Dedan. 11x in OT. Perhaps from dada (to lead slowly) OR yadad (to love with affection) OR yadad (to draw lots). This is the person and their offspring. Their territory may be at the “north-west coast of the present Persian Gulf.” It may mean “leading gently” or “low.”  See &

The sonsXVII of Dedan wereXVIII Asshurim,XIX Letushim,XX and Leummim.XXI 

Notes on verse 3b

XVII “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
XVIII “were” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
XIX “Asshurim” = Ashuriy. 2x in OT. From the same as Akkadian Ashshur (“City of God Ashshur”) OR related to Hebrew ashar (to go straight, advance, proceed, direct, guide, be level, be honest, be blessed or happy). This is Asshurim, Assurites. It shares a root with “Assyria.” It is a person and a region. See
XX “Letushim” = Letushim. 1x in OT. From latash (to hammer into an edge, so, to sharpen; to hammer or whet; a forger or instructor). This is Letushim, meaning “hammered ones” in the sense of “oppressed ones.”
XXI “Leummim” = Leummim. 1x in OT. From leom (people, a community, or a nation; root may mean gathering). This is Leummim, “communities.”

The sons of Midian were Ephah,XXII Epher,XXIII Hanoch,XXIV Abida,XXV and Eldaah.XXVI All these were the childrenXXVII of Keturah. 

Notes on verse 4

XXII “Ephah” = Ephah. 5x in OT. From uph (uph); {from teuphah (gloom or darkness)} OR from the same as ephah (darkness, something that is covered over); {from uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint)}. This is Ephah, a personal name and region. It means “gloom,” “dark one,” “darkness,” or “covering.” See
XXIII “Epher” = Epher. 4x in OT. From the same as opher (stag, fawn, hart); from aphar (to throw dust, be dust); from aphar (dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored; ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish). This is Epher, perhaps meaning “gazelle,” “young deer,” “dust,” ore,” “any wind can blow him,” or “malleable.” See
XXIV “Hanoch” = Chanoch. 16x in OT. From the same as chek (chamber or room that is private; can mean the innermost chamber of a house); probably from chanak (to narrow; to dedicate, initiate, train, or discipline). This is Enoch or Hanoch, which probably means “initiated.”
XXV “Abida” = Abida. Related to “Abraham” in v1. 2x in OT. From ab (see note I above) + yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is Abida, “my father took knowledge,” “father of knowledge,” “knowing.”
XXVI “Eldaah” = Eldaah. Related to “Abida” in v4. 2x n OT. From el (God, a god) + yada (see note XXV above). This is Eldaah, meaning “God has called,” “God of knowledge,” or “God is knowledge.” See
XXVII “children” = ben. Same as “sons” in v3. See note XVII above.

Abraham gaveXXVIII all he had to Isaac.XXIX But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts,XXX while he was still living,XXXI

Notes on verses 5-6a

XXVIII “gave” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XXIX “Isaac” = Yitschaq. From tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way). This is Isaac, meaning “he laughs.”
XXX “gifts” = mattanah. Related to “give” in v5. 17x in OT. From mattan (gift, reward, to give); from natan (see note XXVIII above). This is gift, offering of sacrifice, present, bribe.
XXXI “living” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.

and he sent them awayXXXII from his son Isaac, eastwardXXXIII to the east country.XXXIV

Notes on verse 6b

XXXII “sent…away” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
XXXIII “eastward” = qedem. Perhaps from qadam (to come in front or be in front; to meet, anticipate, confront, receive, or rise; sometimes to meet for help). This is front, formerly, before, east, eternal, everlasting, antiquity.
XXXIV “country” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

This is the lengthXXXV of Abraham’s life,XXXVI one hundred seventyXXXVII-five years. Abraham breathed his lastXXXVIII and diedXXXIX in a goodXL old age,XLI

Notes on verses 7-8a

XXXV “length” = yom. Literally “days.”
XXXVI “life” = chay. Same as “living” in v6. See note XXXI above.
XXXVII “seventy” = shibim. Related to “Sheba” in v3. From sheba (see note XV above). This is seventy.
XXXVIII “breathed his last” = gava. This is to breathe out, which implies expire or die.
XXXIX “died” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
XL “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
XLI “old age” = sebah. 19x in OT. From sib (to have gray hair, become old). This is being gray or old.

an oldXLII man and full of years,XLIII and was gatheredXLIV to his people.XLV 

Notes on verse 8b

XLII “old” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.
XLIII “full of years” = sabea. 8x in OT. From saba (to be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense; to have plenty of). This is satisfied, full, ripe. It can be sated in a good or unpleasant way. Frequently used to say someone (Abraham, Isaac, Job) is “full of years” when they die.
XLIV “gathered” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
XLV “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

His sons Isaac and IshmaelXLVI buried him in the caveXLVII of Machpelah,XLVIII

Notes on verse 9a

XLVI “Ishmael” = Yishmael. Related to “Eldaah” in v4. From shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied) + el (see note XXVI above). This is Ishmael, meaning “God hears” or “God will hear.”
XLVII “cave” = mearah. Perhaps from ur (to be made naked, exposed, or bare). This is a cave, cavern, den, or hole.
XLVIII “Machpelah” = Makpelah. 6x in OT. From kaphal (to double, fold, repeat). This is Machpelah or Makpelah, meaning “a fold.”

 in the fieldXLIX of EphronL son of ZoharLI the Hittite,LII east ofLIII Mamre,LIV 

Notes on verse 9b

XLIX “field” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It is used to mean wild like a wild animal.
L “Ephron” = Ephron. Related to “Epher” in v4. 14x in OT. From the same as opher (see note XXIII above). This is Ephron, the name a of a person, a place, and a mountain. It may mean “fawn-like,” “place of dust,” “ore,” “malleability,” “dust man,” or “young ones.” See
LI “Zohar” = Tsochar. 4x in OT. From the same as tsachar (reddish-gray, white, dry up). This is Zohar or Tsochar. It may mean “whiteness,” “gray,” or “tawny.” See
LII “Hittite” = Chitti. From cheth (Heth or Cheth; one of Canaan’s sons from whom perhaps the Hittites descend) OR from hatat (terror, lacking strength or courage); perhaps from hata (to seize; often used of coals from a fire). This is Hittite – perhaps meaning terrors or terrible. See
LIII “east of” = al + paneh. Paneh is from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
LIV “Mamre” = Mamre. 10x in OT. Perhaps from mara (to rebel, flap wings, whip, be filthy). This is Mamre a personal name and a place name. It may mean vigor or lusty.

10 the field that Abraham purchasedLV from the Hittites.LVI There Abraham was buried, with his wife Sarah.LVII

Notes on verse 10

LV “purchased” = qanah. This is to acquire, create, purchase, own. Its root may mean to smith or to produce.
LVI “Hitties” = ben + Chet. Literally “children of Chet.” 14x in OT. Ben is the same as “sons” in v3. See note XVII above. Chet is 14x in OT. Related to “Hittite” in v9. See note LII above.
LVII “Sarah” = Sarah. From the same as Saray (princess, mistress, noble lady, queen); from sar (chief, ruler, captain, official, prince). This is Sarah, meaning princess.

11 LVIIIAfter the deathLIX of Abraham GodLX blessedLXI his son Isaac. And Isaac settledLXII at Beer-lahai-roi.LXIII

Notes on verse 11

LVIII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “were” in v3. See note XVIII above.
LIX “death” = mavet. Related to “death” in v8. From mut (see note XXXIX above). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.
LX “God” = Elohim. Related to “Eldaah” in v4 & “Ishmael” in v9. See note XXVI above.
LXI “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
LXII “settled” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
LXIII “Beer-lahai-roi” = Beer lahai roi. Related to “living” in v6. 3x in OT. From beer (a well or pit); {from baar (to make plain; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain)} + chay (see note XXXI above) + ro’eh (vision, seer); {from raah (to see, show, stare, think, view; to see in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Beer-lahai-roi, which means “well of the living one that sees me” or “well of a living one, my seer.”

12 These are the descendantsLXIV of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom HagarLXV the Egyptian,LXVI Sarah’s slave-girl,LXVII bore to Abraham. 

Notes on verse 12

LXIV “descendants” = toledot. Related to “bore” in v2. From yalad (see note VII above). This is generations descent, family, or history.
LXV “Hagar” = Hagar. 12x in OT. Perhaps from hagar (fleeing; a stranger or foreigner) OR from ha (the) + garar (to drag out or away) OR from Persian/Greek aggareuo (to press into service). This is Hagar. See and
LXVI “Egyptian” = Mitsri. From the same as mitsrayim (Egypt); perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egyptian.
LXVII “slave-girl” = shiphchah. Root may mean to spread out – it would be the same root used in mishpachah, which means family or clan. This is maidservant, female slave, or female bondslave.

13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth:LXVIII Nebaioth,LXIX the firstbornLXX of Ishmael;

Notes on verse 13a

LXVIII “birth” = toledot. Same as “descendants” in v12. See note LXIV above.
LXIX “Nebaioth” = Nebayoth. 5x in OT. From nabat (to behold, look at intently, consider, or scan; to have respect or regard someone favorably) OR from nabah (to be high or noticeable) OR from naba (to prophesy). This is Nebaioth, his lineage and the territory they inhabited. It means “high places,” “seen,” regarded,” “having prophesied,” “visions,” or “scopes.”  See 
LXX “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.

and Kedar,LXXI Adbeel,LXXII Mibsam,LXXIII 

Notes on verse 13b

LXXI “Kedar” = Qedar. 12x in OT. From qadar (to be dark, grow black; ashy or otherwise having a dark color; can also imply mourning, wearing sackcloth). This is Kedar, perhaps meaning “swarthy,” “dark,” “turbid,” or “dusky.” It referred to Bedouins. Darkness may refer to the tents they lived in or the tone of their skin. See
LXXII “Adbeel” = Adbeel. Related to “Eldaah” in v4 & “Ishmael” in v9 & “God” in v11. 2x in OT. From adab (to grieve or languish) + el (see note XXVI above). This is Adbeel, “disciplined of God,” “miracle of God,” or “grieved by God,” or “grief of God.” See
LXXIII “Mibsam” = Mibsam. 3x in OT. From the same as bosem (balsam, spice, perfume, odor; the balsam tree); from the same as basam (spice, balsam tree). This is Mibsam, “fragrant,” “a sweet smell,” “delight,” or “perfumery.” See

14 Mishma,LXXIV Dumah,LXXV Massa,LXXVI 

Notes on verse 14

LXXIV “Mishma” = Mishma. Related to “Ishmael” in v9. 4x in OT. From shama (see note XLVI above). This is Mishma, meaning “rumor,” “hearing,” or “a thing heard.” See
LXXV “Dumah” = Dumah. 4x I OT. From the same as dumah (silence; figuratively, death). This is Dumah, the name of a person, city, tribe, and territory. It may mean “silence” or “deadly silence.” See
LXXVI “Massa” = Massa. 2x in OT. Perhaps from the same as massa (burden, bearing, load, utterance, tribute, prophecy, desire, song); from nasa (to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively; to carry, take, or arise; to bring forth, advance, accept). This is Massa, “load,” “burden,” “bearing patiently,” or “oracle.” See

15 Hadad,LXXVII Tema,LXXVIII Jetur,LXXIX Naphish,LXXX and Kedemah.LXXXI 

Notes on verse 15

LXXVII “Hadad” = Chadad. 2x in OT. From chadad (to be sharp, fierce). This is Hadad of Chadad, meaning “fierce,” “sharpness,” “swift,” or “keen.” See
LXXVIII “Tema” = Tema. 5x in OT. Perhaps from yaman (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm); from yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south). This is Tema – a personal name, his lineage and the place where they lived. It may mean “south country,” “sunburnt,” or “desert.” See
LXXIX “Jetur” = Yetur. 3x in OT. From the same as tur (a row; something that occurs with regularity; can also be a wall). This is Jetur his offspring, and the place where they settled. It may mean “encircled,” “enclosed,” “defense,” or “he will border.” See   
LXXX “Naphish” = Naphish. 3x in OT. From the same as nephesh (soul, self, person, emotion; a breathing creature, appetites, desires); related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is Naphish and his offspring. It means “refreshed,” “revival,” “desire,” “numerous,” or “expansion.” See
LXXXI “Kedemah” = Qedemah. Related to “eastward” in v6. 2x in OT. From the same as qedem (see note XXXIII above). This is Kedemah, meaning “precedence.”

16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villagesLXXXII and by their encampments,LXXXIII twelveLXXXIV princesLXXXV according to their tribes.LXXXVI 

Notes on verse 16

LXXXII “villages” = chatser. From chatsar (to blow a trumpet, trumpeter, to surround); from chatsotsrah (trumpet). This is an enclosure or court – a yard that is fenced in. It could also be a village or hamlet that is walled in.
LXXXIII “encampments” = tirah. Related to “Jetur” in v13. 7x in OT. From the same as tur (see note LXXIX above). This is a camp, settlement, or other dwelling place, including a palace. It can also refer to a wall and so a small village or a fortress.
LXXXIV “twelve” = shenayim + asar. Shenayim is from sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple. Asar is from the same as eser (ten). This is ten or -teen.
LXXXV “princes” = nasi. Related to “Massa” in v14. From nasa (see note LXXVI above). This is one lifted up or exalter. So, it could be prince, chief, ruler, captain, king, or vapor.
LXXXVI “tribes” = ummah. 3x in OT. From the same as em (mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal; mother in a literal or figurative sense). This is tribe or other community.

17 (This is the lengthLXXXVII of the life of Ishmael, one hundred thirtyLXXXVIII-sevenLXXXIX years; he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) 18 They settledXC from HavilahXCI to Shur,XCII

Notes on verses 17-18a

LXXXVII “length” = shanah. Literally “years.”
LXXXVIII “thirty” = sheloshim. From the same as shalosh (three, fork, triad). This is thirty or thirtieth.
LXXXIX “seven” = sheba. Related to “Sheba” in v3 & “seventy” in v7. See note XV above.
XC “settled” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
XCI “Havilah” = Chavilah. 7x in OT. Perhaps from chul (whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain; used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear; can also be falling in pain or waiting). This is Havilah or Chavilah. It is a personal name as well as a place name whose location is not known. It may mean “circular.”
XCII “Shur” = Shur. 6x in OT. Perhaps from shur (to travel, turn, journey; travelling like a prostitute or a merchant) OR from shur (to excite, to rise up). This is Sur, a desert place in eastern Egypt. It may mean “wall,” “bull,” or “fortification.”  See 

which is oppositeXCIII EgyptXCIV in the direction ofXCV Assyria;XCVI

Notes on verse 18b

XCIII “opposite” = al + paneh. Same as “east of” in v9. See note LIII above.
XCIV “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
XCV “in the direction of” = bo. Literally “as you go.” This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XCVI “Assyria” = Ashshur. Related to “Asshurim” in v3. See note XIX above.

he settled downXCVII alongsideXCVIII of all his people.XCIX

Notes on verse 18c

XCVII “settled down” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
XCVIII “alongside” = al + paneh. Same as “east of” in v9. See note LIII above.
XCIX “people” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was fortyC years oldCI when he marriedCII Rebekah,CIII

Notes on verses 19-20a

C “forty” = arbaim. From the same as arba (four); from raba (to make square or be four-sided); perhaps from raba (to lie down flat; can be to lie for mating). This is forty.
CI “old” = ben. Same as “sons” in v3. See note XVII above.
CII “married” = laqach. Same as “took” in v1. See note II above.
CIII “Rebekah” = Ribqah. From the same as marbeq (fattened, a stall used for housing cattle; root may mean to tie up). This is Rebekah, perhaps meaning tied up or secured. See

daughterCIV of BethuelCV the ArameanCVI of Paddan-aram,CVII

Notes on verse 20b

CIV “daughter” = bat. Related to “sons” in v3. From ben (see note XVII above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
CV “Bethuel” = Bethuel. Related to “sons” in v3 & “daughter” in v20 & “Eldaah” in v4 & “Ishmael” in v9 & “God” in v11 “Adbeel” in v13. 10x in OT. Perhaps from the same as bathah (end, desolation, destruction); {from the same as bath (bath as a unit of measurement for liquid); probably from the same as battah (precipice, desolation, steep; the root perhaps means to break in pieces)} + el (see note XXVI above) OR from betulah (virgin) + el (see note XXVI above) OR from bayit (house, household, palace, dungeon); {from banah (see note XVII above)} + el (see note XXVI above). This is Bethuel, which perhaps means “man of God” or “virgin of God” or “house of God” or “destroyed of God.” See
CVI “Aramean” = Arammi. Related to “Abraham” in v1. 11x in OT. From aram (Aram, Syria, Mesopotamia – meaning elevated or citadel); perhaps from armon (any fortified building – castle, citadel, palace) OR from rum (see note I above). This is Aramean – someone from Aram or Syria. See
CVII “Paddan-aram” = Paddan Aram. Perhaps related to “Abraham” in v1 & “Aramean” in v20. 11x in OT. From pada (“to upgrade the operating standard) + rum (see note I above) OR from pada (see above) + aram (see note CVI above). This is Paddan-aram, perhaps meaning “ultimate upgrade,” “plain of Aram,” “elevated ransom,” or “new Aramaic standard.” See

sisterCVIII of LabanCIX the Aramean.CX 

Notes on verse 20c

CVIII “sister” = achot. Related to “people” in v18. From the same as ach (see note XCIX above). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean another or together.
CIX “Laban” = Laban. From the same as laban (white); from laban (to be white or make a brick). This is Laban, meaning white.
CX {untranslated} = ishshah. Same as “wife” in v1. See note IV above.

21 Isaac prayedCXI to the LordCXII for his wife, because she was barren;CXIII and the Lord granted his prayer,CXIV and his wife Rebekah conceived.CXV 

Notes on verse 21

CXI “prayed” = athar. This is to pray or entreat. It could mean burning incense as one does as part of worship or to intercede. It could also mean listening to or being moved by prayer.
CXII “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “were” in v3. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note XVIII above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
CXIII “barren” = aqar. 12x in OT. From the same as eqer (stock, member, offshoot; figuratively, could be a descendant or someone who is transplanted like an immigrant who takes up permanent residence); from aqar (to uproot, pluck out, dig out by the roots, to hamstring; figuratively, to exterminate). This is barrenness or a woman who is barren.
CXIV “granted…prayer” = athar. Same as “prayed” in v21. See note CXI above.
CXV “conceived” = harah. This is to conceive or be pregnant – it can be literal or figurative.

22 The childrenCXVI struggled togetherCXVII withinCXVIII her;

Notes on verse 22a

CXVI “children” = ben. Same as “sons” in v3. See note XVII above.
CXVII “struggled together” = ratsats. 19x in OT. This is properly cracking in pieces. It is used in a literal or figurative sense. So, crush, break, bruise, struggle, discourage, oppress.
CXVIII “within” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.

and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?”CXIX So she wentCXX to inquireCXXI of the Lord. 

Notes on verse 22b

CXIX Literally, “if so, why thus to me?”
CXX “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
CXXI “inquire” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.

23 And the Lord said to her,

“TwoCXXII nationsCXXIII are in your womb,CXXIV
    and two peoplesCXXV born of youCXXVI shall be divided;CXXVII

Notes on verse 23a

CXXII “two” = shenayim. Same as “twelve” in v16. See note LXXXIV above.
CXXIII “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
CXXIV “womb” = beten. Root may mean to be hollow. This is the belly or womb. It can also refer to a body more broadly.
CXXV “peoples” = leom. Related to “Leummim” in v3. See note XXI above.
CXXVI “born of you” = meeh. This is inward parts, belly, heart, womb, intestines, vastness. It can also be figurative for sympathy.
CXXVII “divided” = parad. This is to divide, break through, scatter, sever, stretch, to spread oneself, or to be out of joint.

the one shall be strongerCXXVIII than the other,CXXIX
    the elderCXXX shall serveCXXXI the younger.”CXXXII

Notes on verse 23b

CXXVIII “be stronger” = amets. This is to be strong, stout, alert, or bold, It can also mean harden, make firm, be courageous or mighty, fortify, or establish. It can refer to physical alertness or mental courage or steadfastness.
CXXIX “one…other” = leomleom. Same as “peoples” in v23. See note CXXV above.
CXXX “elder” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
CXXXI “serve” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
CXXXII “younger” = tsair. From tsaar (to be brought low, small, little one; figuratively, be insignificant or ignoble). This is little, young, least, younger, few in number, low in value.

24 When her timeCXXXIII to give birthCXXXIV was at hand,CXXXV, CXXXVI there were twinsCXXXVII in her womb. 

Notes on verse 24

CXXXIII “time” = yom. Literally “her days.”
CXXXIV “give birth” = yalad. Same as “bore” in v2. See note VII above.
CXXXV “was at hand” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXVI {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
CXXXVII “twins” = taom. 4x in OT. Related to toam (twin); from ta’am (to be double, have twins; figuratively to duplicate or to join together in architecture). This is twins in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the name “Thomas” comes from.

25 The firstCXXXVIII came outCXXXIX red,CXL

Notes on verse 25a

CXXXVIII “first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
CXXXIX “came out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
CXL “red” = admoni. 3x in OT. From the same as adom (to be red or flushed). This is red or ruddy, whether of the hair or complexion.

all his body like a hairyCXLI mantle;CXLII so they namedCXLIII him Esau.CXLIV 

Notes on verse 25b

CXLI “hairy” = sear. Perhaps from sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense). This is hair, hairy, or rough.
CXLII “mantle” = addereth. 12x in OT– this is the word used for the mantle that passes from Elijah to Elisha. From addir (majestic, excellent, mighty, powerful, or noble); from adar (wide, glorious, honorable, great, magnificent). This is something ample – glory, splendid, goodly. It could also refer to a cloak, robe, or garment.
CXLIII “named” = qara + shem. Literally “called his name.” Qara is. Shem is the same as “name” in v1. See note V above.
CXLIV “Esau” = Esav. From asah (to squeeze, handle, or press) OR from asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is Esau, perhaps meaning rough as something one handles. It could also be doer, maker, or worker. See

26 Afterward his brotherCXLV came out, with his handCXLVI grippingCXLVII Esau’s heel;CXLVIII so he was namedCXLIX Jacob.CL Isaac was sixtyCLI years old when she bore them.

Notes on verse 26

CXLV “brother” = ach. Same as “people” in v18. See note XCIX above.
CXLVI “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
CXLVII “gripping” = achaz. This is to grasp, catch, seize, take and hold in possession. It can also be to be afraid or hold back.
CXLVIII “heel” = aqeb. 13x in OT. This is heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, or usurper.
CXLIX “named” = qara + shem. Literally “his name was called.” Same as “named” in v25. See note CXLIII above.
CL “Jacob” = Yaaqob. Related to “heel” in v26. From the same as aqeb (see note CXLVIII above). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
CLI “sixty” = shishshim. From shesh (six; figuratively, a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand). This is sixty.

27 When the boysCLII grew up,CLIII Esau was a skillfulCLIV hunter,CLV a manCLVI of the field,

Notes on verse 27a

CLII “boys” = naar. May be from na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a child or a servant. It is a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence.
CLIII “grew up” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.
CLIV “skillful” = yada. Related to “Abida” and “Eldaah” in v4. See note XXV above.
CLV “hunter” = tsayid. 17x in OT. From tsud (to hunt, to lie in wait in order to catch an animal; used figuratively for capturing people). This is hunting, catch, the chase. It can also refer to provisions or lunch for a journey.
CLVI “man” = ish. Related to “wife” in v1. See note IV above.

while Jacob was a quietCLVII man, livingCLVIII in tents.CLIX 

Notes on verse 27b

CLVII “quiet” = tam. 14x in OT. From tamam (to finish or accomplish; to make perfect, demonstrate that you are upright; consume; to complete in a literal or figurative sense). This is complete, integrity, peaceful, perfect, blameless person, undefiled, upright. This is complete, generally from a moral perspective. It can be gentle or dear.
CLVIII “living” = yashab. Same as “settled” in v11. See note LXII above.
CLIX “tents” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.

28 Isaac lovedCLX Esau, because he was fond ofCLXI game;CLXII but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Notes on verse 28

CLX “loved” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
CLXI “fond of” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CLXII “game” = tsayid. Same as “hunter” in v27. See note CLV above.

29 Once when Jacob was cookingCLXIII a stew,CLXIV Esau came inCLXV from the field, and he was famished.CLXVI 

Notes on verse 29

CLXIII “cooking” = zud. 10x in OT. This is to cook, boil up, or seethe. Figuratively, it can mean to act with arrogance or insolence, to be rebellious.
CLXIV “stew” = nazid. Related to “cooking” in v29. 6x in OT. From zud (see note CLXIII above). This is stew, something boiled or another food that is cooked.
CLXV “came in” = bo. Same as “in the direction of” in v18. See note XCV above.
CLXVI “was famished” = ayeph. 17x in OT. From iph (to be faint or weary, to languish). This is faint, languid, weary, or thirsty.

30 Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eatCLXVII, CLXVIII some of that redCLXIX stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was calledCLXX Edom.)CLXXI 

Notes on verse 30

CLXVII “eat” = laat. 1x in OT. This is to swallow or eat in a greedy way.
CLXVIII {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
CLXIX “red” = adom + adom. Related to “red” in v25. 9x in OT. From the same as adom (see note CXL above). This is red or rosy.
CLXX “called” = qara + shem. Literally “his name was called.” Same as “named” in v25. See note CXLIII above.
CLXXI “Edom” = Edom. Related to “red” in v25 & “red” in v30. From the same as adom (see note CXL above). This is Edom or Idumaea. It means red.

31 Jacob said, “FirstCLXXII sellCLXXIII me your birthright.”CLXXIV 

Notes on verse 31

CLXXII “first” = yom. Literally “as of this day.”
CLXXIII “sell” = makar. This is to sell – could be commerce/trade, a daughter to be married, someone into slavery. Figuratively, it can mean to surrender.
CLXXIV “birthright” = bekorah. Related to “firstborn” in v13. 14x in OT. From bakar (see note LXX above). This is the rights granted to the firstborn.

32 Esau said, “CLXXVI am aboutCLXXVI to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 

33 Jacob said, “SwearCLXXVII to me first.”CLXXVIII So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 

Notes on verses 32-33

CLXXV {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v24. See note CXXXVI above.
CLXXVI “about” = halak. Same as “went” in v22. See note CXX above.
CLXXVII “swear” = shaba. Related to “Sheba” in v3 & “seventy” in v7 & “seven” in v17. See note XV above.
CLXXVIII “first” = yom. Literally “as of this day.” Same as “first” in v7. See note CLXXII above.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau breadCLXXIX and lentil stew, and he ateCLXXX and drank,CLXXXI and roseCLXXXII and went his way.CLXXXIII Thus Esau despisedCLXXXIV his birthright.

Notes on verse 34

CLXXIX “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CLXXX “ate” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXXXI “drank” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
CLXXXII “rose” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
CLXXXIII “went his way” = halak. Same as “went” in v22. See note CXX above.
CLXXXIV “despised” = bazah. This is to despise, hold in contempt, disesteem, or a person who is vile.

Image credit: “Esau Sells his Birthright to Jacob. Isaac sends Esau to hunt.” by Jacob van Zeunen, circa 1650.

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