Posts Tagged ‘Parashah 10’

Parashah 10: Mikketz (At the end)

Parashah 10: Genesis 41:1-44:17

“At the end of two years, Pharaoh had a dream …” (Genesis 41:1).

Two years after Joseph interprets the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker, Pharaoh has two dreams.  One dream is about the Nile River,  lean cows and fat cows.  The other is about seven ears of corn and the eastern winds. 

The seven fat cows came out of the Nile River which was the lifeline of Egypt.  Because Egypt has virtually no rainfall throughout the entire year, it relies on the yearly flooding of the river to provide water for crops. The dream also included the Egyptian gods: Osiris and Isis.  The god Osiris represented by a bull was the god of the Nile.  The goddess Isis, represented by a cow, was a goddess-queen who was worshiped as having the power over life and death and was considered to be the source of wisdom. Seeing these gods, the Nile, the bull and the cow brought distress to Pharaoh’s spirit.   He calls for his magicians, but no one in his court can interpret the dreams so that he is satisfied with the meaning.

Pharaoh is told about a Hebrew man, a servant of the captain of the guard, who interpreted the dreams of the baker and cupbearer accurately.  The Egyptians had nothing to do with the Hebrews, but Pharaoh was so agitated he had no other option except to bring a Hebrew slave into his presence.  This action reveals how deeply his spirit was distressed.

By this time, Joseph is 30 years old.  He has spent 13 years in Egypt as a slave, a servant and a prisoner.   He has waited for this moment not realizing the years in captivity were a preparation.  In Hebrew, the numerical value of ahavah or love is 13 and so is echad or unity.  The number 13 also represents cleansing and purifying. 

Joseph washed and dressed for his meeting with Pharaoh, his work of purification.   I have been told numerous times that Elohim doesn’t care how we dress when we go to church.  I always refer to Matthew 22 and the King’s wedding feast.  There is one person who arrives wearing the wrong clothes and is removed from the banquet.  There is  protocol when meeting with a king, and Pharaoh is no different.  Joseph prepares physically to meet Pharaoh because his appearance will be his first testimony.  It also shows his respect for Pharaoh and the great task ahead. 

Joseph has also been prepared spiritually.  He has matured since the days of his youthful dreams when he antagonized his family by calling attention to his self-righteous superiority.  After years of being humbled through slavery, false accusations and prison, he realizes Elohim’s faithfulness to protect him and keep him alive in his worst-case life scenarios. He has been prepared to win the confidence and respect of a heathen king and court by giving full credit to the Elohim of Isra’el.  He acts with utmost courtesy and restraint, and directs all of his praise to El Shaddai.

Once he listens to Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph explains that the dreams predict seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine.   The famine will be so severe that the time of abundance will be forgotten.    The fact that both dreams have the same interpretation is a ‘witness of two’ indicating the matter has been fixed by Elohim and cannot be changed.

Others in Pharaoh’s court had tried to interpret the dreams, but they could not resolve the problem of lean and fat cows and full and dried ears of corn occurring simultaneously.  It was an enigma.   Joseph’s interpretation satisfied Pharaoh’s longing for understanding.  Only the Spirit of Elohim could still the distraught ‘spirit of Pharaoh’ and bring him shalom.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Peace or shalom – שלום – shin, lamed, vav, mem

consuming the one bound to chaos

Not only did Joseph interpret the dreams, but he offered advice on managing the years of abundance and the years of famine.  Because he was able to interpret and offer a solution to the problem,  Pharaoh saw something different in Joseph than his magicians and exclaimed,

“Can we find anyone else like him?  The Spirit of God lives in him!”  “The Spirit of God lives in him” (Genesis 41:38).

In Egypt, the winds generally blow from north to south, but there is a southeast wind that blows from the deserts of Arabia.  It is called a khamsin and has disastrous effects upon plants because it is hot and dry.  It also brings with it small dust particles which are harmful to humans if inhaled so most people stay in their homes during this time.  Khamsin means 50 in Arabic and generally the winds last about 50 days.  Whatever happened in the days of Joseph, this southeast wind either lasted seven years or came in 50-day intervals over seven years rendering every living thing in Egypt dead. 

The number 50 in Hebrew is the letter noon.  The Hebrew letter picture is a ‘fish’ and means to ‘bring life.’   Even though a deadly eastern wind was coming to destroy Egypt, life is being offered to Egypt and the children of Isra’el through a Hebrew savior named Joseph.

A Wise Man

“Look for a man both discreet and wise to put in charge of the land of Egypt.  Appoint supervisors over the land to receive a twenty percent tax on the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.  They should gather all the food produced during these good years coming up and set aside grain under the supervision of Pharaoh to be used for food in the cities, and they should store it.  This will be the land’s food supply for the seven years of famine that will come over the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish as a result of the famine” (Genesis 41:33-36).

Joseph is not looking for the position he suggests to Pharaoh.  He was an Egyptian prisoner, a Hebrew slave.  He was not trained for such authority, had no experience with that kind of responsibility  and was still only a young man.  What he didn’t realize as he spoke prophetically was that Elohim had prepared him for this exact moment in time.  Joseph had been faithful in the little things of which he had been put in charge, now he would be put in charge of many things.

“His master said to him, ‘Excellent! You are a good and trustworthy servant. You have been faithful with a small amount, so I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and join in your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23)

Joseph is given Pharaoh’s signet ring, a sign of his new position and closeness to the king. The signet ring would be evidence to everyone in Egypt and the surrounding nations that Joseph had the highest authority in all of Egypt except for Pharaoh.  A signet ring could be worn on a finger or a chain around the neck;  Joseph is given the gold chain. 

He is clothed in fine linen as evidence of his new status in Egypt and rides in the second best chariot.  Everyone in Egypt ‘bows down’ whenever he passes by.

He is also given an Egyptian name, Tzafanat-Pa’neach, that would allow him to be accepted in the Egyptian court and among the Egyptian people.  There are many possible meanings of his new name from ‘one who reveals mysteries’ to ‘the savior of the world,’ but the most accepted is ‘the god speaks and he lives.’

Joseph is given Asenath whose name means ‘peril or misfortune’ as his wife.  Joseph would not have chosen to marry a pagan woman, but as the second highest ranking official in Egypt, he is given no choice.  El Shaddai honors this marriage by giving  Joseph’s first two children an inheritance with the sons of Isra’elEl Shaddai blessed Joseph’s marriage and his offspring became an important part of the history of Isra’el.

Elohim also uses this marriage to strengthen Joseph’s position as a national leader. Asenath is the daughter of Poti-Fera (Ra has given), the priest of On, a priest of the sun god Ra.  The city of On was also known as Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.  It was the center of the worship of Ra and was located 10 miles northeast of modern-day Cairo. The high priest in On held the title ‘Greatest of Seers.’  When Joseph married Asenath, he joined the social class to which only national leaders belonged.  This marriage arrangement was more evidence of Pharaoh’s confidence that Joseph was a true ‘seer’ or prophet of the highest caliber.

Selah

Joseph was never part of the kingly lineage of Judah nor ever given the option of choosing long life or riches like Solomon.  Instead, his path of life was determined by his brothers.   He was given a wise and understanding heart and rendered justice in Egypt like no other leader.   He was given great honor in the king’s court and posterity through his two sons.   Solomon’s sons divided the nation of Isra’el and it remains divided today.  Like Joseph, Yeshua was rejected by his brothers, had wisdom and understanding and will soon return to render justice and restore the divided nation.

Two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were born to Joseph before the famine arrived.  From the meanings of their names, it seems that Joseph was honest with Asenath about his past, his family and his Elohim.   It is even probable that she became a believer in the El Shaddai of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for Elohim does not desire that his people be unequally yoked.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Manasseh (Causing to Forget) or M’nasheh – מנשה – mem, noon, shin, hey

behold, the life that overcomes chaos

Ephraim (Fruit) or Efrayim – אפריםalef, peh, resh, yod, mem

the source of strength is the head, the finished work of chaos

The Testing of the Brothers

During the years of abundance so much sheber (grain) was collected, quantities like the sand of seashore, that Joseph stopped counting the amount.  After seven years of abundance, a famine covered the whole earth including Canaan. 

Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt so “the sons of Isra’el” were sent by their father to buy grain from the Egyptians.  By using the name Isra’el in the passage, the journey to buy grain becomes a spiritual journey from which the sons of Isra’el learn the message of the redemption through repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

Joseph knows his brothers immediately, but they don’t recognize him.  He is dressed in the robes of an Egyptian leader and wields great authority.  He has an Egyptian name and speaks to them through an interpreter.   They bow before him and he remembers his dream of the haystacks.  The prophetic dream comes to pass nearly 23 years later in a foreign country.

Joseph tells them he believes they are spies and sends them to prison.  For three days the topic of conversation revolves around what they did to their brother and the never-ending feelings of guilt.  Joseph detains Simeon when he sends his frightened brothers home for Benjamin.  He also puts the money they brought in their grain bags.   This confuses the brothers, but causes them to face their need to repent for their actions toward Joseph many years ago.  The circumcision of their hearts begins.

When they need to return for more grain, Judah tells his father, “The man expressly warned us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you’” (Genesis 43:3).  Judah knows that his father still grieves the loss of Joseph and fears losing his youngest son.

Judah makes a promise to his father,

Send the boy with me; and we will make preparations and leave; so that we may stay alive and not die, both we and you, and also our little ones.  I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible.  If I fail to bring him to you and present him to your face, let me bear the blame forever” (Genesis 43:8-9).

Judah, the man who had lost his sons to death, the man who had twins with the righteous Tamar, guarantees the safety of Benjamin and Isra’el’s sons’ return from Egypt. 

When Joseph sees Benjamin, he is so emotionally overwhelmed that he goes to his bedroom to weep. The brothers are fearful alone inside Joseph’s house. They have no idea what this Egyptian leader wants with them and their two decades of guilt consumes them.   Joseph’s servant tries to comfort them.

“Stop worrying….  Don’t be afraid.  Your God and the God of your father put treasure in your packs.  As for your money – I was the one who received it” (Genesis 43:23).

The servant speaks of the Elohim of their father?  How would an Egyptian servant know about El Shaddai?  Joseph had already told them when he set them free from prison “he feared Elohim” and now his servant is telling them to put their faith in “the Elohim of their father.” 

It becomes apparent Joseph may have been Jacob’s favored son because of his love for his Elohim while his brothers were much less spiritually inclined men.  The years in Egypt have been a time of testing for Joseph, a time of spiritual growth and refining.  His brothers had not been put to the tests that he had and had not grown spiritually.  They remained stuck with their guilty consciences.

When Joseph returns to the room, the brothers have a noon meal with him. Reuben, the firstborn, sits in the place of honor and the youngest, Benjamin, in the last place.  The brothers are amazed that this powerful man of Egypt knows their birth order.  Yet none of them consider this Egyptian man could be their long-lost brother.  The whole idea seems preposterous as the last time they saw him, he was a slave!

When they leave to return to Canaan, Joseph tests his brothers a second time.  All of their money is returned to the grain bags and Joseph’s silver goblet is hidden in Benjamin’s bag.  This cup would have been a ‘cup of divination’ or a way to divine gods.  According to Deuteronomy 18:10-12, divination is an unacceptable practice among Elohim’s people. Did Joseph actually divine information from a cup?  No, he did not.

Joseph had a very personal relationship with El Shaddai who communicated with him through dreams.  He had interpreted Pharaoh’s dream through the Spirit of Elohim and did not need to divine information from Egyptian gods.  The ‘cup of divination’ was part of the religious culture in which Joseph lived.  He wanted his brothers to think that he, only second in command to Pharaoh, could ‘divine’ knowledge,  but the information was firsthand knowledge not from some other worldly ‘cup of divination.’  Joseph uses the cup to frighten his brothers who knew about ‘divining cups’ and would believe this great Egyptian leader had so much authority he could see right into their hearts and accuse them of the guilt that had put them in spiritual bondage.

Soon after they left the city, Joseph sends his manager to find them.  He accuses them of stealing the silver goblet.  When they are found with the ‘divining cup,’  they tear their clothes.  They know what will happen to their father if they do not return with their youngest brother.  Judah and his brothers return to the city with the goblet and try to explain the problem to Joseph.  The consequences required for stealing the goblet was to make Benjamin a slave.

Yeshua is Tested

“Then the Spirit led Yeshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary.  After Yeshua had fasted forty days and nights, he was hungry. The Tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, order these stones to become bread.” But he answered, “The Tanakh says, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai’”

“Then the Adversary took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the Temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “jump! For the Tanakh says, ‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you…. They will support you with their hands, so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’”

“Yeshua replied to him, ‘But it also says, ‘Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’”

“Once more, the Adversary took him up to the summit of a very high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, and said to him, ‘All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.’ ‘Away with you, Satan!’”

“Yeshua told him, ‘For the Tanakh says, Worship Adonai your God, and serve only him.’”

Then the Adversary let him alone, and angels came and took care of him” (Matthew 4:1-11).

“Then Yeshua, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, returned from the Yarden and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days of testing by the Adversary. During that time he ate nothing, and afterwards he was hungry. The Adversary said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, order this stone to become bread.’”

“Yeshua answered him, The Tanakh says, ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”

“The Adversary took him up, showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world, and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and glory. It has been handed over to me, and I can give it to whomever I choose. So if you will worship me, it will all be yours.’

“Yeshua answered him, ‘The Tanakh says, Worship Adonai your God and serve him only.’”

“Then he took him to Yerushalayim, set him on the highest point of the Temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump from here!  For the Tanakh says,‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you and to protect you. They will support you with their hands, so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.”

“Yeshua answered him, ‘It also says, ‘Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’”

“When the Adversary had ended all his testings, he let him alone until an opportune time” (Luke 4:1-13).

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

1 Kings 3:10-14 

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Acts 7:9-16

Midrash Mikketz: Signet Rings

Signet rings are the symbol of authority and divine choice (Haggai 2:23).   Judah, Pharaoh of Egypt and King Xerxes (book of Esther) had signet rings and gave them away.  Discuss how signet rings have affected Elohim’s eternal plan for Isra’el.

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article.  For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes, Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 11: Vayigash (He approached)

Parashah 11: Genesis 44:18-47:27

“Then Y’hudah approached Yosef and said, “Please my lord!  Let your servant say something to you privately; and don’t be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself” (Genesis 44:18).

Judah pleads for Benjamin’s life and the life of his father who will die if Benjamin is not returned.   Judah intercedes as the ‘redeemer’ for Benjamin as well as for all the brothers, Isra’el.   Judah is the tribal lineage of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, who came not only to intercede for Isra’el, but also the nations.  Located in the tribal inheritance of Benjamin is the city of Elohim, Jerusalem, the place where His name dwells and the high priest ministers to him.

 “But because he [Yeshua] lives forever, his position as cohen does not pass on to someone else; and consequently, he is totally able to deliver those who approach God through him; since he is alive forever and thus forever able to intercede on their behalf. This is the kind of cohen gadol [high priest] that meets our need — holy, without evil, without stain, set apart from sinners and raised higher than the heavens…” (Hebrews 7:24-26).

Joseph has tested his brothers numerous times to find out if they had repented of their sin against him and to know what was in their hearts. He has come to believe they deeply love their father and know that if he loses his youngest son, it will kill him.  They want to protect their youngest brother as well as their “gray haired” father (Proverbs 20:29).  As they have walked their spiritual journey to and from Egypt numerous times, they have been convicted, challenged and unified as brothers.

“At last Yosef could no longer control his feelings in front of his attendants and cried, “Get everybody away from me!” So no one else was with him when Yosef revealed to his brothers who he was.  He wept aloud, and the Egyptians heard, and Pharaoh’s household heard.  Yosef said to his brothers, “I am Yosef! Is it true that my father is still alive?” His brothers couldn’t answer him, they were so dumbfounded at seeing him.  Yosef said to his brothers, “Please! Come closer.” And they came closer. He said, “I am Yosef, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t be sad that you sold me into slavery here or angry at yourselves, because it was God who sent me ahead of you to preserve life. The famine has been over the land for the last two years, and for yet another five years there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me ahead of you to ensure that you will have descendants on earth and to save your lives in a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:1-7).

Joseph could not contain himself any longer.  His grief from years of feeling lost in a foreign culture was finally released. His heartache from being separated from those he loved was finally over.  He wept.  He wept so loud the Egyptians heard him along with everyone in Pharaoh’s house. 

The Hebrew words for ‘he wept loudly’ are vyiten et qolow.  Within that phrase is the little word et, את , the alef and the tav that represents Yeshua.  In the midst of Jacob’s weeping loudly was Yeshua.  Salvation had come to Joseph, the reality of Yeshua restoring the brothers, the nation of Isra’el.

Joseph’s brothers are dumbfounded.  The phrase is “they were troubled at his presence.” The Hebrew word ‘troubled’ comes from bahal and means ‘dismayed.’ “When Rabbi El’azar would read this verse, he would weep: “If the rebuke of flesh and blood is thus, how much more so the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He!”

Joseph tells everyone except his brothers to leave.  He asks them to “Come close.”  A few verses later he tells them “Here! Your own eyes see and the eyes of your brother Benjaimin that it is my own mouth speaking to you” (Genesis 45:12).  Rashi suggests the brothers needed further proof that Joseph was truly their brother so he draws them closer to reveal his heritage. “Your own eyes see [my glory] and  that I am your brother for I am circumcised as you are and, furthermore, “That my mouth speaks to you” in the Holy Language [Hebrew].”

Joseph embraces Benjamin and weeps.  He weeps on his other brothers and they talk with one another.  Joseph tells his brothers to return home.  They are to bring their father, their wives and their children to live in the land of Egypt.  Their spiritual journey continues as they obey a brother they “did not recognize.”  They are delivered from their sin through the forgiveness of Joseph.  As they obey his instructions, they set in motion a great family reunion.

It would be a monumental project moving a nation of people from one place to another, especially for an old man like Jacob.   Elohim’s treasured possession would need special attention.  Joseph understood this and sent wagons to escort his father’s family to their new homeland.

The wagons and the animals pulling them would be proof that Joseph was alive and waiting for his father in a distant land.  The Torah gives an instruction for an atonement when someone is found murdered in a field and no murderer is found.  A heifer is to be taken to a vadi where its neck is broken.  All the leaders nearest to where the victim was found were to wash their hands as a statement that the blood was not shed by their hands nor did they know who shed the blood (Deuteronomy 1:1-9).  With the living animals pulling the wagons, Rashi suggests that Jacob knew his son had not been murdered because the animals were alive.  He also suggests the wagon was a sign to  Jacob as this was the instruction Joseph was learning when he left home to find his brothers.

Joseph makes sure his brothers have enough provision for their journey and each brother is given a new set of clothes.  Not only had they been forgiven of their sin, they have been purified.  They also received a new status; they became the brothers of the second man in authority over all Egypt. 

Benjamin received 7 ½ pounds of silver and 5 sets of new clothes.  Benjamin had not taken part in the brothers’ sin nor did he need to be purified.  Five is the number of grace or favor.  Joseph is showing Benjamin special favor, his younger brother from his mother Rachel.  Seven has the spiritual significance of completion while eight is the number of new beginnings.  Seven and half pounds of silver suggests these brothers are halfway between the completion of the last 23 years of struggle and a new beginning.  They still have a journey to complete – telling their father everything that has happened to them in Egypt.

Joseph sends ten donkeys loaded with Egypt’s finest produce as well as ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread and food for the return journey.  The number 10 speaks of divine perfection as well as power and protection.  By sending 10 male and 10 female donkeys, Joseph is reminding his brothers, and eventually showing his father, that what happened in the past had divine purpose and holds prophetic vision for Isra’el.

Still aware of their sibling rivalry, Joseph doesn’t completely trust them and warns them,

“Don’t quarrel among yourselves while you’re traveling” (Genesis 45:24).

El Shaddai knew that Jacob would hesitate to move his family to a pagan land even if his son was alive.  He may doubt that Joseph was the same young man who disappeared 23 years earlier, the young man with whom he had a deep spiritual connection.   For over two decades, Joseph had lived in the Egyptian court and had become the second highest ranking official in Egypt.   He may not have only taken on an Egyptian lifestyle, but perhaps he chose to serve their gods forgetting his Hebrew roots.   The wagon sent a second message:

Do not fear, father. I am still your son, Yosef. I have withstood the influence of Egypt. I rule the people in their culture, but it does not rule me.  The world I once knew, that world of Avraham, Yitz’ak and you, my father,  is still alive and exists within my household. I have confronted the problems and challenges of Egypt, yet I was able to assimilate my world, the world of my youth, into Egypt. This land which is opposed to all that I was taught in my youth, all the morals, beliefs and ideals that you instilled in me, has not affected me.  Father, do not fear! I am still Yosef your son.”

The Foreign Jesus

The Greek Jesus

Because Joseph is dressed like an Egyptian, talks like an Egyptian and lives like an Egyptian in an Egyptian palace,  his brothers do not recognize him.  Though it was important for him to have an Egyptian name and an Egyptian wife to assimilate into the culture that kept him alive, it was not who he really was.  He was still a Hebrew, a son of Jacob who maintained his faith in the El Shaddai of his father.  He named his children, Manasseh and Ephraim with his former life still held in his heart.   He did not at any time embrace the gods of Egypt even with a wife whose father was a high priest for the sun god Ra.

Pharaoh had seen the power of El Shaddai living in Joseph and the wisdom that allowed his country to be protected from the torment of the famine.  Joseph is sometimes called ‘Joseph the Righteous’ because of his great faith in El Shaddai and his ability to live as a Hebrew among the Egyptians without compromising his walk of faith in the Elohim of Isra’el.  

Today, many Jewish people do not recognize their own Jewish Messiah because he has been clothed in the garments of other gods and goddesses.  False religious  traditions from Egypt, Greece and Rome have assimilated not only culturally into Christianity,  but also spiritually with a pagan worship system of idolatry.   These traditions embrace false gods and goddesses like Ishtar (Easter), Saturn (Christmas) and Ra (the day of Sun) who cannot deliver from sin and guilt nor have the power to bring forth repentance, forgiveness and purification from sin.    

Jewish people who see the Greek Jesus have no desire for him.  They know that many of the commands given to them by HaShem were for all time, throughout their generations.  When they see the Sabbath has been forsaken for Sunday or those who claim to love Elohim eat all manner of unclean foods, they shy away from learning about their own salvation.  The Shema or the foundation of all Jewish prayer and faith speaks about Elohim being echad or ‘one.’ When they hear of the trinity dividing HaShem into three separate parts and worshipped individually, they turn away.  They are waiting for their Messiah, but because of anti-semitic doctrines that have removed every Biblically Jewish tradition from the faith, they cannot see him.  They cannot see the Elohim of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Sha’ul says their minds are veiled because they don’t know Messiah Yeshua, but they can’t know him through the people, language and the culture in which he is now presented (2 Corinthians 3:14-15).  The prophet Jeremiah promised a new covenant for the House of Judah and the House of Isra’el, but its provisions have been hijacked by non-Jews and transformed into a religion that is foreign and not palatable for the brothers and sisters of Yeshua. Even using the terms Jesus Christ make them believe that the leader of the Christian faith has a first and last name, a name that has nothing to do with them. 

The Jewish Messiah

Jewish Yeshua

The Jewish Messiah taught the Torah and that nothing in it would end until there was a new heaven and earth (Matthew 5:17-18).  He is the prophetic vision of the Feasts of Elohim found in Leviticus 23.  He instituted the new covenant promised by Jeremiah to Isra’el at Pesach (Passover), was buried on Matzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread), rose from the dead on HaBikkurim (Feast of Firstfruits).   His Father poured out His Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh on the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot ten days after Yeshua ascended into the heavens.  Yeshua will return as King of kings on Yom Teruah, judge the nation of Isra’el on Yom Kippur and set up his Millennial Kingdom and rule from Jerusalem beginning on Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).  He never changed the Sabbath, but taught he is Lord of the Sabbath.  He never ate unclean foods nor taught that his Father’s dietary laws had changed.  He told the Jewish people at Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication) that he and his Father are echad. His name was known before the foundations of the world and was given to Joseph before he married Miryam.  That name is Yeshua which means ‘salvation.’  As the son of man, he is Yeshua ben Yosef; as the Son of God, he is Yeshua ben Elohim.

He is Alive!

“Yosef is still alive!  He is ruler over the whole land of Egypt!’  He [Ya’akov] was stunned at the news; he couldn’t believe them…. It was only when he saw the wagons which Yosef had sent to carry him that the spirit of Ya’akov their father revived”  (Genesis 45:26-27). 

When first hearing the news that Joseph was alive and was a great ruler over Egypt, Jacob’s heart is filled with disbelief and shock.  He has been a doubter, especially when it came to his sons’ integrity, “he couldn’t believe them.”  It was only after seeing the wagons “his spirit revived.” The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ in this verse is ruach, the same word used for the Spirit of Elohim.  In order for a spirit to revive, it must have been dead. When Jacob was shown the bloodied coat many years earlier, he immediately believed his beloved son to be dead.  Hearing the news that his son was actually alive, jolted his spiritual heart and it began beating again, pumping spiritual life through his body.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Revive or chayah – חיה – chet, yod, hey

inner room (heart) finished work revealed

The history of Jacob began with “when Yosef was seventeen,” but there is no mention of him again until there is a famine and he hears there is grain in Egypt. As Jacob, he sends the sons of Isra’el  down to Egypt for food.  When the men return to their father, he is still referred to as Jacob.  When Benjamin is taken to Egypt, Jacob’s spirit further succumbs believing evil will happen to his youngest son.  Now, his spirit has been revived.

In the Targum Onkelos, the word ‘prophecy’ is added to the phrase “the spirit [of prophecy] of Jacob their father revived” giving an interesting allusion to the passage.  Because Jacob had been in deep mourning for 22 years, he had no joy and lacked the ‘spirit of prophecy.’ When his spirit revived, the Divine Presence of El Shaddai returned. He was filled with joy and the ‘spirit of prophecy’ returned to Isra’el. 

Joy and prophecy are connected several times in Scripture (1 Samuel 10:5-6, 16:15-23, 2 Kings 3:14-18).  It is believed that a prophetic message can only be received when there is joy, and nothing awakens and feeds the human soul more than the joy intrinsic to music. According to rabbinical literature,  it was the gentle music of Serach, Jacob’s granddaughter, that enabled Jacob to receive the incredible news that Joseph was still alive.  As this daughter of Asher played the lyre and sang, the music opened Jacob’s grieving heart allowing it to feel joy again, thus reviving his spirit. To be a woman mentioned in a genealogy means that Serach’s life held great importance and this may be the reason (Genesis 46:17).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Serah or Serach – שרח – shin, resh, chet

the glory of the head inner room (heart)

Jacob has a prophetic vision at Be’er Sheva and El Shaddai tells him not to be afraid to go to Egypt.  It is in Egypt that Elohim will make him into a great nation.   With the anticipation of reuniting with Joseph and the continuing promises of El Shaddai, he loads the wagons and travels to Egypt with his sons, grandsons, daughters, granddaughters and all his descendants.

Isra’el Enters Egypt

A small nation of seventy people enters Egypt though the book of Acts records 75.  There are two views as to why there is this discrepancy.   The first is that Hebrew letters are used as numerals and could be interpreted several different ways.    The second thought is that the sons of Manasseh and Ephraim, who Jacob accepted as his own sons,  were counted as part of the nation of Isra’el along with Joseph and his wife (1 Chronicles 7:14-21).

Because Reuben and Simeon lost their leadership roles in the family due to sinful behavior,  Judah is sent ahead of the caravan to guide the group into the land of Goshen.   Judah, the brother who wanted to sell Joseph into slavery,  now guides the nation of Isra’el leading them from famine into a fruitful land. He has been given the scepter and draws the family closer towards the Promised Land.

“He presented himself to him, fell on him and wept on his neck for a long time” (Genesis 46:29).

Joseph prepares his chariots and heads to Goshen to see his father.  The Hebrew word for ‘presented’ is vayera and actually means ‘appeared.’  This word is generally used for the sudden appearance of angels or Elohim.  To Jacob, his son ‘appeared’ to him as the glory of El Shaddai.  Maimonides believed that a son in this culture would never fall on his elderly father out of respect and postulated that Jacob was the subject of the verb ‘to fall’ and thus it was Jacob who fell on Joseph, the one who appeared to him as the glory of El Shaddai.

Now Isra’el says to Joseph, “Now I can die, because I have seen your face and seen that you are still alive” (Genesis 46:30).  These words are similar to what the prophet Simeon said when he saw Yeshua in the Temple on the day of his redemption, “Now, Adonai, according to your word, your servant is at peace as you let him go; for I have seen with my own eyes your yeshuah [salvation]” (Luke 2:29-30).

Isra’el, like his grandfather Abraham, had the hope of the ‘resurrection of the dead.’  Just as Abraham symbolically received Isaac ‘back from the dead;’ Jacob receives his beloved Joseph ‘back from the dead’ (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Joseph presents five of his brothers to Pharaoh who asks their profession.  They respond they are shepherds which is an abhorrent occupation to Egyptians.  All of Joseph’s brothers were shepherds and probably excellent at animal husbandry like their father so Pharaoh allows Joseph’s family to live in Goshen.  Pharaoh has such high respect for Joseph that he even shows favor to his brothers by putting them in charge of his own livestock.

Joseph also presents his father to Pharaoh. Jacob blesses Pharaoh as he enters the king’s presence and Pharaoh is humbled by this man.   He asks him his age and Jacob replies that his pilgrimage on the earth has been 130 years, less than his father and grandfather, and very difficult (Genesis 47:10). Perhaps having known Joseph and seen his great wisdom and faithfulness to Elohim,  Pharaoh now understands that it came from the greatest patriarch alive at this time.  Before Jacob leaves Pharaoh’s presence, he blesses the greatest, most powerful king of the world a second time (Hebrews 7:7).

The content of Jacob’s blessing is not written, but perhaps it was a blessing for taking care of his son and now, his family.  Isaiah 19:23-25 says that in the day of Elohim, along with Isra’el and Assyria, Egypt will be blessed by El Shaddai and called His people.  Perhaps, with his spirit of prophecy, Isra’el speaks this prophetic word over Pharaoh and Egypt.  By blessing the king twice, the blessing was established by El Shaddai.

Though Isra’el had been brought out of Canaan and the family reunited, the famine continued.  It became so severe that money was collected for grain until there was no money; livestock was traded until there was no more livestock; land was relinquished until all of Egypt was owned by Pharaoh.  The people were reduced to servitude, city by city.   They were given seed to plant and from the crops twenty percent was returned to Pharaoh.  This is how Egypt survived the famine and was able to grow into a great nation in the centuries following the famine.   Isra’el lived in Egypt 17 years.  His sons acquired possessions, were productive and their numbers multiplied greatly.

Yeshua, His Hebrew Name

“Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef, before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh.  Her husband-to-be, Yosef, was a man who did what was right; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly, rather than put her to public shame.  But while he was thinking about this, an angel of Adonai appeared to him in a dream and said, “Yosef, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘Adonai saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins”(Matthew 1:18-24).

“Seeing Yeshua from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him and screamed at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Yeshua, Son of God Ha‘Elyon? I implore you in God’s name! Don’t torture me!” For Yeshua had already begun saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of this man!” (Mark 5:6-8).

“On the eighth day, when it was time for his b’rit-milah [circumcision], he was given the name Yeshua, which is what the angel had called him before his conception” (Luke 2:21).

“Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua,  every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will acknowledge  that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

“Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has cupped the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” (Proverbs 30:4)

Hebrew Word Pictures

Yeshua (Salvation) – ישוע – yod, shin, vav, ayin

the finished work, the glory of the binding, understand

-the finished work consumed by the nails, see

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

Ezekiel 37:15-28

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Acts 7:9-16

Midrash Vayigash: Messiah ben Joseph and the Suffering Servant

Discuss the similarities between the ‘suffering servants,’ Joseph and Yeshua.  The  life of Joseph gives witness to Yeshua as Messiah ben Yosef (see Study Helps for a list.)

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article.  For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes, Wonders of Torah.