31 The sons of Beriah: Chever and Malchiel, who was the father of Birzaith.
uv-NAY v’-ree-AH KHE-ver u-mal-kee-AYL HU a-VEE vir-ZA-yit
לא וּבְנֵי בְרִיעָה חֶבֶר וּמַלְכִּיאֵל הוּא אֲבִי ברזות [בִרְזָיִת׃]
In the list of the children of Asher, the name Birzaith (ברזית), which literally means ‘of the oil,’ appears. The Sages debate the significance of this name. Some say it means that this man’s daughters were so beautiful that they married the High Priests, or the kings, who were anointed with the sacred oil made by Moshe. Other interpretations suggest that this is not the name of a person, rather the name of a place found in the tribe of Asher. Either way, the connection between the tribe of Asher and the sacred oil is celebrated in this verse. Indeed, Asher is blessed by both Yaakov and Moshe with an abundance of oil in his territory (see Genesis 49:20 and Deuteronomy 33:24). The Sages state (Menachot 85b) that olive oil would flow like a fountain in the lands of Asher, and its quality was so superior that people in search of high quality oil were sent to the tribe of Asher. Furthermore, they state that Asher’s land was so fertile that in times of shortage, such as during the Sabbatical year when it is prohibited to work the land, Asher would provide olive oil for the entire Nation of Israel.