Parasha #11

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 Parashah #11: Vayigash (He approached)

(Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

Additional Readings:
Eze. 37:15-28; Act. 7:9-16

Previous parashah recap – We learnt some of the parallels between the lives of Joseph and Yeshua, and how Joseph was a type of saviour, pointing toward Jesus. We saw Joseph framing Benjamin to have him staying with him, and testing his brothers on how they would react through that ordeal.

  • 1 Kin. 11:28-40(35-36) – At the death of Solomon the nation of Israel gets to be divided into the Southern Kingdom (represented by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) and the Northern Kingdom (represented by the ten other tribes called Joseph, Ephraim, or simply Israel). The 2 tribes staying together as the house of David were the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Those 2 tribes have been linked together, but it is better to look at it from the story of Joseph; Judah made a vow to look after Benjamin, and in doing that, he tied himself (and his descendants) to Benjamin; to be responsible for him. This shows us that what we say and think, can affect us AND our descendants. Pro. 18:20-21 speaks about the power of our words. Jesus said we should not make oaths or swear on anything (Mat. 5:33-37; Jam. 5:12), Because when you do that, you tie yourself and all your descendants, either for good or bad. The only way for the bad to be broken is if someone comes in the name of Jesus to break it. To this day, the main tribes of the Hebrews (known as Jews; meaning ‘of Judah’) are still Judah and Benjamin; they have stayed tied up from that oath which comes from thousands of years prior.

  • Another example is Jacob who was in fear for his life when going back to his land. He thought that Esau was going to kill him, so he made an oath with God, to give him a tenth of what he had if God would protect him. Later, in the New Testament, that tithing is still in action because of Jacob’s pledge. When we come to Jesus, we are grafted into Israel and therefore, we fall under Jacob’s pledge. When we make a vow, either as a blessing or a curse, we bind not only ourselves but all our generations to it; and that’s as much the physical generations as well as the spiritual ones (like us who have been grafted in).

  • Also, we can see that Jacob’s attitude wasn’t right; he didn’t accept the death of Joseph and moved in grief so much that he became of one mind with that spirit, and that opened the way for a spirit of fear to express itself. He feared losing Benjamin – the last son of Rachael. He even went so far as to say that if he were to lose Benjamin, he would die. When you start listening to an evil spirit and agreeing with it, it will lead to death in one way or another (Rom. 6:23). Here we have a clear example of that; it’s a self-inflicted curse.

  • Gen. 45:25-28 – we see that Jacob’s spirit was unhealthy, becoming sick. In Hebrew, the word ‘revive’ means getting back into health. By listening to these spirits, that nowadays would just be seen as being depressed and having anxiety issues, Jacob had his spirit going into sleep, death. His spirit went back into health when he found out Joseph was still alive, and only then could he separate himself from the previous mindset. However, he could not completely lift himself up, because the spirits were still there. This also applies to us; the only way to have our spirit completely freed is by casting out the evil spirits within. Today, people are often medicated for all kinds of illnesses; and whilst this may provide some relief, it does not address the spiritual aspect and therefore, complete freedom is not experienced. By refusing to acknowledge the spiritual roots of any ailment psychologists and doctors can recognise that there is a problem, they can name it but they can’t solve it. Only mask it through prescriptions and positive thinking, but that doesn’t remove the root cause which is spiritual.

  • Jacob’s spirit revived and he could hear the Lord again – When we turn away from God’s instructions and His way of thinking, we start listening to the kingdom of darkness and can’t hear God anymore. To be whole and able to hear God we need to be renewed in our minds by following His instructions and fighting against the invisible voices (from within AND without). Jacob changed his mind frame yet was not completely free. The same applies when casting out demons; even after deliverance, we are not fully free yet until we also change the wrong thinking patterns; if the thinking stays the same, it’s just as if the demons were still there speaking. It is only when we combine deliverance with renewal of the mind, that we can experience full freedom. It is a fight, which means we must exercise our own personal will to come against all our wrong habits, tendencies etc. By doing this, we start establishing the kingdom of God within us (Luk. 17:21). By reading the word, understanding it and applying it to our lives, we become Christ-like and gain the mind of Christ (Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Cor. 2:16).

  • Judah asks to take Benjamin’s place for the sake of his father and because of his vow, but also because of the guilt from what they had done to Joseph. Judah’s action was an act of true repentance; the kind that is agreeable to God and His instructions. True repentance means having a complete change of heart and not moving into that sin again. The brothers were all repentant and therefore, met God’s condition to be forgiven. Joseph cried for all non-Hebrews to live so that he could reveal his identity to his brothers and be reunited with them. They all cry about it, atone and get reconciled. Then the Egyptians hear about the whole story and Pharaoh commands to have carts sent to bring the whole of Israel into Egypt. Again we see the parallel with Jesus.

  • Zec. 12:9-11 – a time is coming when the Jews will recognise Jesus for who He is; they will atone through true repentance and be reconciled with God, exactly like Joseph and his brothers. Joseph is a type of saviour, so when we look at his life, we can see the life of Jesus; what has happened and what is to come.

  • Rom. 11:1, 4-5, 15, 26-27 – Jesus will forgive and cleanse the remnant of those who will acknowledge Him and be refined. The scripture doesn’t mean ALL Israel but rather the 12 tribes. Zec. 13:8-9 clearly shows that only a third of the people living on the land will be refined as a remnant.

  • When the Jews/remnant see Jesus and recognise Him as the one whom they have pierced, they will mourn and repent, and this will be noticed by all the nations. From that moment on, the time of the gentiles will be fulfilled and all the nations will be blessed through Israel. It will be the same as when all the Egyptians heard about the reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers.

  • Gen. 46:1-4 – God never mentioned to Israel that after joseph, the people would go into decades of captivity and horrible treatment (Exo. 1:6-11).

  • Gen. 46 – counted are Jacob and all his progeny (don’t forget to add Jacob or else the numbers wont line up to the total given at the end). Jacob had 4 wives, with Joseph being set apart in the final count (not in the children of Rachael). There are 4 groups numbered; one group inferred, and a fifth after for Joseph’s line.The first 4 groups (the wives of Jacob):

    1. Leah – 33 family members going to Egypt. 2 of these 33 were dead. The total doesn’t include the 2 dead; so it becomes 31

    2. Zilpah – 16

    3. Rachael – 14 including Joseph. But you have to remove joseph and his 2 sons to get the right total.

    4. Bilah – 7

If you look back at the numbers, you will find that the ordeal of the sons of Jacob took about 2 years. How could they have that many kids in 2 years? Benjamin is portrayed as a youth; unable to look after himself, but here we see that when he came to Egypt, he had either ten sons or more likely 3 sons, 6 grandsons and 1 great grandson, as the LXX states (Gen. 46:21). This shows us how twisted Jacob’s thinking had become; so much that he continued to treat Benjamin as if he were a small child. And Jacob’s fear started to spread to all his other sons, who were also in fear of losing Benjamin.

  • An oddity occurs – where we are told about Joseph, and given a full number of 70 (Gen. 46:21-27); Joseph and his sons were mentioned twice.

    The number 70 is very important in Kabbalah (Kabbalah is Jewish mysticism and cumulates nearly all known witchcraft, if not all of it). 70 is the number we came to before altering it to match the total of 66. It doesn’t make sense that Joseph and his 2 sons would be mentioned twice. When a change is made in the bible, there is always a flaw; a change cannot be made without people realising there is a problem; so the structure needs to stay the same but with a few slight differences in order to deceive the people.

  • Gen. 46:27 – in the KJV it says “and the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten (70)”. The Septuagint says “and the sons of Joseph who were born to him in the land of Egypt were 9 souls, all the souls of the house of Jacob who came with Joseph into Egypt were 75 souls (3 score and 15)”. We can see the wording stays the same but there is a small change in there.

  • The numbers have been tweaked/changed. It is a deception and we should be careful not to fall for the false teachings out there about the numbers of the bible. We do not want to enter into numerology, mysticism and witchcraft.

  • Gen. 46:27 – in Greek, the word ‘sons’ (uihos), also means offspring of men, or a descendant; the posterity of anyone. It can also mean son of man, a term describing man, carrying the connotation of weakness and mortality like when God addressed Ezekiel as ‘son of man’. It can also mean son of God, used to describe Adam in Luk. 3:38. It also describes those who are born again (Luk. 20:36). Is it only sons who are born again? No, so clearly it means males and females. In Hebrew the word ‘ben’ means sons, but it can also mean ALL the progeny. So from this information we learn that Joseph had 6 daughters and 2 sons (matching the scripture in the Septuagint with a total of 9, including himself).

  • Gen. 46:28-29 – in the Greek, Goshen means the city of heroes (which is how it is translated in the Septuagint), in the land of Ramesses. The city of heroes (heroo(n)polis) was a specific district in the land of Goshen which was apparently named Ramesses.

  • Gen. 47:11 – we see that our bibles agree with the Septuagint, by calling the land in which they will live, the land of Rameses – so it’s not a mistake but things have been modified and changed for some unknown purpose. The Septuagint calls the city Ramesses; in the KJV it’s spelt Rameses; and in the Complete Jewish Bible it’s spelt Ra’amses. This is not the same word or meaning as the pharaoh Rameses.

  • The Strong’s concordance believes it is talking about the pharaoh Rameses, but that is incorrect. The word used to be Remsosch in Egyptian, meaning men that live a pastoral life. The country was known as the land of the shepherds. So, they met in a city called the city of heroes (Goshen), in the district of men living a pastoral life (Ra’amses), which was known as the land of shepherds; this makes sense as they all went to live there as shepherds.

  • It was the most fruitful part of all Egypt, even with olives and vine, when the rest of Egypt didn’t have any. This is mentioned by Greek and Roman historians and goes hand in hand with what the bible says about it being the most fruitful land in all of Egypt. It was the land situated north of Memphis, that land being the great island the Nile River creates there. All this area is known today as the Ismailia Governorate in Egypt and the city of Heroonpolis (Heroopolis) as Tell-el-Maskhuta.

  • Gen. 46:33-34 – Joseph told the brothers to lie to pharaoh about their occupation. It’s possible that after the death of that pharaoh, the Hebrews became enslaved because of the lie for they all became known as shepherds and as we are told shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. And that was coupled with those said shepherds living in the best Egyptian land. The lie being out of covetness and envy it makes sense that the Hebrews would then rip what they had sown, with those spirits coming back at them. There is a history of lying in the family that started with Abraham.

  • We are told that shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians, so why were they given the best land?

    Gen. 46:34; 47:6, 16-17 – looking at these scriptures it doesn’t appear that the Egyptians had any problems with shepherds. But the bible is clear in telling us otherwise.; so how does it make sense? We have to think about the differences of cultures between Egypt and Israel. Hebrew shepherds have flocks and sacrifice animals to their God, as do the Egyptians, but not the same animals were sacrificed and moreover, the ones the Hebrews sacrificed were the ones considered sacred to the Egyptians, especially the ox/cows and the rams. So, it was not the fact that shepherds in general were an abomination to the Egyptians, for they had shepherds too, but it was the fact that the Hebrews were foreign shepherds with different traditions and sacrifices etc. And that agrees with the Greek LXX which specifies “shepherds of sheep” in relation to the word ‘abomination’ (as properly translated in the NETS).

    Also, before Joseph came to Egypt, it was ruled by the Hycsos, who were known as the shepherd kings. They were Arab nations who came with their flocks and ransacked Egypt for 259 years, which brought to the Egyptians a hatred of foreign shepherds.

  • Joseph’s family gained the most fruitful land through a lie and this would have also brought jealousy to the Egyptians. Also, remember when Abraham went to Egypt and lied about Sarah being his sister? This brought plagues upon Egypt because pharaoh took Sarah as his wife. After that, Egypt didn’t want Hebrews there. With all this information we can see how the Hebrews were able to be put under slavery for so many decades.

  • If they hadn’t gone into lying, the Egyptians may not have had such an issue with them and things would have gone a lot differently.

  • During the famine, Joseph’s family were fed and well looked after, without having to pay for anything. Likewise, pharaoh was doing the same for all the priests of Egypt. Everyone else had to buy their food, and when they ran out of money, they ended up selling their cattle, land and even themselves; they became pharaohs people, whereas before, they were free people, only paying pharaoh to protect them.

    Because they became slaves, they had to pay double the amount (20% tithe). This is interesting because today, as Christians, we are told that we have been bought at a price, via the sacrifice of Jesus (1 Cor. 6:20). Therefore, we owe Him everything, the same way the Egyptians owed pharaoh. This reveals to us again, how the life of Joseph is a pattern for the saviour. The difference is that we are not under the same kind of slavery as Egypt was, for Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Mat. 11:30), but we are still to obey our Lord and his instructions and be converted to be like him, this conversion being the renewal of our minds through the cleansing of our spiritual filthiness…

  • This parashah is also about reconciliation – The brothers were reconciled; the Egyptians were reconciled with the Hebrews (at least in the time of Joseph).

    We are told in Ezekiel that there will be a time where the Lord will reunite all the tribes. One staff representing the tribe of Judah, and the other staff representing the tribe of Israel. There is only one who will hold that staff; it is through Jesus Christ; in Him the 12 tribes will be reunited. Also, Jesus has reconciled through Himself, all the Jews and gentiles into one people (Eph. 2:11-16). And through Him, man is reconciled with God (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

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