PARASHA: “VaYeshev” (and he settled)
GENESIS 37:1-40:23.... AMOS 2:6-3:8...MATT 14:1-15:39… JOHN 10:22-23
Joseph is going to follow God's perfect plan for his life. It won't be easy, yet the outcome is awesome. When we follow God's plan for our lives, the walk may be rough, but the outcome will bless us and bless others. (as in the case of Yosef)
In this study, the focus is on Yosef, who is going to be in the limelight of God. Things seem to be going from bad to worse for this young teenager. it wasn't all his fault we could say. His father Jacob held him high up on a pedestal, “Papa's favorite”. Always when there is family favoritism among sons and daughters, there is bound to be trouble, especially from the other siblings who are the “less preferred”
Papa Jacob makes him a “coat of many colors” This coat was a symbol of leadership; The Torah doesn’t specify that it was of “many colors” only that this type of garment was one that had sleeves down to the wrists and that reached the ankles. this is like getting a kid a three-piece suit made of fine silk, and then sending out to the fields where his brothers are wearing overalls and straw hats. This is going to get jealousy aroused. These brothers are boiling mad, and to make matters worse, Yosef is given dreams by YHVH and he doesn't keep them to himself, he shares them. He shares them not to be haughty, but just to let his family know what is happening, or rather, what is “going to happen” in the future. But I don't think that at that time, Yosef understood the meaning of the dreams.
We understand that the dreams include sheaves of wheat that bow down before Yosef’s sheaves of wheat. How might one see this? Here’s an idea. Wheat is made into bread, and Yeshua is the “Bread of Life”. Yosef is a “type or symbol of Messiah” He saves the known world of physical starvation, and Yeshua saved the whole world of spiritual starvation. Just like Yosef’s brothers bowed down to him in honor, the whole world will “bow down” to Yeshua, who is the “Bread of Life”.
To make a long story short, he gets out to the fields, the brothers strip him of his coat, rip it, dip it in goat's blood, plan to kill him, Judah talks them out of it, and instead, throw him in an empty well, wait until a group of Ishmaelite traders come by, they sell him to the buyers for 20 pieces of silver and that is how they are rid of brother Yosef, “daddy's boy” the dreamer, yet unknowingly, they are playing right into the perfect plan of YHVH, they are “investing” in their own future welfare.
One interesting fact about these events is what happened before Yosef finds his brothers in Dothan.
37:15 says that a “certain man found him wandering in the field, and the man asked him saying what are you looking for?” Israel sends Yosef to look for his brothers in Shechem, but when he gets there, he doesn’t find them because they went on to Dothan. Josef is now lost, just “wandering” so the man says that they said “let’s go to Dothan” So the man redirects Yosef to find his brothers and continue in Adonai’s perfect plan for his life.
Who is this man? No one knows, perhaps he was just a man who happened to be there near Yosef’s brethren and overheard them talking. Some rabbis believe it wasn’t just a man, but an angel who was sent to give the “message” to Yosef that his brothers were in Dothan. Angels (Malachim) are “messengers” to help us in times of need, and Yosef was in need at that time.
God, who looks down from beyond the heavens, from a multi-dimensional universe, sees the end before it happens, and this man was essential to fulfill the words of the Torah and the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Without this man, Yosef would not have found his brothers, and they wouldn’t have sold him into slavery. He never would have made it to Egypt to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and save the world from starvation. The sons of Israel would not have moved to Egypt, and the prophecy of “Israel being in Egypt” might not have come true. Yet it all DID because God had that certain “Man” (or an angel) in place at the right time.
Little may we know it but we probably have been in the “right places” at the “right times” to help people achieve their goals because we have a God in the universe that oversees all things and places people in those places to fulfill his will in them and in others.
But let's go back to the events. How do these events symbolize, compare with Messiah Yeshua? We do not see any blemish on Yosef, as if he is “perfect and righteous” as Yeshua was/is “Tzadik Kadosh” (Righteous and Holy” Yosef is the “victim” of his own people (his brothers). As Yeshua was given up to the Roman governor, by a group of religious leaders.
We know that Adonai is with him, and he is going to be a testimony to those around him, namely the Egyptians. The name “Yosef” is spelled (in Hebrew) “Yod, Vav, Samech, and Pey sofit” When we add up the letter values, we get 156 in gematria. We can look at this is two ways, “1” is Adonai as “Echad” (One in unity) “5” is the number of grace, “6” is the number of man. One way to understand these numbers is to say that “Yosef is a man that will have a close relation to Adonai, and show grace to those around him. As we will see in the future, to the Egyptians, and to his brethren during the years of famine. 1+5+6 = 12. Yosef is part of the 12 tribes, the 12 sons of Israel. Here is something interesting, Psalm 81:5 reads; “This he ordained in Yosef for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt..” what did He ordain? He ordained his “Torah” So Yosef was a testimony for Adonai before Pharaoh and before the Egyptians. The spelling in verse 5 for the name “Yosef” is “Yod, Hey, Vav, Samech, Pey sofit”. ( Y + H +V + S + F) “YHosef” This is the only place in the Torah where Yosef’s name is written so. We see that Adonai has placed one of his names (YaH) in Yosef’s name. Those two letters are the first two letters in Adonai’s most holy name YHVH.
The brothers stripped Yosef of his coat, the coat was dipped in goat's blood. Yeshua was stripped of his clothing, and was beaten, his flesh “ripped” by a Roman whip, until the blood poured out. The “goat's blood” reminds us of “Yom Kippur” where goats were sacrificed and one was “set free” the blood of the goat reminds us of our sins “covered by the blood” (back then) but now, our sins are “erased” by the blood of “God's chosen LAMB” the “Lamb of God” which taketh away the sins of the world.
Yosef was thrown into a pit, an empty cistern, void of water. Scripture doesn't say, but I imagine that his brothers tied him up with a rope and lowered him into the pit by the rope. A “water well” symbolizes “Life” but when it is empty, it can symbolize “death”. Just try to climb out a deep pit with dirt sides without anything, you can't, might as well be dead. Yosef being lower into the pit can symbolize Yeshua's death, and his descent into “Sheol” yet when the Midianites came by, the brothers pulled him “out” of the pit, it could symbolize Yeshua's “resurrection unto life”. Before the pit, Yosef was part of his immediate family, after the incident of the pit, he is on his way to a “new life”, with trials, testings, troubles, suffering, and finally, rewards! Doesn't that sound like our life today?
The waterless pit can also symbolize the Torah itself. The pit without water is a place without the Torah. This can also point to the time of the evil King Antiochus (since we are approaching Hanukkah) who ruled “No Torah” in Judea until Y’hudah Ben Matityahu (Judah Ben Mattathias, the Maccabee) kicked Antiochus out of Judea and restored the Torah to Judea.
Yosef was sold for “20 pieces of silver” by “Y'hudah Ben Ya'akov” (Judah son of Jacob)
Yeshua was sold for “30” pieces of silver by “Y'hudah Ish Kariot” (Judah, a man from the region of Kariot). The price of a slave was 20 pieces of silver in the time of Yosef, and through inflation, it rose to 30 pieces in the time of Yeshua.
Y'hudah Ben Ya'akov was part of Jacob's family, whose name changed to Israel. Y'hudah Ish Kariot was part of Yeshua's family of talmidim (disciples) by “name only” not spiritually. The name “Israel” comes from “Yasher-El” (straight to God) “Yeshua” relationship is “straight to God”. The difference between 30 pieces of silver and 20 pieces of silver is “10” the number of “Torah”. ALL is recorded and written down in the Torah, and Yeshua is the “Living Torah”.
In Chapter 38, the scene switches to “Judah”. We see that Judah is not doing a very wise thing as he goes into a Canaanite woman. He leaves his brethren and has kids with a Canaanite! The first two are evil and Adonai kills them, Shelah is his third son and he hesitates to marry him to “Tamar” yet she poses as a prostitute and deceives Judah into sleeping with her and getting her pregnant. But the question is why was he looking for a prostitute?
Believers can wander away from God’s will for their lives in such ways, marrying unbelievers, committing adultery or fornication, the list can go on. Adonai still loves us and will continue to reach down to us and redirect us, even though it hurts at times, at times, the chastisements can come in the form of sadness and depression, a loss of love and excitement for the things of the LORD because we know we are “doing wrong”.
The result of Tamar’s pregnancy was that twins were born, the first one pushed his hand through the womb and the midwife tied a “scarlet thread” on it to say, “this is the first-born” yet the baby pulled back inside and his brother came out, then HE came out in second place…yet…he was in “first place” (if you get my drift).
There is symbolism in these births. A way we can look at this is that the scarlet thread can symbolize Yeshua the Messiah, and his “first coming” then, his “second coming”. Tamar is part of the lineage of King David, and from King David come Mary and Yosef, who are the legal guardians and adoptive parents of Yeshua!
Here is something else. Yosef Ben Israel went DOWN to Egypt, not by his own accord, but as a slave. Yeshua Ben Yosef, Ben David went DOWN to Egypt with his parents yet returned home later on. Yosef Ben Israel returned to Canaan to be buried, yet BOTH are enjoying fellowship in Heaven today.
The prophet preaches “judgment on Israel” (because they sell the righteous for silver), and for many more evil deeds, they have turned away from God and are behaving like the heathen, that know not the LORD. Yosef was righteous, and he sold for 20 pieces of silver, Yeshua was/is righteous, and was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Israel has traded a “Torah” (30-20=10) walk for an “unrighteous” walk and lifestyle, trouble is ahead, judgment is coming, and it came, God used Babylon, Greece, Antiochus, Rome, as instruments of judgment, yet Israel prevailed, through YHVH's grace, goodness, righteousness, and through a “few gallant men” who fought the fight for freedom.
MATT 14:1-15:39 , JOHN 10:22-23 , ACTS 7:9-16
“Yeshua blesses the crowd” we see that Yeshua went to a place alone, perhaps to mourn the death of his cousin, Yochanan the Baptist, yet the crowd found him, he had compassion and healed the sick, he fed them when he multiplied the 5 loaves and 2 fish. Interesting enough, when we add 5 and 2 we get “7” the perfect number, the number of Holiness, we have the “Bread (loaves) of Life” and he who makes “fishers of men” (fish). Also, the symbol of the “fish” was used in early messianic believers.
In John, we see that Yeshua attends the Feast of Hanukkah, the “dedication.” The root word for “Hanukkah” is “Chanakh” which, in Hebrew letters is; Chet, Nun, Kaf. It means to “initiate, discipline, dedicate, train up, habituate (being accustomed to doing something).
So, “Hanukkah” is a “re-dedication of the temple”. It was in the temple where the Jews gathered on the Sabbaths to be “trained up” “disciplined in the teaching/learning of the Torah”. Today, our bodies are the Temple where the Holy Spirit reigns, in order to teach us, discipline us in the ways of the Torah, getting us accustomed to serving our Savior and redeemer.
Yeshua, at this time of Hanukkah, takes this opportunity to tell the Jews, “I AM the Messiah....yet you do not believe” the choice to believe, is always OURS.
In Acts 7:9-16, we read the account told by Stephen, the first martyr, of Yosef who was sold into slavery by his brothers, went down to Egypt, yet with “Adonai “ was made to be elevated, thus saving Egypt and other nations from starvation. Through Yeshua and the Torah, we are saved from spiritual starvation.
When we look at this account from the Hanukkah perspective, we might see Israel as a type of Yosef, who was oppressed and enslaved by “Antiochus” (Egypt), yet as Adonai was with Judah Ben Mattityahu (The Maccabee) He triumphed over Antiochus and brought deliverance to Israel and restored the Temple again
Adonai likewise, was with Yosef, who was transformed from slave to “associate-King” bringing a blessing to Egypt and other nations when starvation and famine were at the door. Israel received a Spiritual blessing when Antiochus was defeated.
Shabbat Shalom. Ben Avraham