The first word used in the beginning of this Torah portion is – וַיֵּצֵא – ‘va’yetze’ – meaning, ‘and he went’ and the root word used here is יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 meaning, ‘to go or come out, brought, came, go forth, depart, go forward, proceed’.
And so, the journey begins for Ya’aqoḇ as he went out from his father’s house to go and seek for himself a bride!
He went out from Be’ĕrsheḇa and went toward Ḥaran.
Ya’aqoḇ went out from: שֶׁבַע Be’ĕrsheḇa – Strong’s H884 which means, ‘well of oath, or well of 7’, from two words: 1) The Hebrew the primitive root word for ‘Seven’, which is שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 and from this word we get the denominative root verb – שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’, and
2) the Hebrew word for ‘well’ is בְּאֵר be‘er – Strong’s H875 and means, ‘well, pit’ which comes from the primitive root word בָּאַר ba‘ar – Strong’s H874 which means, ‘to make distinction, to make plain, expound on, inscribe’ and by analogy it means ‘to engrave’ and figuratively it carries the understanding, ‘to explain, make clear, declare’.
It is also at Be’ĕrsheḇa that we see how:
1 – Aḇraham called upon the Name of יהוה, the Everlasting Ěl – אֵל עוֹלָם – Ěl Olam!
2 – Yitsḥaq built an alter and called upon the Name of יהוה, after יהוה appeared to him
3 – Ya’aqoḇ brought offerings to יהוה and יהוה spoke to him and confirmed the Covenant
In a sense, we can see that Ya’aqoḇ went out from a place of obedience, understanding the oath sworn to Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq; and going toward Ḥaran – חָרָן – Strong’s H2771 which means, ‘mountaineer, or crossroads’, is a clear picture of tracing back his grandfather’s steps, as this was a place that Aḇraham had stopped on route to the Promised Land after leaving Ur of the Chaldeans and dwelt there until the death of his father.
It was a city where Aḇraham had gathered great possessions and acquired many beings, and it was the place where Aḇraham’s brother, Naḥor, had settled and was also known as the city of Naḥor, and Naḥor was the grandfather of Laḇan and Riḇqah. This city was also, at one time, an Assyrian provincial capital.
This was the place where Yitsḥaq’s bride was called out of and now Ya’aqoḇ too would receive his bride from here.
As discussed in a previous portion, we know that the meaning of the name of Naḥor – נָחוֹר – Strong’s H5152 is, ‘snorting’ which can render a couple of very real pictures for us, as we understand the need to call the bride out of Baḇelon!
The English word ‘snorting’ means, ‘to force air violently through the nose with a rough harsh sound, to emit explosive sounds resembling snorts’ and this can, in a manner of speaking, picture the aggression of the church that ‘snorts’ at the call to come out of the traditions and dogmas of man; as well as giving us a picture of those who are in a very deep sleep and are ‘snoring loudly’. Snorting is an explosive sound from the nostrils which can be done as an act of aggression and anger or can be achieved by someone who is so exhausted and flat on their back and snoring extremely loudly.
A health guide quotes: “Snoring and snorting are often the common problems which anyone can have while asleep. These are usually caused by blockage in the air passage in the throat. This condition poses a problem to the health of a person if left untreated.”
This is a powerful picture of many who are ‘asleep’ so to speak and are ‘snoring or snorting’ (depending on how deep asleep they are) as a result of a blockage in their ability and proper submission of ‘breathing in the fear of יהוה’ – and by that I mean that those who are ‘asleep to the Truth’ are not ‘walking in the Spirit of Elohim’, but are rather walking according to the lusts of the flesh and following the teachings of men, and as a result the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth chokes out the Word of life!
It is time for the true sober and awake servants of Elohim to go and boldly proclaim to many who still among those who are sleeping: Wake Up and Come out of her!
On his way to Ḥaran, Ya’aqoḇ came upon a place, and the root word used for ‘came upon’ is פָּגַע paga – Strong’s H6293 and means, ‘to meet, encounter, reach, entreat, join’; and so he ‘came’ to a place where he would encounter a life-changing dream, where he discovered the pure presence of יהוה, and was giving the clear assurance of having יהוה with him wherever he would go, with the promise of bringing him back to this land!
I would like to briefly look at this word as written in the ancient script in order to give us a powerful illustration of the encounter that he had! In the ancient script the word פָּגַע paga – Strong’s H6293 is written as follows (from right to left):
The reason I say either or is that the letter ‘ע’ – ‘ayin’ is pictured as either or as with both rendering a silent sound.
As we look at the meaning of each of these pictographic letters we can see a powerful meaning of what it can truly mean to ‘encounter’ Elohim!
the letter ‘pey’ – פָּ – which in the ancient script is pictured as an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean ‘sword or beard’ as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with ‘edges or boundaries’!
the letter ‘gimel’ – גַ – which in the ancient script in pictured as ‘a foot’ carries the meaning or ‘walk, gather, carry’ as referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of ‘a gathering of people’, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the feasts of יהוה, and we will look at the word for ‘feet’ in the ancient script shortly!
the letter ‘ayin’ – ‘ע’ – which has two pictographic symbols in the ancient script: the first is pictured as an ‘eye’ and carries the meaning ‘to watch, pay attention, take heed’ in the understanding of ‘keeping one’s eye on something’ and illustrates the importance of what one sets their eyes upon, so it can also give reference to the looking toward that which is evil and being blinded by deceit. The illustration of a rope is also very interesting as an alternative picture as it can render that to which one has bound themselves to by what their eyes are focused on!
We can also find great meaning in the above, and Ya’aqoḇ’s encounter, as we also understand the Hebrew word used for ‘feet’, which is רֶגֶל ‘regel’ Strong’s H7272 – means ‘a foot/feet or to walk’, and in Scripture this often speaks of one’s obedience to walking according to the commands of יהוה and obeying His call to keep His feasts as commanded; as this same word is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and translated as ‘times’ in reference to the 3 times a year all males were to appear before Elohim at Yerushalayim, marking out the clear need to walk according to His word and guard the Appointed Times or Feasts of יהוה!
In the Ancient Pictographic Script, the pictographic symbols for the word רֶגֶל ‘regel’ which means ‘feet’ or one’s walk is as follows:
the letter ‘resh’ – ‘רֶ’ – is a picture of a head of a man which speaks of headship or beginning or first. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man as well as chief, top, beginning or first’.
the letter ‘gimel’ – ‘גֶ’ – as discussed above!
the letter ‘lamed’ – ‘ל’ – is a picture of a ‘shepherd’s staff’ and can give the meaning of ‘to, toward’ as a shepherd’s staff was used to push or pull flock in the direction the shepherd wanted them to go; and so this also pictures ‘authority’ of the one leading as well as a ‘yoke’ which is used to direct; and from this we can see how in Scripture this pictures the ‘rod’ of our Good Shepherd – יהושע Messiah that leads us and guides us! The Hebrew letter ‘lamed’ – ‘ל’ has the numerical value of 30 and its name – lamed – is based on the word לָמַד lamaḏ– Strong’s H3925 which carries the meaning, ‘to exercise in, learn, instruct, teach, train’; and so we see that by the age of 30 a priest should have been trained and instructed in the ways of Torah and learned all that they can and be ready to now do the work of service.
In understanding that this pictographic symbol is another clear picture in its meaning to be instructed and led by the Shepherd and The Good Shepherd – Messiah – was 30 years old when He began His duty of the priesthood, as reckoned by Torah! Dawiḏ began to rule at 30 years old and Yosĕph too was given rule over Mitsrayim at 30 years of age – all shadow pictures of Our King and High Priest!
Why I felt it necessary to show these two words, in regards to the encounter that Ya’aqoḇ had, at the place he came to on his way to ‘fetch’ his bride, is that it carries a great lesson in showing us that Ya’aqoḇ, although running from his angry brother, was indeed in the process of being refined and made mature – it was now time to put away ‘childish things’ and grow up so to speak; and now, having left his father and mother behind, he was set on a journey to becoming Yisra’ĕl!!!
We too must understand that as we come out of the ‘systems’ of man-made worship and seek to walk in the pure ways of יהוה, we too need to realise that this ‘faith walk’ is a trying walk that will refine and purify us and purge us from all of that which does not belong!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child. But when I became a man, I did away with childish matters.”
While we do not know for certain, we can suspect that this place that Ya’aqoḇ came to, may have been in the location of where his father Yitsḥaq was put on the altar and, in being ‘offered’ up by Aḇraham, was substituted with a ram from יהוה.
It may also be that Ya’aqoḇ took one of the stones from that slaughter place to lay his head on, and so we see the clear shadow picture of Messiah being clearly established, as the Head of Yisra’ĕl and the Chief cornerstone!
Berěshith/Genesis 49:24 “But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Ya’aqoḇ – from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Yisra’ĕl”
The Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl is also the Stone of Yisra’ĕl, and the Hebrew word for ‘stone’ is אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’ and comes from the root of בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild’.
In this blessing of Ya’aqoḇ, given to Yosĕph, in Berěshith/Genesis 49:24, we are able to see how the life of Yosĕph, was truly a shadow picture of the Messiah, who would come forth and Shepherd Yisra’ĕl.
As we look at the ancient pictographic script for this word for ‘stone’ we are given greater clarity in who is the Chief Cornerstone and Shepherd. In the ancient script the word is pictured as:
Aleph – אֶ
We have already looked at this symbol/picture of a head of an ox – – that represents ‘strength and power’
Beyt – בֶ
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Nun – ן
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation.
Seeing this pictographic representation of the word Stone in reference to our Shepherd being the Stone of Yisra’ĕl we are able to see from these symbols how this word in terms of Messiah can render the following:
THE HEAD AND STRENGTH OF THE DWELLING PLACE HAS BEEN BROUGHT FORTH, AND IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE UPON WHICH WE ARE BUILT AND HAVE THE SURE PROMISE OF INHERITANCE.
Tehillim/Psalm 118:22 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone.”
This Messiah spoke after He gave the parable of the wicked tenants who had killed the son of the master of the vineyard (it was a parable used to teach!!!).
Mattithyahu/Matthew 21:42 “יהושע said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. This was from יהוה, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?”
This is repeated in:
Marqos/Mark 12:10-11 “Have you not read this Scripture, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. 11 ‘This was from יהוה, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?”
And again in:
Luqas/Luke 20:17-18 “But He looked at them and said, “What then is this that has been written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone’? 18 “Everyone who falls on that stone shall be broken, but on whomever it falls, he shall be pulverised.”
After these words the Pharisees were seeking to seize Him, but feared the crowd as they knew that the parable was about them who had denied who He is!!!
Who did they reject? The Shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl!!!
Messiah tells us clearly in:
Yoḥanan/John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd. And I know Mine, and Mine know Me”
In his dream, Ya’aqoḇ saw a ladder set up on earth, with its top reaching to the heavens and he saw messengers of Elohim going up and down on it.
This also reminds us of the words of Messiah to Nethanĕ’l who made a bold statement of faith in declaring who Messiah is, when his eyes were opened at the words of Messiah:
Yoḥanan/John 1:51 “And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, from now on you shall see the heaven opened, and the messengers of Elohim ascending and descending upon the Son of Aḏam.”
When Ya’aqoḇ looked up, he saw יהוה standing above the ladder and then he hears יהוה declaring to him who He is, and the promise that was given to Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq was now being given to Ya’aqoḇ!
A critical lesson we can learn from this text is that it is of vital importance for us to remain steadfast in our walk of obedience, in keeping the Appointed Times of יהוה, so that we too will see the fulfilment of this promise given to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ, when Messiah returns and comes down from on high!
The comforting words that were given to Ya’aqoḇ were strengthening words – words that we need to hear in our lives today and upon hearing it, we must be diligent to act upon the living faith His Word brings, by holding fast to His commands and walk in His Covenant with joy, no matter what surrounds us – for we have our Saviour who is up in His Hěḵal, seated above all, and guarding us by His Word as His Spirit leads us according to His Truth!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not look around, for I am your Elohim. I shall strengthen you, I shall also help you, I shall also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.’”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I am with you; and through rivers, they do not overflow you. When you walk through fire, you are not scorched, and a flame does not burn you.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 1:19 “And they shall fight against you, but not prevail against you. For I am with you,” declares יהוה, “to deliver you.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I am in their midst.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, go and make taught ones of all the nations, immersing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit, 20 teaching them to guard all that I have commanded you. And see, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Aměn.”
Tehillah/Psalm 121:5-8 “יהוה is your guard; יהוה is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun does not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 יהוה guards you from all evil; He guards your being. 8 יהוה guards your going out and your coming in Now and forever.”
Ya’aqoḇ knew that he had seen יהוה, and while he may not have known, at first, how significant this place was, he certainly knew it now, and he was greatly strengthened to go forward, in great faith, and no longer be running in fear!
He set up a standing column and poured oil on it and called the place Bĕyth Ěl, which was formerly called Luz.
The Hebrew word לוּז Luz – Strong’s H3870 means, ‘almond tree’, which was the earlier name for Bĕyth Ĕl – בֵּֽיתְאֶל – Strong’s H1008 which means, ‘house of Ĕl’, which Ya’aqoḇ named after he encountered his life changing appointment with יהוה.
The Hebrew word for ‘house’ is בַּיִת bayith – Strong’s H1004 meaning, ‘house, home, armoury, building’ and is often pronounced as ‘beit’. אֵל ĕl – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’
In the ancient pictographic script, the word Bĕyth Ĕl – בֵּֽיתְאֶל – Strong’s H1008 which means, ‘house of Ĕl’, which looks like this:
Beyt – בַּ:
This is the letter ‘beyt’ (בֵּ), which in the ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Yod – יִ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
Aleph – אֶ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’ representing ‘strength and power’
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
HIS ‘FLOOR PLAN’ FOR HIS CREATION, IS SEALED BY HIS COVENANTS OF PROMISE BY THE WORK AND AUTHORITY OF HIS MIGHTY OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND, AND AS LIVING STONES ARE BEING BUILT UP IN HIM BECOMING HIS DWELLING PLACE AND STRENGTHENED BY THE GOOD SHEPHERD!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, 21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.”
Ya’aqoḇ acknowledges the provision of Elohim, in saying that he had been given bread to eat and garment to put on, and so too do we need to recognise that we have been given His Bread to eat – that is His Word – and He has given us garments of righteousness and praise and so, we too have our bread an garments that will keep us in the way which we are going, as we sojourn here with great expectancy of the Blessed and sure hope of His soon return. Understanding that we have bread and garments that last, we must be filled with His shalom and joy to stand firm in our fervent commitment to being built up in Messiah, who is our Head!
The Hebrew word for ‘bread’ is לֶחֶם leḥem – Strong’s H3899, meaning ‘bread, meal, provision, food’.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘garments’ is בֶּגֶד beggeḏ – Strong’s H899 which means, ‘garment, covering, treachery, to deceive’ and can also give reference to any kind of garment, from the robes of the rich and mighty to the rags of the poor and the leper.
We have been given all we need for life and reverence, having been clothed with the deliverance of Messiah:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in יהוה, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Having been cleansed by the Blood of Messiah, through our immersion in His Name, we are to keep our garments clean!
In Scripture, garments are often a symbolic picture of our works and highlights for us the need to make sure that we are being steadfast in doing the good works that have been prepared beforehand for us to do – which is to guard righteousness by obeying the commands!
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:4 “Nevertheless, you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments. And they shall walk with Me in white, because they are worthy.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:18 “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you become rich; and white garments, so that you become dressed, so that the shame of your nakedness might not be shown; and anoint your eyes with ointment, so that you see.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 16:15 “See, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who is staying awake and guarding his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
One of the things a leper would have to do in the cleansing process is to ‘destroy his garments’ and so too do we need to ‘destroy’ our ‘old’ self and put on Messiah:
Romiyim/Romans 13:12-14 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
It is through immersion after repentance that we die to self and put off the old and are made alive in Messiah and put on the new:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:21-24 “if indeed you have heard Him and were taught by Him, as truth is in יהושע: 22 that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the renewed man which was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and set-apartness of the truth.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8-10 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices, 10 and have put on the new one who is renewed in knowledge according to the likeness of Him who created him”
In Messiah, we have food (bread) and covering (garments of righteousness):
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:8 “When we have food and covering, we shall be satisfied with these.”
Ya’aqoḇ made this stone a marker for the house of Elohim and he promised to give his all and he made a vow!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘vow’ is נֶדֶר neḏer – Strong’s H5088 which means, ‘vow’ and ‘to make a vow’ is the word נָדַר naḏar – Strong’s H5087; and so, to “naḏar” a “neḏer” is to swear to Elohim with an ‘oath’, and therefore bind oneself with what proceeds from one’s mouth.
A ‘neḏer’ is something that is promised to Elohim verbally, and anyone who makes a vow is obliged to fulfil/do his promise!
In Scripture, a vow is always to Elohim and not to man.
And the understanding behind a ‘vow’ carries the meaning, ‘to bind or imprison, or to dedicate a specific object or creature to יהוה’.
Tehillah/Psalm 61:8 “So I sing praise to Your Name forever, when I pay my vows day by day.”
Tehillah/Psalm 116:14 “I pay my vows to יהוה now in the presence of all His people.”
Yonah/Jonah 2:9 “But I offer to You with the voice of thanksgiving, I pay what I have vowed. Deliverance is of יהוה.”
As we dedicate our lives to serving our Master, in whom we now have acceptance by His Blood, we recognise that giving a deformed or dwarfed service is NOT acceptable to Elohim – no half-hearted or lukewarm service – it is all or nothing!
When Ya’aqoḇ says that he would give to Elohim of all that Elohim gives to him and that he would certainly give a tenth, he was not instituting the tithe here but was declaring that all he had or would ever have was from יהוה, and that he would remember that, as he would give back to יהוה in a response of committed faith!
The tithe was something that was already in place, as we remember that Aḇraham gave a tenth to Malkitseḏeq, and so Aḇraham would have certainly taught Yitsḥaq this clear principle or tithing and so Ya’aqoḇ here is saying that to tithe was an obvious, yet he was declaring to give more than just the tithe!!!
With him saying that he would certainly give a tithe, it was as if he was saying that with his oath of him giving of all that he would receive, he was saying that ‘of course the tithe would be given’, as that was not even something to be considered as a non-option!
So many today hesitate at giving their tithes, while Ya’aqoḇ’s statement here is a vital lesson on recognising that one’s tithe can never even be considered as something to be held back from giving, and in fact, Ya’aqoḇ is setting a higher standard here, in that he states that he would give far and beyond his tithes – and this is exactly what Messiah taught when He said that we should give to Caesar what is Caesars and to Elohim what is Elohim’s.
All we have is from Elohim, therefore we in turn are to give Him our all!
Ya’aqoḇ, in saying that he would give of all that Elohim would give him, was speaking of his future descendants and so establishing our need to carry the same heart of giving as our father’s Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ!
The root word that is translated here as ‘tenth’ is the primitive root verb עָשַׂר asar – Strong’s H6237 which means, ‘to tithe, take the tenth part of, and surely give a tenth’ and this word is translated as ‘tithe’ in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 14:22-23 “You shall tithe without fail all the yield of your grain that the field brings forth year by year. 23 “And you shall eat before יהוה your Elohim, in the place where He chooses to make His Name dwell, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, and of the firstlings of your herds and your sheep, so that you learn to fear יהוה your Elohim always.”
The noun that is derived from this the primitive root verb עָשַׂר asar – Strong’s H6237 for ‘tithes’ is מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643 which means, ‘tenth part, tithe’.
We read in Berěshith/Genesis 14:20 that Aḇram gave Malkitseḏeq a tenth/tithe of all.
We also read in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:4-6 “Now see how great this one was, to whom even the ancestor Aḇraham gave a tenth of the choicest booty. 5 And truly, those who are of the sons of Lĕwi, who receive the priesthood, have a command to receive tithes from the people according to the Torah, that is, from their brothers, though they have come from the loins of Aḇraham, 6 however, the one whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Aḇraham, and blessed the one who held the promises.”
The Lĕwitical priesthood and its functions serve as a type or picture of how we now serve in the order of Malkitseḏeq, as tithes are still valid, and are given to those whom Messiah has appointed to serve and teach in equipping and building up of the body of Messiah unto maturity in Him. Let us look at this word in its ancient form:
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643 meaning, ‘tenth part, tithe’ looks like this:
– this is the letter ‘mem’, which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘ayin’, which is pictured as an ‘eye’ and carries the meaning ‘to watch, pay attention, take heed, look’ in the understanding of ‘keeping one’s eye on something’ and illustrates the importance of what one sets their eyes upon.
– this is the letter ‘sin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’, which is what the teeth do and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or meditate on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
– this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
From this pictographic description of this word we can see the following:
THE NATIONS HAVE SEEN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HEAD/FIRST BORN!
יהוה told Aḇraham that He would make him a great nation, and then asked Aḇraham to sacrifice his only son (Yitsḥaq was the ‘only son’ according to the Promise). The word for ‘tithe’ can in many ways picture Aḇraham (the great nation), seeing the destruction of the first son (the son of the promise).
Understanding this picture, we can also see how the tithe can in many ways represent the act that was reciprocated by Elohim, in part, due to Aḇraham’s obedience, and so Elohim ‘gave of Himself’ as seen in His ‘Outstretched Arm and Hand’ as revealed through the ‘firstborn of all creation’ – יהושע Messiah – The Right Hand of Elohim!
At the death of Messiah on the stake, the nations saw the destruction of Elohim’s firstborn, who is the head of all creation!
Aḇraham ‘tithed’ to Malkitseḏeq, after having been blessed by him, and Aḇraham’s grandson, Lĕwi, got credit for it, as he received ‘tithes’ from the rest of the nation!
Bearing in mind that Lĕwi means ‘joined to’, we see how we have become a royal priesthood, having been grafted in and joined to the Body of Messiah by His own Blood, and can therefore faithfully give back to Him, our all!
Let us therefore look at Lĕwi in the ancient script to get a better understanding of the authority under which we are led, having been joined to our Head and King, יהושע Messiah – who has, by His own blood secured for us His Covenant Promises in Him, having worked redemption through Him taking the punishment of death on a stake, having nailed death to the stake, giving all who call upon Him the ability to be joined to Him, as Head, High Priest and King, making us, who are in Him, a royal priesthood that are able to serve in Him Spirit and Truth and walk with confidence in the Spirit, putting to death the flesh!
The name Lĕwi – לֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 has the meaning, ‘joined to’, and in the ancient pictographic script, is as follows:
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
BY THE BLOOD OF MESSIAH, WE HAVE BEEN JOINED TO HIM AND SUBMIT UNDER HIS AUTHORITY, BY HIS SECURING FOR US AS A PRIESTHOOD IN HIS COVENANT, THROUGH THE WORK OF HIS HAND
What better reason can you think of, regarding being faithful with your tithes and offerings, than to simply understand the true work of Messiah, and how יהוה Himself came down and blessed us in giving us of Himself, causing us to be a people who have been joined to Him, and in response give your all, in complete obedience, with ‘tithes’ simply being the beginning of the active obedience to which the body of Messiah faithfully responds to! This faithful commitment is what Ya’aqoḇ committed himself by an oath to do always!
After this great encounter with יהוה, Ya’aqoḇ “moved on” which from the Hebrew text could best be rendered as ‘And Ya’aqoḇ lifted up his feet’. The Hebrew term or phrase that is translated as ‘moved on’ comes from the root words:
1) נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means, ‘lift up, carry, take, exalt, count’ and
2) רֶגֶל ‘regel’ Strong’s H7272 – means ‘a foot or feet, or to walk’, which we have already looked at from the commentary on the previous chapter and looked at the ancient script for this word.
The context of Ya’aqoḇ ‘lifting up his feet’, speaks of a rejoicing attitude and walk, and there was certainly a valid reason to be joyful, as he had יהוה as his protector and had nothing to fear! He had great motivation to move on and do so with joy.
We can learn from this, in that we too are to ‘move on’, as we sojourn here with joy and make sure that we are not found to be ‘dragging our feet’, so to speak!
Many would have preferred to stay at the place where he had encountered this profound dream, yet Ya’aqoḇ had a job to do – he had to go and fetch his bride!
And in coming to the people of the East he was, in one sense, revisiting the ‘ancient place’ where his fathers were from so that he could move forward in victory.
As we too ‘leave’ our inherited lies, we must dig back into the truth of the Torah that has been ignored for centuries and ask for the old paths and walk in it:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus said יהוה, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves. But they said, ‘We do not walk in it.’”
Sadly, today we see that so many are making the same mistake that they did back in the days of Yirmeyahu and have forgotten the truth as they settle for traditions of man that holds fast to pagan forms of idolatrous worship:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 18:15 “But My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to what is false, and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths and not on a highway”
Ya’aqoḇ looked at saw a well in the field and this could possibly be the same well where his mother was called out from, when Aḇraham’s servant came to seek a bride for Yitsḥaq.
It was here at this well that Ya’aqoḇ meets Raḥĕl and so we clearly see a wonderful pattern in Scripture of the True Bride who is met at the well by her husband!
The Hebrew word for ‘well’ is בְּאֵר be‘er – Strong’s H875 and means, ‘well, pit’ which comes from the primitive root word בָּאַר ba‘ar – Strong’s H874 which means, ‘to make distinction, to make plain, expound on, inscribe’ and by analogy it means ‘to engrave’ and figuratively it carries the understanding, ‘to explain, make clear, declare’.
At the well he saw three flocks of sheep lying at the well, and the word used here for ‘sheep’ is צאֹן tson – Strong’s H6629 which can refer to, ‘small cattle, sheep, goats, flocks’ and can also be a picture that represents different groups of animals that were lying at the well and, in a sense, can represent for us three groups of people we see today – the righteous, the wicked and the undecided!
Only when all the flocks were gathered there, would the rock that was over the well’s mouth be removed so that all the flocks could be watered.
There was a mutual understanding among the shepherds, that allowed for all their flocks to be watered together and so, the stone would not be rolled away until all the flocks were gathered. And while we can see that there was a large stone over the well, it does not mean that the united strength of all the shepherds was required to roll it away, as Ya’aqoḇ rolled it away alone (v. 10); but only that it was not in the power of every shepherd, much less of a shepherdess like Raḥĕl, to roll it away.
Ya’aqoḇ meets the shepherds that were gathering at the well and he asks them where they were from and they answer him that they were from Ḥaran, and so he discovered that these shepherds were, in fact, his relatives as he asks them if they know Laḇan, and again they answered positively and Ya’aqoḇ asked them if it was well with him and they said yes, at which point Raḥĕl approached with her sheep and they told him that she was his daughter, who could confirm his well-being!
To ask if someone is well, in the ancient culture, was more than just a simply ‘hi, how are you doing?’, as it carried more concern and care for one’s welfare and what Ya’aqoḇ was asking was more than just a superficial friendly greeting, as the text can be literally rendered, “Is shalom with him?”
In verse 6 the Hebrew word used for ‘well’ is the Hebrew word for ‘peace’, which is שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 and means, ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection’, and comes from the primitive root שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.
The root meaning of shalom is to be whole or sound, and this leads to various translations that speak of completeness, wholeness, well-being, welfare and peace. Shalom also includes the idea of vigour and vitality in all dimensions of life.
Shalom, carries a wealth of meaning that is almost impossible to summarise in a few sittings, yet the concept of shalom entails a completeness and wholeness in our Master and Elohim, who has redeemed us from enslavement to the chaos of sin!
In the ancient pictographic text, the word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 looks like this:
Shin – שֵׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Waw/Vav – וּ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.
Mem – מ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.
Now when looking at this word in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to recognise what the true Shalom of Elohim brings and does for us, for its ancient meaning could be rendered, among others, as follows:
THAT WHICH DESTROYS, OR BREAKS, THE FALSE AUTHORITY THAT BOUND US TO THE CHAOS OF THE NATIONS!
And further renders the meaning:
THE WORD OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD THAT SECURES FOR US A COMPLETE CLEANSING!
This word speaks of a complete restoration of what was lost and broken and ensures the provision for what is needed to make one whole and complete, lacking nought! We have been given all we need for life and reverence, having been grafted into the Covenant of Peace by the Blood of Messiah, and therefore, it is well with us – for His Shalom is with us!
Back to the Torah portion:
When Ya’aqoḇ saw Raḥĕl coming he tried to get the other shepherds to feed their flocks and leave so that he could be alone with Raḥĕl, and he tells them that it is still day time and not time for the flocks to be gathered so he tells them to water the sheep and go, after which they again told him that they cannot water until all are gathered and the stone would collectively be moved.
Here we see a wonderful metaphoric picture of how many are ‘waiting’ until the night before they water their flocks and in Ya’aqoḇ telling them that they should do so now is a picture of the clear instructions given to us to redeem the time because the days are wicked and יהושע Messiah tells us in:
Yoḥanan/John 9:14 “It is necessary for Me to work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day – night is coming, when no one is able to work.”
The stone is also a picture of Messiah and by His life, death and resurrection the stone has been rolled away so that we are able to drink of the living water, while it is still day; yet there are many who are waiting for Him to ‘come as a thief in the night’ and not living as children of the day, when we are clearly told in:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:2-11 “For you yourselves know very well that the day of יהוה comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 So, then, we should not sleep, as others do, but we should watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But we who are of the day should be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and as a helmet the expectation of deliverance. 9 Because Elohim did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain deliverance through our Master יהושע Messiah, 10 who died for us, so that we, whether awake or asleep, should live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, as indeed you do.”
We already have a Shepherd who has made the Torah clear for us and revealed the True Spirit of the Torah and so we are not to idly sit by and wait until ‘night time’ but rather we are to redeem the time and water the flocks with the true Living Water!
Yoḥanan/John 11:9-10 “יהושע answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
In one sense, the words of Ya’aqoḇ are one of urgency, in saying that the shepherds were to be about working and feeding their flocks while it was still day and not be sitting around waiting for better days!
The Bride of Messiah is not yet fully gathered, as the House of Yisra’ĕl was scattered among the nations, and so the whole ‘flock’ was not yet gathered, so Ya’aqoḇ could not take up his bride, as he first had to roll away the stone and then gather the flocks! יהושע Messiah rolled away the stone!
Marqos/Mark 16:4 “And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was extremely large.”
The ‘well’ has been opened! And His Voice has gone out – as we proclaim the Besorah of the Kingdom and cause the many scattered sheep to come and drink the living water!
Yoḥanan/John 10:16 “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold – I have to bring them as well, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one shepherd.”
While he was still speaking with the shepherds a 4th flock arrives with their shepherdess, Raḥĕl! And here we see the meeting of groom and bride taking place at a well, just as Yitsḥaq and Mosheh had received their brides as women who were tending their flock at wells!
In Yoḥanan/John 4 יהושע Messiah spoke to the Shomeroni woman at the well and, in a sense, was possibly the first of the ‘lost sheep’ of Yisra’ĕl to which He revealed who He was and what His role as Husband is!
In verse 10 we see the power of true love! Ya’aqoḇ sees Raḥĕl and he rolls away the stone and waters the flocks of Laḇan. We see a very powerful picture being portrayed here in the three flocks that are gathered around the well point yet not able to roll away the stone and when the fourth flock comes Ya’aqoḇ rolls the stone away!
The three flocks gathered around the well, and were doing nothing but sitting around, in a religious manner so to speak, and could therefore, in one sense, represent the three primary man-made religions that want to stake their claim of inheritance of the True Water source, yet are unable to drink, as the ‘stones of tradition’ and the veil of lies cover their ability to drink and be satisfied!
The three flocks waiting at the well in our day, so to speak, yet are unable to see or know the True source, could be pictured as Christianity, Judaism and Islam, who at this point in time are not united yet seek the same water source as ‘children of Aḇraham’; and with all their dogmas and traditions that are taught as teachings blind their ability to see the simplicity and truth of The Living Torah and therefore are unable to be properly watered.
The fourth flock are representative of those who ‘come out’ of the lies of the fathers and find the true source of life in Messiah and walk according to the Torah in spirit and in truth, and what is interesting to take note of here is that the fourth flock, that which was shepherded by Raḥĕl, is of the house of Laḇan which in many ways represents the House of Yosĕph that comes out of the Church!
The return of the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl is pictured by those who come out of the man-made twisted systems of worship and turn to the True water source and find their Husband who fights for them!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:14-16 “But their minds were hardened, for to this day, when the old covenant is being read, that same veil remains, not lifted, because in Messiah it is taken away. 15 But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.”
There are many who are gathering in a false way and when the truth is read the same veil of lies remains and so the ‘stone’ is not rolled away that they may taste and see how good יהושע Messiah is; yet when one turns to the Master as represented by those of the 4th flock so to speak, the veil is taken away and true nourishment and refreshing is given!
Verse 11 – Ya’aqoḇ kissed Raḥĕl and wept!
The greeting with a kiss was a customary way of greeting, yet we see that there is a great emotional experience that occurs here as Ya’aqoḇ lifts up his voice and weeps!
In our discovery of the Truth, there is a twofold thing that takes place – there is a joy that is experienced as a result of true repentance and a discovery of the truth, while there is also an intense remorse and regret for the many lies that we had believed for so long. As we discover the Truth and experience the True joy of walking in the Torah, we experience a great joy in the reconnecting of our lives to its true source and as we draw closer to our Maker, we find a strengthened joy, while at the same time we will at times also feel the true heartfelt repentance of turning away from that which held us captive under enslavement to traditions that blinded the truth and the realisation of what we had missed for far too long!
In verse 12 Raḥĕl runs to tell her father – there was an urgency in her – this was no ordinary day – this was a day of joy and great celebration, as Riḇqah (Ya’aqoḇ’s mother) was certainly known there, as they would have remembered how she was fetched for Yitsḥaq and how they had blessed her and said that she was to become the mother of thousands of ten thousand – and now here was her son, as the first evidence of this sure blessing!
Laḇan’s eyes must have lit up greatly when he heard the news – as he would have remembered all the gifts that were brought when Riḇqah his sister was taken from them for Yitsḥaq; and so we can clearly see that Laḇan has not changed a bit – he runs to meet Ya’aqoḇ and give him a great big bear hug and brought him back to the house; and after Ya’aqoḇ told him about all that had happened and how he had come there at the instruction of his mother Laḇan embraces him as his own!
Laḇan saw an opportunity for Ya’aqoḇ to come into his house, not merely as a relative, but rather as one who could serve him, and while he certainly seemed to be very hospitable we see from the events that follow that Laḇan had ulterior motives, and is a picture of the church today who will lovingly embrace newcomers and look warm and friendly, while their primary motive is to grow their numbers for service which would give them a measure of assumed strength!
Laḇan is, metaphorically, a wolf in sheep’s’ clothing, as he will say what sounds to be right while behind his words there lies only the motive for self and what he could get out of Ya’aqoḇ!
The name לָבָן Laḇan – Strong’s H3837 means, ‘white’ and comes from the root verb לָבֵן laḇen – Strong’s H3835 which means, ‘to be white, become white, purify’; and the word, as a verb, is לָבַן laḇan which carries the meaning, ‘to make bricks’.
While Laḇan’s name may mean ‘white’ and should picture purity, we must also recognise that leprosy is also ‘white’ and so, we can identify here that Laḇan is all about ‘making bricks’ for self and pictures the institution of man-made worship, which will have the appearance of great hospitality on the outside, while its primary function is to build its own empire of a man-driven system of tradition that is established over truth, and needs as many brick builders as it can get!
We must always be able to discern between the clean and the unclean, the set-apart and the profane and know to recognise the clear difference with that which appears to be ‘white’ and pure yet is not against the true purity of the Word!
Laḇan would have remembered the wealth that was brought with Aḇraham’s servant when Riḇqah left home and his motives are very clear in that all he sees in Ya’aqoḇ is wealth and prosperity which could be gained by his service!
Many today do not realise that the church has only one primary motive for their attendance and affiliation – and that is to become rich as they abuse their members in causing them to serve their agendas rather than ‘serving’ the body of Messiah as the Torah teaches us to.
Ya’aqoḇ was not instructed to stay long at Laḇan, but rather to go there and fetch a bride for himself, and here Laḇan uses the opportunity to bind Ya’aqoḇ to service in serving for a bride – His father and mother had not mentioned to Ya’aqoḇ anything about ‘working’ for Laḇan, and while Laḇan knows that Ya’aqoḇ does not belong there he works a perfect scheme to keep him trapped so to speak!
Verse 16-30 – 2 wives
Ya’aqoḇ loved Raḥĕl, who was the younger of the two daughters of Laḇan, and Laḇan used this to his advantage as he tricked Ya’aqoḇ into marrying Leah first, as was their custom to give away the oldest daughter first.
Ya’aqoḇ completes the week of marriage with Leah and then he takes Raḥĕl to be his wife too and so and he serves 14 years for the two wives he had obtained from the house of Laḇan.
לֵאָה Leah – Strong’s H3812 means, ‘weary’ and רָחֵל Raḥĕl – Strong’s H7354 means, ‘ewe’.
Leah’s eyes were ‘weak’ which is the root word רַךְ raḵ – Strong’s H7390 which means, ‘tender, delicate, soft, frail, inexperienced, timid’ and is often used in describing the character of people.
Raḥĕl was beautiful of form and appearance – in other words she was good to look at!
Ya’aqoḇ served for Raḥĕl the 7 years and it seemed like a few days because of his intense love for her, and then he was tricked into taking Leah as wife.
Leah, the unloved, was blessed by יהוה by having her womb opened to bear Ya’aqoḇ 4 children:
1 – Re’uḇĕn – רְאוּבֵן – Strong’s H7205 – ‘behold a son’
2 – Shim’on – שִׁמְעוֹן – Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard’
3 – Lĕwi – לֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 meaning, ‘joined to’.
4 – Yehuḏah – יְהוּדָה – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’
Raḥĕl was barren and began to envy here sister and we must learn from this that to envy is not healthy:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:30 “A healthy heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:21 “envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:14 “But if you have bitter jealousy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast against and lie against the truth.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘envied’ comes from the root word קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 meaning, ‘to be jealous or zealous, be envious, ardent’.
It is written in the ‘piel’ tense which indicates the expression of an intensive or intentional action!
She was seriously envious of her sister. It is the same word used to describe Pineḥas in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 25 who was ardent/zealous for יהוה and rose up and took a stand against the whoring of Yisra’ĕl!
This word as we can see can have a dual meaning, depending on where your focus is on and on what your eyes are looking at!
Our eyes are to be on יהוה and His Torah, which is to be the ‘apple of our eye’ (Tehillah/Psalm 7:2) as we guard his commands so that we live, and in doing so we can be like Pineḥas and Ěliyahu who expressed great zeal for יהוה, or if our eyes are turned away from the Truth for a split second and focused on the things of the flesh that do not satisfy, we are in danger of becoming extremely envious of what others have and in doing so find our feet in a slippery place! Raḥĕl grew very envious of the fact that Ya’aqoḇ was enjoying the blessing of sons from her sister Leah and not from her and she cries out to him to give him children or else she would die and Ya’aqoḇ rightly answers her by making it clear that he is not in the place of Elohim and he could not open or close a womb!
Raḥĕl then gives Ya’aqoḇ here female servant Bilhah so that she could have an offspring through her servant.
The wrong ‘envy’ can cause you to make irrational choices instead of waiting on יהוה; and Bilhah does bear a son and Raḥĕl calls this 5th child of Ya’aqoḇ:
5 – Dan – דָּן – Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge’
Bilhah has another child:
6 – Naphtali – נַפְתָּלִי – Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling’
Leah sees that she is no longer bearing children so she too gives her female servant, Zilpah, to Ya’aqoḇ who bore 2 more sons to Ya’aqoḇ:
7 – Gaḏ – גָּד – Strong’s H1410 – ‘troop’
8 – Ashĕr – אָשֵׁר – Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one’
In the days of the wheat harvest Re’uḇĕn found love apples in the field and brought them to his mother Leah, and Raḥĕl asked Leah for some of them and Leah bargained a night with Ya’aqoḇ in exchange for some of the love apples!
Elohim rewarded Leah as he had listened to her cry to please her husband and bear him another son and so she bore Ya’aqoḇ a 5th son, son number 9:
9 – Yissasḵar – יִשָּׂשכָר – Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense’
She conceived again and bore a 6th son, son number 10:
10 – Zeḇulun – זְבוּלוּן – Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted’
After this she bore a daughter whose name was – Dinah דִּינָה– Strong’s H1783 meaning, ‘judgement’.
Raḥĕl was remembered by Elohim and she bore Ya’aqoḇ a son:
11 – Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’
Ya’aqoḇ now asks Laḇan to let him leave with his wives and children as he had faithfully served for his wives and Ya’aqoḇ knew that this was not where he was to stay – it was time to move on!
Now that there was a firstborn from the wife he loved, he needed to move on.
Laḇan recognises that he has been blessed by the fact that Ya’aqoḇ has been around for the past 14 years and he certainly did not want to see Ya’aqoḇ go and see the blessing that comes with Ya’aqoḇ being there be lost and so he does all he can to keep Ya’aqoḇ, and he even uses flattering words to Ya’aqoḇ by acknowledging to him that יהוה had blessed Laḇan for Ya’aqoḇ’s sake.
He was, in effect, saying what so many churches try to say to those who recognise that they need to come out of her, and so he says in a nutshell, “please stay because יהוה has blessed me because of you!”
How many of us heard the same kind of words when we made it clear that the church was no longer the home for us, and were told things like… “You are a blessing to us, please stay as you are greatly valued here” or “We will not be the same without you, please consider staying as you would be sorely missed” or “the ministry has grown with your influence and many would be affected by your loss”. Words that try to flatter and cause one to rethink their need to leave… sadly many fall for the flattering words and end up staying!
Name your wages!
When flattery doesn’t work then the promise of a form of beneficial gain is offered up like a carrot before a donkey. I was offered many positions within the system, yet each time when it came time to deliver on the promise another option was presented and so the goal posts were continually shifted and as a result the promises offered were proved to be empty and were just a ploy they would often use to keep people from leaving as they lured them with flattering words and empty promises that they had no authority to give!
Name your wages and I give it – this is a huge lie that the church makes over and over in its attempt at keeping many from leaving their system of man-made worship for the truth!
You know how I have served you! Ya’aqoḇ had not tried to steal and cheat in any way, he faithfully served and looked after the flock of Laḇan; and Ya’aqoḇ makes it clear that Laḇan had greatly prospered because of Ya’aqoḇ’s faithful service and the little Laḇan had when he came had greatly increased, but now it was time for Ya’aqoḇ to provide for his own house and in order to do that he needed to leave from being under the yoke of Laḇan.
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 5:8 “And if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the belief and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Ya’aqoḇ recognised that it was time for him to take responsibility for his family and let his house be built up too, and this was not the place for that as there was a clear promise for that to happen in the Promised Land; and while there was a service time to work for his wives, this could never be his home as it was outside of the promise of Elohim.
What do I give you? When Ya’aqoḇ made it clear that no amount of wages could keep him, Laḇan further entices him by asking the question, “What do I give you?”
Laḇan desperately did not want Ya’aqoḇ to leave and Ya’aqoḇ makes it clear that he does not want anything that Laḇan had to offer, he simply wanted to leave, and when he recognises that Laḇan is not going to just let him leave, Ya’aqoḇ devises a great plan to separate himself from Laḇan and tells Laḇan that he would pass through the flock and take the speckled, spotted and black ones among the flock as his wages. He tells Laḇan that he would take the less valuable of the flock.
My righteousness shall answer for me in time to come!
Tehillah/Psalm 37:5-7 “Commit your way to יהוה, and trust in Him, and He does it. 6 And He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your right-ruling as midday. 7 Rest in יהוה, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man doing wicked devices.”
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:21 “יהוה rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He repaid me.”
What Ya’aqoḇ was basically saying to Laḇan, was that his honesty and integrity will answer for him in time to come and so, he sets forth a way to measure this by the visual check of the lesser valued flocks, which would become Ya’aqoḇ’s.
Laḇan agrees to this plan and so he separates the spotted and speckled from among the goats and the black lambs from the rest of the flocks and puts them under the hand of his sons and puts a 3-day journey between himself and Ya’aqoḇ, while Ya’aqoḇ would look after the flock of Laḇan. Laḇan surely thought he was on a winning ticket here, as the agreement would be that only the flocks that were born spotted or speckled, among the goats, and the black lambs could be taken as belonging to Ya’aqoḇ, yet Laḇan had conveniently removed the spotted and speckled goats and the black lambs from the flocks thinking that there was no way Ya’aqoḇ could get any favourable outcome, as the spotted and speckled goats and black lambs would not be able to mate with the ‘pure’ flock that Ya’aqoḇ was entrusted to look after.
Herein lies a very powerful lesson for us in recognising that even when the world tries to disarm our ability to reap the reward of righteousness, we must trust in יהוה to bring about the means for us to produce much fruit as we remain in יהושע Messiah.
Ya’aqoḇ was certainly placed in a position of seeming weakness, as there was no spotted or speckled flock in his care and no black lambs in his care, which would make it almost impossible for him to gain any flocks from the flocks that Laḇan had left for him to look after; yet we see that with יהוה nothing is impossible!
The cattle were now separated into separate flocks, keeping the speckled and spotted away from the normal-coloured animals. Only such spotted and speckled animals as would be born in the future from the normal-coloured animals would become his.
Since the solid-coloured animals were by far the more numerous, and since it was much less likely that they would bear striped and speckled offspring than those animals that were already striped and speckled – or brown among the sheep – this arrangement clearly was highly favourable to Laḇan and of very doubtful value to Ya’aqoḇ.
Indeed, it was an act of pure faith on Ya’aqoḇ’s part as he had put himself entirely at יהוה ‘s mercy and was totally in the hands of יהוה grace, as it would be up to Elohim to indicate, by a very unlikely set of circumstances, whether Ya’aqoḇ should prosper personally or not.
One thing we must take careful note of here is the fact that Ya’aqoḇ knew about tending flocks, as he had tended his father’s flock for many years and now, for the past 14 years or so, he had been looking after his uncle’s, and so Ya’aqoḇ was no novice when it came to knowing a thing or two about tending flock – in fact, he most likely knew more than Laḇan did.
Then Ya’aqoḇ took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink.
So, the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.
And Ya’aqoḇ separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laḇan; and he put his own herds apart and did not put them with Laḇan’s flock. Ya’aqoḇ would only put the stripped rods in the troughs when the strong ones conceived and so the text goes on to say that Ya’aqoḇ’s cattle were stronger than Laḇan’s.
The rods Ya’aqoḇ took were still fresh rods and he peeled off some of the bark so as to expose the white part of the rods, and so we can see some interesting pictures here in this odd practice that he did.
As we know, from Scripture, a rod is often a symbol of authority and rulership and this separation of the flocks under the ‘rod’ speaks of a clear difference between those who are ‘fed and watered’ under the rod (as a symbol of the rulership of the Messiah), versus those who are not.
The Hebrew word that is translated as rod is מַקֵּל maqqel – Strong’s H4731 meaning, ‘rod, staff’ and it is used in the following verse:
Shemoth/Exodus 12:11 “And this is how you eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Passover of יהוה.”
The reason I mention this verse, is that we can also recognise that in the Pěsaḥ of יהוה, we need to realise that because of the work of Messiah, we are to be urgent in our walk and how we ‘eat’ as instructed, always ready to walk in the true shalom of His Word under the authority of His Torah, which is to be in our hands – in other words we are to be ‘doing’ the ‘good works’ of His Torah! This is what separates the strong from the weak – those who drink at the Living Water and submit under the Hand of Messiah and obey His voice are the True Flock.
The fact that the rods were stripped to expose the white is a lesson in how we must also allow the lies and traditions of our forefathers to be stripped away that we may see the pure Word that is made clear and plain.
The three types of trees that the rods were taken from, give us this picture too:
The word for ‘poplar’ is לִבְנֶה liḇneh – Strong’s H3839 which is a tree which exudes milky-white gum and comes from the word לָבֵן laḇen – Strong’s H3835 meaning, ‘to be or become white, made pure, purified’, and the word used for ‘almond’ is לוּז luz – Strong’s H3869 meaning, ‘almond tree, almond wood’.
This is the only time that this word is used in Scripture as a noun, yet we also see this word being used as a verb – לוּז luz – Strong’s H3868 which means, ‘to turn aside, depart, vanish, devious’.
Luz is also the name of the city that would later be name Bĕyth Ĕl, where the Temple would be built!
In Scripture we see the reference to the rod of Aharon that budded and brought forth almonds, yet the word used for almonds in reference to Aharon’s rod is שָׁקֵד shaqeḏ – Strong’s H8247 comes from the root of the same spelling שָׁקַד shaqaḏ – Strong’s H8245, which means ‘to watch, keep watch, and lie awake’.
We see the use of this word being used as a play on words in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 1:11-12 “And the word of יהוה came to me, saying, “What do you see, Yirmeyahu?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12 And יהוה said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to do it.”
Almond tree, here in the above verse 11 is שָׁקֵד shaqeḏ and ‘watching over’ in verse 12 is שָׁקַד shaqaḏ.
We are to be awake and watching, guarding the Torah and not be found to be sleeping and unable to bear the fruit of righteousness.
This budding of almonds was a very clear statement that was being made to all Yisra’ĕl and that was that they were to be an alert people!
From the stripping of the almond rods here by Ya’aqoḇ, we can learn a wonderful lesson on how we are to strip away, and depart from, the lies and traditions of man-made religion and become purified in drinking the pure water of the Word, and be a watchful and awake people who watch over the commands of Elohim!
יהושע continually reminds us to be an awake people:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Aḏam is coming”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:2-3 “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before Elohim. 3 “Remember, then, how you have received, and heard. And watch and repent. If, then, you do not wake up, I shall come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know at all what hour I come upon you.”
Marqos/Mark 13:33 “Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is”
Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.”
Two words are used here in the Greek for ‘watch’ and the word used here for ‘watch’ in the first 4 passages quoted here above is – γρηγορέω grēgoreō – Strong’s G1127 and means, ‘to be awake, alert, keep watching, stay alert’ and comes from the primitive verb – ἐγείρω egeirō – Strong’s G1453 meaning, ‘to waken, to raise up, awaken’; and the word used for ‘watch’ in the last 2 verses above is – ἀγρυπνέω agrupneō – Strong’s G69 which carries the meaning, ‘to be sleepless, wakeful, keep on the alert, keep watch’.
We need to always be awake and alert and watchful. Aharon’s rod is symbolic of the authority of the Word. It was Aharon’s rod that budded first after the rebellion against the leadership of Mosheh and Aharon and as high priest this rod is a shadow picture of יהושע Messiah having come down as the Word made flesh to show us His Right-Ruling and to firmly establish His Authority as He set His ‘plumb-line’ in our midst and would be a witness against all who rebel against the Authority of His Word, for he will bring forth His Judgement with right ruling:
Amos 7:7-9 “This is what He showed me, and see, יהוה stood on a wall made with a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in His hand, 8 and יהוה said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb-line.” And יהוה said, “See, I am setting a plumb-line in the midst of My people Yisra’ĕl, no longer do I pardon them. 9 “And the high places of Yitsḥaq shall be laid waste, and the set-apart places of Yisra’ĕl shall be destroyed. And I shall rise with the sword against the house of Yaroḇ’am.”
Aharon’s rod was the rod that blossomed and bore ripe almonds and is a picture of the true fruit of true leadership based on that which יהוה has chosen and not by man’s standards, and the almonds were symbolic of being watchful and alert – showing us that יהושע, our High Priest is constantly watching over us and never sleeps and the rod would be a witness against future grumblings.
The almond tree is usually a tree that blossoms first but is one of the last to bear fruit and it is also known as the resurrection tree and we see here by the miracle that takes place in a ‘dead’ stick coming to life again!!!
Almond like blossoms were part of the design on the Menorah/Lampstand and the lampstand has 22 almond blossoms which picture for us again His complete Word as there are 22 letters in the Hebrew Alphabet! And He has by His Word brought us into His marvellous Light!
The use of the almond blossoms on the Lampstand is a reminder for us to ‘keep watch and be alert’ and with 7 lamps being symbolic of His Appointed Times, we keep watch by observing faithfully His appointed Times!!!
The word used for ‘chestnut’ is עַרְמוֹן armon – Strong’s H6196 meaning, ‘plane tree’ and the word ‘plane’ means to make smooth or even by use of a plane which is a woodworking tool. A ‘plane tree’ is of chiefly deciduous trees with large palmately lobed leaves, flowers in globose heads, and usually scaling bark — called also buttonwood, plane tree, sycamore.
This too is a picture of how we must allow His Word to ‘plane us’ as Messiah (the son of a carpenter) causes us to be made smooth and become a vessel unto value!
Ya’aqoḇ stripped the rods and ‘exposed’ the white which was in the rods!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘exposed’ is מַחְשׂף maḥsoph – Strong’s 4286 which means, ‘a laying bare, stripping, exposing’ and this comes from the primitive root חָשַׂף ḥasaph – Strong’s H2834 which means, ‘to strip off, make bare, expose, uncovered’, and this word is used in reference to the Messiah in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:10 “יהוה shall lay bare His set-apart arm in the eyes of all the nations. And all the ends of the earth shall see the deliverance of our Elohim.”
Ya’aqoḇ increased much and had many flocks that were added to him as a result of the actions of using the stripped rods in the watering troughs, which may not have any physical explanation, yet is a powerful picture for us of the work of Messiah, who was stripped for our transgression while in His life, death and resurrection He stripped the principalities and the authorities:
Qolasim/Colossians 2:13-15 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having blotted out the certificate of debt against us – by the dogmas – which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake. 15 Having stripped the principalities and the authorities, He made a public display of them, having prevailed over them in it.”
Weak ones and strong ones
As we continue to consider the events that took place here, with the separation of the weak from the strong, we are able to learn some valuable lessons regarding our calling and position in Messiah.
Verse 42 makes it clear to us that when the flocks were weak, Ya’aqoḇ did not put the rods in the gutters and watering troughs, yet whenever the strong ones conceived, he placed the rods before the eyes of the flock, in the gutters.
As I have already mentioned, Laḇan would have viewed the spotted, streaked and speckled to be the weak ones, yet here in these miraculous events they turned out to be the strong ones!
This, in itself, can give us a wonderful lesson on how our strength is in Messiah, unto whom we fix our eyes upon and yield to His authority, whereas the feeble, who may look strong according to worldly or fleshly standards, do not set their eyes on the rod of authority of the Word of Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘strong ones’ comes from the root word קָשַׁר qashar – Strong’s H7194 and means, ‘to bind, league together, knit, tied’, and can also have the meaning of, ‘robust, vigorous’.
The weak ones very not robust and healthy but were rather scrawny and weak.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘weak ones’ comes from the root word עָטַף ataph – Strong’s H5848 which means, ‘fail, feeble, cover over, turn aside, grow weak, faint away’.
This picture of identifying, and separating, the strong from the weak and the markings that the string would receive, highlights for me a very powerful lesson on how we are only made strong when our eyes are upon our Master and His Word.
This marks us as those who bind themselves to the Good Shepherd, which in the world’s eyes would seem weak and feeble. We should not be concerned about our outward appearance, as the Pharisees did yet were identified by the Master as being like dishes that are clean on the outside only yet inside are still filthy and dead.
We may look weak by those who walk according to the flesh and we may even face ridicule and slander for righteousness sake, yet we need to remember that our strength comes from our Master and no matter what spot or speckle we may have, in Him they are perfected. When we consider this picture, I am reminded of Sha’ul’s words after he asked for the thorn in his flesh to be taken away:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “And He said to me, “My favour is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, then, I shall rather boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah rests on me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for the sake of Messiah. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The power of the Master is perfected in weakness! The Greek word that is translated as ‘weakness’, comes from the root word ἀσθένεια astheneia – Strong’s G769 which means, ‘weakness, frailty, ailments, sickness’, and this word is used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 8:16-17 “And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be filled what was spoken by Yeshayahu the prophet, saying, “He Himself took our weaknesses and bore our sicknesses.”
The verses in Yeshayahu that he is quoting from is as follows:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:4 “Truly, He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. Yet we reckoned Him smitten·, stricken by Elohim, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our crookednesses. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
By His stripes we have been healed! He took our weaknesses upon Himself, in order that, in Him, we can be made strong!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:24-25 “who Himself bore our sins in His body on the timber, so that we, having died to sins, might live unto righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your beings.”
While some may think that I have deviated somewhat from the Torah portion, I find that these events that caused a clear separation of the weak from the strong, highlights a powerful lesson in revealing to us the powerful witness of the sheep returning to the good Shepherd and being made strong!
Ya’aqoḇ, who had now become very wealthy in livestock decides that it is time to leave and there were some key factors that helped him make this much needed decision!
Laḇan and his sons grew envious of Ya’aqoḇ and did not look at him as they previously had. Laḇan’s sons made false accusations against Ya’aqoḇ in saying that Ya’aqoḇ had taken away all that was Laḇan’s. This was not true as they had a clear agreement which Laḇan acted upon and did all he could to ensure that he could not lose on the deal, yet he lost big time!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 27:4 “Wrath is cruel and displeasure overwhelming, but who is able to stand before jealousy?”
Ya’aqoḇ needed to leave as this jealousy and envy of Laḇan and his sons was not something to stick around and be consumed by. It is clear to see that as long as those of the world have an assumed position of power over you they will give the impression that they like you, yet as soon as you become self-sustainable and able to fend for yourself they will despise you and accuse you of abusing that which they gave you.
The church does the same, as it will hold open its arms as long as you fall in line with their dogmatic schemes and policies, yet when you actually read and study the word and grow in knowledge and wisdom and begin to discern right from wrong and ask many questions that can never answered according to the plumb line of the Word, they will begin to accuse you and the true colours come out.
While many of us can identify with this we also recognise that if the true colours did not come out, there may have been a slight possibility that we either would have stayed longer or even stayed for good! So by the atmosphere becoming uncomfortable to get along with these envious relatives, the call to leave would not be a difficult one to heed!
It was time to leave and יהוה commands Ya’aqoḇ to return to the Promised Land, and again he is given the sure promise that יהוה would be with him. This was the first time in 20 years that we see any record of יהוה speaking directly to Ya’aqoḇ, and while we do recognise that יהוה may have indeed spoken to him during the 20 years he was under Laḇan’s house, we see here that by the clear command to return to his father’s land that his time with Laḇan was no over!
Sadly, we see today many who are not heeding the call to leave the church and its inherited system of lies and traditions, yet the remnant few who trust and obey יהוה are hearing His voice and returning to the Torah!
Ya’aqoḇ calls his wives and tells them that it is time to leave, as their father was no longer pleased with the fact that he was not prospering while Ya’aqoḇ was clearly prospering under the hand of יהוה.
When we start to ‘prosper’ in the knowledge and understanding of the Truth, many who are still in the church will despise us and not look at us the same any longer! It is time to move on and not look back!
Ya’aqoḇ had faithfully served Laḇan and is a good example of a servant who submits to authority:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:5-8 “Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Messiah; 6 not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as servants of Messiah, doing the desire of Elohim from the inner self, 7 rendering service with pleasure, as to the Master, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he shall receive the same from the Master, whether he is slave or free.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:22-25 “Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh in all respects, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing Elohim. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Master and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Master you shall receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Master, Messiah, you serve. 25 But he who does wrong shall be repaid for the wrong which he has done, and there is no partiality.”
While Laḇan had deceived Ya’aqoḇ many times and changed his wages ten times, we see that Ya’aqoḇ remained faithful to the task of serving as unto the Master, for no matter what Laḇan tried to do in enslaving Ya’aqoḇ, Ya’aqoḇ knew that Elohim was with him and that He would allow no harm or evil top come near him.
It had been 20 years that Ya’aqoḇ had been serving and his wages was changed 10 times! Now we are not sure if his wages were reduced or increased these 10 times, yet from what we can tell it is very clear that Ya’aqoḇ did not receive a fair wage.
In today’s world, this wage change, 10 times over 20 years, would equate to a salary increase only once every 2 years, which would certainly be the cause of much strike action by so many today!
It may often be the case that true servants of Elohim get abused by the world’s system and often their superiors are a picture of cruel slave drivers, yet we recognise the times and must be determined to hold fast in serving as true servants of the Most-High and realise that no matter how deceptive worldly masters (bosses) can be, יהוה will not allow them to do evil to you!!!
Ya’aqoḇ needed to leave Laḇan’s house or else he would not be in a position to receive the promises made to Him Elohim, and so it was time to move on; and we too must realise that as long as many stay in the church or any form of man-made institutionalised worship, they will never put themselves in a position to truly walk in the promises and inherit the sure promise to come!
Ya’aqoḇ explains to his wives how, even though he was cheated, יהוה showed him in a dream how he would be prosperous and successful; and so here we can clearly see that Ya’aqoḇ’s plan with the rods was given to him by יהוה!
We must realise that we are to allow יהוה to direct our steps and trust that His Word will lead us and guide us, even while under the heavy yoke of slavery to world systems.
Everything in the earth belongs to יהוה, and so here we clearly see this in that יהוה took away the livestock from Laḇan and gave them to Ya’aqoḇ; and this once again is a shadow picture of the sure provision of יהוה for His people at the right time!
When Yisra’ĕl left Mitsrayim they plundered the Mitsrians who gave them gold and silver and clothing etc. and so too we see a wealth transferral taking place here in Ya’aqoḇ’s account, equipping Him to return home.
We too must recognise that at the right time יהוה will provide for His Remnant Bride that is returning to Him, and so we are to remain steadfast and faithful in what we do as we do all unto the Master, as it is Him we are serving and not man!
Raḥĕl and Leah’s answer to Ya’aqoḇ is a powerful statement of a returning bride that is coming out of Baḇelon!
They recognised that they have no portion or inheritance in their father’s house.
We must remember that Laḇan and his family were on the way to becoming ‘Hebrews’ crossed over ones, yet settled down before the journey was complete, while Aḇraham continued on and became the first ‘Hebrew’ as he crossed the Euphrates River in a faith response to the command of Elohim to leave his father’s house and go to where Elohim would show him!
Laḇan’s house represents those who are in the church and think that they have arrived, meanwhile they have not even crossed the river!!! While we do recognise that just as Yisra’ĕl was in Mitsrayim for 430 years, many of us too were ‘incubated’ in the church system, yet it is not our destiny or home and the time has come to get out of the lies and traditions of our fathers as we, like Raḥĕl and Leah recognise that there is absolutely no portion or inheritance in the house of Christianity.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:19 “O יהוה, my strength and my stronghold and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited only falsehood, futility, and there is no value in them.”
Ya’aqoḇ may have thought that it would be difficult to get his wives to leave, yet they were ready and is a great picture of a wife who submits to the leading of her husband; which we see lacking in so many marriages today!
Raḥĕl and Leah encourage Ya’aqoḇ to do what Elohim has directed him to do.
Ya’aqoḇ left – his time of service had been fulfilled and he could now leave! Later on in the Torah an instruction is given to release a slave/servant after 6 years; and so with Ya’aqoḇ having served 14 years for his wives and another 6 years for service unto Laḇan, he was no free to leave as יהוה made it clear to Ya’aqoḇ that his time of service here was over.
According to the Torah, if a slave or servant is given a wife by his master, he cannot take her or their children with him when he goes free:
Shemoth/Exodus 21:2-4 “When you buy a Hebrew servant, he serves six years, and in the seventh he goes out free, for naught. 3 “If he comes in by himself, he goes out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 “If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children are her master’s, and he goes out by himself.”
This may have also been a custom in the region and a possible reason that Ya’aqoḇ left in haste without informing Laḇan – he did not want to leave his wives and children behind, as he may have reckoned that Laḇan considered him a slave rather than a relative and we certainly see from Laḇan’s comments that he still considered his daughters and grandchildren as his own!
Raḥĕl and the household idols!
Raḥĕl stole the household idols and this is what Laḇan came searching for. In fact herein lies a clear picture of the church and its leaders today – they are more interested in the ‘idols’ of their systematic theologies and building schemes of growth through a false prosperity gospel rather than the actual lives of people! While Laḇan may have made claim that his daughters and grandchildren were his, what we see through these events is that he was more interested in finding his idols than trying to get his children back!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘household idols’ is תְּרָפִים teraphim – Strong’s H8655 which means, ‘idols, idolatry’, and is understood as being an object of reverence that was used as a means of divination and false worship.
In other words, it was anything that the people would have much reverence for and identified as something that can be used for worship and divination!
This word is a plural noun and is used 15 times in Scripture and in all but one instance, it is clear that this word refers to pagan household idols and idolatry.
The one instance that is a little ambiguous is that which is recorded in Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 19 where Miḵal took the household idol and put it in the bed and pretended that it was Dawiḏ who was sick in bed, after she had let Dawiḏ escape from Sha’ul who was seeking his life.
Despite this being a text that leaves the interpretation of תְּרָפִים teraphim unsolved in this text, we take note that תְּרָפִים teraphim were never condoned in Scripture as a legitimate object or tool for worship unto יהוה!
The word תְּרָפִים teraphim – Strong’s H8655 is also translated as ‘idolatry’ in:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of יהוה, He also does reject you as sovereign.”
What is clear is that stubbornness is as wicked as having a household idol!
Stubbornness is likened to a household idol, all because when one is stubborn and full of pride then the focus is on self and not on the Truth!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘stubbornness’ is פָּצַר patsar – Strong’s H6484 which means, ‘to push, press, insubordination, make blunt’ and can also be understood as displaying arrogance and being presumptuous and therefore be in a state or condition of being haughty and proud that reflects a behaviour that insists on one’s own way being correct while refusing to submit to יהוה’s prescribed Way!
Stubbornness and pride, simply put, is as vain idolatry, which is what so many struggle with as they stubbornly refuse to let go of the deception and falsehood of vain traditions!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:16-18 “And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. 18 “And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty.”
What is worth taking note of, is that this Hebrew word for ‘household idols’ – תְּרָפִים teraphim – is thought to be derived from the plural of the root verb רָפָא rapha – Strong’s H7495 which means, ‘to heal, repaired, become fresh, purified, cure’, and in many ways can represent the false ‘healers’ that are sought as opposed to יהוה who is our Healer!
What becomes clear is that any object or person that is held in such high reverence and regarded as a means of expressing worship and the ability to divine or prophesy can be a type or form of תְּרָפִים teraphim.
While we recognise that the Word of יהוה clearly commands us to not make a carved image and bow down to it or serve it, one of the most common household idols around the world today is the crucifix, which many believe to have miraculous healing powers. They will hold it is high regard and have extreme reverence for it; they will kiss it, touch it for healing and wave it over others in the assumption that it has some miraculous power in the use and display thereof.
By definition of Scripture, it is a household idol! תְּרָפִים teraphim can be anything that is placed in one’s life as a source or means of worship and being made whole, which can be a physical object that is held in reverence by its user or it can even be self, through the vain stubbornness and pride that sees one’s own way and doing what is right in one’s own eyes as right and in the process can so easily casts aside the need to seek יהוה, guard His commands and possess the true witness of יהושע Messiah, the Teacher of Righteousness, that came down like rain!
Laḇan was an idol worshipper, and while he certainly did recognise יהוה, he relied on his idols a great deal, and any owner of idols in that region was seen as a leader among his people; and so Laḇan did not want to see his position of authority being lost due to his idols having been stolen away. Another aspect of these idols is that the ancient practices of the east was to use idols for divination and so Raḥĕl may have taken these to ensure that Laḇan would not find out where they had gone, and while this may be the case, she did not help the situation!
A clear lesson we can glean from this is that when anyone comes out of the church system, they must not bring with them any ‘form’ of worship that has been shaped by traditions and dogmas of man! The man-made ways of worship in the church have no place in the true set-apart assembly of Elohim, unless it is in line with the clear instructions of the Torah. What I am saying is this – not all matters of Christianity are inherently wrong, yet collectively it has corrupted pure worship through its formulated systems of worship and false teachings that displace the truth for tradition; and having said that we must be careful that we do not bring along with us on our journey any ‘idols’ that clearly belong in the ‘house’ of Christianity!
These idols may have been images that were devoted to superstitious or idolatrous purposes as Laḇan in verse 30 calls them his ‘mighty ones’!!!
Laḇan pursues Ya’aqoḇ and confronts him regarding these idols and makes a search of all that Ya’aqoḇ had and Raḥĕl pretends to be in the time of her monthly period and remains seated on the bag she hid the idols in, and at this point Ya’aqoḇ was completely unaware that Raḥĕl had in fact taken the idols and so in verse 37 he asks Laḇan to show what he found – and there was nothing and in one sense this is a picture of what is described in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 50:20 “In those days and at that time,” declares יהוה, “the crookedness of Yisra’ĕl shall be searched for, but there shall be none; and the sin of Yehuḏah, but none shall be found. For I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.”
Laḇan and Ya’aqoḇ make a covenant
Ya’aqoḇ took a stone and told his brothers to gather stones and make a heap and there they ate a covenant meal.
Laḇan called the place: יְגַר שַׂהֲדוּתָא Yegar Sahaḏutha – Strong’s H3026 meaning, ‘heap (of stones) of the testimony, witness heap’ and Ya’aqoḇ called it גַּלְעֵד Galeḏ – Strong’s H1567 meaning, ‘witness pile’ from the two words גַּל gal – Strong’s H1530 which means, ‘a heap, wave, billow’ and עֵד eḏ – Strong’s H5707 meaning, ‘a witness, evidence’.
They were, in a sense, calling it the same place, yet were speaking different messages! Laḇan sees it as a means to have claim to what he sees as his (his daughters and grandchildren), while Ya’aqoḇ sees it as that which separates them.
Today we see the same happening between those who have come out of the church system and those who are still in the church – both will use the same Scripture verses to speak a completely different message!
In a way, the church is still driven by a Westernised Greek mind-set, while true Torah observant followers of Messiah are being transformed by the renewing of their minds and having the true Hebraic understanding of Scriptures and in the process are restoring the True Hebrew Names of our Creator as opposed to paganised Greek titles and substitutes that erroneously form an idol or form of who they think the Creator is without actually knowing who He truly is as they neglect to acknowledge His Name.
In Berěshith/Genesis 32:1 we see that Ya’aqoḇ had left Laḇan and was then met by the messengers of Elohim and he called the place מַחֲנַיִם Maḥanayim – Strong’s H4266 which means, ‘two camps’, and as we will see in the next Torah portion, it was from here that he divided his family into two groups in order to meet his brother Ěsaw, with shalom; and in many ways pictures the prophetic picture of the fullness of Yisra’ĕl’s two camps (House of Yisra’ĕl and House of Yehuḏah) being fully provided for in Messiah (as pictured by Yosĕph).
Another picture we can see, in the beginning of Chapter 32, is that when we truly ‘come out and separate ourselves’ unto YHWH, He sends His messengers to guide us, so to speak, as His Word becomes clearer in lighting our path ahead, having been stripped of all falsehood.
There is a time in the life of every believer when they must ‘draw the line’ so to speak and recognise that there is no going back to old ways of idolised forms of worship. And so, this portion that is called – And he went out – started out with Ya’aqoḇ leaving his father’s house to fetch his bride and ends with him leaving his bride’s father’s house and returning home! It is time for us to leave any form of inherited lies and return to the Truth of The Word of Elohim and draw the line at old compromised ways as we say yes to walking in the fullness of the Torah in Messiah!