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Parashat Vayeitzei

Updated on November 25, 2017


Ya’akov sets out for Haran. He comes to a certain place, puts a stone under his head, and sleeps. He dreams of a stairway that sets upon the earth and reaches up into shamayim (heaven). On this stairway were malachim (angels) ascending and descending. Adonai appears to Ya’akov also, and says, “I am Adonai, Elohim of Avraham your father, and Elohim of Yitzhak. I will give the land whereon you lie to you and to your offspring. Your offspring will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your offspring will all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken to you.” (28:13-15). In the morning, when Ya’akov awoke, he took the stone which he had used for a pillow and set it up as an altar unto Adonai. Pouring oil upon the stone, Ya’akov named the place Beth-EL, meaning “house of EL” or “a place where EL is worshiped”.

Ya’akov arrives in Haran, at his Uncle Laban’s home. Ya’akov begins tending sheep for his uncle, and his uncle agrees to let Ya’akov marry Rachel (Laban’s youngest daughter), whose name means “sheep”, and how fitting as she is a shepherdess. On the night that Ya’akov is to marry Rachel, Laban gives Ya’akov his oldest daughter, Leah, instead- a deception Ya’akov learns after the fact. A week later, Ya’akov is given Rachel to marry, and thus Ya’akov must now work for Laban for a total of fourteen (14) years.

A battle of wives and surrogate wives ensues.

Leah was not as loved by Ya’akov as was Rachel, and as Adonai saw this, He blessed Leah with children while Rachel remained barren. Leah gives birth to Reuven, meaning, “behold a son”. Soon afterward, Leah gives birth to Simeon, meaning, “obedient”. A third time, Leah births a son, Levi, meaning, “joined or attached”. Leah births a fourth son, Yehuda, meaning, “praise”.

Rachel, at this point, is incensed because she has yet to bear children for her beloved Ya’akov, so she gives her maid, Bilhah, in marriage to her husband, that Bilhah might bear a child for her. Bilhah births to Ya’akov a fifth son, Daniyyel, meaning, “EL is my Judge”. Bilhah births a second child, another son, his name is Naphtali, meaning, “my struggle and strife”.

Leah, not one to be outdone, gives to Ya’akov her maid, Zilpah, to marry and have children with. Zilpah becomes pregnant and births a little boy, Gad, meaning, “fortune or luck”. Zilpah soon after births another son, Asher, meaning, “happy, blessed”.

Leah becomes pregnant and gives birth to Yissachar, meaning, “man of hire” or “there is reward”. Leah then births another son, Zebulun, meaning, “prince”. And, then, Leah births a daughter, Dinah, meaning, “one who is judged”.

Rachel then births her first son, Yosef, meaning, “He will add”.

Ya’akov has now been in Haran for fourteen (14) years and wishes to return again to his own home. Laban persuades Ya’akov to yet stay by offering Ya’akov sheep from his (Laban’s) flocks. Ya’akov prospers greatly, though Laban tries to continue to trick Ya’akov. After another six years in the service of Laban, Ya’akov leaves Laban’s home without Laban’s knowledge for he was afraid that Laban would not let him leave at all. When Laban learns that Ya’akov has left, and taken his wives and children and flocks with him, Laban pursues Ya’akov and is warned in a dream by El not to harm Ya’akov. A covenant is made between Laban and Ya’akov, and Laban called the place where their altar of stones was gathered Jegar-sahadutha, meaning, “witness heap”; but Ya’akov called the place Galedh. The place is also called Mizpah, meaning, “an outlook”.

Ya’akov continues on his way and comes to a place that he names Machanayim, which means, “a visible company of faithful followers”, because the angels of EL met him there.

What does this mean for Believers today?

Elohim makes promises, and Elohim keeps promises.

Elohim promised Adom salvation, and that all nations would be blessed through him. Elohim promised Noach salvation from a global flood, and that all nations would be blessed through him. Elohim promised Shem blessed descendants, and that all nations would be blessed through him. Elohim promised Avraham that he would be a great nation, and that all nations would be blessed through him. Elohim promised Yitzhak that he would be a great nation, and that all nations would be blessed through him. Elohim promised Ya’akov that he would be a great nation, and that all nations would be blessed through him. Elohim promised Yehuda that he would reign forever, and that all nations would be blessed through him. All these promises were kept by Elohim.

Elohim sent His Son that salvation could be had by all nations.

Yochanan (John) 3:16 says, “For Elohim so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

And we, Believers, will reign forever with Yeshua ha-Meshiach when the time of eternity has come … 2 Timothy 2:11-12 says, “This saying is trustworthy: ‘For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.’” And Hagilu Natan Elohim (Revelation) 5:9-10 says, “They sang a new song, saying, ‘You are worthy to take the book, and to open its seals: for You were killed, and bought us for Elohim with Your blood, out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, and made us kings and priests to our Elohim, and we will reign on the earth.’”


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