This week’s Torah portion is called – וַיֵּשֶׁב – ‘wayyĕsheḇ’ – which means, ‘and he dwelt’.
Ya’aqoḇ had now settled in the land of Kenaʽan, as opposed to Ěsaw, who had left the land by going south.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘dwelt’ here in verse 1 comes from the root word יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 which means, ‘sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still’; and a modern Hebrew word that is derived from this root word is ‘yeshiva’ and is translated as ‘school’, which is also understood as meaning, ‘Jewish learning school’.
The concept, or idea, of ‘sitting’, in the Hebraic mind-set, is an idiom for ‘learning’; and from this understanding we recognise how it is at the Master’s Feet that we are to come to sit and drink of His Pure and Clear Living Water, learning his Truth in order to get greater wisdom.
Understanding, clarity, insight and strength to sojourn with joy, is what we are able to gain, as faithful taught ones of the Most-High, when we diligently sit and learn at His feet!
The idea then, of sitting, in the Hebrew mind-set, is to learn and not just to simply sit and vegetate, but rather sit and pay careful attention to the instructions of their teacher.
Ya’aqoḇ would not only dwell, that is to live, in the land of his father’s sojourning, but he would live under the clear guidance and teaching of the Good Shepherd, submitting wholeheartedly to walk in the Covenants of Promise!
Ya’aqoḇ had now come to the place where his father sojourned and could now settle in the land that had been promised to Aḇraham, which was still, at this stage, considered to be Kenaʽan; and it is here where we begin the story of Yosĕph.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sojournings’ comes from the root word מָגוּר magur – Strong’s H4033 which means, ‘pilgrimage, sojourning place, where they have sojourned’ and this word comes from the primitive root verb גּוּר gur – Strong’s H1481 which meanis, ‘to sojourn, abide, dwell, reside’.
A noun that is derived from this root verb, which is often translated as ‘foreigner’, is גֵּר ger – Strong’s H1616 which means, ‘a sojourner, alien, immigrant, stranger’.
Settlement in the Land of Promise is still yet to come and until then, we are still on a pilgrimage, recognising that we must not get ‘stuck and settled’ in the things of the world, and in our sojourning, we must let the word of Elohim be our song:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:54 “Your laws have been my songs in the place of my sojournings.”
As we consider how we are to be faithful in ‘dwelling in the Master as we sojourn here’, we can learn a great deal from the two root words גּוּר gur – Strong’s H1481 and יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427, when looking at the ancient pictographic rendering of these words, especially as we consider Kěpha’s words, which tells us the following, in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the being, 12 having your behaviour among the nations good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
The first word – גּוּר gur – Strong’s H1481 which means, ‘to sojourn, abide, dwell, reside’, is written in the ancient pictographic script as:
Gimel – גּ:
גּ – This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as – –which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly 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.
Vav – וּ:
וּ – This is the letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ and the ancient pictographic form of this letter 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’.
Resh – ר:
ר – This is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the head of a man and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first’ 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.
Looking at this word in terms of understanding our ability to ‘dwell’ as faithful sojourners, we are able to see that our walk has been secured by our Head and Master, יהושע Messiah.
FEET/WALK IS SECURE IN THE HEAD
The Hebrew root word יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 which means, ‘sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still’, is rendered in the ancient pictographic script as:
Yod – יָ:
יָ – This is the letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the picture of an arm and hand and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’ from the primary functions of the arm and hand and also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this.
Shin – שַׁ:
שַׁ – This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the picture of ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press’ 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!
Beyt – ב:
ב – This is the letter ‘beyt’, which in the ancient script is pictured 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.
Looking at this word in the ancient script helps us understand further ‘how’ we are to dwell as sojourners – for it is by the ‘outstretched arm and hand of יהוה’ that we are able to sit and listen, meditate on, and guard to do, His Word, giving thanks to Him, as we are built up in Messiah, as the Dwelling Place of Elohim!
OBEDIENCE (WORKS) TO THE WORD (COMMANDS) OF THE HOUSE
The Greek word used in Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12 for ‘sojourners’ is πάροικος paroikos – Strong’s G3941 which means, ‘dwelling near, foreign, alien’ and the word used for ‘pilgrims’ is παρεπίδημος parepidēmos – Strong’s G3927 meaning, ‘sojourning in a strange place, exiles, reside as aliens’.
What we can clearly see here, in the Greek too, is that we are not to get ‘pegged down’ by the world and its ways, but are to live as strangers and foreigners who do not make their ‘permanent dwelling’ here!
We may certainly be strangers and foreigners here in our sojourning, but we are not strangers and foreigners to the house of Elohim, to which we belong and are citizens of the Kingdom of the Most-High!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim”
Having established the clear knowledge that we are fellow citizens and members of the House of Elohim, we can be reminded how we are to be faithful and trustworthy in making sure that, as we sojourn here until the return of our Master and Elohim, we are to do our utmost in making sure that we stay in Him and dwell in Him continually!
Let us now get back to Berěshith/Genesis 37:
Verse 2 begins with the phrase … “This is the genealogy of Ya’aqoḇ”, and the Hebrew word that is translated her as ‘generations’ is ‘tolḏot’ – תּוֹלְדֹת – which is the plural of the Hebrew root word that is used for ‘genealogy’, which is תּוֹלֵדוֹת toleḏoth – Strong’s H8435 which means, ‘generations, account, genealogical registration, births, course of history’ and comes from the primitive root יָלַד yalaḏ – Strong’s H3205 which means, ‘to bear, bring forth, beget’.
What we can see from this is that this account not only deals with the generations of Ya’aqoḇ, but more importantly it deals with an historical account and here we are given the account of Yosĕph’s history.
This historical account Ya’aqoḇ, who was now dwelling in Kenaʽan, begins with the ‘history’ of Yosĕph, for it is through Yosĕph that the true sons of the inheritance would become men of Yisra’ĕl!
Here, this story begins with Yosĕph at 17 years of age, who was feeding the flock with his brothers Dan and Naphtali (sons of Bilhah, Raḥĕl’s maidservant) and Gad and Ashĕr (sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant).
Something must have been going on in the field, as Yosĕph brought back an evil report about his brothers to Ya’aqoḇ. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘report’ comes from the root word דִּבָּה dibbah – Strong’s H1681 which means, ‘whisperings, defamation, evil report, slander’; and while we do not know what was done that caused Yosĕph to bring back a slanderous report, we can see how he certainly had set in motion his future exile from his brothers, through the power of his own tongue, which would cause His brothers to despise him.
We are told in Scripture that we are not to slander or gossip, for it brings division.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and displeasure, and uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all evil.”
What we see here, from these first historical accounts of Yosĕph, is how his youthfulness is clearly being highlighted, as the details of the report are not written, which emphasises more about how Yosĕph was, in a manner of speaking, being a tattle tale, by making his brothers look bad so that he could look good in his father’s eyes; and this is a sure way to make enemies very quickly!
We must learn from this, that our tongue must be guarded at all times, lest we find ourselves being a gossip and at risk of speaking maliciously behind other’s backs. Our speech should always be with the purest motives of building up, even if we are to confront the ‘evil’ in our brother’s lives!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:10-11 “For “He who wishes to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it.”
The Greek word used here for ‘deceit’ is δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, ‘a bait, craft, deceit’. יהושע Messiah tells us in Marqos/Mark 7:22 that deceit is one of the defiling things that come out of a man’s heart!
What I find interesting to take note of here is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, a very similar sounding word with only one additional letter – ῦ – and this can certainly help us realise how fine a line it is between being a true faithful servant of the Most High, in which there is found no deceit, and being one in which there is deceit as seen in the deceitful words that one speaks against another!
In these last days, when deceit is all around, we recognise how small the true remnant of Elohim’s Bride is, and as יהוה restores a clean lip unto the remnant few, they will call on the Name of יהוה and serve Him with one shoulder, and we are told in:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12-13 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה. 13 “The remnant of Yisra’ĕl shall do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood, nor is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth. For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, with none to frighten them.”
No tongue of deceit found in their mouths!!!
Let no deceit be found in you, is a clear message we all need to hear in these last days – for the deceitful danger of deceit can cause us to be slain with the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, the treacherous and adulterers, who do not know יהוה, nor love Him as they do not guard His commands!
Deceit causes one to refuse to know Elohim, and deceit is a very dangerous and poisonous thing – it will cloud your judgement and your ability to think straight!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘deceit’ here in Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:13 is תַּרְמִית tarmiyth – Strong’s H8649 which means, ‘deceitfulness, deception, delusion’ and is also derived from the root verb רָמָה ramah – Strong’s H7411.
This word תַּרְמִית tarmiyth – Strong’s H8649 is used 6 times in Scripture and I will highlight the other 5 verses where we see it being used:
Shophetim/Judges 9:31 “And he sent messengers to Aḇimeleḵ by deceit, saying, “See, Gaʽal son of Eḇeḏ and his brothers have come to Sheḵem. And see, they are besieging the city against you.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:5-8 “Why then has this people, Yerushalayim, turned away in a continual backsliding? They cling to deceit, they refuse to turn back. 6 “I have listened and heard – they do not speak right. No man has repented of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ They all turned to their own course, like a horse rushing into battle. 7 “Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And a turtledove, and a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the right-ruling of יהוה . 8 “How do you say, ‘We are wise, and the Torah of יהוה is with us’? But look, the false pen of the scribe has worked falsehood.”
Here we are able to get a very vivid picture of what we see happening today, as many are also clinging to deceit and refuse to turn back to walking in obedience to the Torah of Elohim as the false pens of many scribes and translators have worked falsehood, deceiving many with a ‘lawless grace’!
The deceit that most are clinging to has caused them to not know the right-rulings of Elohim and in deceit they make the vain excuse, ‘but it has been done away with’!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 14:14 “Then יהוה said to me, “The prophets prophesy falsehood in My Name. I have not sent them, nor commanded them, nor spoken to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own heart.”
Not only had the false pens of the scribes worked falsehood, the prophets were prophesying falsehood in the Name of יהוה, which He had not sent, spoken to or given command to. They just simply prophesied false visions from the deceit of their own hearts! This is happening today as we see so many false prophesies and visions being given when יהוה has not spoken! Many will use the Word of Elohim deceitfully in order to push their false visions of an assumed peace and their false messages do not line up with the clear pattern of Scripture!
Sadly, many are deceived as they simply follow what they are told and are unable to rightly divide the truth and discern against deceit, for they know not the right-rulings of Elohim because the false prophets and false teachers and false shepherds have muddied the waters and taught deceit, treachery and falsehood!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 23:26-27 “Till when shall it be in the heart of the prophets? – the prophets of falsehood and prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My Name by their dreams which everyone relates to his neighbour, as their fathers forgot My Name for Baʽal.”
The deceit that is coming forth from the hearts of false prophets and false teachers continue to cause people to forget the Name of יהוה – for Ba’al!!!
The Hebrew word בַּעַל ba’al – Strong’s H1167 means, ‘owner, lord, master, land owner’, and at its root form it means, ‘to marry, rule over, husband’. We also take note that the name בַּעַל Ba’al – Strong’s H1168, as it is used in this verse from Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 23:27, was the name of a Phoenician deity and as a name it can be rendered from the Hebrew into English as ‘The Lord’!!!
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18:21 “And Ěliyahu came to all the people, and said, “How long would you keep hopping between two opinions? If יהוה is Elohim, follow Him; and if Baʽal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.”
If we translate the Hebrew of the highlighted text correctly into English we would better have the following:
If יהוה is Elohim, follow Him; and if The Lord, follow him.
For many this may seem offensive, yet to the true hearer and doer of the Truth this is a sobering reality of what the false and deceitful traditions of man has done in causing many to not know Elohim and in doing so they have forgotten the Name of יהוה, which highlights how the deceived have forgotten who it is who causes them to be!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:118 “You have made light of all those who stray from Your laws, for falsehood is their deceit.”
In a Psalm that gives resounding praise for the Torah of Elohim we are able to clearly see from this verse that falsehood is the deceit of those who stray from יהוה’s laws!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘falsehood’ comes from the root word שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, ‘deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies’, and this comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, ‘to do or deal falsely, lie’.
Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14 “Your prophets have seen falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.”
Through the many false and misleading messages of deceit we are able to see how so many have actually begun to teach themselves to speak falsehood; a falsehood that has been so ingrained in them, as we are able to see through the mirror of the example given to us in all of these verses that I have highlighted in regards to deceit!
We are to make sure that we are doing the desire of Elohim, which is our set-apartness and in doing so we are to be on guard against the deceit of lawlessness, which is presented with a lot of power, signs and wonders of falsehood!
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved.”
Lawlessness is promoted by the deceit of unrighteousness!
What I mean by that is that many are falling prey to the deceit of unrighteousness that promotes that observance of the Torah and commands of Elohim is no longer valid. We know that Scripture clearly defines for us what righteousness is:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
Yosĕph would certainly learn humility through what he would suffer later on; and later he would become the one who would unite his brothers with words of wisdom, rather than divide and break them down with foolish slanderous words of deceit!
Back to Berěshith/Genesis 37:
Yosĕph was loved by Yisra’ĕl more than all of his brothers for he was born to Yosĕph in his old age, and his father made him a ‘long robe’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘robe’ is כְּתֹנֶת kethoneth – Strong’s H3801 – ‘a tunic, garment, clothing as a covering more complete than a loincloth, a basic garment reaching the knees’, and was a very long shirt-like garment usually made of fine linen.
In fact, this word is used to describe the embroidered long shirt of the High Priest in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 8; and what we have here is a prophetic shadow picture by Yosĕph being ‘chosen’ by the father to be in the position or status of first born, pointing us to a clear image or shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, the First born of all creation and High Priest, chosen from the foundation of the world.
This word כְּתֹנֶת kethoneth is also used in the following verse and is translated as ‘coats’:
Berěshith/Genesis 3:21 “And יהוה Elohim made coats of skin for the man and his wife and dressed them.”
The coat that Ya’aqoḇ made for Yosĕph was to be a robe of protection in a wicked world that would hate him, yet this robe would also signify his royal position as Ya’aqoḇ’s loved one.
This word כְּתֹנֶת kethoneth is used 29 times in the Tanak and is specifically used in reference to the coats of fine linen of the priestly garments.
It was also used to describe the garment which Dawiḏ’s daughter Tamar wore:
Shemuʼěl’ Bět/2 Samuel 13:18-19 “And she had on a long coat, for the sovereign’s maiden daughters wore such garments. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her long coat that was on her, and put her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly.”
This was a typical robe for the sovereign’s maiden daughters, which showed their royal position, and would be a long robe that would extend to the wrists and past the knees, even to the ankles.
Another account where we see this word being used is verse 21 of the following passage from:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 22:15-21 “Thus said the Master יהוה of hosts, “Go, come to this steward, to Sheḇnah, who is over the house, and say, 16 ‘What have you here, and whom have you here, that you have hewn a tomb here, as he who hews himself a tomb on high, cutting out a resting place for himself in a rock? 17 See, יהוה is hurling you away, O man, and is firmly grasping you, 18 rolling you up tightly like a ball, into a wide land. There you are to die, and there your esteemed chariots are to be the shame of your master’s house. 19 ‘And I shall drive you from your office, and you shall be ousted from your position. 20 ‘And it shall be in that day, that I shall call My servant Elyaqim son of Ḥilqiyahu. 21 ‘And I shall put your robe on him, and strengthen him with your girdle, and give your authority into his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim and to the house of Yehuḏah.”
שֶׁבְנָא Sheḇnah – Strong’s H7644 means, ‘vigour’ and he was the secretary to Ḥizqiyahu, who, being so close to royalty, assumed that he had the right to be treated like a king himself.
This is a clear shadow picture of Satan, or the counterfeit Messiah, who has tried to usurp the position of king and as Ḥazon/Revelation 19:20 tells us that the beast and the false prophet shall be thrown into the lake of fire, so was Sheḇnah to be thrown out and Elyaqim would have the ‘robe’ of authority put on him, to be over the house, which pictures Messiah taking up his rightful place as Redeemer and King over the House of Yisra’ĕl.
Yosĕph would later be established in a position of Authority that would bring about the deliverance of his family.
אֶלְיָקִים Elyaqim – Strong’s H471 means, ‘El sets up, El raises up’ and he was the son of חִלְקִיָּהוּ Ḥilqiyahu – Strong’s H2518 which means, ‘my portion is Yah’, and Ḥilqiyahu was the high priest during the reign of Yoshiyahu, and these prophetic words here in Yeshayahu speaks clearly of Messiah, who would be set up as High Priest and be robed in the purest garments of righteousness in order to exercise complete authority over a redeemed Bride – Yisra’ĕl.
Garment of many colours – really?
Often this garment that Ya’aqoḇ made for Yosĕph has been erroneously taught, or understood, as being a ‘garment of many colours’, and so we come to the second Hebrew word which is used to describe this ‘robe’, which is the word translated as ‘long’ and in the Hebrew this is the word פַּס pas – Strong’s H6446 which means, ‘flat of the hand or foot, long-sleeved, tunic reaching to the palms and soles’.
While this has been translated as ‘many colours’, we must recognise that it simply was a ‘long’ robe, and while the coat of fine linen may, or may not, have had many colours, the design of this robe was for one in a position of royalty and leadership.
It would have been very difficult to perform daily shepherding duties in, especially when one would have to run after a stray sheep, or fight off attacking predators!
This garment shows that the labour required by Yosĕph’s brothers would not be required of him, and as a picture of being ‘royal garments’ it speaks of the garments for them that are served and not the ones serving.
When understanding this we find a great and powerful picture of the humility of Messiah who ‘laid down’ his ‘royalty’ so to speak to come and serve and not be served:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:5-8 “For, let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah יהושע, 6 who, being in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim a matter to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men. 8 And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake.”
This is a lesson for us in how we, as a royal priesthood, must not assume a lofty and high position that needs others to serve them, but rather that we ought to serve one another in love, as Messiah Himself did for us.
Yosĕph had received his position and calling from his father in his youth, yet he would later be the one who would end up ‘serving his brothers’ and saving them.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Verse 4 – his brothers hated him!
Having been given this unique robe and seeing the love that their father had for Yosĕph, his brothers hated him and were unable to speak ‘peaceably’ to Him! This kind of hatred reveals a lack of love for Elohim:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:20 “If someone says, “I love Elohim,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love Elohim whom he has not seen?”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:10 “In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone not doing righteousness is not of Elohim, neither the one not loving his brother.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘hated’ comes from the root word שָׂנֵא sane – Strong’s H8130 which means, ‘to hate, detest, turn against’, and to hate is to have or show intense hostility toward someone or something, and defiantly turn away from someone or something, which is usually derived from fear, anger or a sense of injury, as one feels that they have been wronged and have no need to show respect or credence to another’s advice or instructions.
The fact that Ya’aqoḇ had made this special coat for Yosĕph was clear that Yosĕph had been chosen by his father to be the next leader of the family, and this angered his brothers greatly.
Later on, in the Torah it was made clear that the ‘first-born’ was not to be neglected of his rights to have the double portion of the inheritance, even if he was of a slave woman! Yosĕph was Raḥĕl’s firstborn, yet was not the firstborn of Ya’aqoḇ.
It is possible that by the evil reports that Ya’aqoḇ had heard about his others sons that he recognised that they were unfit for leadership and therefore positioned Yosĕph to take up this role, which was not taken well at all.
Yosĕph, by all accounts, is a clear shadow picture of Messiah who was hated and rejected by His own, and hatred is often covered up by deceit, as we see in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:24-26 “He who hates, pretends with his lips, and lays up deceit within him; 25 though he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Hatred is covered by deceit. His evil is disclosed in the assembly.”
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘deceit’ in verse 26 is מַשָּׁאוֹן mashsha’on – Strong’s H4860 which means, ‘deceit, guile, or dissimulation (which is to hide under a false appearance)’ and the Hebrew root word translated as ‘deceit’ is verse 24 is מִרְמָה mirmah – Strong’s H4820 which means, ‘deceit, treachery, dishonesty, falsehood’, and is used in Amos 8:5 with reference to those who couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to be over so that they could trade and falsify their scales by deceit!
What verse 24 here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26 is saying, is that the one who hates, gives a vain lip service and his heart is filled with deceit; which is the total opposite as to what should be in the heart!
The Torah is to be in our heart and in our mouths – to do it:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
Many today are rendering a vain lip service in their falsified confession of faith, while their actions reveal otherwise, as their lack of walking in the Torah reveals that the Torah is not in their mouth, nor in their heart; and if the Torah is not laid up in one’s heart then what is? Deceit!!!
Their hatred for Yosĕph caused them to not even have a peaceable word toward him, and we are able to understand this a little more when we walk in the Truth and guard the clear commands, having been clothed in righteous garments imputed to us through the cleansing Blood of Messiah – for when we walk in righteousness we often find those who claim to be our ‘brothers’ can never have a nice thing to say about us, but rather slander and curse us with harsh words and hostile actions.
One thing that we often find after having ‘come out’ of Christianity and all its false and selfish worship religious systems, is how those who refuse to let go of vain traditions and stay in the church system, and were once ‘close friends’, turn nasty and begin to hate us with intensity – all because we have responded to the call to come out and be separate!!!
Luqas/Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall cut you off, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as wicked, for the sake of the Son of Aḏam. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for look, your reward is great in the heaven, for that is how their fathers treated the prophets.”
Yoḥanan/John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
THE DREAMS: Verses 5-11
Yosĕph, now being hated by his brothers is given some very clear prophetic dreams which he relates to his brothers and father, and his enthusiastic rendering of his dreams was not received well at all. It was one thing that he had received a special robe from their father, yet now he was seemingly mocking them with his dreams.
These dreams were prophetic and had a very clear message that was to be heeded by his family for the days of famine that lay ahead, yet they were not interested in listening to Yosĕph and hated him even more.
Amos 3:7 “For the Master יהוה does no matter unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
יהוה was revealing what was to come through His servant, and this message was rejected. Yosĕph’s course of life was being set before him and in these two dreams that he relayed he pleaded with them to listen, yet he did not reveal the source of these dreams – יהוה of Hosts! The hatred of his brothers just grew greater and greater the more Yosĕph tried to relate to them what he was shown, and the dreams revealed his future position as head, yet they rejected this as him being very arrogant.
In revealing these dreams, one may tend to think that it would have been better for Yosĕph if he had just kept quiet and shut up, yet what we can learn from these accounts is that when we are required to speak up, we must not hold back and relate what the Word reveals and declares no matter the outcome of how it may or may not be received!
These dreams were very clear, in how Yosĕph would be set up to rule over his family during the time of famine and how he would be set up as a sovereign in their midst, to who they would submit, and this is a very clear shadow picture of the Deity of Messiah that so many reject today!
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:9-11 “Elohim, therefore, has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, 10 that at the Name of יהושע every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that יהושע Messiah is Master, to the esteem of Elohim the Father.”
In the Aramaic text of the Renewed Writings (N.T.), known as the Peshitta N.T. we find the term in Aramaic used for ‘Master’ when referring to Elohim is ‘MarYah’ which literally renders the meaning of ‘Master יהוה’, and is used in the Aramaic text of the Tanak whenever referring to יהוה.
In the Aramaic of verse 11 above we find the literal translation of the Aramaic very clear, as it literally Translates as:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:11 “…every tongue should confess that Master יהוה is יהושע Messiah….”
In the Aramaic New testament with Hebrew letters, we see this verse 11 written as follows:
וכל לשן נודא דמריא הו ישוע משיחא לשובחא דאלהא אבוהי
Here we are able to see this phrase: דמריא הו ישוע – ‘deMarYah hu Yeshua’ rendering for us the clear message what every tongue will confess, and that is that “The Master יהוה is יהושע”!!!
For more on this please see the article called “MY MASTER AND MY ELOHIM” on our site under the ‘articles’ menu or by clicking on the following link:
These two dreams also shadow picture for us the two comings of יהושע Messiah! In the first dream we are able to recognise the first time יהושע would come in the flesh and serve, as we are able to determine by the words of this dream how Messiah would come into the world in order to call men unto Himself! In Yosĕph’s dream he says to his brother, “we were binding sheaves in the field”, and the fact that he says ‘we’ shows that in the dream he saw how he was with his brothers in the field and working to gather and bind up sheaves.
In many of parables of Messiah the world is likened to a field.
The term ‘binding sheaves’ is written in the Hebrew text as: מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים – ‘malmiym alummiym’ – The first word which is translated as ‘binding’ is from the root word אָלַם alam – Strong’s H481 which means, ‘to bind, binding, mute, silence’, and is written in the ‘piel’ tense which expresses intensive or intentional action which renders the meaning as ‘binding’. The second word translated as ‘sheaves’ is from the noun אֲלֻמָּה alummah – Strong’s H485 which means, ‘a sheaf, bundle of things tied together’, and is figuratively used of Yisra’ĕl returning from exile.
When Messiah first came, He emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant and came to be in the likeness of men, and here, in this dream, we are able to see how Yosĕph was in the field with his brothers, which would mean that he would have had to take off his ‘long robe’ that his father had made, being a shadow picture of Messiah emptying Himself and ‘becoming like man’!
He came to seek out the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl – in other words: He came to seek and save what was lost and bind up his set-apart ones in order to prepare them for His second coming, when He can take up His gathered sheaves!!!
After this first dream Yosĕph’s brothers hated him and refused to accept that he would be ruler over them. When Messiah came, his own rejected Him! In the parable of the talents Messiah tells us in:
Luqas/Luke 19:14 “But his subjects were hating him, and sent a delegation after him, to say, ‘We do not wish this one to reign over us.’”
We also see in:
Yoḥanan/John 1:10-11 “He was in the world, and the world came to be through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”
In the second dream that Yosĕph had related to his father and brothers, he relates how the sun, moon and elven stars all bowed down to him. This was a clear metaphor of his whole family bowing down to him, and his father even asked how this could be seeing that his mother was already dead.
Herein lays the shadow picture of when יהושע Messiah shall return for his gathered sheaves!
This speaks of the first resurrection, when the dead in Messiah shall rise first and we who are alive shall be caught up together with them to meet the Master!
Ḥazon/Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Yosĕph’s mother was dead, yet here in this prophetic dream of Messiah, we see how she would be raised at the first resurrection and bow in submission to the Kingdom Rule and Reign of יהושע Messiah.
Yosĕph’s brothers refused to accept these dreams and refused to acknowledge that they would bow to him, while Ya’aqoḇ guarded these words!
So many today are refusing to listen to and understand the clear prophetic words of Scripture that distinctly reveal who Messiah is, and how we are to bow to Him as Creator and King, for He is יהוה. This revealed position of authority that Yosĕph would take up was the very thing that Yosĕph’s brothers refused to do and hated him for revealing this truth to them, and so we see how this is a powerful shadow picture of how so many today, in the Body of Messiah, are unwilling to acknowledge that יהושע is Master and Elohim!
In the parable of the ten minas, Messiah teaches of a certain nobleman who went to a distant country to receive for himself a reign and to return, and gave his ten servants ten minas to trade until he came and they refused:
Luqas/Luke 19:14 “But his subjects were hating him, and sent a delegation after him, to say, ‘We do not wish this one to reign over us.’”
Yosĕph’s brothers were like these 10 servants who refused to let him rule over them as they said in verse 8 – there was no ways they would accept his headship, and then he dreams another dream which prophetically pictures his supreme position, not only over his brothers but over his parents too.
He was rebuked for relating these dreams, yet Ya’aqoḇ did take these words to heart and guarded the word as he knew that this word was to be taken seriously as he was also speaking of his mother who was already dead and how she too would bow down before him.
His brothers envied him and the root word used here for ‘envied’ in Hebrew is 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!
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 fixed on יהוה and His Torah, which is to be the ‘apple of our eye’ (Tehillah/Psalm 17:8), 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.
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 may so quickly find our feet in a very slippery place!
The wrong ‘envy’ can cause you to make irrational choices instead of waiting on יהוה, and here we see a picture of Yosĕph’s brothers exercising envy in a negative sense
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:30 “A healthy heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.”
Envy is rottenness to the bones
The Hebrew word for ‘envy’ is קִנְאָה qinah – Strong’s H7068 which means, ‘ardour, jealousy, zeal, envy, anger’, and comes from the root verb קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 meaning, ‘to be jealous or zealous, be envious, ardent’.
This word is used here to describe a heart that is not healthy and yielding but that displays misguided passion and is turmoil and distress, and a heart that is in turmoil and distress is rottenness to the bones!
The Hebrew word for ‘rottenness’ is רָקָב raqaḇ – Strong’s H7538 which means, ‘rottenness, decay’, and comes from the root verb רָקֵב raqeḇ – Strong’s H7537 which means, ‘rot, decay, rottenness’, which is primarily used in direct contrast to being blessed!
The Hebrew word for ‘bones’ is עֶצֶם etsem – Strong’s H6106 which means, ‘bones, body, life, strength, substance’.
Bones are crucial to our ability to live, and is more than just a supportive and protective framework for the body.
Bone stores crucial nutrients, minerals, and lipids and produces blood cells that nourish the body and play a vital role in protecting the body against infection.
All these functions make the approximately 206 bones of the human body an organ that is essential to our daily existence.
Dry and rotten bones have no life and we know that this is a picture of having no nourishment and proper blood production. Envy kills!
We are to love Elohim with all our heart and Sha’ul makes it clear to us in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13 that love does not envy! The Greek word for ‘envy’ is ζηλόω zēloō – Strong’s G2206 meaning, ‘to be jealous, envious, desire earnestly’, and comes from the Greek word ζῆλος zēlos – Strong’s G2205 meaning, ‘zeal, jealousy, fury’ which is from the word ζέω zeō – Strong’s G2204 meaning, ‘to be hot, boil, fervent’.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of יהוה all day long”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:16 “For where jealousy and self-seeking are, there is confusion and every foul deed.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:2 “You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask.”
Do you often find yourself being envious of another, be it because of what possessions they have, or what gifts and talents, or physical attributes they have? If you do then, as Ya’aqoḇ says, you will find disorder and every evil practice.
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.”
Verse 12-17 – His brothers went to Sheḵem and did not stay!
שְׁכֶם Sheḵem – Strong’s H7927 meaning, ‘back or shoulder’.
It was here at Sheḵem that Ya’aqoḇ dug a well – the well where יהושע met the Shomeroni woman and so opened the door for the return of the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl!
While this is where his brothers had gone to, Yosĕph’s father sends him to Sheḵem to see if it was well with his brothers and bring back word to Ya’aqoḇ – in other words he was to go and see if Ya’aqoḇ’s sons were about their father’s business or not. The account of יהושע meeting the Shomeroni woman at the well of Ya’aqoḇ was in a sense a fulfilment of the shadow picture of Yosĕph’s ‘journey of inspection’, for Messiah came to seek out the lost and call them back to Himself, as head!
יהושע asked the sobering question, that when He comes again, will he find faith – will He find the sons of Elohim guarding the commands and being about the Father’s business, or will there be a lack of faith?
Luqas/Luke 18:8 “I say to you that He shall do right to them speedily. But when the Son of Aḏam comes, shall He find the belief on the earth?”
Sha’ul writes to the assembly in Thessalonica about how he sent Timotiyos, his son in the belief, to them to see if they were continuing in the belief:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 3:5-6 “Because of this, when I could no longer stand it, I sent to find out about your belief, lest the trying one might have tried you, and our labour should be in vain. 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and having brought us good news of your belief and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, longing to see us, as we also to see you”
What reports of our brothers do we each have for our Father as we go out to ‘bear one another’s burdens’ and so fill the Torah?
When Yosĕph got to Sheḵem his brothers were not there, and he was found by a man as he was wandering in the filed who asked him what he was doing, and Yosĕph asked about his brothers and he was told that they had left for Dothan.
This is another prophetic shadow picture of Messiah who came to seek out the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl. Yosĕph was clear about who he was looking for and so too did Messiah make it very clear who He came for:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:24 “And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl.”
Messiah came for a Covenant people, He did not come for a religious institution or any ‘Christian church’ – He came for the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl – that is the scattered house of Yisra’ĕl that had been dispersed after being divorced by Elohim and sent into Assyrian captivity, never having returned but spread throughout the earth.
The city דֹּתָן Dothan – Strong’s H1886 means, ‘two wells’, and was a few kilometres north of Sheḵem.
They were supposed to be at the place of ‘shouldering the burdens’, yet they were at the place of ‘two wells’.
They were not about their father’s business but were about their own!
Dothan, at that time, was an adulterous pagan rooted place of worship, and his brothers had gone looking for that which satisfied their flesh, rather than simply being where their father expected them to be.
The concept of two wells or cisterns can also have metaphoric significance of drinking from alternative sources, rather than the Torah, which can cause many to become defiled by being tossed to and fro by various teachings and doctrines of man.
These ‘two wells’ can also picture the corrupt sources of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity, that has so many lost sheep drinking from, while they are far off from their true place of being restored to the Covenants of Promise.
Sheḵem is where Messiah came to proclaim to the lost sheep that He is the source of Living Water.
Dothan was a city of commerce with very pagan influences, close to the main highway that stretched all the way to Mitsrayim/Egypt. The Hebraic understanding of these scriptures, is that the brothers were indulging themselves and not caring for the sheep, which also meant that the brothers were not walking in the Torah and instructions of their father.
The brothers had not obeyed their father and were following the lust of their eyes.
In Dothan, they were more interested in looking after their own desires and were neglecting their father’s sheep.
Dothan would later be the home of Elisha the prophet who would be used greatly in calling people out of corrupt and wicked worship practices!
Yosĕph’s brothers were not feeding the flocks in Sheḵem, as they were supposed to be, but were feeding themselves, so to speak, and this is a picture of those to whom the clear rebuke that יהוה gives, to the false shepherds, as seen in:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:1-3 “And the word of יהוה came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Yisra’ĕl, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה to the shepherds, “Woe to the shepherds of Yisra’ĕl who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? 3 “You eat the fat and you put on the wool. You slaughter the fatlings – you do not feed the flock.””
Yosĕph’s brothers were not about their father’s business, but about their own, and they were ‘using’ their father’s sheep to satisfy their own fleshly desires – and this is exactly what the false shepherds of our day are doing, as they suck the ‘flock’ dry in order to satisfy their own prosperity goals, yet are not feeding the flock the truth but inherited lies!
Verse 18-20 – kill the dreamer of dreams!!!
Yosĕph’s brothers saw him coming at a distance and began to plot how they could kill him – because they knew that he would report back to their father where they had been!
They were guilty of not heeding their father’s instructions, and the guilty will always conspire to take out those who speak the truth for fear of their falsehood being exposed, and the typical response of the guilty against those in authority is to always scheme their way out of trouble.
Here comes the Master Dreamer!!!
This was mockery against Yosĕph and is a picture of Messiah being mocked for His clear declaration of who He is:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 27:31 “And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, then put His own garments on Him, and led Him away to be impaled.”
They wanted to throw him into one of the pits, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘pit’ is בּוֹר bor – Strong’s H953 which means, ‘pit, well, cistern, dungeon’ and 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 may be possible that these ‘two wells’ of Dothan were dried up, and it was into one of these that they wanted to throw Yosĕph, into in order to kill him and put an end to his prophetic dreams.
With the possibility of these two wells being dried up can carry great insight for us into further recognising how dried up and corrupt the two religious ‘wells’ of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity in fact are, and how they each will do their utmost to make plain or explain and declare their own corrupt systems of worship by ‘engraving’ their own laws and catechisms that try to nullify the identity and authority of Messiah as Elohim and the validity of His Torah!
Rabbinic Judaism rejects Messiah, while Christianity casts aside His Torah, as being dried up in His death, and is of no importance to them.
Verses 21-22 – Re’uḇĕn rescued Yosĕph
When Re’uḇĕn heard their plans, he rescued Yosĕph, as he had commanded a certain amount of respect among his brothers for being first-born, and while he had lost his first-born status for defiling his father’s bed, he may have recognised a way to please his father again, and here he actually showed signs of a first born who would act as protector of his siblings.
The Hebrew root word for ‘rescued’ is נָצַל natsal – Strong’s H5337 meaning, ‘to strip, plunder, deliver oneself, be delivered, snatch away, deliver, recover, escape’.
This is also written in the causative ‘hiphil’ form which can render the meaning, ‘to take away, snatch away, to rescue, recover, to deliver (from enemies or troubles or death), to deliver from sin and guilt’.
Re’uḇĕn suggested that they just throw him into one of the pits without killing him and pleaded with them not to shed blood. As we see from verse 29, that Re’uḇĕn may have intended to come back later and rescue Yosĕph, yet he never got the chance to do so. This is another lesson for us on how we must not put off what we can do today for a later time, especially when someone’s life is at stake. Re’uḇĕn spoke up, but that was not enough, as he may have been afraid to ask his brothers to not harm Yosĕph at all and let him return with them.
Many times, we find that we are required to speak up boldly in defiance of lawlessness and not hold back in fear of what others may say, especially when it is family, and not think that we can get to finish the discussion later – for we might never get another opportunity to do so!
Verses 23-28 – Yosĕph stripped and sold for silver
When the brothers saw Yosĕph coming closer they stripped Yosĕph of the robe that his father had made. The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘stripped’ is פָּשַׁט pashat – Strong’s H6584 which means, ‘to strip off, make a dash, raid, invade, removed, skinned’, and we recognise here of the significance of this event being prophetic in nature as is shadow pictures how יהושע was stripped and mocked.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 27:27-29 “Then the soldiers of the governor took יהושע into the court and gathered the entire company of soldiers around Him. 28 And having stripped Him, they put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Greetings, Sovereign of the Yehuḏim!”
After stripping him of his robe, Yosĕph’s brothers then threw him into a waterless pit/ dried up well, and Yosĕph may have thought that they would come back and get him, lest their father find out and punish them, yet they had other ideas. There was no way they were going to let Yosĕph go back and tell their father what they had done, and so they decided to sell Yosĕph to the Yishmaʽĕlites.
With Yosĕph being thrown into a dry pit/well is a classic picture of the church today, who have ‘thrown aside’ the Living Word as contained in the Torah and revealed and proclaimed by the life, death and resurrection of יהושע Messiah.
The deliberate teachings of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism set aside the Living Waters by delivering their own man-made commands that are taught as truth, yet are simply muddied waters that have dried up the necessity for the Torah to be adhered to without addition or subtraction thereof.
What the tradition and dogmas of man has done, in drying up the Living Waters, יהושע Messiah Himself came to restore, in His Own Blood, giving us access to the Living Waters that we should never thirst again!
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:11 “Also you, because of the blood of your covenant, I shall send your prisoners out of the pit”
Because of the Blood of the Lamb we are able to be brought out and delivered from being prisoners in the pit of death, for which we had all been thrown in to because of sin and lawlessness!
After Yosĕph was thrown into the pit, his brothers sat down to eat!!!
This seems a little cold, yet we can also see a shadow picture of how those who had delivered up יהושע Messiah up for execution would have ‘religiously’ eaten the Pěsaḥ/Passover Meal the night after He died, without remorse, as they had not recognised who He was, as they refused to listen to the clear voice of the prophets!
While Yosĕph’s brothers were eating they saw a company of Yishmaʽĕlites coming from Gil’aḏ, with spices, balm and myrrh. This too is a powerful prophetic picture of the clear supply for Yosĕph as these products picture for us the relevant embalming ingredients used for Messiah’s burial and what we see, in Yosĕph’s line, through his son Menashsheh, is a powerful picture of what he went through, in shadow picturing what Messiah would do for us!
Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’
- – Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה – Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget’
- oMaḵir – מָכִיר – Strong’s H4353 – ‘sold’
- §Gil’aḏ – גִּלְעָד – Strong’s H1568 – ‘rocky region’
- Iyezer – אִיעֶזֶר – Strong’s H372 – ‘no help’
- Ḥĕleq – חֵלֶק – Strong’s H2507 – ‘portion’
- Asri’ĕl – אַשְׂרִיאֵל – Strong’s H844 – ‘I shall be prince of El’
- Sheḵem – שֶׁכֶם – Strong’s H7928 – ‘back/shoulder’
- Ḥĕpher – חֵפֶר – Strong’s H2660 – ‘a well’
- oTselophḥaḏ – צְלָפְחָד – Strong’s H6765 – ‘first born’
Above is the list of descendants of Yosĕph from Menashsheh’s line and when looking at the meaning of their names we are able to see a great prophetic message of Messiah as mirrored through his life’s sufferings:
HE IS INCREASED AND CAUSED TO FORGET HOW HE WAS SOLD IN THE ROCKY REGION WITH NO HELP, WHILE HIS PORTION WAS TO BE THE PRINCE OF EL WHO WOULD BEAR THE BURDEN BY BEING BROUGHT UP OUT OF THE PIT AS FIRSTBORN FROM AMONG THE DEAD!
Yehuḏah then convinced the other brothers not to kill Yosĕph but rather sell him, as if that would absolve them of the wicked act of selling their brother into slavery and treat him as dead.
His ‘blood’ was on their hands, even though they had not physically killed him, and while they did not want to be held responsible for his death, they thought it better to sell him and make a profit out of their brother and if he was killed then they would not reckon themselves guilty for his blood.
They sold him for 20 pieces of silver and this amount would later be given to Yisra’ĕl as a command regarding the evaluation of a male between 5 and 20 years old, when a man separates a vow, by the evaluation of lives unto יהוה. Yosĕph was still a youth and this shows a separation of Yosĕph unto יהוה. The value of a male from 20 to 60 years old was 50 sheqels of silver, and for a female it was 30 sheqels of silver; and from this we are able to see how יהושע Messiah paid the full price for us, His Bride, when He was sold for 30 pieces of silver!
Verse 29-30 – Re’uḇĕn returns to an empty well!
Re’uḇĕn had obviously left the other 9 brothers after they had thrown Yosĕph into the pit, and would possibly not share in the profit gained from the sale of Yosĕph. What we do recognise here is how Re’uḇĕn tried to stand up for Yosĕph and tell his brothers to ‘let Yosĕph live’; and it is possible that because of this attempt to stop his brothers from killing Yosĕph that Mosheh, in one sense, turned the curse against Re’uḇĕn around. Re’uḇĕn had been cursed by his father for defiling his father’s bed by sleeping with his father’s concubine, and Mosheh says in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:6 “Let Re’uḇĕn live, and not die, and let his men be numbered.”
Once again, as already discussed, we can learn from these events that we must not put off our need to stand up for our brothers for a later time – while Re’uḇĕn had tried to save Yosĕph, he left when it mattered most and returned being unable to change what had been done!
Re’uḇĕn went to the rest and asked where he was and realised the dilemma they were in, and so they had to devise a plan to hide from their father their responsibility for Yosĕph’s life.
Re’uḇĕn tore his garments in repentance, yet his actions on the flesh had born about circumstances that he would be responsible for.
He was more concerned about what he would now say to his father than actually having lost his younger brother! This is a picture of how so many will have an outward show of repentance, yet their hearts are still hardened by deceit, and true repentance from the heart is what יהוה calls for:
Yo’ěl/Joel 2:13 “And tear your heart and not your garments, and turn back to יהוה your Elohim, for He shows favour and is compassionate, patient, and of great kindness, and He shall relent concerning the evil.”
In an act of desperation, and a wicked scheme, they took the long robe that they had stripped from Yosĕph, the robe that Ya’aqoḇ had made for him, and dipped it in the blood of a male goat that they had slaughtered, after which they sent the bloodied robe to Ya’aqoḇ, who recognised it immediately and tore his own garments and wept for his son who he had believed had now been killed by a wild beast in the field!
The blood of a goat resembles human blood and they did this so as to not be found guilty of the blood of their brother’s life, and we once again see a classic shadow picture here of Yosĕph’s coat being dipped in the blood of a goat representing for us the goat for יהוה on Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement).
Ya’aqoḇ had, at this point, been deceived by his sons, through the blood on the covering of a garment and, in a manner of speaking, takes us back to how Ya’aqoḇ had deceived Yitsḥaq when wearing a ‘goats garment’.
In verse 33 Ya’aqoḇ cries out… “Yosĕph is torn, torn to pieces” and the Hebrew word for ‘torn’ is טָרַף taraph – Strong’s H2963 and means, ‘to tear, rend, pluck’. This word is also used in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 6:1 “Come, and let us turn back to יהוה. For He has torn but He does heal us, He has stricken but He binds us up.”
By the death of Messiah, we are able to hear the clear call of repentance from dead works and turn back to יהוה, so that we can be healed!
Verse 1-2: Yehuḏah leaves his brothers
After Yosĕph had been sold into slavery and all the brothers lied to Ya’aqoḇ, Yehuḏah leaves his brothers and turns aside to an Aḏullamite.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘left’ or, in other translations ‘went down’, is יָרַד yaraḏ – Strong’s H3381 which means, ‘to come or go down, descend’.
A common pattern or thread we see in Scripture is that whenever the reference is made of going to Mitsrayim it is seen as going ‘down’, whereas whenever the reference of going to Yerushalayim is made it is referred to as going up; and what we can clearly see from this is that to run after the pattern of the world and the flesh with its many lusts is a downward path that leads to destruction, whereas to walk in the true commands of Elohim and trust in יהוה is a picture of being able to ‘ascend’ or go up and draw near to Him in Messiah – the very path of obedience in Messiah that leads to abundant life!
Here Yehuḏah was, in a sense, going ‘down’ after the lust of the flesh, as he took a Kenaʽanite woman and married her.
The Hebrew word for the term ‘turned aside’ is נָטָה natah – Strong’s H5186 meaning, ‘to stretch out, spread out, extend, incline’.
This word can be also understood in Scripture as being a reference to the tribes of Yisra’ĕl who ‘spread out’ their branches, as a derivative of this root verb is מַטָּה mattah – Strong’s H4294 meaning, ‘a staff, rod, branch, a tribe, a branch of a vine’, and is translated as ‘tribes’ in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 30:1.
When we understand this clear picture of being a ‘branch’ we are quickly reminded of the word of our Master in:
Yoḥanan/John 15: 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught!”
Yehuḏah here, as a metaphoric picture, is a lesson of those who have denied/rejected Messiah (sold Yosĕph into slavery) and have not remained in the Truth, but rather have run after the flesh and doctrines of man!
Yehuḏah had spread out his branch, but in the wrong way!!!
He had, in a manner of speaking, not ‘stayed in the Truth’, and the fruit of his actions reveals this, as he becomes unevenly yoked with a Kenaʽanite woman!
This word – נָטָה natah – Strong’s H5186 – can also be understood as turning aside from true right-ruling and justice, as we see the connection of this word used twice in the following verse:
Shemoth/Exodus 23:2 “Do not follow a crowd to do evil, nor bear witness in a strife so as to turn aside after many, to turn aside what is right.”
By Yehuḏah ‘turning aside’ to an Aḏullamite expresses this clear picture of turning aside from יהוה’s ‘justice’ to man’s!
The word for ‘Aḏullamite’ is עֲדֻלָּמִי Aḏullami – Strong’s H5726 and means, ‘justice for the people’, and Aḏullam was a Kenaʽanite city.
Yehuḏah’s action is a picture of what so many have done, and still do today, as they turn aside to man’s system of justice rather than obey יהוה’s Torah! This shows a lack of obedience and can be a reminder to us of the period of the Judges (Shophetim) where each one did what was right in their own eyes!
Shophetim/Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no sovereign in Yisra’ĕl – everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Yisra’ĕl was clearly warned not to do this before they entered into the Promised Land:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:8 “Do not do as we are doing here today – each one doing whatever is right in his own eyes.”
When people reject the Torah, they will resort to doing what is right in their own eyes, and here in these accounts is a clear shadow picture that we can learn from, as we see how this chapter’s events flow in teaching us what happens when we cast aside the Torah! Yosĕph had been ‘cast aside’ and Yehuḏah turned toward a counterfeit system for satisfaction and growth!
Those who turn aside to their own crooked ways will face the consequences of rejecting the Torah:
Tehillah/Psalm 125:5 “But those who turn aside to their crooked ways, יהוה shall lead them away with the workers of wickedness. Peace be upon Yisra’ĕl!”
The name of the Aḏullamite man to whom Yehuḏah had turned aside to was חִירָה Ḥirah –Strong’s H2437 which means, ‘a noble race’, and comes from the primitive root verb חָוַר ḥavar – Strong’s H2357 which means, ‘to be or grow white or pale’.
To grow pale, can be as a result of having a loss of blood to the face as a basal response to some strong emotional feeling such as humiliation. Yehuḏah may have realised the wickedness of their actions against Yosĕph and in his guilt he turned aside to seeking an alternative in the flesh, according to man’s ways, to appease himself in his humiliation.
This root verb – חָוַר ḥavar – Strong’s H2357 – is only used once in Scripture:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 29:22 “Therefore thus said יהוה, who ransomed Aḇraham, concerning the house of Ya’aqoḇ, “Ya’aqoḇ is no longer put to shame, no longer does his face grow pale.”
Yehuḏah had now joined himself to that which he should not have, and we are warned in Scripture to not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers, as the consequences of doing this can be harmful and very detrimental to our lives.
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Yehuḏah saw a daughter of another Kenaʽanite and he took her for himself; and she was the daughter of the Kenaʽanite man whose name was שׁוּעַ Shua – Strong’s H7770 which means, ‘wealth’.
This, once again, is a clear picture of turning to the wealth of the nations rather than walking in the Torah of יהוה. Yehuḏah married into money!
In history, we are able to see how Yehuḏah has always had an obsession with wealth and profits, and he was the one who came up with the idea of selling Yosĕph instead of killing him, as he recognised that there would be no gain in killing Yosĕph – but there was a way, in Yehuḏah’s eyes, to make some profit out of their brother.
The desire for riches and wealth has a way of causing many to turn aside from walking in the right-rulings of יהוה.
The deceit of riches chokes out the Word and the seed of truth become fruitless (Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:22).
Verse 3-5 – Yehuḏah’s sons
The sons that were born to Yehuḏah from his ‘marriage’ with the daughter of Shuwa were:
1) Ěr – עֵר – Strong’s H6147 which means, ‘awake, arouse, awaken, expose’;
2) Onan – אוֹנָן – Strong’s H209 which means, ‘strong, vigorous’, and
3) Shĕlah – שֵׁלָה – Strong’s H7956 meaning, ‘a petition, at ease, prosperity’.
Chasing ‘wealth’ will birth the ‘arousal’ of a ‘strong’ desire to be ‘at ease’ and chase ‘prosperity’ in the process.
When the daughter of Shuwa bore Shelah, Yehuḏah was in כְּזִיב Keziḇ – Strong’s H3580 which means, ‘false’, and this word comes from the primitive root verb כָּזַב kazaḇ – Strong’s H3576 which means, ‘to lie, be a liar, fail, told lies, deceive, disappoint’; and we are clearly able to see from the actions of Yehuḏah that he reached a definite place of ‘falsehood and deception’ in his life – all starting with the rejection of Yosĕph and selling his brother for gain!
Yehuḏah, as we know, means, ‘praised’, and by these accounts, along with the clear meanings of the names of his sons and the places he settled in, we can recognise how so many today have been given over to falsehood, deception and lies in their vain attempts at praising Elohim, while they are chasing the alluring and tickling ear messages of a prosperity ‘gospel’ that is leading many people astray as they so easily cast the True identity of Messiah and the need to walk in the Torah of Elohim aside, while believing that they have a right to physical and material blessings here and now!
This is a classic picture of ‘false worship’ – which is no worship of Elohim at all!!!
The so called ‘prosperity gospel’, which is widely promoted by westernised charismatic Christianity, is a false message and many are sadly worshipping in vain, as they follow such falsehood!
What we must also take note of here is that the name of the daughter of Shuwa is not mentioned, and so we see a clear message of how this union with a Kenaʽanite women had resulted in nothing but trouble!
Yehuḏah took a wife for his firstborn son – Ěr – עֵר, and her name was תָּמָר Tamar – Strong’s H8559 which means, ‘palm-tree’.
Ěr was evil in the eyes of יהוה and his life was taken by יהוה before he had any offspring with his wife Tamar.
We are not told why he was evil but we see here a play on the reversal of his name: The Hebrew word used here for ‘evil’ is רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.
Notice how the name of Ěr – עֵר – is spelt with and ‘ayin – עֵ’ and a ‘resh – ר’, while evil – רַע ra – is spelt the opposite way around with the ‘resh – רַ’ being first and then the ‘ayin – ע’.
His name may have meant ‘awake or alert’, yet he was evil in the eyes of יהוה, and this can, in many ways, also be a reminder to us of how we are not to think that we are strong on our own, but rather that the joy of יהוה is our strength and this is also a clear warning of how we are to be sober and awake and not be found sleeping under the lies and deception of falsehood!
What we can see here is how this man who by name was called one who is awake and strong, had simply abandoned his character!
We must remember that יהוה certainly was watchful over the firstborn of the son of the ancestor of Messiah, and while Tamar was given to this firstborn in marriage and had no offspring, יהוה still made sure that Tamar would carry the line of the seed of the promise, as she was the wife of the ‘firstborn’ and destined to be in the royal line of Messiah!
Onan, Ěr’s brother, was instructed by Yehuḏah to take Tamar as wife and have a son with her to raise up an heir to his brother, which we see being later documented as a clear Torah instruction in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 25:5-6 “When brothers dwell together, and one of them has died, and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not become a stranger’s outside. Her husband’s brother does go in to her, and shall take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 “And it shall be that the first-born son which she bears does rise up for the name of his dead brother, so that his name is not blotted out of Yisra’ĕl.”
While we recognise that this command had not yet been given to Yisra’ĕl as a nation, we need to understand that this was the clear instruction/command given to Onan from his father, Yehuḏah; and he refused to listen to his father’s command, which is a picture of refusing to heed the Torah!
Onan knew that the offspring would not be his and would affect the inheritance of his own offspring, so he refused – but not in the right way!
He did not tell his father that he could not take her, but rather abused the position of being offered his brother’s wife for sex only, and made sure that he did not impregnate her, as he spilled his seed (semen) on the ground.
This displeased יהוה and so Onan’s life was taken too. When you neglect to walk in the clear Torah of our Father our life too will be demanded of us.
In the story of Ruth, we see how the nearest kinsman refused to redeem Ruth and so the redemption right could fall to Bo’az.
Ruth 4:6 “And the redeemer said, “I am not able to redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. Redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I am not able to redeem it.”
Deḇarim carries on and tells us what was to be done to the man who refused to redeem the wife of his brother who had died and had no offspring:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 25:7-10 “But if the man does not desire to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Yisra’ĕl, he does not agree to perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’ 8 “The elders of his city shall then call him and speak to him, and he shall stand and say, ‘I have no desire to take her,’ 9 then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, and remove his sandal from his foot, and shall spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ 10 “And in Yisra’ĕl his name shall be called, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’”
In the story of Ruth, we see how this happened according to Torah:
Ruth 4:7-8 “And this was formerly done in Yisra’ĕl concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm every word: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a witness in Yisra’ĕl. 8 So the redeemer said to Bo’az, “Buy it for yourself.” Then he took off his sandal.”
Onan acted wickedly and deceived his father while satisfying his fleshly lust for his deceased brother’s wife – this was nothing more than a wicked act of adultery and יהוה did more than ‘remove his sandal from his foot and spit in his face’ – he put to death the one who performed wickedness!
Yehuḏah then told Tamar to live as a widow and wait until Shelah was old enough to become here husband and he would then raise up offspring.
Tamar then went to live in her father’s house; and after some time Yehuḏah’s wife died, and being comforted by his friends he went up to Timnah to the sheep shearers.
תִּמְנָה Timnah – Strong’s H8553 means, ‘portion, territory’, and comes from the root verb מָנָה manah – Strong’s H4487 which means, ‘to count, number, reckon, appoint’.
Tamar was told that her father in law had gone to Timnah, and by this time Shelah had not been given to her as wife, as promised, and so, after realising that the promise had not been kept, she took off her widows garments and disguised herself, and she went and put a veil over her face and sat at the entrance of עֵינַיִם Ěnayim – Strong’s H5879 which means, ‘two springs’ and can also be understood as the ‘opening of the eyes’, as this word can be constructed from being the dual of the root word עַיִן ayin – Strong’s H5869 which means, ‘eye’, and from this we can see how she ‘covered her eyes’ in order to ‘open Yehuḏah’s!
Yehuḏah took her for a prostitute and he lay with her, as he turned aside to her by the way!
Once again, we see Yehuḏah ‘turning aside’, which is the word נָטָה natah, which we have already discussed, and here is another picture of him turning from the straight path and resorting to whoring!
She asked him what he would give her for her “services” and he said that he would send her a young goat from the flock – which at first glance, may seem insignificant, however we can be drawn to seeing the picture of the goat which is sent into the Wilderness on Yom Kippur as the ‘scapegoat’.
The first goat of the two goats of Yom Kippur we are able to see in the goat that was slain and blood put on Yosĕph’s robe in Berěshith/Genesis 37:31.
Tamar then asked whether he would give her a pledge until he sent the goat, and he asked her what pledge she wanted.
The Hebrew word used here for ‘pledge’ is עֵרָבוֹן eraḇon – Strong’s H6162 which means, ‘a pledge, security’, and comes from the root verb עָרַב araḇ – Strong’s H6148 meaning, ‘to take on pledge, give in pledge, exchange, become surety’.
She was asking for some surety from him so that he would not just leave and never send what he had promised.
As a noun, the word עֵרָבוֹן eraḇon is only used 3 times in Scripture and all in this account between Yehuḏah and Tamar; however, the verb, or action of giving a pledge, – עָרַב araḇ is used 22 times in Scripture.
The first time we see this verb being used in in Berěshith/Genesis 43:9 when Yehuḏah promised Ya’aqoḇ that he would be surety for Binyamin, and has primarily been the major reason why Binyamin was always under the protection or leading of Yehuḏah and so the House of Yehuḏah represents both Yehuḏah and Binyamin.
Dawiḏ asks יהוה to be surety for his well-being in:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:129 “Guarantee Your servant’s well-being; let not the proud oppress me.”
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – the Greek translation of the Tanak) for ‘pledge’ is ἀρραβών arrabōn – Strong’s G728 which means, ‘an earnest (a part payment in advance for security), given as a pledge’.
The pledge tokens that she was asking for were to secure the identity of the one who was giving the pledge.
As a ‘pledge’ Tamar asked for Yehuḏah’s seal, cord and staff that were in his hand.
The ring (seal) would normally be used to press his identity into an object of wax which was the seal used to mark his ownership/authority over documents or goods he may be selling.
The Hebrew word for ‘seal’ is חֹתָם ḥotham – Strong’s H2368 which means, ‘a seal, signet ring’.
The names of the 12 tribes were to be engraved on the shoham stones of the High Priest’s garments, like the engraving of a signet; and the plate of clean gold that was on the turban of the High Priest was to be engraved like the engraving of a signet with the words – SET-APARTNESS TO יהוה.
The Hebrew word for ‘chord’ is פָּתִיל pathiyl – Strong’s H6616 which means, ‘cord, thread, string’, and typically would be a chord or bracelet that would have been made of threads being twisted together. This is the same word used to describe the ‘chord of blue’ thread that was to be used to bind the breastplate to the rings of the ephod; as well as the blue chord used to attach the plate of clean gold to the high priest’s turban.
The shoulder garment of the high priest was to be made of gold cut into threads and worked in with the blue, purple and scarlet material.
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 15:38 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘chord’ is also used to describe the ‘blue chord’ that is to be in the tzitzit of our garments; and we recognise clearly that this ‘chord’ can represent for us a reminder to keep the commands of Elohim, and Yehuḏah may have had these chords on his garments and would clearly have identified it as being his, for he may have been the only one in the region with such ‘chords’ in his garments – after all there would have been no one else in the region who would have had any inclination in being reminded that they are children of Yisra’ĕl and are to guard the instructions of Elohim!
The Hebrew word for ‘staff’ is מַטָּה mattah – Strong’s H4294 which means, ‘a staff, rod, branch, tribe, sceptre, spear’. This was a symbol of authority and so also represents by her asking for his rod that she would be able to identify under whose ‘authority’ she had submitted herself.
Sheep, under the hand of a shepherd’s staff, have safety and assurance of their shepherd leading them to green pastures; and this can picture for us having the comfort and assurance of יהוה’s Right Hand of authority over our lives, that leads us each day and ensures we are able to be sustained and well fed.
Yehuḏah was willing to give all of these to Tamar and so shows a great picture for us, of how he was willing to give all of who he is, was and would be, just to be with a ‘prostitute’.
While we recognise how desperate Yehuḏah may have been in the flesh to be with a woman, we recognise that what she was really asking for, by asking for his ownership, authority and life, was that she really wanted to be his wife!
The Greek word for ‘seal’ – ἀρραβών arrabōn, we see being used in the following verses that describe the ‘seal/pledge’ we have been given by our Husband and King, יהושע Messiah:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “But He who establishes us with you in Messiah and has anointed us is Elohim, 22 who also sealed us, and gave the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 5:5 “Now He who has prepared us for this same purpose is Elohim, who has given us the Spirit as a pledge of what is to come.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:13-14 “in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your deliverance, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Set-apart Spirit of promise, 14 who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His esteem.”
We have been given a pledge from our Beloved King, sealed with His Set-Apart Spirit in our hearts – giving the assurance of our inheritance to come, as the Set-Apart Spirit testifies with our Spirit that we are sons of Elohim!
Having then this seal, we also recognise how responsible we are to be with what He has put in our hands, as we guard to do all His commands, walk under His authority, as we are not our own but have been bought at a price and are now His.
We are therefore able to be identified as His by shining the Light of His Truth so that the works of obedience can be seen by all, and we hear, guard and do His Torah – being the rod of instruction that keeps us in check, safe and secure in Him. We also wear Tzitzit which causes us to be reminded on a practical level to whom we belong and how we should not rebel against the authority of our Husband and Kinsman Redeemer, but submit as an obedient and pledged Bride.
Yehuḏah then lay with Tamar and she conceived; after which she took of her veil and put back on her widow’s garments. After having gone home, Yehuḏah then sent the goat, by the hand of his Aḏullamite friend, so that he would get back his pledge that he had given her; however, she could not be found!
He then asked the men of that place where the ‘cult prostitute’ was.
What is important for us to realise here is that this word translated as ‘cult prostitute’ here is not the same word used in verse 15 when Yehuḏah though that she was a ‘whore’.
The Hebrew word for ‘whore’ in verse 15 is זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 which means, ‘be a harlot, commit fornication, adulterous, prostitute, unfaithful’ and the Hebrew word translated as ‘cult prostitute’ in verse 21 is קְדֵשָׁה qeḏeshah – Strong’s H6948, and while this is used 5 times in Scripture in relation to whoring, we can also see that this is a feminine word which comes from the root קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated, dedicated’.
Cult prostitutes were held in high regard in their service in pagan temples, and the messenger of Yehuḏah used his words wisely when asking where she was, for no one of the town would have thought it wrong for Yehuḏah to have slept with a ‘cult prostitute’.
After hearing that she could not be found, Yehuḏah gave up and reckoned his pledge as lost.
This reveals to us how depraved Yehuḏah had become by this point, as he did not want to risk any possible embarrassment and so tried to keep the matter quiet, and felt that he had done his part and was not going to run after her!
This is the opposite picture of our Messiah, who tells us He came to seek and save that which was lost, and while we too were given over to whoring among the nations, by His pledge of His Spirit upon us and His Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted into, we walk in His commands, and are no longer considered ‘whores’ but are now the ‘set-apart ones’ of the Most-High! When He comes again shall he find faith? Will He find us guarding His pledge as we guard His commands, or not!
3 months later Yehuḏah was told that his daughter-in-law, Tamar had whored, as she was pregnant.
She may have done something to make it known, in order to force Yehuḏah’s hand, as normally after 3 months a woman pregnancy would typically not be visible.
Yehuḏah then tells them to bring her out so that she could be burned, as this was the Torah for whoring:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21:9 “And when the daughter of any priest profanes herself by whoring, she profanes her father. She is burned with fire.”
When she was brought out, she brought with her the articles of Yehuḏah’s pledge, and made it clear that she had become pregnant by the man to whom these articles of pledge belonged to.
She cried out for the promise of the goat that was to be sent to her, by holding firm to the seal/pledge that Yehuḏah had by that time despised and forgotten about – she was, in a manner of speaking, the kinswoman of Yehuḏah and not a whore!!!
When Yehuḏah inspected the items – his ring, chord and staff – he realised that she acted more righteously than he died and paid her the right respect that was due to her.
These items would never have helped her with anyone other than Yehuḏah, and she would never have been able to get any value from these items from any other source, as the only place that they would carry any value, in redeeming her from death, would be when they were returned to the original owner as surety for her life, as was promised to her.
Today we too carry the authority of the Word of Elohim and are to guard His Torah in our hearts and minds, as we faithfully walk steadfast in Messiah, having the seal of our inheritance of His spirit in our hearts. We cannot take the Word and use it for self-gain or even try to ‘trade it in’ for some other prize or possession.
If we are not found to have His Torah guarded upon our hearts and minds when HE comes for His Bride, we will risk being cut off from entering into His Reign.
How we are identified as belonging to our Righteous Saviour and King is by our guarding of His commands, the keeping of His Sabbaths and Feasts and adhering to all that we have been instructed to as set-apart children of the Most-High!
By our obedience to His commands, we are declaring that we do not belong to, nor are part of the whore, but rather we are the chosen and set-apart royal Bride of Messiah, and this can be physically seen in our lives today, as we too guard the ‘seal, chord and staff’, as we walk according to the Spirit by doing all He has commanded us to – which includes the wearing ‘blue chords’ (tzitzit)!
Wearing the tzitzit, is there to remind us daily who we are, and simply wearing them as an outward show without true obedience is nothing more than abominable disobedience.
So, we learn from these accounts that we do not ‘take off’ our ‘chord’ and do not ‘put down’ the staff but uphold and guard the commands until our Husband comes and finds them in our possession, as a faithful Bride.
Yehuḏah then took Tamar into his home but never ‘knew her’ again – in other words he did not have intercourse with her again, but she was taken into his home as his bride – and she would never have done any act of whoring again!
We are reminded of the story of the woman who was caught in adultery and brought before Messiah to test His application of the Torah in Yoḥanan/John 8. When two were caught in the act of adultery, both man and woman were to be brought to the elders and stoned.
Where was the man? Messiah challenged her accusers by telling them that the one without sin should cast the first stone, and no one could. After asking her where her accusers were, and if anyone condemned her, and she answered no one. Messiah then told her that He too did not condemn her and told her to go her way and sin no more – in other words – go and walk in the Torah and do not whore anymore!
Verse 27-30 – twins are born
Tamar had twins and when she was giving birth one of the twins had put out his hand first and the midwife tied a scarlet thread on his wrist and he pulled back his hand.
Then the other son came out ahead of the one who put his hand out and his name was called פֶּרֶץ Perets – Strong’s H6557 which means, ‘breach, break through’, for he ‘broke through and came out before his brother.
The other son who had the scarlet thread on his hand came out and his name was called זֶרַח Zeraḥ – Strong’s H2226 which means, ‘rising, come forth’.
We see the blessing given to Ruth in:
Ruth 4:12 “And let your house be like the house of Perets, whom Tamar bore to Yehuḏah, of the seed which יהוה does give you from this young woman.”
This may have seemed like an odd blessing as we consider how the conception of Perets came about, yet we see here in both Tamar and Ruth’s case, how יהוה protects the line of His seed and established the continuation of the line of Dawiḏ which had been threatened to be destroyed under the sin of man.
Both Tamar and Ruth are mentioned in the genealogy of Messiah, which is a powerful statement of their identity being established in the line of Messiah – and in one sense, is a picture of the redemption of the two Houses who had whored after the nations and had been restored in Messiah – the Repairer of the breach!
The scarlet thread tied to Zeraḥ, is also a shadow picture of the Arm of יהוה ‘rising’ to bring redemption, as we see this ‘thread of redemption’ all through the Torah and the Prophets, which speaks of Messiah, the Right Hand of Elohim that would stretch for His Outstretched Arm and save His people who had strayed away from Him and His covenants of promise!
Yosĕph taken to Mitsrayim
Yosĕph, having been sold by his brothers, had now been taken by the Yishmaʽĕlites and sold again into the hands of Potiphar who was a high official, being captain of the guard of Pharaoh.
The name פּוֹטִיפַר Potiphar – Strong’s H6318 means, ‘belonging to the sun’, and so we see a metaphoric picture of how Yosĕph was sold into the hands of a militant leader of sun-worship.
The title/term פַּרְעֹה Pharaoh – Strong’s H6547, which is of Egyptian derivation, means, ‘great house’ and once again, we are able to see this picture of being sold into the hands of the ‘great house of those belonging to the sun’ – a very clear picture of having been handed over as a slave to a system of sun-worship that was at that time possible the most powerful nation in the world and carried much power over the world.
The Yishmaʽĕlites had taken Yosĕph ‘down’ to Mitsrayim and as already discussed in this portion, the concept of going ‘down’, as represented by the word יָרַד yaraḏ – Strong’s H3381 which means, ‘to come or go down, descend’, can represent a decline, or a downward path to destruction under the influence of the world, as opposed to the concept of ‘going up’ to Yerushalayim which carries the more positive picture of obedience and walking in the Truth.
Due to the negligence of Yosĕph’s brothers we can see how they rejected their brother who would later become the one who would save them, and by Yosĕph having been taken down to Mitsrayim and overcame the influences of Mitsrayim by holding fast to the clear standards of a servant of Elohim, we are able to see the great shadow picture of how Messiah, humbled Himself and came down to redeem us from the sins of the flesh and overcome death and enslavement for us and redeem us back to Himself so that we are able to once again ‘ascend/go up’ with Him to the great promises of His covenants of promise.
The picture of being sold twice, also carries great insight for us, as we see that Yosĕph was first sold into the hands of the Yishmaʽĕlites and then to Mitsrayim.
The Yishmaʽĕlites are descendants of Yishma’ĕl the first born of Aḇraham from Hagar his concubine – and he was not the son of the promise as Aḇraham acted in the flesh to try to get the son he was promised.
Yitsḥaq was his son that would be one to whom the covenants would be confirmed, and Yishma’ĕl was sent away and too became a great nation from 12 sons.
This selling of Yosĕph, by the Yishmaʽĕlites to Mitsrayim, is a picture of how the they too did not acknowledge the call on Yosĕph’s life.
The Yishmaʽĕlites can, in many ways, be representative of the Muslims today, who claim a birthright inheritance of Aḇraham, yet they reject Messiah who came through the line of Yitsḥaq.
By his brothers having sold him and the Yishmaʽĕlites having again sold him, we are able to see how both Yishma’ĕl and Ěsaw reject the true son of the Promise! Ěsaw was Ya’aqoḇ’s brother who sold his birthright for the satisfaction of the flesh and is in one sense a picture of Edom.
When connecting the dots here, to Mitsrayim and the great house belonging to the son, we are able to see how two major ‘religious’ groups that have majority influence on the world –that is Islam and Christianity (as represented by the Yishmaʽĕlites and Mitsrayim and his brothers who acted in the flesh) – both reject the true יהושע Messiah, who came to fully meet, establish and proclaim the Torah of יהוה!
Verse 2-4 – Yosĕph prospers
Despite having been sold as a slave, יהוה was still with Yosĕph and Yosĕph became very prosperous in all that he did, even as a slave in the house of his Mitsrian master – this clearly tells us that Yosĕph was a man who meditated on the Word of יהוה, and what we must remember here is that while the Torah of Mosheh had not yet been written or given to the nation of Yisra’ĕl, the Torah of יהוה – that is His instructions and commands for living – was still clearly given to His chosen servants and individuals who followed יהוה with all their heart. We see this by the fact that Aḇraham knew to give tithes to Malkitseḏeq, as well as how to perform slaughterings unto Elohim.
The ways of יהוה were always made known and taught to those who followed Him, and Yosĕph too was one who held firm to the knowledge of the Most-High Elohim, even under the enslavement of the great house of sun-worship!
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
The Hebrew root word that is translated here as ‘prospers’, as well as that which describes Yosĕph as being ‘prosperous’, is צָלַח tsalaḥ – Strong’s H6743 meaning, ‘to advance, prosper, successful, victorious, press through and succeed’.
The root means to accomplish satisfactorily what is intended.
Real prosperity results from the work of Elohim in the life of one who seeks Elohim with all his heart!
Even after Yosĕph was put into prison, we see in verse 23, of this Chapter 39 of Berěshith/Genesis, that יהוה was with Yosĕph and whatever Yosĕph did, יהוה made it prosper!
This is a huge lesson for all of us, as we need to recognise that no matter where we may find ourselves, as long as we are delighting to meditate daily on the Torah of Elohim and walk in His ways, He will make our ways prosperous, giving us His full protection, favour and shalom!
Yosĕph found great favour with Potiphar as he saw how יהוה’s hand was on him, and as a result he promoted Yosĕph to be in charge over his entire house.
יהוה was with Yosĕph!
The term, or phrase, ‘יהוה was with’ is written in Hebrew as ‘וַיְהִי יהוה אֶת’ – ‘vay’hi יהוה eth’, with the literal rendering ‘and was יהוה with’.
What is interesting to take note of here is when we see the root words contained herein, we are able to see a very powerful picture of the presence of the One who exists and causes to be, is the One who is with Yosĕph!!!
The term וַיְהִי – vay’hi begins with a ‘וַ’ – the letter ‘vav’ which typically renders here the term ‘and’; and the root word this is attached to is הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961 which means, ‘be, come to pass, come about, appear, be in existence, to come into being, arise’, and the term translated as ‘with’ – אֶת – ‘eth’ – Strong’s H854 is a primitive preposition that is translated in Scripture as, ‘with, in, him, against, me, upon – with (of relationship); near (of place); with (possession); together with’.
It is often used as the ‘sign of the direct object’, meaning that it points to who the action is being rendered. Here we are clearly told that Yosĕph is the ‘person/object’ to whom the action of being with is directed and the one who is the Causer of this relationship of intimacy is יהוה.
What is also worthy of noting is that this word is made up of the first and last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet – the aleph – אֶ – and the taw – ת – and we know that in the Revelation of Messiah we are clearly told in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, Beginning and End,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
What we can learn from this is that יהוה – the One who causes us to be – is with those who love Him and He works everything out for good to those who love Him (that is those who guard His commands):
Romiyim/Romans 8:28 “And we know that all matters work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Circumstances do not determine whether or not יהוה is with His set-apart and chosen servants, but rather, we have the confidence in knowing, as Yosĕph did, that despite being in an enslaved position he could be at peace and have the confidence to know that יהוה is with us and He does not leave nor forsake us.
It is by the work of the Aleph and the Taw – יהושע Messiah – that we are able to be ‘joined to’ Him – the One who causes us to be!!
Yosĕph’s master saw that יהוה was with Yosĕph and acknowledges this fact; and by this we are therefore able to recognise Yosĕph let the light of His obedience unto יהוה be clearly seen by his master, which reminds us that we too are to let our light shine before men:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
All that Yosĕph ‘did’ יהוה made him prosper – we have already looked at the term for ‘prosper’, yet we are able to see that all that in all that Yosĕph did he prospered; and the Hebrew root word for ‘do’ is עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 and carries the meaning of ‘to do, make, carefully observe to do, practice, work, execute’, and can also mean, ‘celebrate’, which I think is very fitting. As it is truly a great ‘joy’ TO DO the laws and right-rulings as prescribed!
So many today think that it is a huge burden to do what is commanded, yet that is so far from the truth – when we diligently observe and guard to do all He commands us to do – it is a great joy and a delight and not heavy at all!
The perfect Torah of freedom is like a mirror for us – and in looking intently into it we are able to see if we are in fact listening and doing or not:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
In the ancient pictographic script, the verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 which means, ‘to do, work, make, and produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute, celebrate’ looks like this:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is: and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’ as the eye is the window of knowledge.
Sin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘sin/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.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.
When looking at this word עָשָׂה asah in the ancient pictographic form, we are able to further understand how critical it is for us to be doers of the Word and so perform and do that which is instructed for us to do. From this picture we can see the meaning of:
LOOKING AT THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED!
This teaches us that we are unable to DO or PERFORM the Word if we are not looking intently at the Word!
We ‘guard to do’ all He commands in order that we may live and take possession of that which יהוה has planned for us.
A derivative of this root עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 is the word מַעֲשֶׂה ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 and means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’.
The Acts or Ma’asei of the Apostles speaks of the deeds or acts of that which the Apostles did and records their ‘acts’ of obedience – their ‘doing’ of the commands and not just hearing!
Yosĕph did not resort to depression for being sold into slavery, he embraced every opportunity to do what he was able to do with all his might, and all to the esteem of Elohim:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 9:10 “All that your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”
Yosĕph was promoted and was given into his hand authority over Potiphar’s entire house and all that he had, as he certainly guarded the duty and tasks of his master which caused his master to esteem him to a position of authority:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 27:18 “He who tends the fig tree eats its fruit; and he who guards his master is esteemed.”
Yosĕph had submitted under the governing authority of his master, and by clinging to יהוה who was with Him, he knew that his obedience was ultimately to יהוה who appoints all authority:
Romiyim/Romans 13:1 “Let every being be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from Elohim, and the authorities that exist are appointed by Elohim.”
Verse 5 – the effect of Yosĕph’s obedience
With the clear favour, blessing and shalom of יהוה being upon Yosĕph, we are able to see the effects of the presence of יהוה with His servants, יהוה blessed the house of the Mitsrian for Yosĕph’s sake.
The house in which there is a truly committed servant of the Most-High shall be blessed!
The house was blessed because of Yosĕph, and יהוה did this for Yosĕph’s sake – this is so awesome to think that יהוה would make sure that his servant would be secured in an environment of blessing. He certainly did not have to bless the house of the Mitsrian, but He did for Yosĕph’s sake!
We are also reminded of how the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom was blessed for the 3 months that the Ark of the Covenant was in his house:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:11-12 “And the ark of יהוה remained in the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom the Gittite three months, and יהוה blessed Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom and all his house. 12 And it was reported to Sovereign Dawiḏ, saying, “יהוה has blessed the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom and all that he has, because of the ark of Elohim.” Dawiḏ then went and brought up the ark of Elohim from the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom to the City of Dawiḏ with rejoicing.”
עֹבֵד אֱדוֹם Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom – Strong’s H5654 means, ‘servant of Eḏom’ and comes from two words:
1 – The word עָבַד aḇaḏ̱ – Strong’s H5647 which means, ‘to work, serve, become slaves, cultivate, perform, serve, worship’, from which we get the word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ̱ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה, called to ‘serve’ in perfection and in truth; and
2 – the word אֱדוֹם Eḏom – Strong’s H123 which means, ‘to be red, ruddy’ and were descendants of Ěsaw.
The presence of the Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of יהוה and we know that Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom was greatly blessed by the presence of the Ark of the Covenant and when Dawiḏ came to fetch the Ark to take back to Yerushalayim, Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom left all he had to go and serve in the Tabernacle as a doorkeeper!
We are also able to realise that while we are in the world and not of the world, we who carry the presence of יהוה wherever we are, have the assurance of His blessing and favour to be upon us as we guard His commands and walk in righteousness.
In Hebrew, the word that is used for ‘servant’ is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
In the ancient pictographic script, the word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ̱ is pictured as:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and is pictured as ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which is a picture of ‘a tent floor plan’ and carries the meaning of, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back and forth movement’ as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or ‘hanging’ as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When we look at this word in the ancient script for a servant, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE!
This is what our Master calls us to do; and when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah!
Yosĕph was a handsome man, both in form and appearance and now, being this handsome man in a position of authority had its challenges – as Potiphar’s wife set her eyes on Yosĕph and tried her best at trying to get Yosĕph to sleep with her. But Yosĕph resisted her adulterous proposal, referring to the unlimited confidence which his master had placed in him.
He (Potiphar) was not greater in that house than he, and had given everything over to him except her, because she was his wife. Yosĕph remained faithful to יהוה, and in so doing he remained faithful to his master as well.
Yosĕph knew very well that he needed to guard himself against the flattering words of an adulterous woman:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:23-29 “For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life, 24 to guard you against an evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a strange woman. 25 Do not desire her prettiness in your heart, neither let her captivate you with her eyelids. 26 For because of a whore One is brought to a crust of bread. And an adulteress hunts a precious life. 27 Would a man take fire to his bosom, and his garments not be burned? 28 Would a man walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbour’s wife; none who touches her goes unpunished.”
Yosĕph had become attractive and by ‘wearing’ the clothes of righteousness he was made even more beautiful, and we too must recognise how the enemy will do his utmost at trying to get us to break our steadfast walk of righteousness.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the reign of Elohim? Do not be deceived. Neither those who whore, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy of gain, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers shall inherit the reign of Elohim.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:19-21 “And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery, whoring, uncleanness, indecency, 20 idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 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.”
Verse 10 – daily temptations
We see that while Yosĕph had said no to luring the temptations of his master’s wife, she continued to do her best at seducing him; and this she did each and every day.
The temptations did not get easier to deal with – they grew in intensity and Yosĕph remained steadfast, and we need to realise that we face daily temptations that we are to overcome on a continual basis, not letting our guard down for a second, lest we find ourselves having been caught in a trap of temptation that can lead us to compromise our steadfast walk.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 5:3-4 “For the lips of a strange woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.”
The enemy will use words that are seemingly so believable and very attractive in its sound and approach, yet in the end it only kills and if we are not meditating on the Torah of Elohim daily we may find ourselves being in a position where we are unable to distinguish the flattering words of deception!
The Hebrew root word used here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 5:4 for ‘wormwood’ is לַעֲנָה laanah – Strong’s H3939 which is described as, ‘a bitter substance, a very unpleasant substance to consume, which may make one sick’.
We know that the tree of life in Ḥazon/Revelation is described as having leaves which are for ‘the healing of the nations’; and so, wormwood can be seen as the ‘counterfeit leaves’ of the enemy which kills, yet so many are eating away at this very bitter root!
This proverb is a warning against the false teachings of the whore who seeks to lure people away from the Truth, and what we must recognise here is that it says that her lips (that is here words) are sharp ‘as’ a two-edged sword!
This means that her words can certainly cut and do damage, and many fall for her sharp words as they ‘sound’ as if they could be true, yet they are wormwood that has twisted the Truth in order to deceive; and the reason why so many are unable to discern her wormwood from the Truth is because they have turned away from the Torah and are unable to rightly divide the truth.
The word of Elohim is ‘sharper’ than a two-edged sword and therefore in order to know which is sharper, you have to know the Truth or else the sharp wormwood will eat you alive!
We have a clear choice to make every day – and that is to walk in righteousness, as we guard to do all the commands of Elohim or, as some sadly choose, cast aside the need to live according to the Torah! We find a very interesting ‘play on words’ in Amos 5 in a lamentation that was to be proclaimed against a fallen and forsaken House of Yisra’ĕl who had ‘cast down’ righteousness to the earth:
Amos 5:7 “O you who are turning right-ruling to wormwood, and have cast down righteousness to the earth!”
This verse makes clear the falsehood of Yisra’ĕl, for they had turned right-ruling into wormwood and had cast down righteousness to the earth!
The Hebrew word for right-rulings is מִּשְׁפָּטִים mishpatim, which is the plural of מִּשְׁפָּטִ mishpat Strong’s H4941 which means ‘right-ruling or judgement’, and are the ‘legal procedures’ or firm rulings that are non-negotiable. The firm rulings of Elohim, Yisra’ĕl had turned into wormwood
When many are ‘eating’ a twisted counterfeit, they will so easily ‘cast down’ righteousness!
The Hebrew word for ‘cast down’ is נוּחַ nuaḥ – Strong’s H5117 which means, ‘to rest, come to rest, cast down, set down, permit’, from which we get the name of נֹחַ Noaḥ – Strong’s H5146 who was the man who found favour in the eyes of יהוה, a righteous and perfect man in his generations and who walked with Elohim, doing all according to that which Elohim had commanded him.
This is a powerful ‘play on words’, as we see here the negative use of this word, for it can also mean, ‘abandon, depart from’.
So many have abandoned righteousness, thinking that they have ‘entered into the rest of Elohim’, yet they have no regard for His commands!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
נֹחַ Noaḥ was a righteous man, who did not cast down righteousness, but preached it for 120 years to a people who had! We either walk in righteousness as נֹחַ Noaḥ did, or we cast it down because of the wormwood of false lies and traditions of man that has turned and twisted the right-rulings of Elohim into poisonous and strange honey of a whore!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Word of Elohim is alive and sharper than the whore’s sharp word and any word that teaches that the Torah is no longer applicable may in fact be very sharp words but they are words of deception and only the Truth of the living Torah is able to judge what is going on in the heart – to see whether the Torah of Elohim is written their or whether the heart has turned away!
The sadly reality is that the heart that has turned away will often not be able to see that they have in fact turned away from the Truth and that is why the urgency to call many out of Baḇelon is of the utmost importance – before it is too late and those who do not receive a love for the Truth are handed over to the delusion of the wormwood of lies and deception!
Amos gives us a clear warning against those who are turning right-ruling into wormwood – the very thing that Christianity has done! (Read Amos 5&6).
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:13-15 “And יהוה says, “Because they have forsaken My Torah which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have walked according to the stubbornness of their own heart and after the Ba’als, which their fathers had taught them.” 15 Therefore thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “See, I am making this people eat wormwood, and I shall make them drink poisoned water.”
Forsake His Torah and he will make you eat wormwood! To forsake His Torah is to not receive a love for the Truth for love for Elohim is to obey his commands and those who refuse to do this do not love Elohim and are liars!
Sha’ul echoes these words of warning in his second letter to Thessalonica:
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved. 11 And for this reason Elohim sends them a working of delusion, for them to believe the falsehood, 12 in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness.”
Wormwood teaches that you do not have to guard the commands contained in the Torah and this is what Yoḥanan says:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-4 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Yosĕph learned obedience through all that he faced, and he had already seen what destruction illicit sexual acts brings, especially with Re’uḇĕn who defiled his father’s bed, and the events that transpired when his sister Dinah had been seduced and humbled by foreigners!
Yosĕph took action against this continual temptation, as he not only refused here advances but he also made sure that he was not even in her presence and refused to even be with her, never mind lie with her! This is a lesson on how we are to not even let evil come before our face, lest we are led away through the temptation of the flesh.
We are to constantly be on guard and be alert against the wiles of the enemy:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
When she could not get her way and now that Yosĕph made sure that he was not even around in her presence, she waited for an opportunity to catch him alone and hopefully off guard, and so when Yosĕph went into the house to do his daily duties and none of the other men were in the house, she pounced like a lion waiting for its prey!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Yosĕph continued to abstain from the fleshly lusts which battled against his life, and we can learn from his complete obedience, which he would not compromise under temptation, no matter how hard it was thrown at him, even if it meant he would lose everything!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lust’ comes from the root word ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, ‘lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting’; and this comes from the word ἐπιθυμέω epithumeō – Strong’s G1937 which means, ‘desire, covet, lust, seek that which is forbidden’ and is translated as ‘lusts’ in:
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do.”
How many of you have found yourself looking at or seeking things that you know you should not! This can cause sin, and bring a breach in the wall which can affect the entire assembly!!!
No matter how pretty the worldly ways of worship may appear – be on guard against being drawn into desiring what is not fitting for the House of Elohim! Do not get captivated by what the ‘evil woman’ (whore) does.
Titos/Titus 2:11-12 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age”
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.”
One of the greatest challenges we face in this world today is our continued ability to make sure that we make no provision for the lusts of the flesh, and what many believers often neglect to do is take an account and assess their daily walk, perhaps due to the fast-paced lifestyles of today that keep many so consumed in what can be classified as “a survival mode”.
When simply trying to survive each day and somehow face the demanding challenges to make ends meet, the danger of becoming distracted and consumed by the daily battles of life, is that one’s walk of set-apartness may often be in danger of being neglected.
As the proper standards for set-apartness are put aside, compromise becomes something that is easily accommodated into one’s walk, so much so that it is not even recognised as compromise any more due to the mirror of the Word not being properly utilised in assessing how one looks and walks.
So many people today will cave in to temptation when their comfort zones of assumed security are threatened, and as a result they will tend to give in to the pressures of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth that choke out the Word.
Yosĕph knew that no matter what he faced, he would be able to flee from all forms of lawlessness, sin and idolatry for he knew that יהוה was with him, and as long as he stood up for righteousness יהוה would fight for him, and if יהוה is for us who can be against us?
He knew that יהוה would always give him a way of escape, even under the most intense battles of temptation to sin. He was not the first man to be tempted with sexual sin, and he would not be the last, yet he trusted in יהוה:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:13-14 “No trial has overtaken you except such as is common to man, and Elohim is trustworthy, who shall not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able, but with the trial shall also make the way of escape, enabling you to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.”
Yosĕph took ‘fleeing fornication and idolatry’ literally, as he left in a hurry, leaving his outer garment/coat behind.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘garment’ is בֶּגֶד beggeḏ – Strong’s H899 which means, ‘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. It is also used as a reference to the cloth used to cover the Tabernacle furniture (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4:12-13).
This word comes from the root בָּגַד bagaḏ – Strong’s H898 which means, ‘to act or deal treacherously with, acted deceitfully, faithless, transgression’.
Yosĕph fled and realised that his garment was not worth holding onto – and in a metaphoric sense he put of all defilement of the flesh and fled idolatry as he embraced the true garments of righteousness.
Verse 13-19 – false accusations
His master’s wife was upset when she did not get what she wanted and had tried so hard to get, and now with Yosĕph having left his garment behind, she sought an opportunity to falsely accuse him of trying to seduce her.
The enemy will always try to accuse us by twisting events around in order to try to make us look like we are the bad one. She called some of the other men of the house and told them that Yosĕph tried to lie with her, and even uses the hatred toward his birthright as she said that ‘a Hebrew’ had come in to her house to mock them!
She said that she called for help which caused him to run away, leaving his clothes behind.
The Hebrews were an abomination to the Mitsrians and so she was using his identity as an accusation against him; and we certainly see how the enemy will always use our identity in Messiah, as Hebrews (ones who have crossed over), against us.
The word ‘Hebrew’, in Hebrew, is the word – עִבְרִי Iḇri – Strong’s H5680 which in English is ‘Hebrew’ and means, ‘the one from beyond, the one who crossed over’ and comes from the root verb עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 which means, ‘to pass over, pass through, cross over’.
Aḇram was the first person to be called a Hebrew (Berěshith/Genesis 14:13) and we recognise this by his ‘crossing over’ the Euphrates River, when leaving his father’s house and going into the Promised Land at the call and instruction of Elohim!
We too, who have ‘crossed over’, so to speak, have become ‘Hebrews’, as we have responded to the clear call of Elohim who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light; and by the Blood of Messiah we are grafted in to the Covenants of Promise with Yisra’ĕl, and therefore being ‘Yisra’ĕl’ by definition, we are in fact also called ‘Hebrews’, as our father Aḇraham was, and are a people now belonging to Messiah!
The Hebrew root word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674, in the ancient pictographic script, is written as follows:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’, and can also render the concept of knowledge revealed!
Beyt – בַ:
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.
Resh – ר:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.
From this pictographic rendering of one who passes/crosses over, we take note that the meaning given here can be understood as:
LOOKING TO THE HOUSE’S HEAD
THE EYES OF THE HOUSE ARE ON THE HEAD
Messiah, is the Head of the Body, that is us, the assembly; which are being up in Him, as living stones that keep their eyes on the Head of the House!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
The pictographic of the word עִבְרִי Iḇri – Hebrew looks like this:
The extra letter that is used at the end of this word is the letter:
Yod – י:
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!
As true Hebrew’s we have our eyes fixed on the Head of the House, because of His work of redemption, as we look to the revealed arm of Elohim!
To whom has the arm of יהוה been revealed?
To those who have turned to the Master the veil has been removed and are therefore able to properly see the deliverance that our Head has secured for us, giving us the strength to look to Him and ‘cross over’, so to speak!
So, what we declare to the world, through our walking in the righteousness of Messiah, by walking according to His Torah, is that we are ‘Hebrews’ – that is – ones who have crossed over so to speak, as יהוה the Elohim of the Hebrews has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
Yosĕph refused to submit to the works of darkness and fled, while his master’s wife now would cause his identity to be the basis for bringing against him a false charge, knowing that her husband would believe her over a Hebrew!
Potiphar was angered at the hearing of the accusations his wife brought against Yosĕph – perhaps he was more angry with his wife, who he may have known to be a loose woman who was used to getting what she wanted, yet being the captain of the guard he had to do something and was possibly grieved that he would have to imprison Yosĕph, as this matter had been made public and he was now unable to resolve this quietly in his own household.
She had spread an evil report which everyone had believed and Potiphar may have now felt bound by the circumstantial evidence, and without even given Yosĕph an opportunity to speak and defend himself, put him in prison.
Verse 20 – suffering for doing good
Yosĕph was put in prison and suffered the punishment for something he did not do, in fact he suffered for doing what was right in the eyes of יהוה, and we are reminded of the words in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:20 “For what credit is there in enduring a beating when you sin? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure, this finds favour with Elohim.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:17 “For it is better, if it is the desire of Elohim, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because theirs is the reign of the heavens. 11 “Blessed are you when they reproach and persecute you, and falsely say every wicked word against you, for My sake. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, because your reward in the heavens is great. For in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Verse 21-23 – Yosĕph prospers
Even after being thrown into prison, Yosĕph found favour in the eyes of the prison warden as יהוה extended His loving commitment to him!
In verse 21 we see two very key words that show us the great loving commitment and favour יהוה gives to His lovingly committed ones.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘loving-commitment’ is חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 and means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’, and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘favour’ is חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 meaning, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ and comes from the primitive root חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’.
In order for us to better understand these two crucial Hebrew words – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ and חֵן ḥen, let me explain the concept of ‘grace’ or ‘favour’ as a basis of ‘loving-commitment’.
The Greek word that is often rendered in English in most translations of the Renewed Writings as ‘grace’ is χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 meaning, ‘grace, kindness, blessing, gift, favour’; and this word is often understood in the Hebrew as the word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ which appears 248 times in the Tanak (OT) – almost 2 times more than the Greek word translated as ‘grace’ in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.)!!!
This is very important for us to recognize, as we see how this concept/belief that ‘grace’ is something new is not true! In the Tanak the Hebrew words חֵן ḥen and חָנַן ḥanan are also often understood and translated into English as ‘grace/favour’, and these two words (ḥen and ḥanan) are collectively used 147 times in the Tanak (O.T.).
In Hebrew, the concept of חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ goes hand in hand in understanding our loving relationship with יהוה. חֵן ḥen can best be described as ‘a gracious and favourable action passing from a superior to an inferior’ and is an action that cannot be forced upon or demanded!
This, in many ways, carries the same concept of the ‘Christian’ idea or concept of ‘grace’, as understood through the Greek word χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 meaning, ‘grace, kindness, blessing, favour’. חֵן ḥen is poured out as a gift to a people who have no ‘claim’ to it as it is given freely and so we see that this certainly is not a ‘new’ concept as it is a continuous theme right through the Scriptures as seen in the Loving Kindness extended by יהוה to Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted people!
What we must understand though is that both חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ are uniquely related in terms of understanding the fullness of our relationship with our Creator.
What we find in Scripture is that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship, and it is used in regards to a bond or relationship that produces in the bond itself a requirement or an obligation for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ and can expect from each other and even demand in a sense reciprocal responsibilities, and so חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is not a free gift, but is rather the devotion and faithfulness shown as a result of a covenanted relationship!
What we need to recognize is that חֵן ḥen is offered on the basis of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ as a result of a Covenant. Yisra’ĕl and יהוה are obligated to each other, in marriage, as a result of the Covenants made by יהוה with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ!
While חֵן ḥen may certainly be, and actually is, the primary reason behind the establishment of the Covenants of Promise, what we must realise is that the moment the Covenants were made, obligation became attached to it by both parties.
And while Yisra’ĕl constantly broke their obligation to the Covenants we see how lovingly committed יהוה is by extending His favour to us, an undeserving people and by His חֵן ḥen (being gracious toward us and adorning us with favour in His eyes) He has extended to us His Kindness – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – His loving-commitment to the Covenants which He remains faithful to in being obligated and fully committed to; and thus because of His חֵן ḥen which is freely given to us, we too are now by our acceptance of His free gift also required to express true commitment in understanding our obligation to guarding the Covenant!
Yosĕph, being in a relationship with יהוה, through the Covenants of Promise is extended חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ from יהוה, and as a result יהוה also gave him חֵן ḥen with the prison warden!
Once again we see how Yosĕph prospers in all that he does and as before he is promoted into a position of authority and responsibility – all because of the ‘grace/favour’ – חֵן ḥen of יהוה that was shown by יהוה’s loving commitment – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ for His Covenanted people!!!
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 meaning, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!
Nun – ן:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth to be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
By the clear loving-commitment of our Master, Saviour and Elohim we have been saved by His favour (grace) and when looking at this word in the pictographic symbols we are able to see that we are:
SEPARATED, BUILT UP AND ESTABLISHED BY THE SEED – WHICH IS MESSIAH!
The covenants of promise that we were once far off from us, as we were without Messiah and excluded from citizenship in Yisra’ĕl, have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ěl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
Realising how we have been separated by The Seed, through the favour He has shown us, we also need to realise that, as living stones being built up in Messiah, that we are to make sure that we do not let loving-commitment and truth forsake us!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”
In the ancient pictographic form, the Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ – Strong’s H2617 looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.
Dalet – דֶּ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When understanding חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ in these ancient pictographic letters we are able to clearly see that the boundaries for the way in which we are to live have been established and the entrance to walking in חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ (loving-commitment) is by our coming to the Door – that is our Master and Saviour – יהושע Messiah!
WE AS LIVING STONES ARE TO GRAB HOLD OF AND CLING TO THE DOOR!
CHAPTER 40 – The cupbearer and the baker
This chapter deals with Yosĕph interpreting the dreams of two fellow prisoners – two prisoners who were previously in Pharaoh’s service – the cupbearer and the baker.
The Hebrew word מַשְׁקֶה mashqeh – Strong’s H4945 is the word translated as ‘cupbearer’, and also means, ‘butler’ and comes from the root word שָׁקָה shaqah – Strong’s H8248 which means, ‘cause to drink water, give to drink, irrigate’.
The Hebrew word אָפָה aphah – Strong’s H644 is the word used for ‘baker’.
The cupbearer was the one who held the responsibility of making sure that the king’s food and drink was not poisoned; and here, in verse 1, we are told that both the cupbearer and the baker sinned against Pharaoh.
They may have both conspired to kill their master and had failed – possibly because someone else had died instead and they had been exposed!
While we must recognise that this may not be the case, as all we are told is that they sinned against their master; and it may have simply been that they lacked punctuality or the ability to keep up the required standards in the courts of Pharaoh.
For whatever reason, they had sinned in Pharaoh’s eyes and as a result of sinning against Pharaoh they were put into prison where Yosĕph was serving his sentence out.
Yosĕph was put in charge of the two new prisoners and in verse 4 we are told that he served them!
This is another picture of the great service of humility that Yosĕph continually displayed – he was put in charge of them, yet he served them!
Typically, in the world today, we see how many who are placed in leadership positions demand to be served and refuse to serve those who are placed under their leadership.
Yosĕph displays principles that ran contrary to worldly standards, as he was an ambassador of a higher standard – that of the reign of the heavens; and Messiah told His taught ones who questioned each other’s position in the kingdom:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Luqas/Luke 22:26 “But not so with you, but let him who is greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘served’, to describe Yosĕph’s actions toward these two men, is the root word שָׁרַת sharath – Strong’s H8334 which means, ‘to minister, serve, attend’, and is the same word used in Shemoth/Exodus 28:35 when speaking about the garments and the pomegranates and bells that would be upon the hem of the robe, all around, that Aharon, the High Priest should ‘attend’ in when going in or coming out of the Most Set-Apart Place.
יהושע said Himself that He came to serve and not to be served and so should it be with us as we are clothed in His priestly garments of His Word!
Marqos/mark 10:42-45 “And יהושע, calling them near, said to them, “You know that those who think to rule the gentiles are masters over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 “But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 “And whoever wishes to be first among you, shall be servant of all. 45 “For even the Son of Aḏam did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
We are to be in service unto יהוה, and burn incense which speaks of us being a sweet fragrance:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:1-2 “Become, then, imitators of Elohim as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”
What we can see here, in the account of Pharaoh being wroth at his servants who had sinned, is that in verse 1 we see that the cupbearer and the baker had sinned and in verse 2 we see that Pharaoh was wroth with his chief cupbearer and chief baker.
This may well suggest that the ones who had sinned were under the service of the chiefs of the service, and so the supervisors were the ones who were held responsible for the actions of their subordinates.
The duty of the chiefs was to make sure that the service was carried out correctly and they would pay the price if it was not! They were sent to the house of the captain of the guard – that is Potiphar’s house and put in the prison there, and Potiphar who had known the loyalty and service of Yosĕph, assigns them to Yosĕph.
After some time of being in prison both the cupbearer and the baker had dreamt a dream on the same night – both had different dreams and both required a different interpretation, which they were unable to get and so they were sad.
Yosĕph saw their sadness and asked why they were so downcast, and he was told by them that they had both dreamt dreams that they could not understand, and were sad because they both knew that their dreams were no ordinary dreams but that they meant something significant.
Yosĕph makes it known that all interpretations belong to Elohim and therefore he asked them to tell him their dreams, which they did. The Mitsrians had many customs and symbolic ways of interpretation, and these two were sad because they did not have access to the many worldly interpreters.
The Mitsrians were very superstitious and they believed that if a certain symbol or events were dreamt about then there would be predictable outcomes. They worshipped cats, for example, and if anyone had a dream about a cat it was seen as though they were about to be very fruitful in their harvest and family.
Yosĕph makes it clear that he is not a sorcerer or one who can predict events, but rather acknowledges that all interpretation belongs to Elohim alone, and he believed that Elohim could give him the correct interpretation as he was a faithful servant who by the favour of Elohim was able to discern as a result of knowing Elohim and His Truth!
Today there are many people who claim that they are prophets and dreamers of dreams who have a ‘word from Elohim’ while they do not walk according to the Torah – these are false prophets and false interpreters that we must be careful to not give our ear to listening to their false advice, no matter how nice their words may sound.
Yosĕph was called a dreamer or dreams by his brothers, as they mocked him, yet now יהוה would use his servant to proclaim the Truth.
The cupbearers dream was about a vine that budded 3 branches and blossomed with ripe grapes; and while he had Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, he pressed the new grapes into the cup and gave it to Pharaoh.
Yosĕph told him that within 3 days he would be restored to his position, and asked that when this happens that he remembers Yosĕph who had been falsely imprisoned.
The baker then related his dream to Yosĕph because he saw that the cupbearer was given a good interpretation, and he saw 3 baskets of baked goods on his head that the birds ate while on his head.
Yosĕph told him that within 3 days he would be delivered up on the birthday feast of Pharaoh and he would be hanged on a tree and the birds would eat his flesh! Not such a pleasant interpretation – and one he would not like to have heard, yet what we recognize here is that this was the correct interpretation and we see how the Word of Elohim speaks clarity and truth – and for many it may not always be what they want to hear – yet is a clear opportunity to hear the Truth and repent from all wickedness. So many today only want their ears tickled with fabricated words that only receive the ‘blessing’ of the Word while ignoring the clear warnings for disobedience!
As we look at both of these interpretations we are able to see a shadow picture of the Blood and Body of Messiah, who would be delivered up and hung on a tree and after 3 days be restored to his rightful position and exalted above all, as seen through the life of Yosĕph who was imprisoned unfairly, yet by his life, we are able to see shadow pictures of our Redeemer who suffered for our sins and who went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:18-22 “Because even Messiah once suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to Elohim, having been put to death indeed in flesh but made alive in the Spirit, 19 in which also He went and proclaimed unto the spirits in prison, 20 who were disobedient at one time when the patience of Elohim waited in the days of Noaḥ, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight beings, were saved through water, 21 which figure now also saves us: immersion – not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward Elohim – through the resurrection of יהושע Messiah, 22 who, having gone into heaven, is at the right hand of Elohim, messengers and authorities and powers having been subjected to Him.”
Verse 20 – birthdays in Scripture!
On his birthday, Pharaoh brought up both his chief cupbearer and chief baker, and he restored the cupbearer to his position while he hung the chief baker as Yosĕph had interpreted for them.
Each time that we see birthdays being mentioned in Scripture, we are given accounts that show these celebrations related to pagan rulers and or pagan rooted worship celebrations, and in each account that records the celebration of a birthday party wicked things happen and death is usually the byproduct of such celebrations. It is clear from the accounts given to us in Scripture that the celebration of birthdays is not held as a priority to the set-apart ones of Elohim, and therefore teaches us, based on the negative accounts given, that we should not engage in typically birthday celebrations.
For more on this topic please see an article called ‘BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS – SHOULD WE BE OBSERVING THEM?’ on our website under the ‘Articles’ tab/menu. (https://atfotc.com) or click on the following link:
After the cupbearer had been restored he forgot about Yosĕph and this is a lesson for us to make sure that we do not neglect to do that which we have promised to:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23:31 “When you make a vow to יהוה your Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for יהוה your Elohim is certainly requiring it of you, and it shall be sin in you.”
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 5:4 “When you make a vow to Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for He takes no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you have vowed.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘forgot’ comes from the root word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – Strong’s H7911 and means, ‘forget, cease to care, ignore’
We are clearly reminded in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:11-14 “Be on guard, lest you forget יהוה your Elohim by not guarding His commands, and His right-rulings, and His laws which I command you today, 12 lest you eat and shall be satisfied, and build lovely houses and shall dwell in them, 13 and your herds and your flocks increase, and your silver and your gold are increased, and all that you have is increased, 14 that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage”
The sad reality is that so often when things seem to be going well with people, they ‘forget to not forget’, so to speak – which we are constantly to be on guard against!
We see in Hoshěa a clear use of this word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – meaning, ‘to forget’, being used as an antonym for יָדַע yaḏa – meaning, ‘to know’, in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 13:4-6 “But I am יהוה your Elohim since the land of Mitsrayim, and an Elohim besides Me you shall not know, for there is no Saviour besides Me. 5 “I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. 6 “When they were fed they were satisfied. They were satisfied and their heart was exalted, therefore they forgot Me.”
To ‘forget’ יהוה and His Torah is simply another way of saying that one does not know Him! To forget יהוה is to reject walking in His Torah – and for this people will die!
With the baker being killed, we are also able to see a picture of those who have twisted the Truth and made people eat mixed doctrines and served the delicacies of the whore, and the fate that awaits them who have not accepted the true Bread of Life – יהושע Messiah – as their fate is that they shall be delivered up and become a feast for the birds:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:23-28 “If anyone then says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe. 24 “For false messiahs and false prophets shall arise, and they shall show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 “See, I have forewarned you. 26 “So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe. 27 “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines to the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of Aḏam be. 28 “For wherever the dead body is, there the eagles shall be gathered together.”
As we consider the life of Yosĕph and the rejection he faced and the false accusations that he endured, we ought to be encouraged to remain steadfast in our guarding to do all that Elohim has commanded us; and regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, let us continue to serve as faithful servants of the Most-High, and forsake all falsehood and lies!