We now begin the last Torah portion from the Book of Berěshith/Genesis which is called – wayḥi – וַיְחִי which means, And He lived!
As we look at the ‘closing years’ of the life of Ya’aqoḇ, we are given great insight into what would lie ahead for his sons. And this portion starts off with telling us that Ya’aqoḇ lived 17 years in the land of Mitsrayim, after having come to Mitsrayim during a severe famine, at the age of 130 years old.
The root word, from which we get the term ‘lived’, is חֲיָא ḥaya – Strong’s H2418 which means, ‘to live, kept alive, keep alive’ and corresponds to the verb חָיָה ḥayah – Strong’s H2421 which means, ‘to live, came to life, restored to life, revived’, and so, we are able to see that Ya’aqoḇ’s life was certainly revived by the knowledge of Yosĕph being alive and here we are able to see how this account of telling us that ‘he lived’ for another 17 years, carries the clear idea that he not only remained alive, but that he prospered and thrived in his last years!
Yosĕph was 17 years old when he was sold into slavery and so here, we see that Ya’aqoḇ is given another 17 years with his son, the same length of time he had with him before he was taken for being dead!
What is interesting to see, and worthy of making mention of, is that the numerical value for the Hebrew word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 is ‘17’.
Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value and this word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 that means, ‘‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’, has the numerical value of 17 made up as follows:
The letter ‘tet’ – ט: has the value of 9 (9th letter of the alphabet); the letter ‘waw’ – וֹ: has the value of 6 (6th letter of the alphabet); and the letter ‘beyt’ – ב: has the value of 2 (2nd letter of the alphabet): 9+6+2 = 17!!!
In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ we can see that it may best be translated in most cases as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He had made, that He said it was very good. What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’.
In a manner of speaking we are able to see that the last first and last periods of 17 years that Ya’aqoḇ had with his son Yosĕph were ‘functional’ years, and here in these last 17 years Ya’aqoḇ’s life was revived as he lived out his last years in a ‘good´ and ‘functional’ way!
In the ancient pictographic script טוֹבtoḇ – Strong’s H2896 – is pictured as:
Tet – ט:
The original pictograph for this letter is , a container made of wicker or clay. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meanings of this letter are basket, contain, store and clay.
Waw – וֹ:
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’.
Beyt – ב:
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.
טוֹב toḇ – – we see that we as clay vessels are made secure through the Blood of Messiah that holds for us a secure covenant promise of being made complete in Him and becoming the Dwelling Place of the Most High – where He that is Good – The Potter – may dwell with those He created and called by name!
As we look at these letters we find a great revelation in terms of the Good News (Besorah) or rather ‘טוֹב toḇ News’!
The way that we, as ‘clay vessels’, are secured into the House of Elohim, is by being secured by the peg!
Ya’aqoḇ lived his last 17 years with the full assurance of Yosĕph being alive and appointed as governor over Yisra’ĕl!
The time for Yisra’ĕl drew near to die!
Here in this account we see how it is written that Yisra’ĕl, and not Ya’aqoḇ, was about to die.
‘Yisra’ĕl’ – יִשְׂרָאֵל – Strong’s H3478 means, ‘he who prevails, overcomes with El’ and comes from the primitive root words, אֵל el – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’ and the root word verb שָׂרָה sarah – Strong’s H8280 which means, ‘to persist, exert oneself, persevere, wrestle, contend’, and is spelt the same way as the wife of Aḇraham!
יַעֲקֹב Ya’aqoḇ – Strong’s H3290 means, ‘grabs the heel’, and this comes from the word עָקֵב aqeḇ – Strong’s H6119 which means, ‘heel, footprint, hind part’.
The ‘heel’ is the last part of the body to come out of the womb and so this word also speaks of the hind or latter part; and with Ya’aqoḇ ‘catching the ‘heel’ of Ěsaw we see how, even at birth, he sought the ‘blessing’ of the first born!
As we look at his life, we can also learn a great deal regarding the blessings of יהוה that ‘followed hard after his heel’ when he walked in obedience to the instructions of Elohim!
Ya’aqoḇ had certainly now received the blessing and he is Yisra’ĕl – the one who prevails and overcomes with El, and all his perseverance had now fully paid off, in a manner of speaking, and he could now die, knowing his sure inheritance in the kingdom to come is secured!
He asks his son to not bury him in Mitsrayim, as he knew that he would not see the Promised Land in this life but asks for his bones to be taken and buried with his fathers.
If I have found favour in your eyes –
This expression is typically used in Scripture, when a person is speaking to his superior, for example, we see this same expression being used in the following passages:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:3 “and said, “יהוה, if I have now found favour in Your eyes, please do not pass Your servant by.”
Aḇraham spoke these words to יהוה when יהוה appeared to him by the Terebinth trees of Mamrĕ
Berěshith/Genesis 30:27 “And Laḇan said to him, “If I have found favour in your eyes, please stay, for I have diligently watched that יהוה has blessed me for your sake.”
Here Laḇan was speaking with Ya’aqoḇ after Ya’aqoḇ had asked that he be able to leave with his two wives and children.
Berěshith/Genesis 33:10 “And Ya’aqoḇ said, “No, please, if I have now found favour in your eyes, then receive my present from my hand, because I have seen your face like seeing the face of Elohim, and you were pleased with me.”
These were the words that Ya’aqoḇ spoke to Ěsaw, after he had left Laḇan and was met by his brother.
Berěshith/Genesis 47:29 “And the time for Yisra’ĕl to die drew near, and he called his son Yosĕph and said to him, “Now if I have found favour in your eyes, please put your hand under my thigh, and show kindness and truth to me. Please do not bury me in Mitsrayim”
Berěshith/Genesis 50:4 “And when the days of weeping for him were past, Yosĕph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If, now, I have found favour in your eyes, please speak in the hearing of Pharaoh, saying”
Yosĕph sought the favour of Pharaoh to go and bury his father Ya’aqoḇ in Kenaʽan.
Shemoth/Exodus 33:13 “And now, please, if I have found favour in Your eyes, please show me Your way, and let me know You, so that I find favour in Your eyes. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
Here Mosheh was asking יהוה to give him the assurance that His presence would go with them, for if יהוה did not go with them how would they be distinguished as a set-apart people who have found favour in the eyes of Elohim.
Shemoth/Exodus 34:9 “and said, “If, now, I have found favour in Your eyes, O יהוה, I pray, let יהוה go on in our midst, even though we are a stiff-necked people. And forgive our crookedness and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
After breaking the first two tablets of stone that יהוה had written the 10 Words on, because of the abominable worship that he had seen Yisra’ĕl engaged in, Mosheh intercedes for Yisra’ĕl and pleads יהוה to forgive the crookedness and sin of a stiff-necked people!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 11:15 “And if You are doing this to me, please slay me altogether, if I have found favour in Your eyes, and let me not see my evil!”
In a desperate plea, Mosheh asks that his life be taken as he could not near the burden of this rebellious nation, and it was here that יהוה instructed Mosheh to take 70 elders upon which יהוה would take of the Spirit that was on Mosheh and put it on them.
Shophetim/Judges 6:17 “And he said to Him, “Please, if I have found favour in Your eyes, then show me a sign that it is You who are speaking with me.”
After being called to a huge task, Giḏ’on sought the favour of Elohim and asked for a sign that it was יהוה who was speaking to him.
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 20:29 “And he said, ‘Please let me go, for our clan has a slaughtering in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favour in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the sovereign’s table.”
These were the words that Yehonathan relayed to his father, king Sha’ul, when Dawiḏ did not come to the New Moon feast at the kings table.
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 27:5 “And Dawiḏ said to Aḵish, “If I have now found favour in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, to dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?”
These were the words Dawiḏ used before Aḵish, sovereign of Gath, and Aḵish gave him Tsiqlag, which became a place that belonged to the sovereigns of Yehuḏah.
Estěr/Esther 7:3 “And Sovereigness Estěr answered and said, “If I have found favour in your eyes, O sovereign, and if it pleases the sovereign, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.”
This is when Estěr went before the sovereign to plead for the Yehuḏim, who had been appointed to a day of destruction under the hand of the wicked Haman.
What I find interesting, when looking at all these examples, where we see this phrase, ‘Now If I have found favour in your eyes’ or ‘If I have now found favour in your eyes’, that it is always from the inferior to a superior, and this phrase/idiom is collectively used 12 times in the Tanak, as listed above.
The phrase is typically written in the Hebrew as –
אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ – ‘im-na matsa’ati ḥen b’eyneyecha’ – ‘now If I have found favour in your eyes’
אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֵיכֶם – ‘im-na matsa’ati ḥen b’eyneyechem’
אִם־מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ – ‘im matsa’ati ḥen b’eyneyecha’
The key word that is used here, is the word ‘favour’, which is the Hebrew word 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’.
These two words, חֵן ḥen and חָנַן ḥanan, are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.).
The word ‘grace’, meaning unmerited favour, is often understood, in the Hebrew, as חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 and means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, loving-commitment, faithfulness’ and appears 248 times in the Tanak (OT) – 5 times more than the Greek word translated as ‘grace’ in the Renewed Covenant (N.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 in the Loving Kindness extended by יהוה to Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted people!
חֵן ḥen is ‘grace poured out’ and not חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ. Most of Scripture speaks clearly of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ as a result of חֵן ḥen; and even in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) we see a constant and continual thread of the understanding of the mutual obligations and requirements that are entailed in a ‘bonded’ relationship with יהוה by the Blood of יהושע Messiah.
חֵן ḥen (favour) is not something that we can demand or expect to have given to us, yet we realise that favour sought for is based on a prior bond between two parties, as all of the examples that I have quoted reflect; and here with Ya’aqoḇ asking Yosĕph to not let him be buried in Mitsrayim, if he had found favour in his eyes, was no different.
There was a prior bond – blood relationship, and so we too recognize that we are able to come boldly to the throne of favour/grace, by the blood of Messiah, and by His Blood alone – and seek the favour of Elohim, which we do so based on the Covenants of promise that we now have been grafted in to and are expected to walk in and faithfully obey the conditions/instructions contained therein!
Assuming to have access to grace/favour of Elohim without any requirements to walk in His Torah is not Scriptural, for favour/grace is sought for and extended to those who are known by the one giving the favour/grace; and as Yoḥanan tells us in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.”
What we are able to clearly recognise that those who ‘claim’ to be under grace and have no need to walk in the Torah, are in serious error, as they have no concept of the pattern we see in Scripture of the ‘inferior’ asking if they have found favour in the eyes of their ‘superior’ that their request be granted.
We make our requests with thanksgiving, not because we assume a right to the promises, but recognise that by the Blood of Messiah that has given us access to the Covenants of Promise we are able to approach our Superior, יהוה Elohim of Hosts, and seek His Favour based on His חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – loving commitment to the Covenants!
For more on חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – please see the sermon notes on a message called, ‘FORSAKE NOT LOVING-COMMITMENT’ on our site under the ‘sermons 2013/2014’ menu or by simply clicking on the following link:
Ya’aqoḇ made his request to Yosĕph, based on the favour he might find in his son, due to their bonded covenant relationship, and pictures for us our ability and joyful privilege we have in making our requests with thanksgiving to our Master, יהושע Messiah.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a High Priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who was tried in all respects as we are, apart from sin. 16 Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of favour, in order to receive compassion, and find favour for timely help.”
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!
Put your hand under my thigh:
שִׂים־נָא יָדְךָ תַּחַת יְרֵכִי – ‘siym-na yaḏḵha taḥat y’reyḵi – ‘please put your hand under my thigh’
We are able to see this phrase in another verse in Scripture:
Berěshith/Genesis 24:2 “And Aḇraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh”
Here Aḇraham was instructing his servant to make sure that he would not get a wife for Yitsḥaq from the daughters of the Kenaʽanites, but rather from his own relatives.
His servant was to put his hand under Aḇraham’s ‘thigh’ which is the word יָרֵךְ yareḵ – Strong’s H3409 which means, ‘thigh, side, loin, base, hips’.
In the swearing of an oath it was common to place one’s hand on an object as a sign of one’s commitment to doing what has been sworn to and by Aḇraham’s servant putting his hand under his thigh in swearing an oath to Aḇraham, we recognise that this oath was related to the continuance of the promised line of Aḇraham, with the hand under the thigh being a symbol of the procreative organs of Aḇraham, and symbolically spoke of the commitment to ensuring the line of the descendants from his loins would be kept secure and in the Covenant.
Both Aḇraham and Ya’aqoḇ were nearing death when they made this request of commitment.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘under’ is תַּחַת taḥath – Strong’s H8478 which means, ‘under, beneath, under subjection, from under the hand’.
This is very interesting language we see being used here, in helping us understand our need to DO the clear commands of our Elohim!
The LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of Tanak) in this verse, uses the Greek word that is translated as ‘under’ as ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means, ‘under, in subjection to’, and is used in the common phrase, ‘under the law’, or ‘under grace’, and further means, ‘to be controlled by or in subjection to’.
Therefore, to be ‘under law’ would mean ‘controlled by or in subjection to law/instruction’.
This is very clear – we are in subjection to the instructions/Torah/Law of our Creator, King, Redeemer, Saviour and Husband!!!
The Hebrew word for ‘hand’ is יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenons, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform the functions of a man’s will.”
We are able to therefore understand in the Hebraic mind-set that one’s hand symbolises what one does or one’s ‘works’.
Symbolically then, what was Aḇraham asking his servant to do, and what was Ya’aqoḇ asking Yosĕph to do, by ‘putting their hand under the thigh’?
In a nutshell, a commitment to making sure that the works of the children of promise/children of the Covenant would always be in subjection to the One/ The Seed that would come forth from this genealogical line!
Here we see the oath being made, in essence, to the pure commitment to walking in subjection to Messiah who would establish and secure the Covenants of Promise!
We too recognise that we ‘put our hand in/under subjection’ to Messiah, as we faithfully walk in His commands; and be careful to not turn away from walking in His Torah and be rendered unfit to enter the Kingdom!
Luqas/Luke 9:62 “But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.”
This speaks of an acknowledgement and a total surrender of self in complete submission to guard to do the clear instructions of Elohim as we are guided by His Mighty Right Hand – יהושע, and so in everything we can give thanks as we ‘do’ it in Messiah:
Qolasim/Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
In all that we do – we do according to His Word and give Him thanks as we confess and surrender our own ways to submit to His!
Show loving-commitment and truth to me!
In verse 39 the phrase ‘and show loving-commitment and truth to me’ is written in the Hebrew as follows:
וְעָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת – veasitha immaḏiy ḥeseḏ ve’emeth
The two key Hebrew root words that I want to highlight here are the words that are translated as ‘loving-commitment’ and ‘truth’. We have already discussed the root word for ‘loving-commitment’ – which comes from the root word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 and means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, loving-commitment, faithfulness’.
The Hebrew root word for ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.”
‘Loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is not just a felling or an emotion, but it is a commitment to devotion, expressing יהוה’s loving-commitment and kindness toward others. The Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is ἔλεος eleos – Strong’s G1656, which means, ‘compassion, mercy, pity’, as we see Miryam relating the words from this Psalm in:
Luqas/Luke 1:50 “And His compassion is from generation to generation, to those who fear Him”
Our expression of the חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ of יהוה is seen in how we extend His character toward others as we remain loving-committed to guarding His Covenant and expressing the complete set-apartness we ought to, being set-apart as He is set-apart!
Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!
In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is
This root word – אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, in the ancient pictographic script, look like this:
Aleph – אֱ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Mem – מֶ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
As we consider these letters in describing Messiah as being the TRUTH we are able to clearly see that it is by His strength and might that He has passed through the waters in order to secure for us His Covenants of Promise! Messiah is the Aleph and the Taw – the first and the last, who came from above (passing through the waters of the heavens and the earth) in order to redeem us according to His Word!
He is the Truth and His Word does not return empty! His Word is Truth and His Word leads us in His Truth. His Word lights our WAY and as we walk in Him by walking in His Word we are assured that our feet are on His solid path!
What I find very powerful, in this pictographic, is the immense insights we can glean from these.
We know that the Aleph and the Taw are the first and the last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, and that the ‘mem’ is the 13th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. The term אֶחָד eḥaḏ – Strong’s H259 in Hebrew means ‘ONE’ and carries the numerical value of 13 – אֶ =1 (Aleph); חָ =8 (Het); ד =4 (Dalet), and so we who are immersed in the Master are grafted into His body, and we walk in His Word as we submit to His clear commands as given through His Written Word!
Another aspect of the Aleph and Taw, is seen in the Urim and Tummim:
אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’
תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’
While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so the Urim and Tummim speaks of our seeking the perfect truth from יהוה.
What is very interesting and worthy of noting is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of Tummim is the ת ‘taw’:
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.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”
What are the urim and tummim?
They are the things that illuminate and perfect.
We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect; and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)
Our Master and Elohim writes His Torah on our hearts, and so it is in our hearts and mouths that we may do it (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14)!
This pictographic lettering of the word for TRUTH clearly shows us our need to seek, study, meditate upon and walk in the Torah; and anyone who claims to know the Truth yet refuses to guard and keep the Torah and instructions of Elohim are liars and the Truth is not in them! How can people say that the Truth is in them when they say that the Truth is no longer applicable!!!
Swear to me (verse 31)!
הִשָּׁבְעָה לִי – ‘hishaḇah li’ – ‘swear to me’
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘swear’ is שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 meaning, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’.
An ‘oath’ is typically and obligation taken upon yourself rather than that which is imposed upon you. To “swear” in Scripture (which is also the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa) was to give one’s sure and promised unbreakable word in testimony, that the one swearing would faithfully perform some promised deed, or that he would faithfully refrain from some evil act.
In Hebrew, when one promises to complete something, it is considered ‘done’ and the word could be depended upon, that what was said would be accomplished.
This is vital for us to grasp, as we see in the world today how so many ‘break their word’ so easily and brush it off without any regard for the consequences of makes rash promises and vows.
What we are to recognize is that the one we make a promise to is, in a sense, ‘incomplete’ until we fulfill the vow – and so too are we, as we have ‘by our words’ bound ourselves to another and therefore are required to follow through or else we are rendered as not having completed our work and are ‘incomplete’.
When we ‘swear by His Name’ we are identifying ourselves with His character and His clear standards as prescribed in the Torah and therefore יהושע warns us that we are not to ‘swear FALSELY’!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:33 “Again, you heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to יהוה.’”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:12 “And do not swear falsely by My Name and so profane the Name of your Elohim. I am יהוה.”
To not swear falsely in יהוה‘s Name is a very serious instruction as many do this as they pass off their own agendas and ideas as that of יהוה.
It also speaks of not fulfilling something that we have declared to complete; and now we have all said we will follow His commands and obey them as we have dedicated our lives to following Messiah and therefore we must be careful not to be found faltering in our commitment, for this would be an example of ‘swearing falsely’ in His Name when we fail to do that which we have committed to doing and being marked and sealed as a set-apart nation unto Him!
Messiah reiterates this command by saying we should not swear falsely by anything, but rather let our yes be yes and our no be no as anything beyond this is form the evil one!!!
He was not saying that we cannot swear or make an oath – He was saying that we should not do it falsely!!!
Do not give your word and then break it!
If we are to be a light to the nations and ‘living letters’ of Messiah, then we had better be careful to ensure that we speak the Truth and follow through on our commitments, which ought to always be for His purposes!
Yisra’ĕl bowed himself.
The Hebrew word for ‘bowed’ is שָׁחָה ‘shaḥah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’.
This word is also translated as ‘worship’, on many occasions, and reflects the true nature of our life of worship, which is in total submission to our Master and King, as we humbly bow our lives before Him in reverence and respect, acknowledging His authority in every way, as we walk in total obedience to His Torah/Word.
Obeisance means ‘a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission as well as to acknowledge the superiority of another’.
After speaking to Yosĕph and getting Yosĕph to swear that he would do as he was asked, Yisra’ĕl bowed himself. In a manner of speaking this was yet another fulfilment of Yosĕph’s dreams that his father would bow before him; and this also shadow pictures for us the prophetic fulfilment of how all of Yisra’ĕl – 12 tribes will come and bow before our Head – יהושע Messiah!
This chapter deals with the account of Ya’aqoḇ meeting Yosĕph’s two sons that had been born to him in Mitsrayim and how Ya’aqoḇ had ‘adopted’ them as his own.
Ya’aqoḇ was getting weaker and Yosĕph was called to go and see his father, and so he took along Menashsheh and Ephrayim.
We are not told how often Yosĕph actually got to visit his father, who now lived in Goshen, as Yosĕph was a very busy man, in his role of governor; but now, at the news of his father being weak and possibly about to die, he takes his two sons to meet their grandfather, in order for them to be blessed.
Verse 3 – this is the first and only time we see being written that ‘Ya’aqoḇ’, and not ‘Yisra’ĕl’, spoke to Yosĕph, as all of the other recorded times it is ‘Yisra’ĕl’ that speaks to Yosĕph:
Berěshith/Genesis 37:13 “And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Sheḵem? Come, I send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.”
Berěshith/Genesis 46:30 “And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”
Berěshith/Genesis 48:3 “And Yaʽaqoḇ said to Yosĕph, “Ěl Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Kenaʽan and blessed me”
Berěshith/Genesis 48:11 “And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “I had not thought to see your face. But see, Elohim has also shown me your seed!”
Berěshith/Genesis 48:21 “And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “See, I am dying, but Elohim shall be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers.”
This account of it being Ya’aqoḇ and not Yisra’ĕl is interesting, as we may be able to recognise by the events that followed how Ya’aqoḇ would ‘swop’ the blessings of the two grandsons around, in what at first may have seemed wrong to Yosĕph, yet Ya’aqoḇ knew what he was doing.
Ya’aqoḇ relates to Yosĕph his story, possibly the story that Pharaoh had wanted to hear and never got to; and it was now time to relate the journey of his life to his son, whom he had lost and then had been found.
He would relate the history of a Covenant people in the hearing of the future generations, so that they would know their heritage and not forget.
After all both of Yosĕph’s sons had been born in Mitsrayim and having a Mitsrian mother, would have by all accounts been raised in a Mitsrian culture.
Yet they now had to hear their true heritage of who they were and where they came from.
The same is happening today, as we have recognised that while we had been born into a ‘worldly system’ and raised by fleshly corrupt practices that have been centred around lies and traditions of men, we have to hear the TRUE story and have the plain truth made known to us and our children, in order that we can fully walk in and receive the true inheritance of a set-apart called out nation.
Ya’aqoḇ shares the story about the time that Elohim met him at Luz.
The Hebrew word לוּז Luz – Strong’s H3870 means, ‘almond tree’, which was the early name for Běyth Ěl – בֵּֽיתְאֶל – Strong’s H1008 means, ‘house of Ĕl’, which Ya’aqoḇ named after he encountered his life changing appointment with יהוה, which you can read of in Berěshith/Genesis 28.
Ya’aqoḇ acknowledge Elohim as he was given bread to eat, and garments to put on at this place, and it is in many ways a great picture of the fruit of being a watchful people.
With Luz meaning almond tree, that became known as the House of Elohim, we can see the symbolic picture of the budding forth of Aharon’s rod and the symbolism in the Bread of Life (Word) and the garments of righteousness that we have been given through the Blood of Messiah, that we are able to be built up as the House of Elohim, becoming a watchful and alert people, that can be fruitful and multiply as we guard the Covenants of promise by walking in the commands of Elohim.
Ephrayim, the youngest of Yosĕph’s sons, is mentioned first – and rightfully so, as Ya’aqoḇ had been speaking of being fruitful.
The name of Ephrayim – אֶפְרַיִם – Strong’s H669 means, ‘doubly fruitful’, for Elohim had caused Yosĕph to be very fruitful in Mitsrayim!
The name of Ephrayim is often used to reference the remnant lost 10 tribes of Yisra’ĕl that are returning to the truth, and his name gives us great encouragement that shows us how we are able to bear much fruit under the severe pressures and trials of life.
Our afflictions make us stronger, if we let go of all bitterness, anger and hatred and run with perseverance the race set before us.
The name of Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה – Strong’s H4519 means, ‘causing to forget’, as Elohim had caused Yosĕph to forget all the toil and suffering he had endured, and his whole household!
This shows that he did actually remember his household, but now he was starting his own house and what he had been caused to forget was any bitterness he may have had toward his brothers, as he could not start his own family and household with a root of bitterness for he would have to rule his household well and teach his children the ways of Elohim so that they respect him and obey him – for then Yosĕph would truly be a qualified man to look after the assembly of Yisra’ĕl:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:5 “for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he look after the assembly of Elohim?”
These two sons, Ya’aqoḇ took as his own and said that they were to him like Re’uḇĕn and Shim’on, who were his first and second born. Even though these two sons of Yosĕph were born in Mitsrayim and had a Mitsrian mother, they were to Ya’aqoḇ as 1st and 2nd born!!!
This gives us the joy of recognising that while we were born under slavery to the world’s traditions and dogmas of man, we are elevated to true sonship, becoming sons of Elohim by the Blood of Messiah, and as we stay in Him, we shall bear much fruit and not look back!
We who believe become full blood sons of Yisra’ĕl!
This account of Menashsheh and Ephrayim being ‘grafted’ in to Ya’aqoḇ is a powerful picture of the Besorah (Good News) for us who were once far off:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
In a metaphoric sense, Re’uḇĕn and Shim’on were ‘cut off’ in order that Yosĕph’s two sons could be grafted in:
Romiyim/Romans 11:19 “You shall say then, “The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
We know that Re’uḇĕn had defiled his father’s bed and in a manner of speaking speaks of those who have ‘defiled’ the covenant and been cut off for not ‘hearing’ and doing what they should, has given the opportunity for the nations who were far off, to be grafted in, by belief – and belief comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Elohim – to do it!!!
Once the fullness of the nations has been grafted in, then the natural branches can be grafted back in – if they too believe, through hearing, guarding and doing what is commanded!
What we take note of today is how many Yehuḏim (Jews) are beginning to question the validity of their own Talmud and Mishnah (mad made laws) and recognising the lies that they too have inherited – lies that got them ‘cut off’ and exiled.
If this is happening today then we can be sure that we are approaching the end, which begs the question how much longer do the ‘nations’ have, and those who are not hearing the truth as they hold fast to lies – will they have an opportunity to be grafted in???
We do not know who will and who will not – what we do know is that the time is short and we would do well to heed the need to hear, guard and do the Torah and commands of Elohim, lest we find ourselves cast outside as useless degenerated vine branches that bore no fruit of righteousness!
In the parable of a man who planted a vineyard, spoken by Messiah, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 21:33-44, we see how the unwise farmers who killed all the servants of the owner as well as the son, would be called ‘evil ones’ and have the fate of promised destruction, and the reign given to another nation who would bear fruit (pictured here as Ephrayim).
In verse 6 Ya’aqoḇ tells Yosĕph that his two ‘firstborn’ would be seen as Ya’aqoḇ’s own children, while any other children that Yosĕph would have would be his own. We are not told if Yosĕph had other children, yet we do see how Ephrayim is later listed as one of the tribes alongside Yosĕph (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 11), when the names of the leaders of the tribes are given; and we see that from Yosĕph, Menashsheh’s name is mentioned and shows us how Ephrayim, while being the younger of the two sons, was elevated to firstborn status.
Ephrayim, in Scripture, is often likened to being a metaphoric symbol of the returning 10 tribes that had been scattered.
פַּדָּן Paddan – Strong’s H6307 means, ‘field’, and it was after leaving here that Raḥĕl died on the way to אֶפְרָת Ephrath – Strong’s H672 which means, ‘ash-heap’ or ‘place of fruitfulness’.
In a manner of speaking, Ya’aqoḇ was relating to his son, Yosĕph, his journey and in doing so, in recognising the fruitfulness of Yosĕph, he tells where Raḥĕl died while on the way to the place of fruitfulness.
While he may have felt that Raḥĕl never reached her full fruitfulness, it could now be seen in Yosĕph’s two sons, who would also help him to forget the ash-heap of the past troubles and celebrate the joy of the promised fruitfulness of the covenant.
When Ya’aqoḇ left Paddan, he came from the ‘field’ – He had ‘come out’ so to speak and it was after coming from this place that Elohim once again confirmed to Ya’aqoḇ his change of name, and so here it was confirmed to Ya’aqoḇ that his name would no longer be Ya’aqoḇ but Yisra’ĕl!
While this had been declared to him previously when he had wrestled with Elohim, we see here that he could rightfully be called Yisra’ĕl by the fact of his changed walk – he had surrendered his life, got rid of all idols and now was able to truly be recognised as the set-apart man that Elohim had called, as he had certainly grown into the person that his name now represented, and receiving the second witness to this here was further encouragement for him to continue on and trust in יהוה.
After coming from Paddan, יהוה had told him to bear fruit and multiply; yet on the way to the place of fruitfulness his beloved wife died; and now with the sons of Yosĕph, this commission of fruitfulness could now be seen and established in the heart of Ya’aqoḇ before his death, which would have comforted him greatly – for he, in a manner of speaking, had made Raḥĕl more fruitful, by adopting Yosĕph’s sons as his own.
The town אֶפְרָת Ephrath would later become known as בֵּית לֶחֶם Bĕyth leḥem – Strong’s H1035 which means, ‘house of bread’, from the two words: בַּיִת Bĕyth – Strong’s H1004 meaning, ‘house, armoury, building’ and לֶחֶם leḥem – Strong’s H3899, meaning ‘bread, meal, provision, food’.
The ultimate ‘fruitfulness’ of Ya’aqoḇ would later be born in the House of Bread – Dawiḏ, the beloved king, and of course the fulfilment of fruitfulness as prophetically revealed through the Torah and the Prophets – יהושע Messiah – The Bread of Life!
I find a very powerful lesson, and prophetic picture, in אֶפְרָת Ephrath that is בֵּית לֶחֶם Bĕyth leḥem, and this I can see, as we look at the ancient pictographic rendering of these words. Let us take a look at each of these names:
אֶפְרָת Ephrath in the ancient script would look like this:
– א– this is first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is called ‘aleph’ and in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the head of an ox and represents strength, meaning ‘muscle’ and the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’ as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
– פִּ–the letter ‘pey’ –which in the ancient script is pictured as – which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing!
– רֵ– 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.
– ת– this letter is called ‘taw (tav)’ and the ancient form of this letter is – meaning two crossed sticks. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of mark, sign or signature or identification, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.
The ancient script of this word can render for us a great meaning in the fruitful work of Messiah, through His life, death and resurrection, as we could render the following:
THE STRENGTH AND POWER OF THE PERFECT SACRIFICE, ACCORDING TO THE PURE SPOKEN WORD OF OUR HEAD, SECURES THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE, SO THAT WE WHO ARE GRAFTED IN BY HIS BLOOD MAY BEAR MUCH FRUIT!
Let us now look at בֵּית לֶחֶם Bĕyth Leḥem, which in the ancient script looks like this:
– בֵּ – This is the letter ‘beyt’, which in the ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
– י – This is the letter ‘yod’, which in the ancient script is pictured as – ‘arm and hand’, and the meaning of this letter is to work, make, throw – the functions of the hand and arm and well as the gestures of the hand – ‘thanksgiving’, and also pictures for us the ‘outstretched Arm and hand of Elohim’.
– ת – this letter is called ‘taw (tav)’ and the ancient form of this letter is – meaning two crossed sticks. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of mark, sign or signature or identification, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.
לֶ – This is the letter ‘lamed’, which in the early script is pictured as , which is a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
– חֶ –This is the letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as , which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’ as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security.
– ם – This is the letter ‘mem’, which in the early script is pictured as – ‘water’, also carries the meaning of chaos (from the storms of the sea) and can picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.
As we consider the pictures of ‘The “Fruitful” House of Bread’ – Ephrath that is Bĕyth Leḥem – we can recognise the power and wonder of the Word of Elohim that builds His House into One, as the Two Houses (Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah) are brought back together and have the sure promise of protection and stability from the chaos and destruction of sin, for He sustains us with his Living Bread and know that His House of Bread (that is us who are built up in Messiah through His Word) is a place of safety!
HIS ‘FLOOR PLAN’ FOR HIS CREATION, IS SEALED BY HIS COVENANTS OF PROMISE BY THE WORK AND AUTHORITY OF HIS MIGHTY OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND, WHICH SHEPHERD’S US, AS WE ARE BUILT UP IN HIM, HAVING BEEN SECURED AND BOUGHT BACK FROM THE CHAOS OF SIN AND DEATH, AND AS LIVING STONES ARE BEING BUILT UP IN HIM BECOMING HIS DWELLING PLACE, HAVING THE SURE PROMISE OF AN ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM SIN AND DEATH. IN ORDER THAT WE CONTINUE TO BEAR THE FRUITFULNESS OF LIFE!
When we understand the terms of בֵּית לֶחֶם Bĕyth Leḥem and אֶפְרָת Ephrath, we can further see the connection of the prophetic shadow picture of Messiah, who would come forth from this place, and we read in:
Miḵah/Micah 5:2-4 “But you, Bĕyth Leḥem Ephrathah, you who are little among the clans of Yehuḏah, out of you shall come forth to Me the One to become Ruler in Yisra’ĕl. And His comings forth are of old, from everlasting.” 3 Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labour has given birth, and the remnant of His brothers return to the children of Yisra’ĕl. 4 And He shall stand and shepherd1 in the strength of יהוה, in the excellency of the Name of יהוה His Elohim. And they shall dwell, for at that time He shall be great, to the ends of the earth.”
In the above verse we see the phrase – בֵּית־לֶחֶם אֶפְרָתָה – ‘Bĕyth Leḥem Ephrathah’ declaring the promise of the One, who is from everlasting, that would come forth from Yehuḏah and rule – יהושע Messiah!
When יהושע was born in Bĕyth Leḥem of Yehuḏah, Herodes the sovereign, after having heard, was troubled and he gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.
This is what they said to him:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 2:5-6 “And they said to him, “In Bĕyth Leḥem of Yehuḏah, for thus it has been written by the prophet, 6 ‘But you, Bĕyth Leḥem, in the land of Yehuḏah, you are by no means least among the rulers of Yehuḏah, for out of you shall come a Ruler who shall shepherd My people Yisra’ĕl.’”
They were quoting the words of Miḵah the prophet!
What we also are able to find in Scripture, in seeing the powerful shadow picture of the One who would come from Bĕyth Leḥem of Yehuḏah, is seen in Dawiḏ, the beloved king, as we read in:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 17:12 “Now Dawiḏ was the son of that Ephrathite of Bĕyth Leḥem in Yehuḏah, whose name was Yishai, and he had eight sons, and in the days of Sha’ul the man was old among men.”
In the story of Bo’az and Ruth we are once again able to see the powerful shadow picture of our Kinsman Redeemer, יהושע Messiah, and the true witness that would be proclaimed in Bĕyth Leḥem, in the One who would be born from Yehuḏah would build the House of Yisra’ĕl:
Ruth 4:11 “And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “Witnesses! יהוה make the woman who is coming to your house as Raḥĕl and as Lĕ’ah, the two who built the house of Yisra’ĕl. And prove your worth in Ephrathah and proclaim the Name in Bĕyth Leḥem.”
When Ya’aqoḇ saw Yosĕph’s sons he asked, “Who are these?”. This is the first account we have in the Torah of Ya’aqoḇ actually meeting Yosĕph’s sons, yet was this really the first time that he had seen them? He had been living in Mitsrayim for 17 years now and Yosĕph’s sons would have been around 18-20 years old; and I am sure that they had indeed met before; yet what we recognise from this chapter is that with Ya’aqoḇ’s eyes being dimmed he may not have fully recognised them.
We also recognise how the two boys, having been raised in Mitsrayim by a Mitsrian mother, would have looked like Mitsrians to a degree. This can in many ways shadow picture what is happening today as the returning lost tribes are coming in, and as the men are growing beards and all men and women are wearing tzitzit/tassels many are asking ‘Who are these?’, as we are certainly beginning to look different to what we were traditionally brought up as, when we are faithfully walking in the Torah as opposed to walking according to the patterns and customs of the world!
Ěsaw asked Ya’aqoḇ the same question – “Who are these?” in Berěshith/Genesis 33:5 when Ya’aqoḇ had met Ěsaw after leaving Laḇan. Yosĕph was answering in a similar manner as his father Ya’aqoḇ had done in saying that ‘these’ are the children whom Elohim had given!
Yosĕph was with Ya’aqoḇ at the time Ya’aqoḇ answered Ěsaw and now, here we see these words that would have reminded them of the protection and provision and blessing of Elohim. This language is also prophetic, in nature, as we see this phrase ‘Who are these?’ pointing forward for us to the returning lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl, as the true sons and daughters are coming from the nations all around and coming to the Light of the Truth in Messiah.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1 the call to ‘arise and shine for our light has come’, prophetically pictures for us the return of the lost tribes, and we see in verse 8:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:8 “Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows?”
Ḥazon/Revelation 7:13-14 “And one of the elders responded, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Master, you know.” And he said to me, “These are those coming out of the great distress, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Yisra’ĕl’s eyes were ‘dim’ which is the Hebrew word כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 which means, ‘to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour’. While this event may seem similar to the time when Yitsḥaq’s eyes were too dim to see, yet we note that it is not the same word being used to describe Yisra’ĕl’s dim eyes!
Yitsḥaq had ‘lost’ his eyesight and the word used for ‘too dim’ is כָּהָה kahah – Strong’s H3543 which carries the meaning, ‘to be or grow dim or faint, blind, disheartened, dim’ and is also a word that is used as a rebuke and is used in the following verse as a rebuke to ‘blind shepherds’:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 11:17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd forsaking the flock! Let a sword be upon his arm and upon his right eye! His arm shall wither and his right eye shall be dimmed.”
With dim eyes discernment also becomes dim and what we can see from this account between a father and his son is that with the father having lost his sight, he was unable to see right through the deception.
With Yisra’ĕl, his eyes had not been ‘dimmed’ by deception, but were simply ‘worn out’, while Yitsḥaq’s eyes had dimmed or had become weak before their time!
Yosĕph’s sons were brought near and Ya’aqoḇ kissed them and embraced them.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘drew near’ is נָגַשׁ nagash – Strong’s H5066 which means, ‘to draw near, approach, come closer’.
As they drew near they were kissed and embraced by Ya’aqoḇ, now considered as their ‘father’ by adoption!
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) in this verse for ‘drew near’ is ἐγγίζω eggizō – Strong’s G1448 which means, ‘to make near, come near, approach, draw near, come close’, and we see this word used in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the, you double-minded!”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:8 “You too, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master has drawn near.”
Menashsheh and Ephrayim were brought near to Ya’aqoḇ by Yosĕph, and here we see the clear picture of how we are able to draw near to Elohim by no other means than by the Blood of our High priest and King, יהושע Messiah. No one comes to the father except through the son:
Yoḥanan/John 14:6 “יהושע said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
This is powerfully illustrated here in the metaphoric picture of Yosĕph and Ya’aqoḇ, and further emphasises how יהושע Messiah has no beginning or end and has existed for all time!
There are some who try to deny that Messiah is Master and Elohim and make the false claim that He never existed before He came in the flesh and sat that He is simply just a Messenger of Elohim.
This Scripture above makes it very clear that no one can come to the Father except through the son – metaphoric language of course – but what makes it very clear is that everyone who came to Elohim in the times of the Tanak (before the birth of Messiah), would not have been able to do so without יהושע actually being there and being the One whom they would see, in order to ‘see’ the Father!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘embraced’ comes from the root word חָבַק ḥaḇaq – Strong’s H2263 which means ‘embrace’ and the word ‘embrace’, in English, means ‘to take up readily or gladly, to participate, to avail oneself’ and the Hebrew word means ‘embrace, hold in one’s arms, to clasp and to show close affection’.
The name of the prophet חֲבַקּוּק Ḥaḇaqquq – Strong’s H2265 means ‘an embrace’, and is derived from this word.
This was a prophet who embraced the Word of Elohim – showed close affection and held on to it tightly, who took it up readily and gladly, and took full advantage of making himself available to participate in being used by Elohim, despite the very sobering vision and judgement that He saw concerning those who are going astray!
What we can learn here is that we have, by the Blood of messiah, been grafted into the Covenants of promise, and despite the wickedness and rebellion that we continue to see in the world, we must embrace the truth and exalt in יהוה.
For more on this topic, please see the notes of a sermon on Ḥaḇaqquq 3 called, ‘EMBRACE THE TRUTH AND EXULT IN יהוה’, which you can find on our website under ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu or by clicking on the following link:
Ya’aqoḇ expresses his pure joy in the fact that while he never thought to see his son alive again, he got to see the seed of his son, which he had now adopted as his own, and in verse 12 we see that Yosĕph brought them from between his knees and bowed his face to earth. In a manner of speaking, there was an adoption taking place, as he was symbolically ‘giving birth’ to them (brought them from between his knees) and presenting them to his father.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘knee’ is בֶּרֶךְ bereḵ – Strong’s H1290 and comes from the word that is related to ‘blessing’, which is בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 which means, ‘to kneel down, bless, abundantly bless’, and the word translated as ‘brought’ is יָצָא yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, ‘to go or come out’ and here it is written in the ‘Hiphil’ form which usually expresses a ‘causative action’ of a simple verb and so can be rendered as, ‘to cause to go out or come out, to deliver, to lead out’.
Delivered as a blessing unto Ya’aqoḇ!
We too have been delivered up as sons and daughters, having received the Spirit of adoption when we cried out for our heavenly Father!
Romiyim/Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:3-6 “Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Messiah, 4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be set-apart and blameless before Him in love, 5 having previously ordained us to adoption as sons through יהושע Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desire, 6 to the praise of the esteem of His favour with which He favoured us in the Beloved”
Verse 13-20 – Ya’aqoḇ blesses Ephrayim and Menashsheh
Yosĕph took both his sons and took Ephrayim with his right hand toward Ya’aqoḇ’s left and Menashsheh with his left hand toward Ya’aqoḇ’s right, as he knew that the firstborn must be on the right-hand side to receive the firstborn blessing.
Ya’aqoḇ deliberately crosses his arms and places his right hand on Ephrayim and his left on Menashsheh.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘consciously directing’ is שָׂכַל saḵal – Strong’s H1919 and means, ‘to be prudent, act wisely, comprehend, show discernment, consider carefully’, and so we recognise that Ya’aqoḇ knew exactly what he was doing and acted in great wisdom by crossing his hands, and when written in the intensive or intentional action, it is understood as crossing one’s hands or lay crossways.
This, in many ways, was also symbolic of the two sticks being crossed and joined together as one – and so by this intentional action of Ya’aqoḇ we are able to see the prophetic shadow picture of the two Houses coming together as one!
In a manner of speaking, he took Ephrayim from Yosĕph’s right hand to his own right hand and Menashsheh from Yosĕph’s left hand to his own left hand, and further establishes the sign of the younger being blessed by the older – a continual theme we see throughout Scripture for the purposes of shadow picturing for us Messiah who would come forth from the Right Hand of Elohim and become the 2nd Aḏam – who is actually first in all!!!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:11 “The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Master from heaven.”
Ya’aqoḇ laid his hands on the boys and so was imparting a great blessing upon them.
What is interesting to take note of here, is that this is the first account, in Scripture, of hands being laid on another, which was a symbolical sign, by which the person acting transferred to another a spiritual good, or a super sensual power or gift; it occurs elsewhere in connection with dedication to an office, as well as with sacrifices and the removal of sin and guilt.
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 27:22-23 “And Mosheh did as יהוה commanded him, and took Yehoshua and set him before El’azar the priest and before all the congregation, 23 and laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as יהוה commanded by the hand of Mosheh.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 34:9 “And Yehoshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Mosheh had laid his hands on him. And the children of Yisra’ĕl listened to him, and did as יהוה had commanded Mosheh.”
Yehoshua was ‘commissioned’ by Mosheh through the laying on of his hands before the entire congregation as commanded by Elohim.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘commissioned’ is צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordain’.
A derivative of this word is the word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which clearly speaks of the commands of Elohim.
The primary difference we see between the חֻקָּה ḥuqqah (law/statute) and מִצְוָה mitzvah (command) is that His laws (ḥuqqot) are rulings that remain in effect permanently and we are to continually walk in His Right-rulings for set-apart living; whereas His commands (mitzvot) are those rules which apply to specific situations and are tailored for each unique situation in determining the correct action to be taken in a specific circumstance and so we ‘guard’ those carefully to know how to respond and take action for any given situation we may find ourselves in.
We as His called-out and chosen, royal priesthood must be a hearing people who not only hear, but also do and what we must understand is that in the Hebraic mind-set we come to realise that the ideal of ‘hearing’ the commands and laws will and should naturally cause us to want to walk in them and guard them.
We have been commissioned by Messiah, our Head, to walk in His commands and we know that Dawiḏ tells us that we shall be blessed as we meditate upon the Torah and walk in it (Tehillah/Psalm 1).
Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for a sin offering, the ram for the burnt offering and on the second ram as the ram of ordination, when being commissioned to serve as priests in the Tabernacle (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 8:14,18,22).
By our ‘laying on of our hands’ upon Messiah through our sin and guilt, we in turn receive His Hand of deliverance that has been stretched forth toward us and pulled us out of the pit of sin and death, and has now commissioned us to make taught ones of the nations as we walk in the Light and proclaim His Good News, guarding to do all He has commanded us.
We must not forget the work of His hands upon us and not forget the wonderful gift of life we have received from Him.
We also take note in Scripture that the laying on of hands was also done by the Apostles and taught ones of Messiah, for the impartation of the Set-Apart Spirit, gifts and healing, and ordination to office of overseer.
Ma’asei/Acts 8:17 “Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Set-apart Spirit.”
Ma’asei/Acts 28:8 “And it came to be that the father of Poplius lay sick with inflammation and dysentery. Sha’ul went in to him, and having prayed he laid his hands on him and healed him.”
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:14 “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the elderhood.”
Timotiyos Bět/2 timothy 1:6 “For this reason I remind you to stir up the gift of Elohim which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
When Ya’aqoḇ had placed his hands upon Ephrayim and Menashsheh, he blessed Yosĕph!
He called forth the Covenant blessing upon Yosĕph and his children and he says that the Elohim of his father’s Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq, who is the same ‘Messenger’ who redeemed him from all evil – bless the youths.
This is very specific wording that Ya’aqoḇ uses here, as he makes it quite clear that the Elohim of his fathers is the same Messenger who had appeared to him and redeemed him – for יהוה of Hosts alone is the redeemer of Yisra’ĕl!!!
He then declares that his name – Yisra’ĕl be called upon the sons of Yosĕph – this is a powerful picture of the nations being grafted in to the covenants of promise and becoming overcomers in Messiah!
For now, Menashsheh and Ephrayim would be identified as being a part of the tribes of Yisra’ĕl!
In Tehillah/Psalm 103 Dawiḏ reminds us not to forget the dealings of יהוה – as He has Redeemed our life from destruction!
He is our Redeemer, and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘redeem’ is גָּאַל ga’al – Strong’s H1350 which means, ‘to redeem, act as kinsman, avenge, buy back, claim, redeemer, redeem from slavery, avenger of blood, rescue’.
This word is also used to refer to our Redeemer in the form גֹּאֲלִי ga’ali meaning, ‘my Redeemer’ as in:
Iyoḇ/Job 19:25 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and as the last shall rise over the dust”
He has bought us back from the grave; as we understand that the Hebrew word translated as ‘destruction’ is שַׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7845 which means, ‘pit, ditch, grave’ and we see how Yonah cried out in recognition of how Elohim had redeemed him from the pit of destruction:
Yonah/Jonah 2:6 “I went down to the base of the mountains, the earth with its bars were behind me forever. But You brought up my life from the pit, O יהוה, my Elohim.”
It is only Elohim, our Redeemer, who is able to redeem us from the grave:
Tehillah/Psalm 49:7 “A brother does not redeem anyone at all, neither give to Elohim a ransom for him”
Tehillah/Psalm 49:15 “But Elohim does redeem my being from the power of the grave, for He does receive me. Selah.”
In verse 16, when Ya’aqoḇ mentions ‘The Messenger’ who ‘redeemed’ him, he was referring to none other than the Elohim of his fathers, and this was יהוה Himself and we further recognise the clear truth that יהוה is יהושע Messiah!!!
For more on ‘The Messenger of יהוה’, please see the article called “THE MESSENGER OF יהוה!” from our site under the articles tab:
His name and the name of his fathers were to be called upon them – this is a clear ‘grafting in’ language being used here as a huge blessing of life being imparted to his sons.
In a manner of speaking, Ya’aqoḇ was putting the Name of יהוה upon these boys rather than his own name, for by him decreeing that his name be upon them was in symbolic sense a putting of the Covenants of promise upon them and being blessed and sealed by the Covenant Maker – יהוה of Hosts ; and later יהוה would instruct Mosheh to speak to Aharon and his sons as to how they would bless the children of His Name upon them, and then He Himself would bless the children of Yisra’ĕl!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 6:23-27 “Speak to Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is how you bless the children of Yisra’ĕl. Say to them: 24 “יהוה bless you and guard you; 25 יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; 26 יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.”’ 27 “Thus they shall put My Name on the children of Yisra’ĕl, and I Myself shall bless them.”
The blessing of covenant with יהוה gives us the assurance of fruitfulness and growth, and we are therefore able to recognise that by the commission of Messiah upon us, as His called out taught ones, we are able to go and make more taught ones and multiply His kingdom!
While Yosĕph got upset with his father having crossed his hands and given the ‘firstborn’ status to Ephrayim, Ya’aqoḇ reassured him that he knew what he was doing. In verse 19 we see that Ya’aqoḇ declares that the seed of Ephrayim would become the completeness of the nations:
Tehillah/Psalm 24:1 “The earth belongs to יהוה, and all that fills it – the world and those who dwell in it.”
Romiyim/Romans 11:25 “For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this secret, brothers, lest you should be wise in your own estimation, that hardening in part has come over Yisra’ĕl, until the completeness of the nations has come in.”
The fruitful seed of Ephrayim would become the completeness of the nations, and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘nations’ is גֹּויִם go’yim, which comes from the word גּוֹי goy – Strong’s H1471 which means, ‘nation, people, gentiles’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘completeness’ is מְלאֹ melo – Strong’s H4393 which means, ‘fullness, that which fills, omer full’ and comes from the root verb מָלֵא male’ (maw-lay) – Strong’s H4390 and carries the meaning, ‘to be full, to fill, complete, covered, dedicate, fulfil, ordain’.
Elohim make you as Ephrayim and Menashsheh!!!
This is a huge blessing that is called upon us who have been grafted in to Yisra’ĕl by the blood of Messiah, and so by recalling the meaning of the names of Ephrayim, meaning ‘doubly fruitful’ and Menashsheh meaning, ‘causes to forget’, we are able to see this blessing that is called upon us each day as the children of promise – and that is this:
Elohim make you doubly fruitful and cause you to forget your enslavement to sin!
This blessing can only be lived out and understood by a people who have been grafted into and continue to stay in the Covenants of Promise, by hearing, guarding and doing the clear commands of Elohim and walking according to His Torah!
Ya’aqoḇ reassures Yosĕph that Elohim while he was about to die, Yosĕph must know that Elohim would always be with him, and that he would be brought back to the Promised Land! Yosĕph would also be given a portion above his brothers – a piece of land that Ya’aqoḇ himself had taken out of the hand of the Amorite, with the sword and bow.
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘portion’ is שְׁכֶם sheḵem – Strong’s H7926 which means, ‘shoulder, back, portion’, and when Ya’aqoḇ came into the promised Land he came to 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!
He set up a slaughter-place there and called it Ěl Elohĕ Yisra’ĕl – אֵל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל which means, Ěl is the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl or Mighty is the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl.
It was to שְׁכֶם Sheḵem that Ya’aqoḇ had sent Yosĕph to go and look for his brothers to see if they were about their father’s business and bring back word.
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!
Yoḥanan/John 4:5 “So He came to a city of Shomeron, called Sheḵem, near the piece of land Ya’aqoḇ gave to his son Yosĕph.”
יהושע said 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?
By this giving of שְׁכֶם Sheḵem to Yosĕph, we are able to see that the prophecy of return was being given and so while he had already been there to see what his brothers were doing, at his father’s instructions, we are able to see the picture of the 2 comings of Messiah, who would bear our burdens upon His shoulders!
He came the first time, at the Father’s instructions, in order to ‘inspect’ and proclaim the Kingdom that is to come.
When He comes again, He is coming to occupy and will He find the called-out sons of Elohim walking in faith or not!
When Messiah comes again, He is coming with a sword and bow and will symbolically destroy the ‘Amorite’.
Amorite – אֱמֹרִי Emori – Strong’s H567 which means, ‘mountain dwellers’ comes from the word אָמַר amar – Strong’s H559 meaning, ‘to utter, say, speak, command’.
We can stand as an established people in Messiah as He has given into our hand ‘Siḥon the Amorite, sovereign of Ḥeshbon’.
Siḥon – סִיחֹן – Strong’s H5511 means, ‘warrior’ and Ḥeshbon – חֶשְׁבּוֹן – Strong’s H2809 means, ‘stronghold’.
יהוה has delivered us from the stronghold of the warrior of mountain dwellers that speak against the Most-High!
The question is – when He comes again will He find people who have been ‘hearing’ His Word or have they been listening to the world and caught in the strongholds of the flesh!
With Sheḵem being given to Yosĕph, we can also see the prophetic picture of Messiah’s rule.
The shoham stone on the High Priests breastplate represented Yosĕph, and we can see how the two shoham stones that were on the shoulder garments too represented Yosĕph as a shadow picture of Messiah, as Yosĕph ‘carried’ or bore his brothers on his shoulders as he ruled in Mitsrayim and brought about their deliverance.
The names of the 12 tribes on the two stones, speak of how our names are written in the Rock and the Rock of our deliverance – יהושע Messiah – bears us upon His shoulders as High Priest and King:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder, and His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.”
יהושע took our burdens upon His shoulders as He came to ‘fulfil’ the Torah, enabling us to walk in His Torah as we follow Him and too bear each other’s burdens:
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so complete the Torah of Messiah.”
The word used here in Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 for ‘complete’, which is also often translated as ‘fulfil’, is the Greek word ἀναπληρόω anaplēroō – Strong’s G378 which means ‘to fill up, complete, fill up the measure to perfection’, and so we see that as we bear one another’s burdens we perfect the Torah.
Why this is important to note here is that we need to understand our need to walk in the Torah as this is the same Greek word used when יהושע made it clear that He did not come to destroy the Torah or the prophets, but rather to ‘complete’, meaning that He came to fully meet its requirements and to walk in it perfectly showing us how we can too as we follow Him.
If He ‘did away’ with the keeping of the Torah as many erroneously teach today, then how would we then be able to complete that which has been done away with!!! This text in Galatiyim/Galatians is a wonderful proof text of our need to walk in the Torah as we too, like Messiah bear each other’s burdens!
Ya’aqoḇ blesses his sons.
Ya’aqoḇ called all his sons together, and the Hebrew word for ‘called’ is קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 meaning, ‘proclaim, call, read, summons, invite, to be called out’, and a derivative of this word is the word used for ‘gathering’ is: מִקְרָא – ‘miqra’ – Strong’s H4744, meaning: assembly/ group/ convocation/ a collective of people gathered for a purpose/a calling together’.
This was a call to gather, and one thing we must recognise as the body of Messiah is that we must gather at the Appointed Times of יהוה, so that we are all able to hear clearly the Voice of our Shepherd.
The Hebrew word translated here for ‘gather together’ is אָסַף asaph – Strong’s H622 which means, ‘to be gathered, assemble, to be brought in or into (association with others), to gather to one’s fathers’.
This was a serious call to gather and each son needed to be there to hear these final words of their father.
And Ya’aqoḇ was about to bless each one and tell them what would prophetically happen to them in the last days.
1 – Re’uḇĕn – רְאוּבֵן – Strong’s H7205 – ‘behold a son’ (1st son of Lĕ’ah)
While Re’uḇĕn was indeed the firstborn, he would not excel in that position as he had defiled his father’s bed by sleeping with his father’s concubine, and as a result lost his first-born status.
While he may have had tremendous potential, it did not matter, because of his lack of self-control he was unfaithful and suffered a loss of position in birthright.
He has proven by his poor actions that he could in no way lead the rest of his brothers. Re’uḇĕn was a very emotional man and his life is a lesson for us on how one mistake can often ruin a lifetime of opportunities, and while he could have possibly repented for his actions way back, what is also sad to take note of is how Ya’aqoḇ only dealt with his son’s indiscretions now, on his death bed.
There must have been a large amount of unforgiveness and bitterness that had been built up over the years, and this is a lesson for us to not let that happen in any way!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:15-16 “See to it that no one falls short of the favour of Elohim, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, by which many become defiled, 16 lest there be anyone who whores, or profane one, like Ěsaw, who for a single meal sold his birthright.”
While Re’uḇĕn did not lose an inheritance or his birthright, we do recognise that he lost his position, and there must have been some reconciliation and forgiveness on the part of Ya’aqoḇ.
This may have been a hard ‘blessing’ to give his firstborn, yet he recognised the character that Re’uḇĕn displayed.
He was Ya’aqoḇ’s strength and excellency of power – all promising yet never fulfilling!
He likens Re’uḇĕn to boiling water that never does anything more and speaks of one being full of great potential yet unreliable. There are many today who find themselves in this category, so to speak, as they have huge amounts of potential yet they never apply their gifting and talent as they sell themselves short for various reasons – be it for lack of confidence or even pride and over confident and boastful.
Re’uḇĕn also pictures for us those who at times have great desires that they wish to pursue while lacking the knowledge on the correct way to do it, and therefore often find themselves slip up and fail in their attempts at success.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:2-3 “Also, desire without knowledge is not good; and he who hurries with his feet sins. 3 The foolishness of a man perverts his way, and his heart is wroth against יהוה.”
2 – Shim’on – שִׁמְעוֹן – Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard’ & 3 – Lĕwi – לֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 meaning, ‘joined to’ (2nd and 3rd sons of Lĕ’ah)
These two brothers are described by Ya’aqoḇ as having implements of violence as their weapons.
They were the ‘fighters’ so to speak, which is not all bad!
To Ya’aqoḇ, who had possibly grown weak in his ability to deal with issues, like not dealing with Re’uḇĕn when he defiled his father’s bed, both Shim’on and Lĕwi may have seemed to be too violent in their judgements and decision making.
We know that it was the tribe of Lĕwi who stood up for יהוה at Mount Sinai, and as a result were designated to be priests in the place of the firstborn of all Yisra’ĕl. While Ya’aqoḇ may have been too passive, not being a man for violence, these two may have at times been a little too hungry for violence and bloodshed.
Ya’aqoḇ deemed it necessary to see them split up and spread as the two of them together would be a dangerous thing. Ya’aqoḇ may have been referring to what these two did to Ḥamor and his son Sheḵem and the men of their city in revenge for how their sister Dinah had been defiled!
With Lĕwi being spread out among the clans we see how this would turn out to be a blessing, and while they were not registered to go to war, their fight, as priests was often a spiritual one, and they were also tasked with defending the Tabernacle – so they needed to know warfare and be courageous men able to fight when called upon!
We are also reminded of the zeal of Pineḥas who stood up and killed the two who whored in the camp and stopped the plague that had been sent as a result of Yisra’ĕl whored after and joined themselves to Ba’al Peor.
We are able to learn both positive and negative attributes from these two, and that is that we should not be given to violence and rage, but we must be willing to stand up and fight the good fight of belief and not shrink back, but put on the whole armour of Elohim and fight with His Word in our hand (that is by faithfully doing what it commands), and not be given to anger that can cause us to sin.
4 – Yehuḏah – יְהוּדָה – Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’ (4th son of Lĕ’ah)
There is a great play on words, here in Ya’aqoḇ’s opening statement of Yehuḏah, whose name means praised, and comes from the primitive root word יָדָה yaḏah – Strong’s H3034 which literally means ‘to throw, shoot or cast, to confess, laud with praise, extol, i.e., make a public confession of the attributes and acts of power of a person’ and is used only as denominative from the word יָד yaḏ Strong’s H3027 which means ‘hand’; and so, the expression of giving thanks is understood, in the Hebrew, as ‘extending the hands in praise’!
That is why Sha’ul tells us in Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 2:8 that men everywhere should lift up their hands that are set-apart in prayer – our expression of giving thanks with the extended hands that are set-apart is in our willing obedience to working unto Elohim (extending the hand) in all we do – and at the same time giving Him esteem and praise!
Giving thanks is not a silent matter and it must be clearly seen in our work ethic too, as our actions will often speak louder than our words!
Brothers praise him and his hand is on the neck of his enemies!
We recognise that our praise of Yah can defeat the enemy in the battles we face.
Lifting hands in praise, is an effective tool in overcoming the tactics of the enemy that tries to grip us through depression and fear and worry.
We praise יהוה through what we set our hands to accomplish for Him; and do so with joy and thanksgiving.
Yehuḏah is a lion’s cub – this is a clear reference to Messiah who is the ‘Lion of the Tribe of Yehuḏah’ (Ḥazon/Revelation 5:5), and the sceptre would not depart from Yehuḏah until Shiloh comes!
The Hebrew word שִׁילֹה Shiloh – Strong’s H7886 is another title for Messiah, which many believe to have the meaning, ‘sent one’ or ‘he who it is’.
The Hebrew word for ‘sceptre’ is שֵׁבֶט sheḇet – Strong’s H7626 and means, ‘rod, staff, branch, shaft’ and is a symbol of authority and rulership.
We know that in reference to the Authority and Rule of יהוה, which the sceptre would not depart from Yehuḏah until Shiloh (the sent One) came – and so Messiah came and took up the sceptre and rules forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq – for He is forever the Righteous King and High Priest!!!
This was the promise that the true line of Messiah would come from the tribe of Yehuḏah, and He would be praised by all, and to Him is the obedience of all the peoples – for the Lion of the Tribe of Yehuḏah shall rule over all the earth!
The city of שִׁילֹה Shiloh – Strong’s H7887, which was a city in Ephrayim, can also mean ‘place of rest’, and further stresses how there still remains an entering into His rest, for all the people of Elohim; yet those who are disobedient and lawless, shall never enter His rest!
Verse 11 – Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine:
The Hebrew word that is used for the 1st ‘donkey’ is עַיִר ayir – Strong’s H5985 which means, ‘male donkey, colt, foal, young donkey’, which comes from the root verb עוּר ur – Strong’s H5782 which means, ‘to rouse oneself, awake, arise, stirred’, and we see this word being used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51:9 “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of יהוה! Awake as in days of old, everlasting generations. Was it not You who cut Rahab apart, and pierced the Crocodile?”
The Arm of יהוה, being “awakened”, so to speak, to bring deliverance is seen through the coming of messiah, who would be riding on a donkey!
While we do recognise that יהוה does not slumber or sleep, this language is prophetic in shadow picturing the prophetic sign that the Arm of יהוה is bringing deliverance to His people – that His ‘Arm’ – Messiah would be the one to be praised when He would enter the city on a donkey!
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Tsiyon! Shout, O daughter of Yerushalayim! See, your Sovereign is coming to you, He is righteous and endowed with deliverance, humble and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The Hebrew word used for the 2nd ‘donkey’ is אָתוֹן athon – Strong’s H860 meaning, ‘female donkey’ and is thought to come from the word אֵיתָן ethan – Strong’s H386 which means, ‘perennial, ever flowing, permanence’ and we understand that this word carries the essence of that which is faithful and reliable – something that lasts forever.
Having said that it makes a wonderful picture for us as the donkey represents the Word of Elohim and even more particularly the Torah:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:8 “Grass shall wither, the flower shall fade, but the Word of our Elohim stands forever.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:18 “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:35 “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away.”
Another reference to Messiah, and we see this language being used by the prophet Zeḵaryah:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘vine’ is גֶּפֶן gephen – Strong’s H1612 and while meaning ‘a vine’ or ‘a vine tree’, it is also used figuratively in Scripture as a reference to the nation of Yisra’ĕl, as well as a symbol of prosperity and we also take note here that the Greek word used in the LXX for this word ‘vine’ is ἄμπελος ampelos – Strong’s G288 which we find being used in the words of Messiah who called Himself the True Vine:
Yoḥanan/John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘choice vine’ is שׂרֵק soreq – Strong’s H8321 which means, ‘choice wine, noble wine’.
This word is used 3 times in Scripture – here and another two verses:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:2 “And He dug it up and cleared it of stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a watchtower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it. And He waited for the yielding of grapes, but it yielded rotten ones.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:21 “Yet I had planted you a choice vine, all of it a true seed. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of a strange vine?”
יהוה had planted a ‘choice vine’ and called a nation to be set-apart unto Him, yet we see that this ‘choice vine’ (שׂרֵק soreq) had turned away from following יהוה by whoring after the nations and became a degenerate plant of a ‘strange’ vine (גֶּפֶן gephen)!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘strange’ is נָכְרִי noḵri – Strong’s H5237 which means, ‘foreign, alien, adulteress, stranger’.
What we see from all these verses is that we recognise how Messiah calls Himself the True Vine, showing us that there is indeed a strange vine, which we must guard against falling for the drunkenness and maddening adulteries that comes forth from her grapes.
We must ‘stay in’ the True Vine and recognise the One to who all praise is due!
In the latter part of verse 11, we are also given language of the True Vine – יהושע Messiah who is coming again – this time not on a donkey – but rather he is coming in vengeance to tread the winepress in His wrath, and His garments will be red with the blood of grapes!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 63:1-4 “Who is this coming from Edom, with garments of glowing colours from Botsrah, who is robed in splendour, striding forward in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is there red on Your raiment, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. And I trod them down in My displeasure, and I trampled them in My wrath. Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have defiled all My raiment. 4 “For a day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.”
Verse 12 – his eyes are darker than wine and his teeth whiter than milk
Literally, this is saying, ‘eyes are dark from wine and teeth white from milk’, which symbolizes the richness of provision, with the ‘fruit of the vine’ being so abundant among the vineyard, that wine will be as abundant as water, and their teeth will become white from drinking so much milk – after all this is symbolic language for a land that flows with milk and honey, and is a picture of the fruitful abundance of the Millennial Reign, as it describes the suitableness of Yehuḏah’s territory for vineyards, as each man will ‘sit under his vine and fig tree’, and the rich pastures for cows to feed upon.
5 – Zeḇulun – זְבוּלוּן – Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted’ (10th born – Lĕ’ah’s 6th son)
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:18-19 “And of Zeḇulun he said, “Rejoice, O Zeḇulun, in your going out, and Yissasḵar in your tents! 19 “They call peoples to the mountain, there they bring offerings of righteousness, for they draw from the riches of the seas, and treasures hidden in the sand.”
The term ‘in your going out’ is a militaristic type of language, and this blessing was a much-needed comfort to these two tribes, which also speak of our ability to stand firm in Messiah and fight the good fight of our faith, as we recognise the recompense, we have in Messiah who is exalted and dwells on high!
The command here for both these tribes also remind us how we are to be a ‘rejoicing people’ as we ‘go out’ onto the battlefield of life, as well as rejoicing when we come together ‘in the tents’ – meaning when we assemble as a body on the Sabbath days and Feast of יהוה.
The Hebrew root word used here for ‘rejoice’ is שָׂמַח ‘samaḥ’ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’.
A derivative of this word is שָׂמֵחַ ‘sameaḥ’– Strong’s H8056 and carries the same meaning, as well as implying the understanding of ‘to be merry’.
Both of these words are used in the command to rejoice in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14-15 in reference to Sukkot – the feast of rejoicing!
The word ‘samaḥ’ can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
In the ancient pictographic script this word שָׂמַח samaḥ and שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ looks like this:
Shin – 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. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.
Mem – מַ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!
Ḥet – ח:
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, and separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:
THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US!
This is a clear reason to rejoice, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we praise and rejoice in, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise!
The blessing here of Zeḇulun dwelling at the seashore and being a haven for ships may yet still be fulfilled as we see that the allotment given to Zeḇulun in Yehoshua/Joshua 19:10-16 they are basically entirely landlocked, and being a haven or place of safety for ships can also give us the picture of the true joy that brings us peace, as we exalt the Most High and give Him praise we find our place of refuge and safety in Him!
6 – Yissasḵar – יִשָּׂשכָר – Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense’ (9th born – Lĕ’ah’s 5th son)
When understanding his name as meaning, ‘there is recompense’ we can prophetically see the work of Messiah who came to take our burdens upon His shoulders and give us rest.
One of the sons of Yissasḵar carries a powerful picture of Messiah for us too.
Tola – תּוֹלָע – Strong’s H8439 – ‘crimson worm’. While having a name that means ‘worm’ can be disturbing it is interesting to note that the word for Scarlet Material – תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – from the root of Strong’s H8439 and שָׁנִי ‘shani’ – Strong’s H8144 – therefore – ‘tola‘ath’ being ‘worm’ and ‘shani’ being ‘scarlet/crimson’.
This scarlet (red) colour came from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attaches itself to a tree, lays eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then dies, having emptied itself out for them–a wonderful picture of יהושע.
Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “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.”
Very fitting, when we consider the meaning of Yissasḵar (there is recompense) in giving us a clear picture of Messiah coming to die for us!
7 – Dan – דָּן – Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge’ (5th born – 1st son of Bilhah)
Dan ‘rightly ruling’ his people as one of the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, may have partially been fulfilled in the life of Shimshon who was from the tribe of Dan.
The tribes of Yisra’ĕl could only enter into the promised Land after they had received the ‘right-rulings’ from יהוה, and what is interesting to take note of is that Dan is not listed in Ḥazon/Revelation.
When Dan did not successfully conquer their new territory in the Promised Land, they moved northward to scout out a new home, and when they found a town in the territory of Menashsheh that had not been conquered they took that town, formerly called Layish and renamed it Dan (Shophetim/Judges 18).
The Hebrew word לַיִשׁ Layish – Strong’s H3919 means, ‘lion’, and here could be a link to this prophetic ‘blessing’ of Mosheh, who described Dan as a tribe who would leap from where they were allotted to be fruitful, and Mosheh’s blessing was a prophetic call to return to their allotted inheritance.
In a metaphoric sense, we are able to hear the call for many to return to their inheritance in Messiah, the True Judge, as we become children of light (lion’s cub’s) leaping away from the ways of the world back to Messiah, in whom we are able to bear much fruit!
With Dan not being mentioned in the list of tribes in Ḥazon/Revelation 7 we are also reminded that if we do not allow the Word to judge us now, then we may be in danger of facing the severe Judgement Day of יהוה.
It was in Dan, in the northernmost territory of the House of Yisra’ĕl, that Yaroḇ’am set up one of the two golden calves, and in some ways we are able to glean from this that Dan, being a ‘serpent by the way’, can picture for us a counterfeit worship system that is set up – one that is poisonous and perverts right-ruling causing the backsliding of many that assumes that we should not need the Word to Judge us now!
In verse 18 the cry of waiting for the deliverance of יהוה, suggests the urgent plea for true right-ruling to be established through the needed deliverance that only יהוה can bring.
The Hebrew word used for ‘rightly rules’ is דִּין din – Strong’s H1777 which means, ‘to judge, administer, defend, execute, vindicate, quarrelling, strive’.
Tehillah/Psalm 7:8 “יהוה judges the peoples; Judge me, O יהוה, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me.”
Tehillah/Psalm 9:7-8 “But יהוה abides forever, He is preparing His throne for judgment. 8 And He judges the world in righteousness, He judges the peoples in straightness.”
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 3:6-7 “And the messenger of יהוה witnessed to Yehoshua, saying, 7 “Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘If you walk in My ways, and if you guard My duty, then you shall also rule My house, and also guard My courts. And I shall give you access among these standing here.”
Could it be that Dan is not listed in Ḥazon because he is a picture of those who have not rightly ruled according to the Torah, and are unable to have access among those standing in the House?
Could it also be a picture of how the True Judge – יהושע Messiah stands in our midst and therefore there is no need for ‘Dan’ in a metaphoric sense?
What we do realise is that we must let the Word of Elohim be the rule of our lives as we walk in His clear commands, rightly ruling our every step in Him, lest we find ourselves outside with the lawless! We also are reminded that we must execute right ruling among each other in the body and make sure that we cause no one to stumble in the Way!
8 – Gaḏ – גָּד – Strong’s H1410 – ‘troop’ (7th born – 1st son of Zilpah)
The name/word ‘Gaḏ’ can have both a positive and negative connotation to it as we also known that while Gaḏ is the name of one of the sons of Ya’aqoḇ, it was also the name of a Kenaʽanite deity of ‘luck’ and was an ancient Mitsrian deity of the ‘sun’ tracing its roots back to Nimroḏ worship; however for the listing of the tribes in Ḥazon/Revelation 7 we can understand it as being the troop or gathering of the people of Messiah as one during the tribulation!
Gaḏ chose the best land on the east of the Yardĕn yet remained faithful as he came with the heads of the people to help the rest of the tribes secure their allotments across the Yardĕn. Having been referred to as one who did the righteousness and right-rulings of יהוה with Yisra’ĕl is a great blessing and further shows us the strength of the one who ‘dwells as a lion’ and fights valiantly for his brothers by carrying out the Master’s will.
In one aspect, we can see from the blessing of bravery given to Gaḏ that in the illustration of tearing off the arm and also the crown, the picture of destroying the works and authority of the enemy is done by ‘doing’ the righteousness and right-ruling of יהוה; and today we are able to do this as we walk in total obedience as we tear down and destroy that which sets itself up against the Most High:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
9 – Ashĕr – אָשֵׁר – Strong’s H836 – ‘blessed or joyful one, granted good favour’ (8th born – 2nd son of Zilpah)
Here we see the picture of rich delicacies and the highest quality bread; and this speaks of great fruitfulness and joy. When we tie up this blessing with that of Mosheh’s in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33, where he is described as being most blessed of sons and dipping his foot in oil, we are able to see the picture of fruitfulness and abundance that we have in walking in the great blessing and joy of Messiah – who gives us His ‘rich’ Bread to sustain us in every way!
Ashĕr is also described as having iron and bronze sandals, and days of strength.
The tribal allotment of Ashĕr in the Promised Land is in the shape of a shoe that faces south and modern discoveries of large oil deposits have been located beneath the area which forms the ‘toe’ of the shoe!
The dipping of the foot in oil also can give reference to the state or position of secure protection in the almighty as we see Iyoḇ using this descriptive language in reference to the days when he was protected by Elohim:
Iyoḇ/Job 29:2-6 “Oh, that I were as in months past, as in the days when Eloah protected me; 3 when His lamp shone on my head, when I walked in the dark by His light; 4 as I was in the days of my autumn, when the intimacy of Eloah was on my tent; 5 when the Almighty was still with me, when my children were around me; 6 when my steps were bathed with cream, and the rock poured out rivers of oil for me.”
What we can also learn from this on a metaphoric level is how we are truly blessed when we walk in the ‘anointing’ of our Master by walking according to the Spirit and not the flesh, as we recognise the picture of ‘oil’ representing the Spirit, of which we are to ensure that our lamps are filled with, by being watchful in guarding to walk according to the clear instructions of Elohim!
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Romiyim/Romans 8:1 “There is, then, now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah יהושע, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Sandals of iron and bronze symbolize strength to walk as one should, being steadfast and secure in Messiah.
With feet like iron we can see how our walk can sharpen each other:
Mishlĕ/proverbs 27:27 “Iron is sharpened by iron, and a man sharpens the face of his friend.”
Having feet also of bronze speaks of being secure, as we know that the pegs of the Tabernacle were made of bronze and held all together! The laver was also of bronze and represents the mirror of the Word that washes; and so we in our steadfast walk are to be a mirror reflection of the Truth as we live according to the clear Torah of Elohim.
We are reminded to be joyful in our steadfastness in Messiah, standing firm on His truth and continually walking in His ways and the narrow path that leads to life.
10 – Naphtali – נַפְתָּלִי – Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling’ (6th born – 2nd son of Bilhah)
A deer let loose, giving words of elegance!
This is a powerful picture of the freedom of the Good News, and how pleasant the feet are those who bring the Good News of the Good:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:7 “How pleasant upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims deliverance, who says to Tsiyon, “Your Elohim reigns!”
This was a region where the Good News was first announced:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:1-2 “But there is no gloom upon her who is distressed, as when at first He humbled the land of Zeḇulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Yardĕn, in Galil of the nations. 2 The people who were walking in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death a light has shone.”
It was in this region that Messiah began to proclaim the message of repentance, for the reign of the heavens has come near:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:13-17 “And leaving Natsareth, He came and dwelt in Kephar Naḥum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zeḇulun and Naphtali, 14 to fill what was spoken by Yeshayahu the prophet, saying, 15 “Land of Zeḇulun and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Yardĕn, Galil of the nations – 16 the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the land and shadow of death, light arose to them.” 17 From that time יהושע began to proclaim and to say, “Repent, for the reign of the heavens has drawn near.”
11 – Yosĕph – יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases’ (11th born – 1st son of Raḥĕl)
An offshoot of a fruit bearing tree by a fountain, whose branches run over a wall!
The land of Yosĕph is blessed, and we take note how both tribes of Yosĕph (Menashsheh and Ephrayim) had well-watered territories that were abundantly fruitful.
Here we see the great picture for those whom יהוה calls and adds to the Body of Messiah being blessed and able to bear much fruit as they remain in Him, bearing fruit in and out of season, always being ready to give an answer for their faith in Messiah.
With Yosĕph’s life being a great shadow picture of Messiah who, after being rejected by his own, delivered his brothers from death, giving them the best of the land where they could be fruitful and multiply, we are able to see how the remnant of Ya’aqoḇ shall be fruitful among the nations
Miḵah/Micah 5:7 “And the remnant of Ya’aqoḇ shall be in the midst of many peoples, as dew from יהוה, as showers on the grass, which do not wait for man nor delay for the sons of men.”
The phrase, ‘branches that run over a wall’, is a prophetic picture of Messiah who came and ‘broke down the partition of the barrier’:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:13-16 “But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14 For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity – the Torah of the commands in dogma – so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and to completely restore to favour both of them unto Elohim in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘branches’ is בַּת bath – Strong’s H1323 which means, ‘branches, daughter, town, village’ and comes from the root word בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, ‘son’, and so we see this picture of ‘branches’ speaking of his possessions expanding through his offspring of multitudes of the nations, which are able to be brought near by the Blood of Messiah who has broken down that which once divided/separated them from the Covenants of Promise.
The word ‘offshoot’ comes from the Hebrew words – בֵּן פֹּרָת – ‘ben porat’ – which literally has the meaning, ‘fruitful son’, coming from the two words: בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121, and פָּרָא para – Strong’s H6500 which means, ‘fruitful, to bear fruit, be fruitful’.
From this understanding we are able to see by Yosĕph being a clear shadow picture of Messiah, that we (the branches) who are in Him and stay in Him shall bear much fruit!
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!”
Verse 23 – The archers have grieved him and shot at him! Here we again see the imagery of the attempts of the enemy to destroy Messiah and bring false accusations against Him. What is very interesting to take note of here is that the term for ‘the archers’ in Hebrew is בַּעֲלֵי חִצִּים – ‘ba’ali ḥitsiym’ – and comes from the two root words:
1 – בַּעַל ba’al – Strong’s H1167 which means, ‘owner, lord, master, land owner’, and here is in the form בַּעְלִי Ba’ali – which means, ‘my Master’ or ‘My Ba’al’.
At its root form it means, ‘to marry, rule over, husband’, and from this we also see this word being the physical name of Ba’al – בַּעַל Strong’s H1168 and renders the name of the heathen deity in Hebrew being the term for ‘master, husband or landowner’ we are able to understand the common term for landowner in the old English as ‘lord’ and are therefore able to understand the English root of Ba’al rendering ‘The Lord’, and as a result of this knowledge we can see how the inherited lies of many years has blended the use of pagan deity titles into worshipping the True Creator; and we are to choose this day whom we serve.
2 – חֵץ ḥets – Strong’s H2671 which means, ‘arrow, archer, shaft, wound’, and comes from the root word חָצַץ ḥatsats – Strong’s H2686 which means, ‘to shoot arrows, to divide, cut off’.
Tehillah/Psalm 11:2 “For look! The wrong bend a bow, they set their arrow on the string, to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘bitterly grieved’ is מָרַר marar – Strong’s H4843 which means, ‘to be bitter, troubled, enraged’, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘hated’ is שָׂטַם satam – Strong’s H7852 which means, ‘to bear a grudge, to cherish animosity against, persecute, hunted down’.
Ěsaw ‘hated’ Ya’aqoḇ:
Berěshith/Genesis 27:41 “And Ěsaw hated Ya’aqoḇ because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Ěsaw said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father draw near, then I am going to kill my brother Ya’aqoḇ.”
We know that the enemy ‘hates’ us:
Tehillah/Psalm 55:3 “Because of the noise of the enemy, because of the outcry of the wrong; for they bring down wickedness upon me, and in wrath they hate me.”
When we understand the language being used here of Yosĕph, we can see how the enemy has hated Messiah and the wounds of worshipping another has grieved him, as the enemy holds a heavy grudge against the righteous and will do all he can to bring them down.
Our Messiah has defeated the works of the enemy and as we lift up the shield of faith by walking in the Torah, we are able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:16 “above all, having taken up the shield of belief with which you shall have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one.”
Yosĕph went down to Mitsrayim, as his brothers had sold him into slavery and delivered him up to the world, as they hated him and held a very bitter grudge against him, yet we see how he overcame adversity and this pictures for us the great and awesome work of Messiah, as we see pictured in the next verse:
Verse 24 – Yosĕph remained in strength, his arms were made strong by the Mighty One of Ya’aqoḇ – from whom comes the shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl!
‘His bow remained in strength’ – The Hebrew word used here for ‘bow’ is קֶשֶׁת qesheth – Strong’s H7198 which means, ‘bow, archer, arrows’ and comes from the primitive root קָשָׁה qashah – Strong’s H7185 which means, ‘to be hard, severe or fierce, stiffened’ in the original sense of the primitive root word קוּשׁ qosh – Strong’s H6983 meaning, ‘to lay bait, ensnare’.
In Berěshith/Genesis 9:13 this word is translated as ‘rainbow’ – where יהוה ‘set’ His rainbow in the cloud, as a sign of the Covenant He made with Noaḥ.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘set’ is נָתַתִּי – ‘nathati’ – which comes from the root word נָתַן Nathan – Strong’s H5414 and is written in the ‘qal active’ tense which can render the meaning of, ‘to give, put, set, ascribe, entrust, give over, deliver up, constitute’.
From this understanding we see a wonderful picture of the great mercy of יהוה who has basically ‘put’ His fierce and severe arrow in the cloud; and so we need to realise that Noaḥ and his sons had never seen a rain cloud that did not bring destruction and here by the sign of His bow being set in the clouds to never bring destruction upon the earth in that way again was a powerful picture of His mercy toward His faithful remnant seed in that His mighty bow will not strike them.
The rainbow would forever be a sign for us that His mercy endures forever and we who follow after Him and walk in Messiah need never fear His bow or arrow that has been drawn for those appointed for destruction:
Tehillah/Psalm 7:12-13 “If one does not repent! He sharpens His sword, He bends His bow and makes it ready, 13 And He has prepared for Himself instruments of death, He makes His arrows hot for pursuers.”
The sign He has set in the heavens is therefore a two-fold sign – it is a witness of His loving-commitment toward the righteous who are hidden from His wrath, while at the same time a witness and warning against the wicked – that His bow is ready for the day of His wrath!
It is also a great sign for us, who are ‘in’ Messiah, that no matter how big or strong the bow of the enemy may seem, and no matter how many arrows the enemy tries to shoot at us – the enemies bow and arrows cannot match that of our Supreme Master and King – יהוה of Hosts!
The rainbow is also there as a remembrance to יהוה Himself, of His covenant never to destroy all flesh again! Listen, if יהוה drew an arrow back in His bow toward the earth it would be doomed and so He set it in the heavens to remind Himself of His Covenant and He never breaks Covenant!
Clouds are often spoken of in Scripture as the symbol of the presence of יהוה and His care and protection over His people, and therefore this ‘bow’ in the clouds is a sign of that protection!
Yeḥezqěl speaks of this ‘presence of יהוה’ that he saw in the visions of Elohim:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 1:28 “As the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the esteem of יהוה. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.”
The next time you see a rainbow in the sky, be reminded of the Everlasting Covenant Promise of salvation between יהוה and Yisra’ĕl!
The Covenants of יהוה remains in strength, never to be broken – and this is the language used here by the words over Yosĕph, in shadow picturing for us the work of Messiah who secured the Covenants in His Own Blood.
The Mighty One who has secured the Covenant is the Shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl!
It is this Arm of יהוה that shepherds the flock of Yisra’ĕl!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:10-11 “See, the Master יהוה comes with a strong hand, and His arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. 11 He feeds His flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs with His arm, and carries them in His bosom, gently leading those who are with young.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:11-12 “For thus said the Master יהוה, “See, I Myself shall search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 “As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so I shall seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered in a day of cloud and thick darkness.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 34:15 “I shall feed My flock and make them lie down,” declares the Master יהוה.”
In this great woe against the false shepherds יהוה was making it very clear that He Himself will search, seek out, deliver and feed His flock and make them lie down!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘feed’ is the same word used in Scripture for ‘shepherd’ which is the word רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7462 which can carry the meaning of ‘shepherd’ as well as ‘to pasture, graze, consume, feed’.
Let us look at the ancient pictographic rendering of this word רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7462 for ‘Shepherd’:
Resh – רָ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
Ayin – עָ
In the ancient script this letter is drawn as – and is pictured as an eye and carries the meaning of ‘insight and understanding’ or that to which you look upon.
Hey – ה – We have already discussed this above – as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out.
In looking at these pictures in terms of the word ‘shepherd’ or ‘feed’, we are able to clearly see that:
THE TRUE SHEPHERD IS THE HEAD OF ALL, AS SEEN THROUGH THE ‘EXALTED’ MAN!
BEHOLD OUR HEAD UPON WHOM WE FIX OUR EYES!
Who is the One we are to fix our eyes upon? Iḇ’rim tells us to throw off all sin and that which entangles and look attentively upon our Master:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:2 “looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and as we can see from the verse before this one, is that in order to be able to properly ‘look’ at Messiah, we need to throw off and lay aside every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance – looking intently at our King as we run faithfully as servants of the Most High Elohim!
The Greek word that is translated here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:2 as ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω – aphorao – Strong’s G872 and means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’.
Metaphorically speaking, it means, ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’, and it also means, ‘to consider carefully, attentively look at’ and comes from the two Greek words: ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and the word ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, ‘to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see as in becoming acquainted with by experience’.
We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways, and we are at the same time to ensure that our eyes are not looking elsewhere as we ‘take heed’ of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray.
In Hebrew, the word for ‘see’ is רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 meaning, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider’, and has the similar phonetic sound as the word for ‘shepherd/feed’ yet this word contains a different letter! Instead of an ‘עָ’ – ‘ayin’ it contains the letter ‘אָ’ – ‘aleph’, and so in the ancient script would look like this:
Aleph – אָ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’ representing strength and power.
This word in itself teaches us a great deal on who we are to keep our eyes attentively upon; and to see clearly and be functional in seeing as we should, can render the following meaning for us”
THE BEGINNING OF OUR STRENGTH IS IN THE REVELATION OF MESSIAH OUR HEAD, WHO WE PRAISE AND SERVE WITH OUR ALL
So, what we take note of, is that, in Hebrew, we have two similar sounding words – רָעָה ra’ah for ‘shepherd, feed’ and רָאָה ra’ah for ‘see, look attentively”.
What we are able to recognise in the Hebrew text is that the Shepherd unto whom we are to keep our eyes fixed on in order that we are not be led astray by falsehood and lies, is יהושע – Our Good Shepherd – Our Strong Head that was lifted up and exalted on High and is the One who dwells between the keruḇim:
Tehillah/Psalm 80:1 “Give ear, O Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl, who leads Yosĕph like a flock; who dwells between the keruḇim, shine forth!”
– רֹעֵה – ‘Ro’eh’ – “Shepherd” of יִשְׂרָאֵל – Yisra’ĕl
The verse that stirred my pursuit, in putting this message together this week was from:
Berěshith/Genesis 49:24 “But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Ya’aqoḇ – from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Yisra’ĕl”
In this blessing of Ya’aqoḇ given to Yosĕph, we are able to see how the life of Yosĕph truly was a shadow picture of the Messiah, who would come forth and Shepherd Yisra’ĕl.
We have already looked at the word for ‘shepherd’, which clearly reveals to us that Messiah is our Good Shepherd, yet further evidence in this verse is seen in another word that describes our Shepherd – and that is the Hebrew word used here for ‘Stone’!
The Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl is also the Stone of Yisra’ĕl, and the Hebrew word for ‘stone’ is אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’ and comes from the root of בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild’.
As we look at the ancient script for this word for ‘stone’ we are given greater clarity in who is the Chief Cornerstone and Shepherd. In the ancient script the word is pictured as:
Aleph – אֶ
We have already looked at this symbol/picture that represents ‘strength and power’
Beyt – בֶ
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Nun – ן
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation.
Seeing this pictographic representation of the word Stone in reference to our Shepherd being the Stone of Yisra’ĕl we are able to see from these symbols how this word in terms of Messiah can render the following:
THE HEAD AND STRENGTH OF THE DWELLING PLACE HAS BEEN BROUGHT FORTH, AND HE IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE UPON WHICH WE ARE BUILT AND HAVE THE SURE PROMISE OF INHERITANCE.
Tehillah/Psalm 118:22 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone.”
This Messiah spoke after He gave the parable of the wicked tenants who killed the son of the master of the vineyard (it was a parable used to teach!!!).
Mattithyahu/Matthew 21:42 “יהושע said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. This was from יהוה, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?”
This is repeated in:
Marqos/Mark 12:10-11 “Have you not read this Scripture, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. 11 ‘This was from יהוה, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?”
And again in:
Luqas/Luke 20:17-18 “But He looked at them and said, “What then is this that has been written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone’? 18 “Everyone who falls on that stone shall be broken, but on whomever it falls, he shall be pulverised.”
After these words the Pharisees were seeking to seize Him but feared the crowd as they knew that the parable was about them who had denied who He is!!!
Who did they reject?
The Shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl!!!
Messiah tells us clearly in:
Yoḥanan/John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd. And I know Mine, and Mine know Me”
Messiah tells us in:
Luqas/Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Aḏam has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
When we understand these words and see what Messiah was proclaiming and revealing in the flesh, we see that as יהוה had spoken by the prophet Yeḥezqěl, that He Himself would come to seek and deliver His lost sheep and feed them, we see how by the religious Pharisees of the day who rejected Him, they were rejecting the Shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl – that is they were rejecting יהוה who is our Shepherd!
In the parable that Messiah used of the vineyard, He referred to those who rejected Him as ‘evil ones’ and I find this very striking and sobering as we take careful note of the fact that in Hebrew the word ‘evil’ is from the word רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.
This word is often expressed in the feminine form as רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7463 and has the same spelling for the word for ‘shepherd, feed’; yet we see that this comes from the word רֹעַ roa – Strong’s H7455 which means, ‘badness, evil’.
This should be a clear ‘wakeup call’ for us to see how things may sound correct, and at times may even be written with the same letters yet may cause us to ‘look’ at what is wrong.
Many of our father’s teachings and ways may sound good and true, yet when tested against the measuring stick of the Torah we find that most of what we inherited was in fact not good at all, and what we must learn is that corrupt practices spoil our relationship with יהוה!
The religious lot of the day rejected the Stone and Shepherd as their eyes were not fixed on the Truth but rather on traditions and man-made laws.
When Scripture, even in its ancient from of pictographic symbols, revealed who the True Shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl is, many rejected this Shepherd and Stone and looked to false shepherds, who Yeḥezqěl was told to prophesy against – against those who were feeding themselves!
As mentioned earlier, from Tehillah/Psalm 118:22, how the stone which was rejected has become the chief cornerstone we can see a powerful insight in the verse before this one:
Tehillim/Psalm 118:21 “I thank You, for You have answered me, and have become my deliverance.”
In praise of the Good Shepherd and Stone of Yisra’ĕl we are able to see how the psalmist uses a great play on words in giving thanks!
In this verse leading to the next we can see how he is giving thanks in lifting up his hands in praise and testifying that the causer of life who has brought him deliverance/salvation is the Stone that was rejected by many!
For more on ‘the Shepherd and the Stone’ please see the sermon notes from a message called, ‘WHO IS YOUR SHEPHERD?’ which can be found on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2013/2014’ menu or by clicking on the following link:
Yosĕph receives a greater blessing that his brothers, possibly because he understood blessing amidst the bitterest situations and he acknowledged and appreciated the fact that יהוה had been with him through it all.
And here, being told that the greater blessings are on the head of Yosĕph, we see how Yosĕph was the one responsible for the seed or rather for the deliverance of the seed – that today still remains scattered, and we are able to recognise this as we see that יהוה calls Ephrayim His firstborn:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:9 “With weeping they shall come, and with their prayers I bring them. I shall make them walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they do not stumble. For I shall be a Father to Yisra’ĕl, and Ephrayim – he is My first-born.”
The life of Yosĕph carries possibly the most powerful picture of Messiah, and the blessing and inheritance that we have in Messiah is clearly prophesised through the life and blessing of Yosĕph!
12 – Binyamin בִּנְיָמִין – Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand’ (12th born – 2nd son of Raḥĕl)
The temple was built in Binyamin’s territory, where the morning and evening offerings were given and Yisra’ĕl’s first king was from Binyamin – Sha’ul – who was indeed like a wolf that tore the reign apart and divided up the spoil, as he continually sought to kill Dawiḏ, but was unable to.
Like a wolf that tears at night and when frightened runs away, so was king Sha’ul. Mosheh spoke the following over Binyamin:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:12 “Of Binyamin he said, “Let the beloved of יהוה dwell in safety by Him, shielding him all the day, as he dwells between His shoulders.”
The threshing floor of Dawiḏ (the Beloved) that was bought and later the place of the Temple was partly located on Binyamin’s tribal allotment.
And Binyamin has always had a strong connection between the two tribes that have in a sense carried much of the burden of Yisra’ĕl – that being Yehuḏah and Yosĕph.
We see the promise of Yehuḏah to protect Binyamin being given to Ya’aqoḇ before taking Binyamin down to Yosĕph in Mitsrayim.
This is also why the House of Yehuḏah is made up of the two tribes Yehuḏah and Binyamin, as Binyamin would fall under the promised protection of Yehuḏah as the older brother.
Berěshith/Genesis 43:8 “And Yehuḏah said to Yisra’ĕl his father, “Send the boy with me, and let us arise and go, and live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.”
What we also must take note of is that while Binyamin remained under the ‘House of Yehuḏah’, Binyamin is Yosĕph’s only full-blooded brother with them both being the sons of Raḥĕl. Binyamin therefore has become the ‘link’ in a sense between Yosĕph and Yehuḏah.
Binyamin meaning, ‘the son of my right hand’ points prophetically to Messiah who was from the Tribe of Yehuḏah, who is to be praised and who bears the government on His shoulders, which is the shadow picture that Yosĕph gives us in pointing also to Messiah.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.”
A great picture we can also see from this blessing on Binyamin, is how Sha’ul, who was from the tribe of Binyamin, was called to go to the nations and be the ‘link’ or connection between the two Houses of Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl, calling back the lost sheep and being used in a powerful way of joining the two Houses together as one in Messiah!
Sha’ul was certainly very zealous in his spreading of the Besorah of Messiah and in many ways, he was like a wolf that tears, as he did not hold back in calling people to repentance and calling people unto the reign of Elohim!
These are all the tribes of Yisra’ĕl that Ya’aqoḇ blessed. The 12 tribes – the number 12 is written as שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר – ‘sh’nayim asar’ – made up of two words:
1 – שְׁנַיִם sh’nayim – Strong’s H8147 which means, ‘two, both’ and is expressed as ‘twelve’ when used together with:
2 – עָשָׂר asar – Strong’s H6240 meaning, ‘ten’.
So, in a literal sense, the number 12 in Hebrew is ‘ten and two’, which pictures for us the 2 Houses – Yisra’ĕl (Northern 10 tribes) and Yehuḏah (Southern 2 tribes); and so we are able to see through these blessings the foreshadowing of the 12 tribes becoming two Houses, and in Messiah be brought back together as one (picture of the two sticks being brought together).
In looking at all these blessings, we are able to learn a great deal of how we ought to stay in Messiah and learn from the positive and negative accounts that surrounded these twelve tribes.
Ya’aqoḇ commanded his sons to make sure that he would be buried in the field of Maḵpĕlah.
The Hebrew word מַכְפֵּלָה Maḵpĕlah – Strong’s H4375 means, ‘double portion, pairs’ and comes from the primitive root verb כָּפַל kaphal – Strong’s H3717 which means, ‘to double, double over, folded double’.
Both Aḇraham and Sarah were buried there, so too was Yitsḥaq and Riḇqah. Ya’aqoḇ had buried Lĕ’ah there, yet we notice here that he does not call her his ‘wife’, as he only ever called Raḥĕl his wife; and she died on the way to Ephrath (Běyth Leḥem), yet he chose to be buried with his father’s rather than where Raḥĕl was buried.
Yisra’ĕl was now no longer a man – but 12 tribes!!!
And with his last request for his bones to be taken home, we see the power of prophecy showing that the fullness of Yisra’ĕl shall be brought home, and when Messiah comes again to gather His own, the dead in Messiah shall rise first and we who are alive shall be caught up together with Him in the air and taken home!
The Covenant was no longer passed from father to son, as it had been from Aḇraham to Yitsḥaq and then form Yitsḥaq to Ya’aqoḇ, but now it was passed on to a nation, who would become fruitful and increase!
This was a very defining moment in the history of Yisra’ĕl – for at the point of Yisra’ĕl’s death, there was now a birthing or rather an establishment of a nation, for at the death of this ‘covenanted one’, the nation of 12 tribes was now established, based on the Covenant promises given to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ.
This is a powerful shadow picture of the work of Messiah, in that at His death and resurrection the renewed covenant in His own blood could firmly be established for us, as His called out and chosen Bride – a restored Yisra’ĕl!!!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:16-17 “For where a covenant is, it is necessary for the death of the covenanted one to be established. 17 For a covenant over those dead is firm, since it is never valid while the covenanted one is living.”
Ya’aqoḇ had now died and Yosĕph wept over his father as he fell on his father’s face and kissed him. Here was a clear scene of a deep love that Yosĕph had for his father and this emotional moment displayed the pure compassion of Yosĕph who had certainly shown great respect for his father, with which we know comes the blessing of living long in the land that Elohim gives! With the weeping of Yosĕph we are also reminded of the deep compassion that Messiah showed at the death of Elʽazar toward the family and friends of the deceased:
Yoḥanan/John 11:35-36 “יהושע wept. 36 The Yehuḏim therefore said, “See how He loved him!”
Yosĕph then commanded his servants to embalm his father, which was a process of preserving the body, that was practiced by the Mitsrians. Yisra’ĕlites are normally buried the same day, and for Yosĕph to keep the promise made to his father that his bones be taken and buried where Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq were buried would have taken a few days to get there and so this process of embalming would have kept the body reasonably intact for proper burial that would take place a while after his death. The process of embalming took 40 days, and the journey to the burial site wold take around 11 days, so by the time Yosĕph would actually bury his father, the body would have been preserved in such a manner that they would be able to bury him as requested.
The Yisra’ĕlites wept for Ya’aqoḇ for 70 days! Perhaps the extra 30 days of mourning added after the days of embalming was a time of showing respect for their father and mourning 30 days we see was also done for Aharon and Mosheh.
The number 30 also represents a cycle of renewal and rebirth and is associated with the cycle of the moon; and the collective mourning of 70 days would have due to the fact that the Mitsrian embalming period took 40 days, after which the customary mourning period of 30 days could actually be kept, resembling a renewal and change of season!
After this period of mourning was over Yosĕph asked Pharaoh if he could take his father’s body and bury him in the burial site of their forefathers.
Once again, we are able to see the pure humility that Yosĕph continually showed. He was second in command of Mitsrayim, yet never assumed to be able to do what he pleased and even sought Pharaoh for favour in this regard. He never assumed that he had Pharaoh’s favour in every matter, but rather did the right thing by asking for it.
This is a powerful lesson for us to follow, as we too should never assume to be able to have the liberty to do what we please without seeking the favour and mercy of יהוה, our Elohim!
In verse 4 we see how Yosĕph did not speak directly to Pharaoh but rather spoke to ‘the house of Pharaoh’ and asked that his request be made known to Pharaoh. While it was the Mitsrian custom to shave their heads for the dead, Yisra’ĕl is strictly forbidden to do so, as we do not do as the nations do:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 14:1-2 “You are the children of יהוה your Elohim. Do not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead, 2 for you are a set-apart people to יהוה your Elohim, and יהוה has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
Yosĕph may have known that he would have been questioned as to why he had not shaven his head for the death of his father and so kept himself from coming before Pharaoh; and by respect he sends a message through the household servants of Pharaoh.
Mourners of the dead were also forbidden to enter the king’s presence while their dead remained unburied, according to ancient Mitsrian customs, as has been revealed through ancient monuments in Mitsrayim.
The request was granted by Pharaoh and shows how even Pharaoh understood the concept of burying one’s family in a prepared burial site, and we are able to see how Yosĕph used his words wisely in sending the message that this burial request was due to the request made by his father, and the concept of honoring the request of the deceased was highly respected by the Mitsrians.
A very large funeral procession left Mitsrayim to go and bury Ya’aqoḇ. It was not only Yosĕph and his brothers, but a whole company of people that comprised also of Pharaoh’s servants and elders of his house and land of Mitsrayim. Funerals were a big thing for the Mitsrians, and this huge procession was possibly more for Yosĕph than for Ya’aqoḇ, as Yosĕph was highly esteemed in Mitsrayim.
Pharaoh, by sending many chariots and horsemen, was showing great respect and honour to Yosĕph while he was still alive instead of waiting for his death.
The threshing floor of אָטָד ataḏ – Strong’s H329 which means, ‘bramble, thorns’ and was a city in Kenaʽan.
The Hebrew word for ‘Threshing floor’ is גֹּרֶן goren – Strong’s H1637 which relates specifically to the actual floor or place where grain was threshed.
The threshing floor was not in a shed or a building or any place covered with a roof and surrounded by walls, but normally an open-air circular piece of slightly elevated ground from fifty to one-hundred feet in diameter, that was smooth, hard, and clean.
Following the harvest, the threshing floor was the centre of the economic activity of the village and surrounding area.
The sheaves of dried cereal grass from the harvested fields were brought here to be trampled by oxen or broken down by threshing sledges (vehicles mounted on low runners).
The grain was further separated from the grass and chaff, with winnowing forks, which were used to toss the trampled products into the air, so that the wind would blow away the light grass and chaff, and the grain would fall to the ground. After that, sieves were used to strain out the grain from whatever products still remained with it.
They came to this threshing floor and performed 7 days of mourning.
Here we are able to see a picture of true cleansing from that which kills!
Before they were to go to the land of Kenaʽan there was a threshing needed – a cleansing away of thorns, so to speak – and here we are able to see a great picture of repentance from dead works and a cleansing of one’s hands, so that we are able to ‘enter in’ and walk in the sure promise of our Master.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8-10 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded! 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.”
This mourning for 7 days was such a site that the inhabitants of Kenaʽan saw it and named the place אָבֵל מִצְרַיִם Aḇel Mitsrayim – Strong’s H67 which means, ‘meadow of Mitsrayim’, with אָבֵל aḇel – Strong’s H58 meaning, ‘meadow or plain’, yet is very similar to the word used in verse 10 for ‘mourning’ which is אֵבֶל eḇel – Strong’s H60 meaning, ‘mourn, mourning’, and the difference is simply a different vowel pointing, with perhaps, a play on words being used here, to describe this great company of mourners that were spread out on the meadow/field by the threshing floor.
Because of the great company of Mitsrian servants, elders and chariots, the Kenaʽanites assumed it to be a funeral procession for Mitsrayim and therefore called its name after Mitsrayim.
From the text we are able to see that it was Ya’aqoḇ’s sons who brought his body across the Yardĕn into Kenaʽan and buried him at Maḵpĕlah, showing us here that the Mitsrians would have stayed on the other side of the Yardĕn at the threshing floor.
The rest of the company would not cross over and would later be re-joined by Yosĕph and his brothers.
This is another powerful picture for us in showing how only the true ‘Yisra’ĕl’ goes the full distance, so to speak, while there may be many who will travel alongside us on the way!
We are able to see a picture of how so many in the world today may recognise the ‘death’ of Messiah yet are unwilling to walk in the resurrection life of Messiah by walking in His commands and becoming a ‘Hebrew’ – one who crosses over and grafted in to Yisra’ĕl!
The worldly ‘show’ of worship may have flashy chariots and horsemen so to speak, and even make a big noise, yet it is only the true worshippers, who worship the Father in Spirit and Truth that will enter in to the reign of Messiah, and what we recognise is that the true identity of Yisra’ĕl will be clearly seen at Messiah’s return, when the sheep will be separated from the goats.
Ya’aqoḇ’s sons did as their father commanded them!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Master, for this is right. 2 “Respect your father and mother,” which is the first command with promise, 3 in order that it might be well with you, and you might live long on the earth.”
True Yisra’ĕl obeys the Torah and commands of Elohim, and walk in them
Mishlĕ/proverbs 6:20 “My son, watch over your father’s command, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother.”
As children of the Living Elohim, we recognize that the instructions and commands and Torah of Elohim are often likened to the father’s commands and the mother’s Torah, which we see how so many have failed to honour and obey!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:11 “There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 27:16 “Cursed is he who makes light of his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Aměn!”
Sadly, what so many today do not realise, or rather fail to acknowledge and see, is that by their ‘making light’ of the Torah of Elohim (meaning that they render it of no effect and of no value in keeping it), they are putting themselves under the curse of the Torah, which is death!
The picture of Ya’aqoḇ’s sons obedience here is a lesson for us in obedience – obedience of walking according to the Torah of Elohim, because we have been delivered from sin and death by His Own Blood as he extended His favour and loving-commitment toward us – and we therefore do our utmost to her, guard an do all He commands in our truest and greatest expression of our love for Him!
After Ya’aqoḇ was buried the sons returned to Mitsrayim! We recognise here that while we are of the Kingdom of Messiah, we still need to sojourn here in the world.
We have ‘crossed-over’ so to speak and are now the true Yisra’ĕl, yet we still need to live in the world and hold fast to our identity in Him by walking as a set-apart people, eagerly awaiting the return of our Master and King, who Himself will take us to the promised Land!
Now that Ya’aqoḇ was dead, Yosĕph’s brothers thought that they were in danger of being punished by Yosĕph for what they had done to him, and so they resorted to scheming a plan of telling Yosĕph that their father gave them instructions that Yosĕph was to forgive them of their sins. But while they had admitted their guilt to one another in front of Yosĕph before they knew who he was, they had never confessed their sin to him, so they still felt their remaining guilt.
Though he was their brother, they still did not trust him—an attitude they really had no right to take–and even now they only confess because they think they are in trouble.
Luqas/Luke 17:3-4 “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day comes back to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
We are not given any account of Yosĕph’s brothers telling their father what they had done to him, and here there concocting of a fabricated story in order to justify their appeal, caused Yosĕph to weep for them.
He wept, possibly because he had recognised that they still did not believe that he would actually forgive them.
The simple truth is that once forgiveness is asked for and granted, as with the sacrifices in the Tabernacle, the conscience of the guilty one is cleared because a covering over that part of one’s guilt is provided.
All he wanted was for them to do the right thing; once they do what they are supposed to be doing, he has no right to hold their past sins against them.
We must also recognise that we need not try to fabricate our stories, when we stand guilty of sin, but rather confess our sins to Messiah, who will forgive us:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I think that there are many times when some have knowingly sinned, or have been made aware of their sin, try to fabricate a story that tries to appease the conscience instead of simply acknowledging the error of their ways and confess their guilt.
Dawiḏ recognised that he had sinned against Elohim and that his sin was ever before him – he could not hide this fact, yet cried out on repentance, seeking the cleansing from the only One who can cleanse!
Tehillah/Psalm 51:1-4 “Show me favour, O Elohim, according to Your kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You alone, have I sinned, and done evil in Your eyes; that You might be proven right in Your words; be clear when You judge.”
While Yosĕph’s brothers had tried to appeal to Yosĕph with prepared words, in the process of them coming sending the message to Yosĕph, in their appeal for forgiveness, something certainly did happen in their hearts.
True repentance was shown, as they indeed saw how Yosĕph had wept when they spoke to him. In this moment of truth, Yosĕph’s brothers humbled themselves and fell down before their brother – and so again we are able to see a fulfilment of his dream he had had just before his brothers had done him harm! Here was a powerful moment of true repentance and acknowledgement of sin, as well as an acknowledgement of who their brother was.
They declared themselves to be his servants!
Yehuḏah, the half-brother of יהושע Messiah, who wrote the letter that we find just before Ḥazon (Yehuḏah/Jude) declared himself to be the servant of Messiah:
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:1 “Yehuḏah, a servant of יהושע Messiah, and brother of Ya’aqoḇ, to those who are called, set-apart by Elohim the Father, and preserved in יהושע Messiah”
As a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה.
The word used here, in the Hebrew, is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’ , which has the same meaning as the Greek word δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 which means, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’.
The root word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 is used 800 times in the Tanak (O.T.) and is used as a noun and comes from the primitive root verb עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647 meaning, ‘to work, serve, observe, do the work, cultivate, worship’ and carries the understanding of ‘expending considerable energy and intensity in performing a task or function’ – in other words – ‘giving it your all’!
In the ancient script the word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ 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!
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.”
By Yosĕph’s brothers declaring that they were servants of Yosĕph, we are able to see a clear picture of submission, as they were not only seeking forgiveness but further recognized that they were now in fact more than forgiven, they were servants – and in essence ‘bond-servants’ of Yosĕph.
As we go to the Torah for a great reference to our understanding, we see the concept of bondservant being described clearly:
Shemoth/Exodus 21:5-6 “And if the servant truly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, let me not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him before Elohim, and shall bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl. And he shall serve him forever.”
This is a profound statement being made here. One that we make, as servants of Messiah, of our Master! When we too have made the good confession and declare our love for our Elohim and Saviour then we serve Him forever – yet there was something that was to happen – let us see how that applies to us today!
Firstly, we must note the clear order being shown here: I Love my master, wife, children… notice that his master comes first and it is the same with us today:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
Love for our Master comes first!!! This does not in any way diminish our love for our spouse or children but reflects the true nature of our love that without such fervent love for our Master we are truly unable to show complete love in service to our family – but love for Him must always be our primary focus that will cause us to flow with a genuine love for others!
In a declaration of our love for our Master – here it says “if a servant truly says” – this is vital for us to understand, as there are many today who say they love Elohim, yet their love is not expressed in obedience to His instructions and is not made vocally with a loud voice of faith!
This love speaks of a true and complete commitment to Him.
Those who claim to ‘stay’ in His house yet do not love Him by obeying Him are thieves and not servants! This is a call for voluntary service – we have been bought at a price and it is for freedom that he has set us free, yet we choose to be His bondservant!
“When a servant truly says” – speaks of one making a clear and definite choice with the intent for others to hear it!
If this be the case: Bring him to the door or doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl! Now let me make it clear that we do not pierce people’s ears today:
Bring him to the door – יהושע tells us in Yoḥanan/John 10:7 that He is the door of the sheep.
We who declare our love for our Master who has bought us at a price – we come to Him and declare our desire to forever belong to Him.
Doorpost – Doorpost is where we are commanded to write the Ten Words upon and is a constant reminder to us as we go out and come in that we guard to do all He has commanded us to. It was on the doorpost that Yisra’ĕl was to apply the blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb
Pierce the ear – the ear speaks of the ability to hear and allow His word to be heard as it is, even as it pierces!
Too many today who claim to be servants of Messiah only want their ears ‘tickled’ and not ‘pierced’ with the Truth.
The piercing of the ear to the doorpost would be symbolic of the servant now belonging to the house and be submitted to the authority of the house. So many today are unwilling to submit to authority like this!
If they do not like what they ‘hear’ they all too quickly rush off to find another assembly where they will hear what they like, yet never show true commitment and submission!
The piercing of the ear would show a permanent decision that could not be reversed.
Our relationship to יהוה begins with the command to “hear“, so the ear is the appropriate place to bear this reminder of whom we have chosen to belong to.
To commit to the house means to commit to the rulings of the house, which are written on the doorposts—to say, “I hear what you are saying and will guard to do all I hear!”
The piercing of the ear to the doorpost where the Torah is written shows us the commitment to the commands of the House and יהושע who is the Door, was pierced for our transgressions and it is to Him we listen and make our choice to commit to living in obedience to Him – the Living Torah!
He who has ears – ears that are ‘pierced’ that is committed by choice to follow Messiah – let Him hear His right-rulings and live by them!
We must beware of ear ticklers who have the appearance of a door that has no commands upon them – tickling ears will listen gladly to a lawless doorpost!
We are now bondservants – ‘doulos’ – of the Most-High:
Sha’ul was a δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401, which means, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, of יהושע Messiah:
Romiyim/Romans 1:1 “Sha’ul, a servant of יהושע Messiah, a called emissary, separated to the Good News of Elohim”
Ya’aqoḇ, the half-brother of יהושע was a δοῦλος doulos of יהושע Messiah:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:1 “Ya’aqoḇ, a servant of Elohim and of the Master יהושע Messiah, to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion: Greetings.”
Kěpha was a δοῦλος doulos of יהושע Messiah:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:1 “Shimʽon Kěpha, a servant and emissary of יהושע Messiah, to those who have obtained a belief as precious as ours by the righteousness of our Elohim and Saviour יהושע Messiah”
Yehuḏah was a δοῦλος doulos of יהושע Messiah:
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:1 “Yehuḏah, a servant of יהושע Messiah, and brother of Ya’aqoḇ, to those who are called, set-apart by Elohim the Father, and preserved in יהושע Messiah”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy lists for us the reason for the curses that come as a result of disobedience:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28:47 “Because you did not serve יהוה your Elohim with joy and gladness of heart for all the plenty,”
In the Hebraic mind-set becoming a bondservant of Messiah is not a burden, in fact it is a burden to not become one, and we recognise that we are no longer our own and that He has bought us at a price and we have made the choice to serve. He makes it clear for us – choose life or death – we choose life and with that choice comes the responsibility to live as He commands and give an account of how we have lived and managed His property when He returns.
When we make the choice to become a bondservant of Messiah forever, we are in a way relinquishing our own ‘right to choose’ any other options to serving in our own manner or way of understanding as we accept by choice to submit and obey whatever He commands us to!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:8 “Do not do as we are doing here today – each one doing whatever is right in his own eyes.”
It is to the a δοῦλος doulos of יהושע Messiah that the Ḥazon/Revelation of Messiah has been given in order to show us what must take place speedily (Ḥazon/Revelation 1:1); and it is the a δοῦλος doulos of יהושע Messiah who are sealed on the forehead (Ḥazon/Revelation 7:3); and it will be the a δοῦλος doulos of יהושע Messiah that will serve Him (Ḥazon/Revelation 22:3).
As we recognise who our Master is then may we be a people who recognise that we have chosen to serve and we are to be found serving with great joy and not be found to be lazy in our duty and responsibility that He has given us as He has given us all collectively many talents for which He expects a 100% harvest of fruitfulness back.
How are you serving the Master, while He has gone on a journey?
Have you been struggling with the Greek mind-set of resistance to submit and obey to the Master’s will or do you embrace the true Hebraic mind-set of our faith in Messiah, our Master and are giving your all?
TALENTED SERVANTS SERVE – are you!!!
While certainly having the authority and power to punish his brothers and even sentence them to death, he forgives them and here shows that Yosĕph knew that vengeance was not his to take, but יהוה’s alone!
What his brothers had originally intended as evil against the brother they had hated, יהוה had other plans, plans of deliverance that He would work out through the brother they had hated and sold into slavery!
Yosĕph makes it very clear to them that while they certainly have been forgiven, he was not suggesting that what they did was not wrong, but rather that while they had intended harm, יהוה worked it out for good! Here he in a way rebuked them for their sin – they had by their actions clearly shown true repentance and now reconciliation could take place in its fullness!
However merciful יהוה had been, he makes sure they understood that what had been in their hearts was wrong. Even if we learn wonderful things when יהוה works our bad intentions together for the best, it would have been far better to avoid the wrongdoing in the first place. We must not use ‘grace’ as a licence to sin!
Romiyim/Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the esteem of Elohim”
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.”
Yosĕph told his brothers to not be afraid and he promised that he would provide for them and their children as he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
This is a powerful picture of the clear words of the Besorah of Messiah, who has comforted us and promised us complete provision and protection, as we walk in Him and we need not be afraid!
In verse 11 of Berěshith/Genesis 45 Yosĕph gave his brothers the sure promise that he would provide for them, and now here he was once again reassuring that promise to them; and the Hebrew root word here for ‘provide’ is כּוּל kul – Strong’s H3557 and means, ‘maintain, provide with sustenance’ and gives us great insight into the sure promise of the provision of Elohim for His set-apart ones:
Tehillah/Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on יהוה, and let Him sustain you; He never allows the righteous to be shaken.”
As we recognize how there is a severe ‘famine for the Word’ today, as so many are preferring the ‘food’ of Mitsrayim so to speak, we must be comforted by these words of assurance that it is יהוה Himself that will sustain us, as we cast our burdens upon Him and trust Him with our all!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘comfort’ comes from the root word נָחַם naḥam – Strong’s H5162 which means, ‘to comfort, console, to be comforted’ and also can express the meaning, ‘to be sorry, to be moved, have compassion, suffer grief, repent’.
The original root often seems to reflect the idea of ‘breathing deeply’; hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually of sorrow, compassion or comfort. It can therefore mean to breathe deeply with sorrow for your sin, or to breathe deeply as you comfort and console someone. In Scripture we see that the majority of the times that נָחַם naḥam is used and translated as ‘repent’ actually refers to Elohim’s repentance and not man’s. Man’s repentance is most frequently indicated by the word שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, meaning to turn away from sin and turn back to Elohim and follow in His ways.
This is a clear picture of יהושע Messiah comforting us!!!
In a clear call of comfort from Elohim to Yisra’ĕl we see in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40 an emphasis on the comfort that was to be declared to Yisra’ĕl.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort, comfort My people!” says your Elohim.”
Here, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:1, we see the repetition of the word ‘comfort’, which, in Hebrew, we see the following phrase being written: נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי – “naḥamu,naḥamu, ami” – “comfort, comfort, My people…”
The repetition of the word used for ‘comfort’ is for emphasis and this word is from the root word נָחַם naḥam – Strong’s H5162 The term ‘naḥamu’ which is a derivative of נָחַם naḥam can give the understanding of ‘to cause to breathe again’ – in other words, it is יהוה Himself that would bring the ‘recovery of breath’, and this is His comforting words to His people – and in a sense could render the encouragement of knowing that Elohim Himself is declaring to a people in exile,
“I am bringing you a recovery of breath”.
This recovery of breath that was surely needed is sufficient for His people to get strengthened and prepare the way for His soon return!
The ‘comfort’ being proclaimed here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:1 is also a clear call to repentance, in order to find the necessary breath that would be needed to be a voice in the wilderness (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:3), as the spirit of Eliyahu must first come again before Messiah returns and this is the spirit that proclaims righteousness and the call to repentance – just as Noaḥ did to a wicked generation!
Ma’asei/Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and turn back, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of refreshing might come from the presence of the Master”
The Greek word for ‘refreshing’ is ἀνάψυξις anapsuxis Strong’s G403 and means, ‘recovery of breath, refresh’ and we see that when we repent and turn back to The Master we may receive a recovery of breath – His Word giving us our very life that we may live and breathe and praise His Name – for everything that has breath praise יהוה!
It takes hearing obediently to clearly guard to do what His instructions tell us to and be filled with His Spirit/Breath/Word that He puts in those who turn back to Him and in Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 3 we see the prophet plead with יהוה to ‘remember compassion’ in His wrath – in other words – remember those who return and are recovered by His Breath through the Fear of Elohim – remember the righteous who do His will and refresh His faithful remnant in the midst of these dark and perilous times!!!
We are to be a people who are strengthened to lift up our voice and not be afraid, as we proclaim the True Shepherd and Saviour of our souls – The Master יהוה of Hosts!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, the Father of compassion and Elohim of all comfort, 4 who is comforting us in all our pressure, enabling us to comfort those who are in every pressure, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by Elohim.”
The Greek word that is used here in Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:3-4 for comfort is παρακαλέω parakaleō – Strong’s G3870 which means, ‘call near, invite, invoke, be of good comfort, encourage’ and so we again see the two fold message in the call to return to the Truth we will find our true comfort and rest, as we acknowledge the work of Messiah and recognise that we who put to death the flesh, turn to Him and confidently guard His commands, witness that His Blood satisfies the wrath of Elohim that ought to be poured out on us, and we who drink the ‘Cup of Messiah’ in the partaking of the Pěsaḥ Meal and remain steadfast in our active belief will not drink of the cup of His wrath!
Yosĕph lived 110 years! He was 39 39 years old when his father was ‘re-joined’ to him in Mitsrayim. He was 30 years old when he was made governor over Mitsrayim and after 7 years of plenty and 2 years of the 7 years of famine, Ya’aqoḇ came down to Mitsrayim, with still 5 years of the famine left!
Thus, making Yosĕph 39 years of age when he saw his father again (30+7+2=39). Ya’aqoḇ lived another 17 years in Mitsrayim before he died, making Yosĕph 56 years old when Ya’aqoḇ died.
After his father’s death, Yosĕph lived another 64 years in Mitsrayim, and he was able to see Ephrayim’s children to the 3rd generation, as well as Menashsheh’s grandchildren!
Yosĕph said to his brothers that he was about to die, and he made them promise that they would take his bones to the Promised Land, when Elohim would deliver them from Mitsrayim.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:21-22 “By belief, Ya’aqoḇ, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Yosĕph, and did reverence on the top of his staff. 22 By belief, Yosĕph, when he was dying, made mention of the outgoing of the children of Yisra’ĕl, and gave orders concerning his bones.”
Mosheh brought his bones out and Yehoshua completed this task:
Shemoth/Exodus 13:19 “And Mosheh took the bones of Yosĕph with him, for he certainly made the children of Yisra’ĕl swear, saying, “Elohim shall certainly visit you, and you shall bring my bones from here with you.”
Yehoshua/Joshua 24:32 “And the bones of Yosĕph, which the children of Yisra’ĕl had brought up out of Mitsrayim, they buried at Sheḵem, in the plot of ground which Ya’aqoḇ had bought from the sons of Ḥamor the father of Sheḵem for one hundred pieces of silver, and which had become an inheritance of the children of Yosĕph.”
Here in verse 24 we take note of the first time that the names of Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ are listed together – the sure picture of the promise of the Covenants of Promise given to us through the Blood of Messiah!
We have now come to the end of the ‘Book of Beginnings’, and we recognise that we are able to live, because of the life, death and resurrection of Messiah!!!
As we consider the powerful lessons that we are able to glean from the events of the lives of Ya’aqoḇ and Yosĕph, and the blessings contained therein, we are able to see wonderful shadow pictures of the blessing we have received, and continue to receive, in Messiah.
So, in closing this first book of Scripture, I would like us all to be reminded on the blessing of life we have in our Mighty Master and Elohim and in doing so, be reminded of the blessing of His Name being upon us, His faithful Bride and trustworthy ambassadors!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 6:24-26 “יהוהbless you and guard you; 25 יהוהmake His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; 26 יהוהlift up His face upon you, and give you peace.”
In the Hebrew text, this blessing it is written as follows:
This can be transliterated as:
Yeḇareḵ’ḵa YAHWEH veyishmereḵa
Ya’er YAHWEH panav eyleyḵa viyḥunne’ḵa
Yissa YAHWEH panav eyleyḵa veyasem leḵa shalom
יהוה spoke to Mosheh and told him to tell Aharon how he was to bless the children of Yisra’ĕl, and by this יהוה would put His Name on us as He Himself would bless us.
Let us take a closer look at the words of this ‘blessing’ and get a further understanding to it powerful meaning:
1 – BLESS – is the Hebrew word – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 and means, ‘to abundantly bless’ and literally carries the meaning, ‘to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’.
2 – GUARD/KEEP – in the Hebrew is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 – ‘keep watch, preserve, guard, protect’.
3 – FACE – is from the root word – פָּנִים panim or פָּנֶה paneh – Strong’s 6441 – ‘face, faces, appearance, presence’ and can also carry the understanding of the presence or wholeness of being.
4 – SHINE – אוֹר ‘or’ – Strong’s H215 – ‘light (noun) and give light or shine (verb) – bring illumination’.
5 – FAVOUR – חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 – ‘merciful, favour’ and also carries the meaning of providing protection.
6 – GIVE –שׂוּם suwm – Strong’s H7760 – ‘to put, to place, to set; set down in a fixed and arranged place’
7 – PEACE – שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 – ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection’, and is from the primitive root שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.
7 powerful words that are contained in this blessing as commanded by יהוה that not only blesses us and puts His Name upon us, but also wonderfully expresses His marvellous love and compassion for us and what He does for us through His blessing us, as He, in a sense, has ‘bowed down/ come down and given us the gift of life through His own Arm and Hand, as he promises to guard and protect us and keep us safe in Him.
This blessing in light of the understanding of the meaning of these 7 words could be expresses in English as follows:
יהוה shall come down to you presenting you gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection.
יהוה shall illuminate the wholeness of His being toward you, bringing order and beautify you and He will give you love, comfort and sustenance.
יהוה shall lift up His wholeness of being and look upon you and He will set in place all you need to be whole and complete.
The ancient pictographic script has the Hebrew word for bless – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 pictured as follows:
Beyt – בָּ:
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 – רַ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as – – which is a picture of an open palm of a hand and can symbolise that to which submission is given – ‘under the hand’
Once again, we are able to clearly see who it is who blesses us:
THE HOUSE/ASSEMBLY OF ELOHIM IS BLESSED AS THE HEAD/CHIEF, COMES DOWN AND EXTENDS HIS OPEN AND REVEALED HAND TO HIS OWN!