Gen 23.1-20 is going to give us another picture of the Redemption. Sarah dies and her age is given at her death, the only time this happens with the death of a female, so it means something special. This alludes to the concept that Messiah’s bride was dead. Abraham “weeps” for her and in Hebrew there is a small “kof” in the word. This tells us that his grief was diminished because he knew that death was only a temporary separation. He didn’t parade his grief around for all to see. He speaks to the sons of Heth (meaning “terror”), who are types of the unbeliever, for a burial place. Abraham is a type of Yeshua here and a “mighty prince among us” meaning that death is inferior to Yeshua (Heb 2.14-15).
Abraham bows to the people of the land which alludes to the fact that Yeshua submitted himself to death (Phil 2.8). He wants to approach Ephron, the son of Zohar, for a burial place. Ephron will be a picture of Ha Satan, and the word “Zohar” means “white” which alludes to the “whited tombs” of the unbelievers. He wanted the cave at Machpelah, which means “double.” This speaks of the two aspects of death, one spiritual and the other physical. He would pay full price, which is the price Yeshua paid. This word can also mean “couple” because it was believed that Adam and Chava were buried there. This cave was in a field, symbolizing the world. Paying the price meant that it would be among the sons of Heth (Terror) but they would have no claim to it.
The transaction would be done in public (like Yeshua’s death) so that there would be no question about it. Ephron did not want money from Abraham, he said he would give it to him (v 13). This alludes to the fact that Ha Satan offered the world to Yeshua but he refused (Luke 4.5-7). Had Yeshua not redeemed us, that is what the world would have been, one big tomb. Abraham bowed (emptied himself) and said he would pay the full price because he did not want Ephron to have any control over this transaction (and neither will Satan).
He pays 400 shekels of silver and 400 alludes to the 4000 years that passed before Yeshua came and paid the price. The silver speaks of redemption. In 23.16, the word Ephron has the Hebrew letter “vav” missing from his name, which means something is missing here in the story. So Abraham paid the full price so that there would be question about who it belonged to. After the transaction, Abraham buries Sarah. Now, there are three sites in Scripture that were paid for. Machpelah in our story, Joseph’s tomb and the Temple Mount. All three are being contested today in Israel. Yeshua paid the full price for his bride as well. Satan and the “sons of Heth” (terror) can never claim that anything but the full price was paid, but they will contest it.
Gen 24.1-67 is another picture of the Messiah and his bride. Abraham will be a type of the Father, the servant in these passages will be a picture of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) and Isaac will be a picture of Yeshua, and Rebekah the bride of Messiah. Abraham sends the servant to his relatives (the earth) to find a bride for his son. The prospective bride hears all about the son from the servant, and sees the gifts he has sent her (gifts of the Holy Spirit) and she likes what she hears He is the heir to the father and she agrees to go with the servant and marry a man she has never seen, just like we will do when we believe in Yeshua.
She is worthy to be Isaac’s wife and she has demonstrated a servant’s heart (v 15-20). There are many lessons to learn in this story and as we read we see that Moses had a lot to say about the Messiah Yeshua in the Torah (John 5.39-46). Isaac was last mentioned in Gen 22.9 at the picture of the crucifixion on Mount Moriah and hidden to Gen 24.4. He sees Rebekah “toward evening” (24.63) and this alludes to the end of the 6000 years when Messiah will look and see his bride coming to him in the Natzal. Isaac comes to meet her at the end of her journey and he takes her into Sarah’s tent and she becomes his wife. No mention of any type of ceremony here. He is then comforted after his mother’s death. This speaks of the sorrow Yeshua feels over Israel after 2000 years. Isaac is 40 when he marries Rebekah. Yeshua purchases his bride at 4000 years from creation.
Isaac will be 60 years old when Rebekah gives birth to twins according to the promise of the Lord, and they will be “two nations.” The older son came out and was “red” and hairy so they named him Esau. The second son came out holding the heel of Esau, and he was named Jacob which is a play on the word “Ekev” meaning “heel.” This alludes to the “time of Jacob’s trouble” in the Birth-pains at the time of the “end” or the heel. There will be a major contrast between the two in appearance and affections. Rebekah was told that the older will serve the younger according to the plan of God in a prophecy in Gen 25.23.
Years have gone by and Jacob makes a stew in Gen 25.29 and Esau comes in from the field very hungry, and wants some of that “red stuff” he is making. In Hebrew it says “ha Adam, ha Adam” meaning “the red, red.” This alludes to the fact that Adam sold out his birthright over “food” and died twice, physically and spiritually (Gen 2.17 says in Hebrew, “in dying, you shall die” literally). Esau is now called “Edom” meaning “red” and it has the same root as “Adam” in Hebrew.
In Gen 26 1.25 we learn that Isaac dug three wells, and these allude to the three temples that Israel will build. The first well was called “Esek” meaning “contention.” The nations and strife came against the first Temple and it was destroyed. The second well was called “Sitnah” and it means “hostility” and this word is related to the Hebrew “Satan” meaning adversary. It is said that the second Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred (Talmud, Yoma 9b). The third well was called “Rehoboth” meaning “broad place” and it alludes to Ezekiel’s Temple. It speaks of safety in movement and this Temple will be huge because the whole world will come and worship the Lord there.
Now we come to a very interesting portion of Scripture in Gen 27.1-29 with the blessing of Isaac. Isaac is old and blind now, and this was the plan of the Lord so that the blessing prophesied in Gen 25.23 can be accomplished. Rebekah overhears Isaac saying he was going to give Esau the blessing of the first born. She is going to “help” God’s program through a plan that will also bring much pain. She tells Jacob to bring two choice kids (goats) and to prepare a savory meal for Isaac. These two goats will allude to the two goats on Yom Kippur (Lev 16). Jacob will have the skins of the goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck in case Isaac feels him. Jacob was not as hairy as Esau. This alludes to the concept of atonement and being clothed in Messiah. He also wore the best garments of Esau, a type of the golden garments of the High Priest, and the garments of the priests, on Yom Kippur.
Rebekah has him cook the meal and to put on the garments of goat hair. He then enters into his father’s presence, like going into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, coming face to face (an idiom for Yom Kippur) with his father. They have a covenant meal and then Isaac blesses Jacob, thinking it was Esau. This fulfills the prophecy given to Rebekah before they were born. Then Isaac learns that it was Jacob and does not take the blessing back. The key thing to remember is Jacob did not “steal” the blessing because you can’t steal something that is yours (25.23). Esau sold the blessing because he “despised” it (25.34) and God prophesied that it would happen anyway. Realizing what happened, Isaac blesses Esau. He will dwell far from Jacob and the fertility of the earth. He will dwell with a sword and he will serve his brother. Unbelief (Esau) cannot dwell with faith (Jacob). Esau is furious with Jacob and wants to kill him. The flesh always hates the spirit. It killed Yeshua.
Christianity teaches the concept that Jacob was a deceiver and “stole the birthright.” However, when you study these passages we see that it was God’s plan all along, and the world will be partakers in this blessing. Isaac was God’s tool in blessing Jacob. It was also Rebekah’s idea to do this because of what she was told by the Lord. She was willing to lay down her life because she knew the blessing to Jacob was from God (27.13). She shared the prophecy with Jacob and he also knew it was his destiny (27.20). That is a whole different scenario than what we have heard or what we have been taught. He was not a deceiver. It appears that God caused it to be so, and he clearly stated his intention to Rebekah beforehand (25.23). Sometimes the Lord may ask us to do things others will not understand. There is a providential destiny for all of us and he will cause circumstances to be a certain way to bring it about. He will ask us to do things we don’t understand at the time, but others will benefit from that destiny.
Jacob will flee to Haran and Laban his uncle and Rebekah’s brother. Rebekah says she will send for him again when Esau’s anger subsides, but she will never see him again. So, now we have the individual through whom the nation of Israel will come. This will also begin a 20 year episode in the life of Jacob, which will allude to the 2000 years since Messiah came, as we shall soon see.
We will pick up with Gen 28 in Part 14.