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Rebecca

Information about Rebecca

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According to the Talmud, the Torah's explicit dating of the life of Ishmael helps to date various events in Jacob's life and, by implication, the age of Rebecca at her death. Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86 years old (Gen. 16:16) and died at the age of 137 (Gen. 25:17). Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 (Gen. 21:5); at that time Ishmael was 14. Jacob and Esau were born when Isaac was 60 (Gen. 25:26); at that time Ishmael was 74. Right after Jacob receives the blessings and flees to Laban, the Torah states that Esau married "Mahalat, the daughter of Ishmael, son of Abraham, sister of Nebaiot" (Gen. 28:9), on which Rashi, quoting Megillah 17a, notes that Ishmael died between the engagement and wedding, so the girl's brother gave her away. If Ishmael was 137 at the time of his death, this means that Jacob and Esau were 63 at the time of the blessings. The Talmud adds that Jacob spent 14 years in the yeshiva of Shem and Eber before proceeding to Laban, arriving when he was 77. Rebecca's death after Jacob's 20 years with Laban indicates that Jacob was 97 when his mother died and Rebecca was either 120 or 134 (based on different Midrashim mentioned earlier about her age at marriage).