It says in Masechet Sotah 5a:

דָרַש רַב עֲוְִירָא זִמְנִין אָמַר לָהּ מִשְּמֵיהּ דְרַב אַסִּי וְְזִמְנִין אָמַר לָהּ מִשְּמֵיהּ דְרַב אַמִי כָל אָדָם שֶיֵּש בוֹ גַּסּוּת הָרוּחַ לַסּוֹף מִתְמַעֵט שֶנֶּאֱמַר רוֹמוּ מְעַט וְְשֶמָא תּאֹמַר יֶשְנוֹ בָעוֹלָם ת״ל וְְאֵינֶנּוּ וְְאִם חוֹזֵר בוֹ נֶאֱסָף בִזְמַנּוֹ כְאַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ

Rav Avira expounded, sometimes he said it in the name of Rabbi Assi and at other times in the name of Rabbi Ami: Every man in who is haughtiness of spirit will in the end be reduced in rank, as it is said, 'They are exalted, there will be reduction of status;' [Iyov 24:24] and lest you think that they remain in existence, the text continues, 'And they are gone.' But if he changes and becomes humble, he will be gathered to his fathers in his due time like our father Avraham

How can we say that a Ba'al Ga'avah who does teshuva will die at his time like Avraham Avinu if Rashi says Avraham Avinu didn't even die in his proper time?

מן האדם האדם. עֲדָשִׁים אֲדֻמּוֹת, וְאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם מֵת אַבְרָהָם, שֶׁלֹּא יִרְאֶה אֶת עֵשָׂו בֶּן בְּנוֹ יוֹצֵא לְתַרְבּוּת רָעָה, וְאֵין זוֹ שֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה שֶׁהִבְטִיחוֹ הַקָּבָּ"ה; לְפִיכָךְ קִצֵּר הַקָּבָּ"ה ה' שָׁנִים מִשְּׁנוֹתָיו, שֶׁיִּצְחָק חַי ק"פ שָׁנָה וְזֶה קע"ה

FROM THIS RED, EVEN THIS RED THING —red lentils. On that day Abraham had died in order that he might not see his grandson Esau falling into degenerate ways. This would not have been the “good old age” (cf. 25:8) which God had promised him; therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, cut his life short by five years — for Isaac lived 180 years and he only one hundred and seventy five.

  • In this case, Avraham didn't die early due to his own fault, but due to Hashem's kindness. Does that make sense? His own time "b'coach" if not "b'poel"
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 13:52
  • 1
    See also Berakhos 6b א"ר חלבו אמר רב הונא כל הקובע מקום לתפלתו אלקי אברהם בעזרו. וכשמת אומרים לו אי עניו אי חסיד מתלמידיו של אברהם אבינו. sefaria.org/Berakhot.6b.6-7 Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 21:43
  • 2
    The gemara in Berakhos also identifies anavah with emulating Avraham Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 21:45
  • Perhaps B'reishis Rabba 65:12 can be taken to mean that there is a five year margin in either direction with respect to what is considered a person's "time". (As far as Terach living to 205 years of age [B'reishis 11:32], perhaps Avraham's mother, Amaslai bas Karnevo [Bava Basra 91a], lived closer to 175 or 180).
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


The sifsie cohen on the torah, at the end of parshas chayei says commenting on the medrash rabba:

Hashem looked into the future before Avraham was born, and saw that his grandson would be a wicked person, so Hashem decreed that Avraham would only live 175 years to begin with, and Avrahams life was not made shorter.

  • I appreciate the answer but it still sounds like he would have had a longer life if not for Esav.
    – yogazefish
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 3:00
  • @yogazefish The reason the great Abraham zl was taken early was to prevent him suffering, not to punish him. He was taken in his due time, even though its less than what he deserved, it was "due" because of other factors. The reason the baal geivah would have been taken away was as a punishment, his haughtiness would bring him down. By repenting and losing his haughtiness, he lost the reason for the decree and can live all his years.
    – BID
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 11:04

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