The Written Account
of the Generations of Isaac

25:19 to 35:29

Moses edited and compiled eleven familydocuments in the book of Genesis. Again, the major structural word for Genesis, toldot, means the written account of, or this is what became of these men and their descendants. The noun is often translated generations, histories or descendants. After the section on the written account of the generations of Ishmael from 25:12-18, we have the ninth toldot, the written account of the generations of Isaac (Hebrew: Yitz’chak). The previous toldot told us about the end of the non-seed line of Ishmael. Then this ninth family document tells us what became of Isaac, the son of promise. And what became of Isaac was Jacob, and through his seed, Isra'el, the nation of blessing would be born.

After briefly mentioning Ishmael’s non-seed line, the narrative returns to the seed-line through Yitz’chak. It records Isaac’s prosperity and Jacob’s struggle for the birthright. This section records Jacob’s journey outside the Promised Land, his struggle with God and consequent name change, and finally his return. This section was probably kept and recorded by Jacob himself.

Later, through progressive revelation, Isaiah describes the narrowing of the meaning of the word servant. First, when he uses the term servant, he is talking about the nation of Isra'el, and he uses it three times in 41:8-16, 42:18-22, and 43:10. Secondly, when he uses the term servant, he is dealing with the faithful remnant only, and he uses it three times in 44:1-5, 44:21, and 65:8-16. Third, when Isaiah uses the term Servant, it is in reference to the Messiah, and we find it in 42:1-9, 49:1-7 and 50:4-9, and 52:13 to 53:12. Like a cone, it gets more and more narrow. It starts at the base as the nation of Isra'el, and then progresses to the faithful remnant and finally to the point, which could only be the Messiah (see my commentary on Isaiah Hl – The Cone of Isaiah).

 

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