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Parashat Vayigash

Updated on December 23, 2017


Today is Saturday, December 23, 2017 … Shabbat, the 5th of Tevet of the year 5778. Today’s parashat is Parashat Vayigash, meaning, “and he drew near”. The parashat text reading is Bereishit (Genesis) 44:18-47:27.


Yehuda, who has promised his father, Ya’akov, that no harm will come to Benyamin, is now in front of Yosef pleading to be taken as a servant to the Egyptian ruler in place of Benyamin. Yosef is awestruck at the sight of such loyalty and reveals his true identity to his brothers. “I am Yosef!”(45:3).

In reuniting brother with brother, Yosef’s brothers are much overcome with shame and remorse; but, Yosef reassures them by saying, “Now don’t be grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here, for Elohim sent me before you to preserve life” (45:5).

Yosef then provides a wealth of riches to each brother, giving more to his younger brother, Benyamin (they both have the same mother, Rachel), and send them back to Canaan to gather their father, Ya’akov, and all their families and return again to Mitzrayim, where they settle in the land of Goshen. On the way to Mitzrayim, Ya’akov is reassured by YeHoVaH, “I am YeHoVaH, the Elohim of your father. Don’t be afraid to go down into Mitzrayim, for there I will make of you a great nation.” (46:3-4). At Ya’akov’s settling in Mitzrayim, the members of Ya’akov’s family numbered seventy in all (46:27), this included Yosef and his family as well.

What does this mean for Believers today?

Earlier in Bereishit, in chapter 41, after two years of the Butler being restored into the Pharaoh's service, Yosef was sent for by the Pharaoh to interpret a dream that the Pharaoh had, at which time the Pharaoh placed Yosef above all of Mitzrayim, and “only in the throne” (Bereishit 41:40) would the Pharaoh be greater than Yosef. Essentially, the Pharaoh placed within Yosef’s sound judgment the matter of life and death.

Remember the dreams that Yosef dreamed as a younger lad, in Bereishit 37? About how Yosef explained his dream to mean that his eleven brothers would bow before him, making his brothers fume with anger and jealousy? Bereishit 44:14 says, “Yehuda and his brothers came to Yosef’s house, and he was still there. They fell on the ground before him.” Yosef’s eleven brothers- Reuven, Simeon, Levi, Yehuda, Daniyyel, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Yissachar, Zebulun, and Benyamin -are now bowing low before Yosef, and he still has the sound judgment of life and death in his hands.

Yosef could have declared his brothers criminals, had them arrested, and even executed. He could have. But, he did not. Instead, he assured them that all was well because when his brothers meant to harm him due to their anger and jealousy, and they could not see the bigger picture, Elohim had a plan and a purpose of salvation for the young nation of which Ya’akov/Yisra’el had become. “Now don’t be grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here, for Elohim sent me before you to preserve life” (45:5).

YeHoVaH could have ended the human race with ha-ish ve ha-isha (the man and the woman; Adom ve Havah (Adam and Eve)) in Gan Eden. YeHoVaH could have ended all of the human race with the flood, not even saving Noach and his family. And, in the desert, walking from Mitzrayim into the Promised Land, YaHoVaH had plenty of chances to wipe the people out because of their moaning and groaning.

And, when Yahshua was hanging on the cross, He could have easily have caused the angels in Heaven to come and rescue Him, and He could have snapped His fingers and obliterated the whole of the human race for crimes against Him instead of Him hanging as the criminal.

But … He did not.

Instead, Yahshua proclaimed in Ur/Luqas (Luke) 23:34, “Abba, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

We sold our Adonai out, for the continued pleasure of our sins, we sold Him out, not being able to see the bigger picture. He is the One Who holds the matter of life and death in His very hands. Yochanan (John) 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.” Yahshua is the Living Torah, and He created our world and all of us who enjoy this world in all its greatness, Yahshua is the Aleph and the Tav, the Beginning and the End, Life and Death is in His hands; Shmuel Aleph (1 Samuel) 2:6 says, “Adonai kills, and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol, and brings up.” Yet, on the cross, Yahshua says, “You meant to harm Me, kill Me, make Me no more; but, because I have obeyed My Abba, I have walked in obedience to Elohim, I forgive as even He forgives, because what you meant as bad, Elohim makes as good, as He always does.”

We are forgiven by the grace of Elohim through the shed blood of His Son, Yahshua ha-Meshiach, and Ruach HaKodesh continues to show us the Way, the Truth, and the Life until Yahshua returns again. Yochanan 14:16--”I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.” (Ani ha-derekh ve ha-emet ve ha-chaim.”)


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