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Bible study part 4:The well that wont run dry Genesis 32;4- 38;26
Genesis 32;4 Then Jacob sent angels ahead of him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir, the field of Edom. 5 He charged them, saying: “Thus shall you say, ‘To my lord, to Esau, so said your servant Jacob: I have sojourned with Laban and have lingered until now. 6 I have acquired oxen and donkeys, flocks, servants and maidservants and I am sending to tell my lord to find favor in your eyes.’” 7 The angels returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother, to Esau; moreover, he is heading toward you, and four hundred men are with him.”
— The word here for angels is malachim- Malach means angel or messenger or emissary. Thus there is midrash about whether or not these messengers of Jacob were actually men or divine beings. One point is that Jacob surely would not have sent any person out for this task because it was extremely dangerous and that persons life would have been in danger. Jacob wouldn’t have done such a thing. On the other hand, if Jacob had angels at his ‘command’ so to speak , to do his bidding…then why be fearful at all in the first place? But on the other hand , if we look back just a few verses (Genesis 32;2 Jacob went on his way, and angels of God encountered him. 3 Jacob said when he saw them, “This is a Godly camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.) it lines right up that he is in the company of actual angels of God.
The four hundred men = the common size of a moving army, Esau’s intentions are clear, and this time Jacob doesn’t run away. He sends upfront these messengers not only to relay his ‘terms’ for peace in the face of battle, but to gain intelligence as far as how to proceed if they are to engage. Also his message is a sort of explanation to Esau 1)That he has not been living large, he’s been staying under Laban’s roof and 2) that he has worked very hard and long and “I have acquired…”, Jacob wishes to express that he has had to work for all that he has and though he may have received the blessing, it came with the conditions that Jacob faithfully continue in a righteous manner, faithfully and that nothing came easy or free.
Genesis 32;8 Jacob became very frightened, and it distressed him. So he divided the people with him, and the flocks, cattle, and camels into two camps.
–Jacob knows that the future of his offspring depends on his sons. These boys are connected directly to the covenant promises of God to he and his forefathers. Thus, their survival is crucial. The fact that he takes measures to ensure their safety doesn’t display a lack of faith, rather it shows us an example of true faith. “Faith never negates personal responsibility.”-Tim Hegg. Jacob does everything in his power to accomplish what is just and right, we see from the beginning to end of our bible the clear example of biblical faith which is consists of a trust that is active! Jacob’s distress is not only that he and his loved ones might be killed but he is distressed greatly that he be forced to take lives as well.
Genesis 32; 9 For he said, “If Esau comes to the one camp and strikes it down, then the remaining camp shall survive.” 10 Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac; HASHEM Who said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you’- 11 I have been diminished by all the kindnesses and by all the truth that you have done Your servant; for with my staff I crossed this Jordan and now I have become two camps.
– -Now Jacob calls out to God, reminding God of His promises and in so doing, he himself is strengthened and remembers whom He has ‘in his corner’. True faith puts things in proper perspective, The Hebrew literally says: “I am smaller than all the loving kindness and truth which you have done with your servant.”
*John 3;30 He must become more important, while I become less important. 31 “He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth is from the earth and talks from an earthly point of view; he who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies about what he has actually seen and heard, yet no one accepts what he says! 33Whoever does accept what he says puts his seal on the fact that God is true, 34 because the one whom God sent speaks God’s words. For God does not give him the Spirit in limited degree-35 the Father loves the Son and has put everything in his hands. 36 Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God’s wrath.”
Genesis 32;12 Rescue me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him lest he come and strike me down, mother and children. 13 And You had said, ‘I will surely do good with you and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea which is too numerous to count.’”
–Jacob next displays more true faith by making a request of God.
*Psalm 143 HASHEM, hear my prayer, give ear to my supplications, answer me in Your faithfulness and in Your righteousness. And do not enter into strict judgment with Your servant, for no living creature would be vindicated before You. For the enemy pursued my soul, he ground my life into the dirt, he sat me in utter darkness, like those who are long dead. When my spirit grew faint upon me, within me my heart was appalled. I recalled days of old, I pondered over all Your deeds, I spoke about Your handiwork. I spread out my hands to You, my soul longs for You like the thirsty land. Selah. Answer me soon, O HASHEM, my spirit is spent; conceal not Your face from me, lest I be like those who descend into the pit. Let me hear of Your kindness at dawn, for in You have I placed my trust; let me know the way I should walk, for You have I lifted my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O HASHEM, I hidden my plight from all but You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your good spirit guide me over level ground. For Your Name’s sake, HASHEM, revive me; with Your righteousness remove my soul from distress. And with Your kindness cut off my enemies; and destroy all who oppress my soul, for I am Your servant.
* Malachi 1;2 I loved you, says HASHEM; but you say, ‘How have you loved us?’ What not Esau the brother of Jacob- the word of HASHEM- yet I loved Jacob. 3 But I hated Esau; I made his mountains a desolation and [gave] his heritage to the desert serpents. 4 Though Edom will say, ‘We have become destitute, but we will return and rebuild the ruins,’ thus says HASHEM, Master of Legions: They may build, but I will tear down! They will be called ‘the boundary of wickedness’ and ‘the people whom HASHEM has condemned forever.’ 5 And your eyes will behold it, and you will say upon the territory of Israel, ‘May HASHEM be glorified!’
Genesis 32;14 He spent the night there, then he took, from that which had come in his hand, a tribute to Esau his brother: 15 Two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats; two hundred ewes and twenty rams; 16 thirty nursing camels with their colts; forty cows and ten bulls; twenty she-donkeys and ten he-donkeys. 17 he put in his servants’ charge each drove separately and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and leave a space between drove and drove.”
Genesis 32; 18 He instructed the first one, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘Whose are you, where are you going, and whose are these that are before you?’-19 You shall say, ‘Your servant Jacob’s. It is a tribute sent to my lord, to Esau, and behold he himself is behind us.’” 20 He similarly instructed the second, also the third, as well as all who followed the droves, saying, “In this manner shall you speak to Esau when you find him. 21 And you shall say, ‘Moreover- behold your servant Jacob is behind us.’” (For he said, “I will appease him with the tribute that precedes me.”) 22 So the tribute passed on before him while he spent the night in the camp. 23 But he got up that night and took his two wives, his two handmaids, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24 And when he took them and had them cross over the stream, he sent over his possessions.
–Jacob uses his knowledge of Esau’s nature and presents him with a lavish gift. This tribute was not a bribe, it was a means of protection for his family. Jacob hoped that the tribute would calm Esau’s wrath and appeal to his greedy, selfish nature and thus allow his family to avoid the trauma of a battle. He takes his family to safety and then plans to go out to meet Esau face to face. I imagine he considers what the encounter might be like. From the womb he had wrestled with Esau and now again there is the chance of a physical encounter. Jacob indeed has a physical encounter but it is not with Esau….
*Hosea 12;4 In the womb he seized his brother’s heel, and with his strength he struggled with [an angel of] God; 5 he struggled with an angel and prevailed; [the angel] wept and beseeched him: ‘In Beth-el He will find us and there He will speak with us.’ 6 HASHEM is the God of Legions; HASHEM is His remembrance. 7 And as for you, return by your God; observe kindness and justice, and always hope to your God.
Genesis 32; 25 Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26 When he perceived that he could not overcome him, he struck the socket of his hip’ so Jacob’s hip socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him. 27 Then he said, “ Let me go, for dawn has broken.” And he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
–The Torah actually says “man”. There are many midrashic interpretations: The man was actually Esau; the man was Esau’s guardian angel; the man was an angel (Malach- messenger or emissary of God).
*John 12;1 “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many places to live. If it weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you.3 Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also. 4 Furthermore, you know where I am going; and you know the way there. 5 T’oma said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going; and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. 7 Because you have known me, you will also know my Father; from now on, you do know Him- in fact, you have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough for us.” 9 Yeshua answered to him, “Have I been with you so ling without your knowing me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am united with the Father, and the Father united with me? What I am telling you, I am not saying on my own initiative; the Father living in me is doing His own works.11 Trust me, that I am united with the Father, and the Father united with me. But if you can’t, then trust because of the works themselves. 12 Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever trusts in me will also do the works I do! Indeed, he will do greater ones, because I am going to the Father. 13 In fact, whatever you ask for in my name, I will do; so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me for something in my name, I will do it.
Genesis 32;28 He said to him, “What is your name?” he replied, “Jacob.” 29 He said, no longer will it be said that your name is Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with the Divine and with man and have overcome.” 30 Then Jacob inquired, and he said, “Divulge, if you please, your name.” And he said, “Why then do you inquire of my name? “ And he blessed him there. 31 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel- “For I have seen the Divine face to face, yet my life was spared.”
–Peniel- “Face of God”. Jacob was convinced this was God he had wrestled with. Even this man states that Jacob had “striven with the Divine…”, and prevailed (literally; “is able”). Jacob receives the new and more fitting name, Yisrael- Israel- it is a play on the word sarah (“to strive with”) and El (“God”). The verses in Hosea concur with the ideal that this was not just a man, but an angel of the Lord.
Genesis 32; 32 The sun rose for him as he passed Penuel and he was limping on his hip. 33 Therefore the children of Israel are not to eat the displaced sinew on the hip-socket to this day, because he struck Jacob’s hip socked and displaced sinew.
–Here Jacob is getting ready to face his brother Esau, a ‘big day’ and God has ‘struck’ him causing him to go into this situation injured. Here he is now having to face his brother with a limp! Jacob has time to reflect on this encounter and I think often times in our wrestling’s with God we come out with a ‘limp’, but is this a bad thing? Without submission to our King we our pride or even fear might cause us to run away from something great He had intended for us or to walk into something very dangerous He intended us to avoid. Here Jacob, humbled yet filled with the constant reminders that he is blessed and very special to God…limp or no…he is ready to face his past with God behind him, walking in faith ,complete submission and trust.
We can trust that no matter what comes our way God intends it for the good and can make something great out of even the most horrifying and terrible situations.
*Exodus 15;26 He said, “If you hearken diligently to the voice of HASHEM, your God, and do what is just in His eyes, give ear to His commandments and observe His decrees, then any of the diseases that I placed in Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I HASHEM, your Healer.
*II Peter 3;3 First, understand this: during the Last Days, scoffers will come, following their own desires 4 and asking, “Where is this promised ‘coming’ of his? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But, wanting so much to be right about this, they overlook the fact that it was by God’s Word that long ago there were heavens, and there was land which arose out of the water and existed between the waters, 6 and that by means of these the world of that time was flooded with water and destroyed. 7 It is by that same Word that the present heavens and earth, having been preserved, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. 8 Moreover, dear friends, do not ignore this: with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some people think of slowness; on the contrary, He is patient with you; for it is not His purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins.
Genesis 33;1 Jacob raised his eyes and saw- behold, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men- so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two handmaids. 2 He put the handmaids and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.
–The further back the more beloved.
Genesis 33;3 Then he himself went on ahead of them and bowed earthward seven times until he reached his brother. 4 Esau ran toward him, embraced him, fell upon his neck, and kissed him; then they wept.
–The midrash states that Esau was moved with compassion when he saw Jacob prostrate himself those seven times. There are several interpretations of this kiss of Esau. In the Hebrew you can see above this word kiss there is a line of dots. This has been said to mean the kiss was not whole hearted and that this kiss is more like a kiss of death, the Esau has not changed his feelings toward Jacob and still seeks vengeance…the dots being like teeth marks. Still others say he did forgive Jacob and this embrace and kiss and weeping is all genuine in both brothers. If at this moment we can suggest that Esau was being genuine with his intentions toward forgiveness and peace with Jacob we know that in the future Edom would be (and still is) the enemy of Israel. God however has made it clear what His plan is for Israel and no amount of rage and terror or outrageous government decisions and agreements will disrupt or derail the intention of the Almighty for His Chosen People Israel.
*Obadiah 1;6How has Esau been searched, his hoards revealed? 7All the men of your covenant escorted you until the border; the men at peace with you misled you [and] prevailed over you; [those who eat] your bread made a wound in your place. There is no understanding in him. 8 Behold , on that day- the word of HASHEM- I will eradicate wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountain of Esau. 9 Your mighty ones to the south will be broken, so that every man will be cut off from the mountain of Esau by the slaughter.10 For the oppression of your brother Jacob, disgrace will envelop you and you will be cut off forever. 11 On the day you stood from afar, on the day that strangers captured his wealth, and foreigners came to his gates and cast a lottery on Jerusalem, you too were like one of them. 12 Gaze not on the day of your brother, the day of his estrangement; and rejoice not over the Children of Judah on the day of their destruction; and do not expand your mouth on the day of misfortune. 13 Enter not the gate of My people on the day of their calamity. 14 Stand not by the crossroads to cut off his fugitives; and deliver not his survivors on the day of misfortune. 15 For the day of HASHEM upon all the nations is close; as you have done, [so] shall be done to you; your requital shall return upon your head. 16 For just as you drank on My holy mountain, so will all the nations drink ceaselessly; they will drink and be confounded, and become as if they never were. 17 On Mount Zion there will be refuge, and it will be holy; and the house of Jacob will inherit the those who had dispossessed them. 18 The house of Jacob will be fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for straw; and they will ignite them and devour them. There will be no survivor to the house of Esau, for HASHEM has spoken.
Genesis 33; 5 He raised his eyes and saw the women and children, and he asked, “Who are these to you?” He answered, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the handmaids came forward- they and their children- and they bowed down. 7Leah, too, came forward with her children and they bowed down; and afterwards, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down. 8 And he asked, “What did you intend by that whole camp that I met?” He answered, “To gain favor in my lord’s eyes.” 9 Esau said, “ I have plenty. My brother, let what you have remain yours.”
–The diplomacy continues and the bowing. The order has been moms then sons bow except with Joseph who comes before Rachel in order to ‘hide her beauty from Esau’, lest he desire her.
Esau’s comment to Jacob is seen as an admission of Jacob’s right to the blessings.
Genesis 33;10 But Jacob said, “No, I beg of you! If I have found favor in your eyes, then accept my tribute from me, inasmuch as God has been gracious to me and inasmuch as I have everything.” He urged him, and he accepted.
–Esau’s comment in v.9 is haughty, while Jacob gives the glory declaring that all that he has is by Gods grace. He also makes the point to mention that he has seen the face of the Divine, why? To scare Esau, to ensure he comes off as strong (which he truly has become in many ways) so that Esau wont want to mess with him?
Genesis 33; 12 And he said, “Travel on and let us go- I will proceed alongside you.” 13 But he said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and the nursing flocks and cattle are upon me; if they will be driven hard for a single day, then all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord go ahead of his servant; I will make my way at my slow pace according to the gait of the drove before me and the gait of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
— Jacob clearly does not desire to stay in the close vicinity of Esau much longer than necessary, but his response is genuine. He is responsible for the flocks and of course well being of the children and must travel at a slow pace. Jacob indicates a place farther than where he intends to stay because he still doesn’t trust Esau and thinks that he still intends him harm.
Genesis 33;15 Then Esau said, “Let me assign to you some of the people who are with me.” And he said, “To what purpose? Let me just have favor in my lord’s eyes!” 16 So Esau started back that day on his way toward Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built himself a house, and for his livestock he made shelters; he therefore called the name of the place Succoth. 18 Jacob arrived intact at the city of Shechem which is in the land of Canaan, upon his arriving from Paddan-aram, and he encamped before the city. 19 He bought the parcel of land upon which he pitched his tent from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred kesitahs. 20 He set up an altar there and proclaimed, “God, the God of Israel.”
–Jacob arrives intact physically, mentally and spiritually. He arrives with wealth a new name and renewed strength. He sets out right away preparing for his household and purchases land from Hamor for a heavy price which he easily pays, whetting the appetite of Hamor…who’s intentions to take of this wealth are revealed later. Then he builds an altar proclaiming God as his God. God of Israel.
Genesis 34;1 Now Dinah- the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob- went out over to look over the daughters of the land.
–Where was Dinah during this whole encounter with Esau? There is no mention of her. The Midrash states that Jacob had hidden her in a chest, whatever the case he clearly had hidden her somewhere. Why? He did not wish for Esau to seek her as a wife. Now we come to a horrible account of the rape of Dinah. Dinah is interested in the ‘world’ outside of the protection of her family. Outside the protection of the Torah’, she wanders and investigates and the world infects, as it will…sanctity and holiness. Sadly in Dinah’s case the Holy of Holies, her honor and purity is stolen.
Genesis 34; 2 Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivvite, the prince of the region, saw her; he took her, lay with her, and violated her.
–The spoiled and unruly prince see’s something he wants and he takes it.
Genesis 34; 3 He became deeply attached to Dinah, daughter of Jacob; he loved the maiden and appealed to the maiden’s emotions. 4 So Shechem spoke to Hamor, his father, saying, “Take me this girl for a wife.”
–There are commentaries that say Shechem actually fell deeply in love with Dinah and others that say he was still just full of lust and simply wanted to be with her in that way and now marriage would be the only means of ‘getting there’, since the rape had been in a sense ‘public’ and soon her family would become aware of the outrage.
Genesis 34;5 Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah, while his sons were with his cattle in the field; so Jacob kept silent until their arrival.
–While discussing this portion with my daughter we both wonder at the Torah’s description (or ‘lack’ there of) of Jacob’s reaction to his daughter’s rape. He is no stranger to the hardship, sorrow, and corruption of the world and situations around him but this silence certainly isn’t complacence. It states he was silent until the arrival of his sons at which time it can be imagined the nature of this terrible announcement.
Genesis 43;6 Hamor, Shechem’s father, went out to Jacob to speak to him.
–This short verse is inserted here with purpose. Here we see Jacob has only told his sons what happened to their sister and here comes Hamor to negotiate a marriage for his immoral son. But that’s not all, keep in mind he is well aware of the extent of the riches and blessing in the ‘house of Jacob’ and we soon see his intent and design, this ‘engagement’ plays perfectly into his aspirations for the wealth of Jacob.
Genesis 34;7 Jacob’s sons arrived from the field, when they heard; the men were distressed, and were fired deeply with indignation, for he had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with a daughter of Jacob- such a thing may not be done!
–In contrast to the verses involving Jacob’s reaction, here we can picture inconsolable fiery outrage.
Genesis 34;8 Hamor spoke with them, saying, “Shechem, my son, longs deeply for your daughter- please give her to him as a wife. 9 And intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 And among us you shall dwell; the land will be before you- settle and trade in it, and acquire property in it.” 11 Then Shechem said to her father and brothers, “Let me gain favor in your eyes; and whatever you tell me-I will give. 12 Inflate exceedingly upon me the marriage settlement and gifts and I will give whatever you tell me; only give me the maiden for a wife.”
–First Hamor and then Shechem speak addressing both father and sons who are clearly deeply involved in this situation. What is the definition of Maiden? A young lady, ok. An unmarried woman, clearly…this is the topic of discussion. A virgin….now this is boldly indecent. If he is referring to her in the definition of a virgin it is more than a slap in the face that he uses this language, or perhaps he is attempting to deny the rape? It isn’t addressed at all in this conversation, not in the text anyway. Interesting.
Genesis 34; 13 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor cleverly and they spoke (because he had defiled their sister Dinah). 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to a man who is uncircumcised, for that is a disgrace for us. 15 Only on this condition will we acquiesce to you: If you become like us by letting every male among you become circumcised. 16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and take your daughters for ourselves; we will dwell with you, and become a single people. 17 But if you do not listen to us to be circumcised, we will take our daughter and go.”
–What is so wrong with what the sons are doing here (meanwhile Jacob makes no interjections)? What did God intend the outward physical sign to mean?
*Genesis 17;2 “I will set My covenant between Me and You, and I will increase you most exceedingly.”
7 I will ratify My covenant between Me and you and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your offspring after you;
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep between Me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
13….Thus, My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
–This is a sacred thing. A holy ‘ritual’, holy to God. A tool of the Lord’s to set His covenant people apart from the pagan nations surrounding them. Now the sons are using this sign of the Covenant and turning it into a means of a deception. That they might exact their own vengeance rather than letting God do the exacting of justice. Much of worship and ‘organized service’ to the King has been turned into the ritually unholy. That is repeatedly not set apart from (for example) the dress, manner of speaking and practices of the world. Designed by men to reach men’s goals rather than caring for and feeding the flock or upholding the honor and sanctity of God’s design for His covenant people.
Genesis 34; 18 Their proposal seemed good in the view of Hamor, and in the view of Shechem, Hamor’s son. 19 The youth did not delay in doing the thing, for he wanted Jacob’s daughter.
–Shechem does not delay, because he loves her so much or because he wants her so badly.
Genesis 34;18…..Now he was the most respected of all his father’s household.
–This is very important. Hamor is his father, the land is ‘his’. If this immoral and despicable prince is the most respected, this gives us some insight into the morals and standards of the people in Shechem. The text at the beginning of Ch.34 says Shechem saw Dinah, “…he took her,” (he alone didn’t notice her, there were many who witnessed her in the city, and no one did anything as he took her to the place of his intention. I can only assume this was not a foreign practice for this man. So quickly does he see, take and then…) “and violated her.” Taken by force, this is not something quiet or calm. People heard and knew what was going on and no one said or did a thing. I can’t help but think about WWII, and what comes to my mind is the allied air force targeting places near Auschwitz, but neither the camps nor the railroads tracks that might have saved more than hundreds of thousands of lives. It is our job as people with moral standards especially those of us who call ourselves in covenant with the Holy one of Israel to make a stand for all those who are persecuted, abused or lost (wandering into enemy territory)…and to ensure that we do not remain silent when a son or daughter of Israel is being sought out for harm.
Genesis 34; 20 Hamor- with his son Shechem- came to the gate of their city and spoke to the people of their city, saying, 21 “These people are peaceable with us; let them settle in the land and trade in it, for see, there is ample room in the land for them! Let us take their daughters for ourselves as wives and five our daughters to them. 22 Only on this condition will the people acquiesce with us to do well with us to become a single people: that all our males become circumcised as they themselves are circumcised. 23 Their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals- will they not be ours? Only let us acquiesce to them and they will settle with us.”
–At the gate of the city where the most traffic takes shape, the announcement is made.” Let us appear peaceable. Let us make treaties and gain land and favor. Let us veil our true intentions and see…will it not all be ours! All the wealth and property of Israel will be ours.” Does this sound familiar to anything going on in the world today?
*II Chronicles 20;15 He (Zechariah) said, “Pay attention, all of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Thus said HASHEM concerning you: Do not fear and do not be intimidated before this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s! …”
Genesis 34;24 All the people who depart through the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and all the males- all those who depart through the gate of his city- were circumcised. 25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and they came upon the city confidently, and killed every male. 26 And Hamor and Shechem his son they killed at the point of sword. Then they took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left.
–There are many opinions about this situation, I will simply repeat my research and thoughts. I don’t see a consultation with the Almighty here, (the boys have issues this we will see as we continue in the following chapters of Genesis), but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. After all Jacob has taught them well and there was a terrible crime committed against their sister. In this time death is the penalty for rape. We note that there was no intervention (before or during the rape of Dinah) on the part of any of the Shechemites, so do they fall into the category of ‘guilty’ as well? The Torah is specific here indicating that it was Simeon and Levi who came, did what they did and then left.
Genesis 34; 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and they plundered the city which had defiled their sister. 28 Their flocks, their cattle, their donkeys, whatever was in the town and whatever was in the field, they took. 29 And their wealth, all their children and wives they took captive and they plundered, as well as everything in the house.
—Here it says the sons of Jacob plundered, non specific to Simeon and Levi. It makes sense to think it may have been more than just the two who plundered the wealth, property and persons of the entire city. But it isn’t clear.
*Isaiah 33;1 Woe to you pillager but you have not been pillaged! Traitor, who has not been betrayed! When you finish pillaging, you will be pillaged; when you end your treachery, they will be treacherous with you.
*Matthew 5;27-28 “You have heard that our forefathers were told, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
–I have heard it said that the man with an intention of the heart for malice owns that very act even if it has not been committed. So what can we say then, that the people of Shechem agreed to the pronounced intention Hamor for the future plunder of Israel only had happen to them what they held in their hearts?
Genesis 34;30 Jacob said to Simeon and to Levi, “You have discomposed me, making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanite and among the Perizzite; I am few in number and should they band together and attack me, I will be annihilated- I and my household.”
–Jacob’s fears are valid, his worries are reasonable. I do find it interesting that he doesn’t interfere with either Simeon and Levi acting as judge jury and executioner, nor does he reprimand them for the plunder. Being a highly moral man of God, in deep relationship with the Almighty…did he know something we do not find in the text regarding God’s ‘thoughts’ on this matter? He never says “You have sinned against God.” He is simply worried about the ramifications of these actions knowing that the surrounding peoples will not make their continued journey’s comfortable or serene. He fears far worse.
Genesis 34;31 And they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”
–There is far to much in this weighty situation for someone so small as myself to make a statement, though my thoughts seem endless….let proverbs 21 prompt you to contemplate by the Spirit for yourself. God is good!!
*Proverbs 21; 1 Like streams of water is the heart of a king in the hand of HASHEM, where He wishes, He directs it. 2 A man’s every way is upright in his eyes; but HASHEM resides in his heart. 3 Doing what is right and just is preferable to HASHEM than an offering. 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart are the plotting of the wicked, a sin. 5 The thoughts of the zealous are purely beneficial, but all hastiness is only for loss. 6 The accumulation of treasures through a false tongue is a smitten vapor; they seek death. 7 The robbery of the wicked will cause them to fear, for they refuse to execute justice.
–As we go on we should keep the word assimilation in mind. After the vengeance in Shechem God tells Jacob it is time to move on.
Genesis 35;1 God said to Jacob, “Arise- go up to Beth-el and dwell there, and make an altar there to God Who appeared to you when you fled from Esau your brother.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Discard the alien gods that are in your midst; cleanse yourselves and change your clothes.
–This is interesting to me. (It is times like these I wish I new the Hebrew better!!) It doesn’t seem as though Jacob was unaware of the alien gods in the midst of his camp, what is this? An example of freedom of religion? Was he okay with this as long as it wasn’t his kin, disciples or proselytes? OR was it more like : “I know you have been hiding the practice of your pagan religions, and haven’t been heavy handed with you but now its time to clean up your act…”? This is speaking keeping in mind he has a large number of servants,etc. who may not share the same beliefs as he and his forefathers had. As it goes on to speak about the clothes there are a few interpretations. Some translations use “clean your clothes”, as in wash them to be clean when we arrive at Beth-el to make offerings to the King. Some use “clean your clothes” as in a Mikvah, to ensure that any contamination would by more than just physically purified, then all would be proper upon arrival at Beth-el.
Still others take the more literal “change your clothes”, the attention of his sons and fellows had become turned…turned to the cultures that surrounded them, turned from modesty to the point that even their clothing bore pagan designs. Even vanity, adorning themselves with gold and silver, distractions.
So literally change your clothes and get back on track focused to serving the One true God piously. Before we come to offer our service, we should definitely strip ourselves willingly and gladly of idols in any form and ‘clean’ our thoughts, and hearts of anything we may have attached to…and give it all to God.
*Psalm 119;8 The Torah of HASHEM is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of HASHEM is trustworthy, making the simple one wise; 9 the orders of HASHEM are upright, gladdening the heart; the command of HASHEM is clear, enlightening the eyes; 10 the fear of HASHEM is pure, enduring forever; the judgments of HASHEM are true, altogether righteous. 11 They are more desirable than gold, than even much fine gold; and sweeter than the drippings from the combs. 12 Also, when your servant is scrupulous in them, in observing them there is great reward. 13 Who can discern mistakes? Cleanse me from unforeseen faults. 14 Also from intentional sins restrain your servant; let them not rule me, then I shall be perfect; and I will be cleansed of great transgressions. 15 May the expressions of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before You, HASHEM, my Rock and my Redeemer.
*Matthew 5;23 So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift.
Genesis 35;3 Then come, let us go up to Beth-el; I will make there an altar to God Who answered me in my time of distress, and was with me on the road that I traveled.” 4 So they gave to Jacob all the alien gods that were in their possession, as well as the rings that were in their ears, and Jacob buried them underneath the terebinth near Shechem. 5 They set out, and there fell a Godly terror on all the cities which were around them, so that they did not pursue Jacob’s sons.
–Here we can see that Jacob’s fears had come to fruition, the surrounding cities had been outraged at the plunder of Shechem and were ready to answer in kind. God brings forth a miracle on their behalf in the form of a terror that falls over these cities, allowing Jacob and his journeying camp safe passage.
*Exodus 14;23 Egypt pursued and came after them- every horse of Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen- into the midst of the sea. 24 It happened at the morning watch that HASHEM looked down at the camp of Egypt with a pillar of fire and clod, and he confounded the camp of Egypt. 25 He removed the wheels of their chariots and caused them to drive with difficulty. Egypt said, ” I shall flee before Israel, for HASHEM is waging war for them against Egypt.”
*Deuteronomy 7;22 HASHEM, your God, will thrust these nations from before you little by little, you will not be able to annihilate them quickly, lest the beasts of the field increase against you. 23 HASHEM, your God, will deliver them before you, and will confound them with great confusion, until their destruction.
*Isaiah 29; 22 Therefore, thus said HASHEM, Who redeemed Abraham, to the House of Jacob: Jacob will not be ashamed now, and his face will not pale now, 23 when he sees his children, My handiwork in their midst, who will sanctify My Name, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and revere the God of Israel! 24 Those of misguided spirit will attain understanding, and complainers will learn of [God’s] instruction.
Genesis 35; 6 Thus Jacob came to Luz in the land of Canaan- it is Beth-el- he, and all the people who were with him. 7 And he built an altar there and called the place El-Beth-el, for it was there that God had been revealed to him during his flight from his brother. 8 Deborah, the wet nurse of Rebecca, died, and she was buried below Beth-el, below the plateau; and he named it Allon-bachuth. 9 And God appeared to Jacob when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 Then God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. Your name shall not always be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name. ” Thus He called his name Israel.
*There is a lot more to these names but from my rough understanding…the meaning of Jacob: deceiver, supplanter, the meaning of Israel: God strives. “Thus He called his name Israel.” God is doing all this, at this time of Jacobs life (the name of a son is usually given at the time of his circumcision) because he has become a new man with a new beginning. God renews His covenant with Jacob with no mention of his former deeds or the actions of his sons. So too, our names will be changed when they are written in the Book of the Lamb, when we have become the end goal, the people that God has intended us to…is working with us bit by bit to become!! Thank you my King for Your faithfulness!!
*Philippians 1; 6 And I am sure of this: that the One Who began a good work among you will keep it growing until it is completed on the Day of the Messiah Yeshua.
Genesis 35; 11 And God said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a congregation of nations shall descend from you, and kings shall issue from your loins. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give to you; and to your offspring after you I will give the land.” 13 Then God ascended from upon him in the place where he had spoken to him. 14 Jacob had set up a pillar at the place where God had spoken with him- a pillar of stone- an he poured a libation upon it, and poured oil upon it. 13 Then Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Beth-el.
–After this renewal of the covenant promises, Jacob begins immediately in worship! The libation is a pouring out of wine. Wine is the symbol of our delight, our joy. The libation offering is like showing: I willingly give You, O God, all that makes me happy and joyful. In that it all comes from God anyway! In the Shema prayers there is a portion that speaks of grain (sustenance: life, bread…more than just what our bodies need for continued physical existence, but the bread of life, the Word, the Torah…what our spiritual self needs to survive and thrive!), wine (happiness: delight in the Festivals and Sabbath includes a blessing over the wine, wine is our joy and abundance, abundance of delight in the Lord and service to Him!) and oil (oil: anointing, the charge of the Lord for each of us to be His own and to use our lives to serve Him and teach each other. * I John 2;27 As for you, the Messianic anointing you received from the Father remains in you, so that you have no need for anyone to teach you. On the contrary, as His Messianic anointing continues to teach you about all things, and is true, not a counterfeit, so, just as he taught you, remain united with him. * I Peter 2; 9 But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nations, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ) Prayer: And it will be that if you continually hearken to My commandments that I command you today, to love HASHEM your God, and to serve Him, with all your heart and all your soul- then I will provide rain for your land in its proper time, the early and late rains, that you may gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil. I will provide grass in your field for your cattle and you will eat and be satisfied.
Genesis 35; 16 They journeyed fro Beth-el and there was still a stretch of land to go to Ephrath, when Rachel went into labor and had difficulty in her childbirth.17 And it was when she had difficulty in her labor that the midwife said to her, “Have no fear, for this one, too, is a son to you. 18 And it came to pass, as her soul was departing- for she died- that she called his name Ben Oni, but his father called him Benjamin. 19 Thus Rachel died, and was buried on the road to Ephrath. which is Bethlehem. 20 Jacob set up a monument over her grave; it is the monument of Rachel’s grave until today.
*Matthew 5;33 “Again, you have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not break your oath.’ and ‘Keep your vows to ADONAI.’ 34 But I tell you not to swear at all- not ‘by heaven’, because it is God’s throne;35 not ‘by the earth,’ because it is His footstool; and not ‘by Yerushalayim,’ because it is the city of the Great King. 36 And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black.37 Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more than that has its origin in evil.
*Psalm 34;14 Guard your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceitfully.
*Psalm 141;3 Post a sentry for my mouth, O HASHEM; guard the doors of my lips.
*Proverbs 18;21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love [to use] it will eat its fruit.
*Genesis 31;30 ‘Now-you have left because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods?’ 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought, perhaps you might steal your daughters from me. 32 With whomsoever you find your gods; he shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen ascertain for yourself what is with me and take it back.” (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.)
–We must carefully choose our words, pray before, after and during speaking. Rachel now dies along the way to the Land. She dies in childbirth and calls her son Ben oni- son of my trouble. But Jacob names him Benjamin- son of the right hand. When we read on to the story of Joseph we can consider that although Benjamin was too a son of Jacob’s beloved Rachel, he favored Joseph above all…perhaps ‘subconsciously’ it could be because Rachel died giving birth to him. Rachel was a shepherdess, her name means Ewe, or young lamb. Here we see the Shepherdess, and Ewe lamb dies in Bethlehem…the very place where our Good Shepherd an Lamb of God will be born! Once Rachel dies, the family truly becomes like ‘sheep without a shepherd’.
Genesis 36; 21 Israel journeyed on, and he pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder. 22 And it came to pass, while Israel dwelt in that land, that Rueben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Israel heard. The sons of Jacob were twelve.
–So very little is ‘said’ here about Rueben committing this sin against his father. Even less is said about Jacob’s reaction. We need to keep this short and important factor in mind as we read on about Rueben’s role in the sale of Joseph, and deception of Jacob.
Genesis 36; 23 The sons of Leah: Jacob’s firstborn Rueben; Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar; and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, maidservant of Rachel: Dan and Naphtali. 26 And the sons of Zilpah, maidservant of Leah: Gad and Asher- these are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Padan Aram. 27 Jacob came to Isaac his father, at Mamre, Kiriath-arba; that is Hebron where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 28 Isaac’s days were one hundred and eighty years. 29 And Isaac expired and died , and he was gathered to his people, old and fulfilled of days; his sons Esau and Jacob,
buried him.
–This Torah portion consists of the deaths of Deborah, Rachel and Isaac. Which are all very briefly described.
Chapter 36;1-43 Document the genealogy of Esau. I find it incredible that there are for example two verses about Isaac’s life span and death. (Genesis 36;28-29 Isaac’s days were one hundred and eighty years. And Isaac expired and died, and he was gathered to his people, old and fulfilled of days; his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.) Here the Torah takes 43 verses to detail the descendants of Esau, this is important for us as we read through the bible so that we can identify when the prophets, etc. speak of these kin of Esau. I am not going to type out all 43 verses, please forgive me for my impatience, but please pay attention that Esau is Edom, and take note of Amalek. Haman is a descendant of Agag, King of Amalek.
Genesis 36;1 And these are the descendants of Esau, he is Edom.
10 These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz, son of Adah, Esau’s wife; Reuel, son of Basemath, Esau’s wife.
12 And Timnah was a concubine of Eliphaz , son of Esau, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz…
19 These are the children of Esau, and these are their chiefs; he is Edom.
43….-he is Esau, father of Edom.
Here are some pertaining verses to keep in mind:
*Genesis 25;22 The children agitated within her, and she said, “If so, why am I thus?” And she went to inquire of HASHEM. 23 And HASHEM said to her: “Two nations are in your womb; two regimes from your insides shall be separated; the might shall pass from one regime to the other, and the elder shall serve the younger.”
*Genesis 25;29 Jacob simmered a stew, and Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “Pour into me, now, some of that very red stuff for I am exhausted.” (He therefore called his name Edom.)
*Exodus 17;8 Amalek came and battled Israel in Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose people for us to go do battle with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 Joshua did as Moses said to him, to do battle with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur ascended to the top of the hill. 11 It happened that when Moses raised his hand Israel was stronger, and when he lowered his hand Amalek was stronger. 12 Moses’ hands grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it, and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on this side and one that side, and he remained with his hands in faithful prayer until sunset. 13 Joshua weakened Amalek and its people with the sword’s blade. 14 HASHEM said to Moses, “Write this as a remembrance in the Book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I shall surely erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens.” 15 Moses built and altar can called its name “HASHEM Is My Miracle”; 16 and he said, “For the hand is on the throne of God: HASHEM maintains a war against Amalek, from generation to generation.”
*Deuteronomy 25; 17 Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way, when you were leaving Egypt, 18 that he happened upon you on the way, and he struck those of you who were hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear God. 19 It shall be that when HASHEM, your God, gives you rest from all your enemies all around, in the Land that HASHEM, your God, gives you as an inheritance to possess it, you shall wipe out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven- you shall not forget!
*I Samuel 15;2 So said HASHEM, Master of Legions: ‘ I have remembered what Amalek did to Israel [the ambush] he emplaced against him on the way, as he went up from Egypt. 3 Now go and strike down Amalek and destroy everything he has. Have no pity on him- kill man and woman alike, infant and suckling alike, ox and sheep alike, camel and donkey alike.’
7Saul struck down Amalek, from Havilah to the approach to Shur which is alongside Egypt. 8 He captured Agag, king of Amalek, alive and the entire people he destroyed by the edge of the sword. 9 Saul as well as the people, took pity on Agag, on the best of the sheep, the cattle, the fatted bulls, the fatted sheep and all that was good; and they were not willing to destroy them;…
10 The word of HASHEM then came to Samuel, saying, 11 ” I have reconsidered My having made Saul king, for he has turned away from Me and has not fulfilled My word!” Samuel was aggrieved [by this] and cried out to HASHEM the entire night.
*Obadiah 1;8 Behold, on that day-the word of HASHEM- I will eradicate wise men from Edom and understanding from the Mountain of Esau . 9 Your mighty ones from the south will be broken, so that every man will be cut off from the Mountain of Esau by the slaughter. 10 For the oppression of your brother Jacob, disgrace will envelop you and you will be cut off forever.
* Esther 3;1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite and elevated him; he set his seat above all the officers who were with him.
5When Haman, himself, saw that Mordechai did not bow and prostrate himself before him, Haman was felled with wrath.
7…So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the entire kingdom…
CH 8;6 And Esther said, “A man who is an adversary and an enemy! This wicked Haman!” Haman trembled before the king and queen.
9 …”Furthermore, the gallows which Haman made for Mordechai- who spoke good for the king- is standing in Haman’s house, it is fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on it.”
10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai, and the king’s anger abated.
–All of this is very important especially now because we can clearly see this thorn is drawing ever closer to God’s Chosen People Israel and the threat is great once more. The greater the threat the more we should be aware that things will get exponentially worse until all of His children cry out for Him! When it seems hopeless, when there can be no resolution by man…..Yeshua will return and fight in Jerusalem, he will save his people and restore all things!!
Zechariah 14; 1 Behold, a day is coming for HASHEM, when your spoils will be divided up in our midst. 2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for the war; the city will be captured , the houses will be pillaged and the women will be violated; half of the city will go out to exile, but the rest of the people will not be eliminated from the city. 3 HASHEM will go out and wage war with those nations, as He waged war on the day of battle. 4 His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives will split open at its middle, east to west, [forming] a very wide valley; half of the mountain will move north and half of it to the south. 5 And you will flee to the valley of the mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach Azal, and you will flee as you fled from the earthquake that was in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah. And HASHEM, My God, will come; all of His Holy Ones will be with you.
Great links to teachings about Amalek and Islam you should try to put into your mental ‘library.’
(only part one above, watch all 5 as time allows)
(Part 1 of 3)
Want a real, rich, scripturally based wake up call and strong armor:
Bible study continued (connecting Joseph and Jesus)
Genesis 37;1 – 38;26
We come to the next Torah Parasha Vayeishev- ( He Dwelt)
–The ties and connections between the scripture of Yoseph and the Messiah are nearly endless, I will indicate some of these as we go through the text underlining some points.
Joseph is the firstborn of Israel, born to Rachel (whose name means Ewe lamb, she too was a shepherdess.)
Yeshua is firstborn of God.
*Romans 8;28 Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose; 29 because those whom he knew in advance, he also determined in advance would be conformed to the pattern of His Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers;…
Genesis 37;1 Jacob settled in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the chronicles of Jacob: Joseph, at the age of seventeen years, was a shepherd with his brother’s by the flock, but he was a youth with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph would bring evil reports about them to their father.
–Joseph’s age is mentioned here as seventeen, he is no longer considered a young boy but very close to the age to be married (18), the point in the text mentioning that he is a youth is to indicate a sense of immaturity. Clearly we read he is tattling and bringing evil reports to his father. True or not he is still doing Lashan Hara (the evil tongue, gossip, etc.) On the other hand one should keep in mind that Joseph has lost his mother, he has a small brother and perhaps is acting out in a way to get more attention from his brothers and father.
Jacob is a shepherd; Joseph is a shepherd and Yeshua is the Good Shepherd.
*John 10;11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. 12 The hired hand, since he isn’t a shepherd and the sheep aren’t his own, sees the wolf coming, abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf drags them off and scatters them. 13 The hired worker behaves like this because that’s all he is, a hired worker; so it doesn’t matter to him what happens to the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me- 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father- and I lay down my life on behalf of the sheep. 16 Also I have sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Genesis 37; 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons since he was the child of his old age, and he made him a fine woolen tunic. 4 His brothers saw that it was he whom their father loved most of all his brothers so they hated him; and they could not speak to him peaceably. 5 Joseph dreamt a dream which he told to his brothers, and they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Hear if you please, this dream which I dreamt: 7 Behold! -we were binding sheaves in the middle of the field, when, behold! – my sheaf arose and also remained standing; then behold! – your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
–Joseph is really rubbing it in here. We well know his dreams are far more than just the immature, haughty delusions of grandeur of a spoiled child. However the pronounced…Behold! Behold! Behold! indicates the way he is expressing this dream to his brothers.
Genesis 37; 8 His brothers said to him, “Would you then reign over us? Would you then dominate us?” And they hated him even more- because of his dreams and because of his talk.
Joseph’s brothers react to Joseph’s words about his dreams. Caiaphas (high priest- Cohen hagadol) reacts to Yeshua’s words.
* Matthew 26; 62 The Cohen hagadol stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation that these men are making?” 63 Yeshua remained silent. The Cohen hagadol said to him, “I put you under oath! By the Living God, tell us if you are the Mashiach, the Son of God!” 64 Yeshua said to him, “The words are your own. But I tell you that one day you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah [“the Power” YHVH] and coming on the clouds of heaven .” At this, the Cohen hagadol tore his robes. “Blasphemy!” he said. “Why do we still need witnesses? You heard him blaspheme! 66 What is your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “And he deserves death!”
Genesis 37;9 He dreamt another dream, and related it to his brothers. And he said, “Look, I dreamt another dream: Behold! the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 And he related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father scolded him, and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamt! Are we to come-I and your mother and your brothers- to bow down to you on the ground?” 11 So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
–Jacob scolds Joseph in a way to appease or dampen the hatred of his sons, he himself sees the messianic properties of these dreams and believes that they will at one time or another come true.
Genesis 37;12 Now his brother’s went to pasture his fathers flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing in Shechem, are they not? Come, I will send you to them.” He said to him, “Here I am!” 14 And he said to him, “Go now, look into the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring me back word.” So he sent him from the depth of Hebron and he arrived at Shechem.
The father (Israel, God) sends the son (Joseph, Yeshua) to do a redemptive work. Joseph goes as the sent one of his father, seeking his brothers. Messiah goes forth to his brethren as the sent one of God.
*Matthew 15; 24 He said, ” I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
*Luke 19;10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”
Genesis 37; 15 A man discovered him, and behold!- he was blundering the field; the man asked him, saying, “What do you seek?” 16 And he said, ” My brothers do I seek; tell me, please, where they are pasturing.” 17 The man said, “They have journeyed from here, for I heard them saying, ‘Let us go down to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
–This man could have been just a man, someone aware of the brother’s travels and actions. But it is commonly thought to be an angel. This angel indicates to Joseph that not only have his brothers journeyed physically from that place but they have separated themselves from Joseph and have departed from the any sense of brotherly love and connection to him. Going down with heir feelings of jealousy, envy, anger, competition and hate clouding all reason.
Genesis 37;18 They saw him from afar; and when he had not yet approached them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 And they said to one another, “Look! That dreamer is coming! 20 So now, come and let us kill him, and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
The brother’s plot for Joseph’s death. Yeshua’s death is plotted.
* Matthew12;9 Going on from that place, he went to their synagogue. 10 A man there had a shriveled hand. Looking for a reason to accuse him of something, they asked him, “Is healing permitted on Shabbat?” 11 But he answered, “If you have a sheep that falls into a pit on Shabbat, which one of you wont take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore, what is permitted on Shabbat is to do good.” 13 Then to the man he said, “Hold out your hand.” As he held it out, it became restored, as sound as the other one. 14 But the P’rushim [Pharisees] went out and began plotting how they might do away with Yeshua. 15 Aware of this, he left the area.
*Matthew 26;3 The head cohanim and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of Kayafa the cohen hagadol. 4 They made plans to arrest Yeshua surreptitiously and have him put to death; 5 but they said, “Not during the festival, or the people will riot.”
Genesis 37; 21 Rueben heard, and he rescued him from their hand; he said, “We will not strike him mortally! 22 And Rueben said to them: “Shed no blood! Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him!”- intending to rescue him from their hand, to return him to his father. 23 And so it was, when Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the fine woolen tunic that was on him. 24 They took him, and cast him into the pit; the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
The pit Joseph was cast into was “empty”, the tomb Yoseph and Nakdimon took and placed Yeshua into was a new tomb, an empty tomb.
* John 19;Also Nakdimon , who at first had gone to Yeshua by night, came with some seventy pounds of spices- a mixture of myrrh and aloes. 40 They took Yeshua’s body and wrapped it up in linen sheets with the spices, in keeping with the Judean burial practice. 41 In the vicinity of where he had been executed was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried.
–Rueben has a lot of making up to do. Repenting before the Lord and somehow convincing his father to forgive him. He has no more room for sin and error. Certainly not to murder or be responsible for any more pain his father might have to endure. He plans to return and save Joseph, and return him to Jacob.
The brothers recline and eat. The Hebrew word for recline speaks of the Pesach meal. As Joseph and Nicodemus closed the tomb the sun was setting on the Preparation Day just before the High Sabbath of the (Pesach) Festival of Unleavened Bread . All Israel would be reclining at their Seder’s.
* Matthew 27; 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body, and Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 Yosef took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, 60 and laid it in his tomb, which he had recently cut out of the rock. After rolling a large stone in front of the entrance to the tomb, he went away. 61 Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam stayed there, sitting opposite the grave.
Genesis 37; 25 They sat to eat food; they raised their eyes and saw, behold!- a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, their camels bearing spices, balsam, and lotus- on their way to bring them down to Egypt.
The Ishmaelite caravan which would carry Joseph down to Egypt to fulfill his Father’s purposes for him…bore spices, lotus, aromatic gum, balm, myrrh, healing resin, opium…..
Yeshua was presented with similar items at his birth, before his death and his body was prepared for burial in them.
* Matthew 2;10 When they saw the star they were overjoyed. 11 Upon entering the house, they saw the child with his mother Miryam; and they prostrated themselves and worshipped him. Then they opened their bags and presented him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 But they had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they took another route back to their own country. 13 After they had gone, an angel of ADONAI appeared to Yosef in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave. For Herod is looking for the child in order to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother, and let during the night for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until Herod died.
*John 12; 3 Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair, so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
7 Yeshua said, “Leave her alone! She kept this for the day of my burial.”
Luke 23;55 The women who had come with Yeshua from the Galil followed; they saw the tomb and how his body was placed in it. 56 Then they went back home to prepare spices and ointments.
Genesis 37;26 Judah said to his brothers, “What gain will there be if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come let us sell him to the Ishmaelites- but let our hand not be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28 The Midianite men, traders, passed by; they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver; then they brought Joseph to Egypt.
Judah comes up with the idea to sell Joseph, who is sold for 20 pieces of silver. Judas betrays and sells out Yeshua for silver.
*Matthew 27;1 Early in the morning, all the head cohanim and elders met to plan how to bring about Yeshua’s death. 2 Then they put him in chains led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua has been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.”
Genesis 37; 29 Rueben returned to the pit- and behold!- Joseph was not in the pit! So he rent his garments. 30 Returning to his brothers he said, “The boy is gone! And I – where can I go?
The empty pit. Rueben returns to the pit and Joseph has vanished. He rents his garments. The women go to the Tomb of Yeshua only to find it empty!
* Luke 24 ;1 but the next day, while it was still very early they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb, 2 and found the stone rolled away from the tomb! 3 On entering they discovered that the body of the Lord Yeshua was gone!
*Mark 16;1 When Shabbat was over, Miryam of Magdala, Miryam the mother o Ya’akov and Shlomit bought spices in order to go and anoint Yeshua. 2 Very early the next day, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 They were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb for us?” 4 Then they looked up and saw that the stone, even though it was huge, had been rolled back already.
*Matthew 28;2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of ADONAI came down from heaven, rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so terrified at him that they trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, ” Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Yeshua , who was on the execution stake. 6 He is not here, because he has been raised- just as he said!
Genesis 37;31 They took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a goatling, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 They dispatched the fine woolen tunic and they brought it to their father, and said, “We found this; identify, if you please: Is this your sons tunic or not?” 33 He recognized it and he said, “My son’s tunic! A savage beast devoured him! Joseph has surely been torn to bits!” 34 Then Jacob rent his garments and placed sackcloth on his loins; he mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to comfort himself, and said: “For I will go down to the grave mourning for my son.” And his father bewailed him. 36 Now the Medanites had sold him to Egypt, to Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh, the Chamberlain of the Butchers.
Israel mourns inconsolably once he sees the robe of his precious son. So too Israel will mourn Yeshua as if having lost an only son.
*Zechariah 12;10 I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitant of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications. They will look toward Me because of those whom they have stabbed; they will mourn over him as one mourns over a [deceased] firstborn.
–In the time of Herod a decree is issued for all the boys, two years and under in and around Bethlehem(the place where Rachel is buried and Yeshua is born) to be killed.
*Jeremiah 31;14 Thus said HASHEM: A voice is heard on high, wailing, bitter weeping, Rachel weeps for her children; she refuses to be consoled for her children for they are gone. 15 Thus said HASHEM: restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tear; for there is reward for your accomplishment- the word of HASHEM- and they will return from the enemy’s land. 16 There is hope for your future- the word of HASHEM- and your children will return to their border.
–Joseph will feed a world torn by hunger and woe. Yeshua is the hope of the world, feeding us with his eternal Good News. The Aleph Tav…from beginning(Bereshit) to end.
–Nothing in the Torah is arranged by chance, nothing repeated is a typeo or extraneous. The fact that Moses so sharply diverts from the story of Joseph to the next chapter entirely about the wanderings of Judah is no accident. It is directly after the verses describing the incredibly deep sorrow of Jacob and how he was inconsolably mourning for his son Joseph, we find Judah leaving home. He clearly was unable to stay around and endure the sorrow he was directly responsible for, and the guilt he was deeply effected by. So much so is he effected that he not only runs away from his home and family but away from Gods commands and his dignity and sense of honor- whatever was left of it after the conspiracy and sin against Joseph.
Genesis 38;1 it was at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned away toward an Adullamite man whose name was Hirah. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a prominent merchant whose name was Shua; he married her and consorted with her. 3 She conceived and bore a son and he called his name Er. 4 She conceived again and bore a son and she called his name Onan. 5 And yet again she bore a son; and called his name Shelah; and it was in Chezib when she bore him.
–Judah goes down and turns away. O how I love the Torah, you can even see the intention in the words in English here. I find it interesting that the Canaanite wife Judah takes is not mentioned. Is it Judah the ‘he’ who names Er? He is not mentioned in the naming of Onan, it says she names him. The naming of Shelah is not specified, but it reads as if ‘she’ too named him- ‘and called his name Shelah.’
Genesis 38;6 Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar.7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the eyes of HASHEM, and HASHEM caused him to die. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Consort with your brother’s wife and enter into levirate marriage with her, and establish offspring for your brother. 10 What he did was evil in the eyes of HASHEM, and He caused him to die also.
–There is midrash on the nature of the sin that was so greatly evil that God caused Er and Onan to die. Some say masturbation but I have to wonder. With all the nature of the surrounding cultures (many Pagan rituals included sexual ‘perversity’ in the worship of their false gods. ) and factoring in the recent descriptions of how permeable a household could be to idolatry….all one can do is research it out and think, what could it have been that caused these deaths? Trusting in the knowledge we have about our Father and believing in the attributes of our righteous Judge we can rest that there must have been a great disgrace to our King regarding Er and Onan in these situations.
Genesis 38; 11 The Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in -law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”- for he thought, “Lest he also die like his brothers.”- So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
–As I read I notice a lot of arrogance at the beginning of this chapter. (Not knowing the Hebrew which might change the intention and connotation of the words, I could be wrong. ) What is clear is that Judah does not release Tamar, which would allow her to find a new mate and have children. (Keeping in mind that in this time, a woman without children was without worth. Literally, children were fulfillment of the ‘purpose’ of a woman and a marriage, and the honor and worth of women in general.) Not only does Judah send Tamar away asking that she remain a widow and wait on him to give Shelah to her as a husband, (and he breaks his word) but his thought seem to indicate that he feels she is in some way responsible for the demise of his two sons. He fears for his third’s sons life, instead of being up front he is deceptive.
Genesis 38; 12 Many days passed and Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died; when Judah was consoled, he went up to oversee his sheepshearers- he and his Adullamite friend, Hirah- to Timnah. 13 And Tamar was told, as follows, “Behold your father-in -law is coming up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she removed her widow’s garb from upon her, covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself up; she then sat by the crossroads which is on the road toward Timnah, for she saw that Shelah had grown, and she had not been given to him as a wife.
–When I was first starting the Torah cycle years ago I often thought harshly of Tamar. This time around I feel different. She seems to truly desire to be a part of this family, she has kept her part of the ‘deal’, leaving Judah’s home and waiting, unfulfilled and twice widowed (twice experiencing loss) and now feels as if she has been cheated and wronged as well. It is so interesting the ‘role’ that garments have played thus far in this family’s ‘story’. Isaac is deceived by Jacob donning Esau’s garments, Jacob in turn is deceived by Judah and his other sons when they bring Joseph’s bloodied tunic to him, and now Judah is fooled by Tamar who is donning the garb of a harlot. We will see as we study this significance unfold further as the brothers fail to recognize Joseph in Egypt partially due to his garments.
Genesis 38; 15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot since she had covered her face. 16 So he detoured to her by the road and said, “Come, if you please, let me consort with you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me if you consort with me?” 17 He replied, “I will send you a kid of the goats from the flock.” And she said, “Provided that you leave a pledge until you send it.” 18 And he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet, your wrap, and your staff that is in your hand.” And he gave them to her, and consorted with her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose, left, and removed her veil from upon her, and she put on her widow’s garb.
— Tamar asks for Judah’s garment (his ‘cloak’ ), signet and staff. All these items are specific to Judah, they are his identification. The signet is used to make a marking like a signature, pressed into clay ‘documents’. The cloak or robe is also translated at hem of his garment or cord, which were also specific in the way that they were woven and used to make a mark in wet clay in the same way the signet was. It is with the blood of a kid of the goats that Jacob is deceived by Judah and now this is the payment he promises Tamar. What Tamar does is NOT to go ahead and become a harlot, she is doing these things to obtain children by the family and household she married into. She dons her widows garb as soon as her objective is achieved.
Genesis 38;20 Judah sent the kid of the goats through his friend the Adullamite to retrieve the pledge from the woman; but he did not find her. 21 He inquired of the people of her place, saying, “Where is the prostitute, the one at the crossroads by the road?” And they said, “There was no prostitute here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I did not find her; even the local men said, ‘There was no prostitute here.’ ” 23 So Judah said, “Let her keep them, lest we become a laughingstock; I really sent her this kid, but you could not find her.”
–Judah sends his ‘friend’ to make the payment for his ‘turning aside’ from the path to go shear his sheep. Then when he realizes he will not be getting his ‘pledge’ back anytime soon, it is interesting that he somehow includes his ‘friend’ in this consequence of becoming a ‘laughingstock’….’lest WE become a laughingstock.’
Genesis 38;24 And it was when about three months had passed, that Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has committed harlotry, and moreover, she has conceived by harlotry.” Judah said, “Take her out and let her be burned!”
–Enough time has passed that Tamar is starting to “show”. Judah, whom has not kept his word to Tamar and who is busying himself with turning aside to visit a woman he thought to be a harlot, is outraged at the assumed harlotry of his daughter-in-law and even calls for her death.
Genesis 38;25 As she was taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” and she said, “Identify, if you please, whose are this signet, this wrap, and this staff.”
–There are only two places in all of scripture where the term Haker-na is found. Haker-na means -Hear now!, or Recognize!; it is found in the insensitive presentation by Judah of the bloody garment of Joseph to Jacob (Gen37;32 They dispatched the fine woolen tunic and they brought it to their father and they said, “We found this; identify if you please: Is this your son’s tunic or not?”) and here as the tables are turned and Tamar who faces the death penalty asks Judah to Haker-na! his items and take responsibility.
Genesis 38;26 Judah recognized; and he said, ” She is right, it is from me, inasmuch as I did not give her to Shelah my son,” and he was not intimate with her anymore. 27 And it came to pass at the time she gave birth that behold! There were twins in her womb. 28 And it happened that as she gave birth, one put out a hand ; the midwife took a crimson thread and tied it on his hand saying, “This one emerged first!” 29 And it was, as he drew back his hand, that behold! his brother emerged. And she said, “With what strength you asserted yourself!” And he called his name Perez. 30 Afterwards his brother on whose hand was the crimson thread came out; and he called his name Zerah.
–Judah takes responsibility for his actions, noting that he had not given Shelah to Tamar in Levirate marriage as was proper. Judah ceases to be intimate with her but appears to be involved in naming (assuming the ‘he called’ is Judah) In scripture holy means ‘set-apart’ Leviticus 21;1 They shall not marry a woman who is a harlot or has been desecrated, and they shall not marry a woman who has been divorced by her husband; for each one is holy to God.
Perez comes from (paras) meaning break (through, down, over), burst. This verb is used to mean breaching a wall, but also to break the stubbornness of people, it can be used to indicate a sudden increase of produce or progeny.
*Isaiah 5;5 So now I will tell you what I am doing to My vineyard: I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed; I will breach its fence and it will be trampled.
*Proverbs 3; 5 Trust in HASHEM with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways know Him and He will smooth your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear HASHEM and turn away from evil. 8 It will be health to your navel and marrow to your bones. 9 Honor HASHEM with your wealth, and with the first of all your produce, 10 then your storehouses will be filled with plenty, and the wine of your vats will burst forth.
*Ruth 4l;11 Then all the people who were at the gate, and the elders said, “[We are] witnesses! May HASHEM make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the House of Israel. May you prosper in Ephrath and be famous in Beth-lehem;12 and may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring of which HASHEM will give you by this woman.”
–Who could imagine that from Tamar and Judah’s union would come King David and Messiah Yeshua? God has a master plan and if we could just put it all in his hands we will see the produce bursting forth!! The following verses are good to have in mind as we read on about Joseph.
*Isaiah 55; 8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways- the word of HASHEM. 9 As high as the heavens over the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For just as the rain and snow descend from heaven and will not return there, rather it waters the earth and causes it to produce and sprout, and gives seed to the sower and food to the eater, 11 so shall be My word that emanates from My mouth, it will not return to Me unfulfilled unless I have accomplished what I desired and brought success where I sent it.
*Psalm 40; 6 Much have You done, O You HASHEM, my God, Your wonders and Your thoughts are for us- none can compare to You- were I to relate or speak [of them], they are too overwhelming to recount.
Blessed are You Lord our God King of the Universe You have blessed us with Your Torah of Truth You have blessed us with the entire counsel of Your living word completed by the work of Messiah Yeshua, You alone have planted life eternal among us, Blessed are You gracious giver of the Torah.
Resources:
Artscroll Women’s Siddur
Stone Edition Tanach
Stone Edition Chumash
Complete Jewish Bible
FFOZ Torah Club volume 2
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