Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us

Chayei Sarah in a Nutshell

Chayei Sarah in a Nutshell

Genesis 23:1–25:18

 Email

Sarah dies at age 127 and is buried in the Machpelah Cave in Hebron, which Abraham purchases from Ephron the Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver.

Abraham’s servant Eliezer is sent, laden with gifts, to Charan, to find a wife for Isaac. At the village well, Eliezer asks G‑d for a sign: when the maidens come to the well, he will ask for some water to drink; the woman who will offer to give his camels to drink as well shall be the one destined for his master’s son.

Rebecca, the daughter of Abraham’s nephew Bethuel, appears at the well and passes the “test.” Eliezer is invited to their home, where he repeats the story of the day’s events. Rebecca returns with Eliezer to the land of Canaan, where they encounter Isaac praying in the field. Isaac marries Rebecca, loves her, and is comforted over the loss of his mother.

Abraham takes a new wife, Keturah (Hagar), and fathers six additional sons, but Isaac is designated as his only heir. Abraham dies at age 175 and is buried beside Sarah by his two eldest sons, Isaac and Ishmael.

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
14 Comments
1000 characters remaining
jason wyck November 11, 2015

Please clarify. Im really need closure to this subject matter. Okay if Keturah is Hagar, where was Ishmael in all this? Please don't tell me that there is a high possibility that Abraham could had built the Qaaba with Ishmael. I'm not a scholar on Torah but to me it seems like Abraham had enough time to built the Qaaba. Please prove me wrong and explain it to me. I need closure with this. Reply

Anonymous November 14, 2014

Keturah/ Hagar Avraham remarried Keturah who is Hagar. Hagar is referred to as Ketura since she has done repentance (Teshuva) and started a new life as a good person. Reply

Anonymous October 20, 2013

portion This portion teaches about our souls being formed as having an ability of conscience to mend and to allow healing so that we may be strong to fulfill G-d's over all plan.
As Jews today we must have the strength and ability to withstand any obstacle of life and death so that we may serve G-d with strength and might.
Reply

Betie Newton glendale(az) November 9, 2012

I have a difficult time with Hagar marrying Abraham.If so, why is this not told to the arabs.? Reply

Anonymous Miami November 8, 2012

Keturah/Hagar Perhaps because after Hashem sent Hagar back to be obediant to Sarah, Hagar became a nice person...After all was she not promised a good future and Sarah being the strong kind faithful woman that she was may have helped Hagar to become a better wife, A wife Abraham would need after her passing. Reply

anonymous ottawa, canada November 20, 2011

Rivkah/Keturah Rivkah, I think of the span of time lived by the patriarchs as the rise of an era marked by a certain novel event, like a cultural development that takes hold and never lets go, but supports and gives way to the next cultural development represent by the next patriarch, and so on.

Keturah: I wonder what it says in Hebrew??? When I read the King James bible, or any English translation, I wonder how much it veers from what is meant in Hebrew or Greek. Sometimes the entire message is completely transformed by the misapplication of one word. Not being able to read Hebrew and Greek will forever hold me back in my quest to plumb history through mythology. Reply

Jay Tompkins November 19, 2011

From a comment in the Geneva Bible of 1560 I have learned that Abraham was married to Ketura while Sarah was alive. Genesis 25 vs 1. Reply

Rivkah williamsport, pa November 19, 2011

Sarah and Abraham's ages at death It is hard to believe Sarah and Abraham lived such long lives, but I guess Torah scholars accept it as fact. Reply

Rochie in Austin Austin, Tx via chabadsa.com November 18, 2011

Keturah I too would like to know why Abraham remarried Keturah after Sarah's death, if indeed she WAS Hagar.There seems to be some question as to whether Keturah was indeed Hagar. Google Keturah and look at the WIkipedia article for further reference. Reply

Anonymous Mesa, Arizona, USA November 16, 2011

Chayei Sarah The last sentence makes sense to me. For Abraham Avinu was such special righteous man. I understand why a woman would not marry anyother man again after having such a wonderful husband.
Although, like me, I never married again because of the bad experience I had. Two opposite. Living for Hashem, Blessed be His Name, is the most rewarding life. Reply

Rabbi Menachem Posner November 16, 2011

To Anon in Mesa, AZ Keturah's children were indeed not present at Abraham's passing. This is because, as we read in Gen. 25:6, Abraham had given them gifts and sent them to the land of the East.

As to what Keturah means, there are a number of suggestions, all of them pointing to her righteousness. According to some it is related to the word "ketoret," incense, a reference to the fact that her actions were as pleasing before G-d as incense. Other traditions associate it with the word for "tying," reflecting the fact that she had bound herself shut to all men other than Abraham. It was due to this special righteousness and loyalty that Abraham took her back after Sarah had died and Isaac and Rebecca were settled.

Reply

annonymous ottawa, canada November 15, 2011

Cave in Hebron Very informative and lots to think about. The first question that popped up for me was about Sarah's burial in a cave. I wonder where that tradition originated. Reply

annonymous ottawa, canada November 15, 2011

Response to Annonymous Arizonaf Abraham's remarriage to Hagar was new to me too! I heard Hagar was actually royalty, maybe a princess before she became Sarah's handmaiden, then Abraham's second wife. This may explain why she treated Sarah with contempt, but I might be wrong. Reply

Anonymous Mesa, Arizona, USA November 15, 2011

Chayei Sarah Where were Keturah and Abraham's children at Abraham's burial? Torah tells there were Isaac and Ishmael at the burial.
What does "Keturah" means? Hagar changed her name later. It seems she returned to Abraham after Sarah death. Isn't this some kind of betrayal? After all, she treated Sarah with contempt, no? I know we need to forgive, and forget. And I also know that Abraham Avinu was a compassionate, loving, man. But I thought that Hagar went back to Egypt. This is kind of confusing to me. What happened to these new children. What became of them?
Thank you for your response in advance. Reply