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חיי שׂרה - "Sarah Lived"

Weekly parashah #5: Chayei Sarah



Genesis 23:1

Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.

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The Hebrew Word

The name of this week's parashah contains two Hebrew words: chayei and sarah.
חיי (chayei) comes from chai (Strong's #2416) which means "alive" or "life". It is used 255 times in 218 verses in the Tanakh.

The other word, שׂרה (sarah), is Strong's #8283 and means "princess". This is the name of the Avraham's wife: Sarah. It is used 38 times in 32 verses in the Tanakh and every time it is used it refers to the matriarch Sarah.

First use in Scripture

The first time chai is used in Scripture is in Genesis 1:20.

Genesis 1:20

Then G-d said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

The first time Sarah is used in Scripture is in Genesis 17:15.

Genesis 17:15

Then G-d said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

Last use in Scripture

The last time chai is used in Scripture is in Zechariah 14:8.

Zechariah 14:8

And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

The last time Sarah is used in Scripture is in Isaiah 51:2.

Isaiah 51:1-2

"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug. "Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him."

Parashah Outline

  • Death and Burial of Sarah - Genesis 23:1
  • A Bride for Yitzchak - Genesis 24:1
  • Rivka is Chosen - Genesis 24:15
  • Yitzchak Marries Rivka - Genesis 24:62
  • Avraham's Death - Genesis 25:1
  • Descendents of Ishma'el - Genesis 25:12

Portraits of Messiah

Yitzchak is a picture of Messiah. In a similar way his bride, Rivka, is a picture of the bride of Messiah. A servant is sent to bring the bride to the groom. In a similar way the Holy Spirit is sent to bring the bride of Messiah to Him. The servant of Avraham (traditionally believed to be Eliezer mentioned in Genesis 15:2) is sent under a binding oath. When he arrives he examines the heart of the young woman he encounters to determine if she is the right women. In a similar way the Holy Spirit is sent and examines the heart (Jeremiah 11:20, Isaiah 11:3-4, Hebrews 4:12) to determine if who He finds is indeed the right "woman" to be the bride.

Verse by Verse Notes




Other Observations


None of the traditional 613 commandments is found in this parashah.








218 verses that include chay (Strong's #2416)


View list of verses on


32 verses that include sarah (Strong's #8283)

View list of verses on


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Sheni, 28 Kislev, 5784 - 4th day of Chanukkah

Monday, December 11, 2023


Learn more about this date in history.