Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Parashat Vayeshev ("and he settled") Genesis 37:1-40:23

Parashat Vayeshev ("and he settled")   Genesis 37:1-40:23
This week's parashah begins with the whole of Jacob’s family living back in Canaan, the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and future generations.   We then read about Jacob's favourite son Joseph being given an “ornate (pasim -  פַּסִּים)  robe” (NIV).     The King James Version claims that the robe was a “coat of many colours”.  Another translation is “a coat with long sleeves”.   Pasim (פַּסִּים) can also mean “diverse”.

Either way, the most interesting part of a passim coat, (פַּסִּים), is that it was customary for ROYAL virgin daughters to wear it.   It was possibly a sign of purity.  Considering that Joseph is a foreshadow of Mashiach, it stands to reason that Joseph was royally pure.

“And she had a garment of diverse colours (פַּסִּים) upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled.” 2 Samuel 13:18.

Joseph had a dream that the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him.  Jacob was astonished and rebuked him, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 

Now some may argue that this dream picture unfolded in Egypt, but remember that Joseph’s mother died during child birth.   Some whilst the dream came true in some technicality later on in Genesis, the full meaning of the dream is yet to be fulfilled.  Joseph’s dream that the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to the saviour will one day be realised when all of Israel will bow before the King.

In the next part of Genesis 27, we read how the brothers planned to kill Joseph but Rueben saved his life; they ended up faking his death and throwing him in the well. 

Another parallel here is how the Mashiach will be have his death plotted by his own brothers, there will be blood shed (though not Joseph’s at this time) and he will descend into the earth.  “what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth”  Ephesians 4:9.

I should note here that Joseph willingly left his father’s house to find his brothers.  It was this concern for his brothers that led to his betrayal and “death”;  just as Yeshua left the Father to find His brothers and was eventually put to death.

Additionally, a "certain man" in verse 15 questioned Joseph “What are you looking for?”  This question may have guided Joseph's heart throughout the difficult times.  For our Mashiach, it was “the joy that was set before him,” of which “he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”   Hebrews 12:2.   What are you looking for?

In Genesis 37:18 it reads, the brothers "saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him."  

As we approach the “Christmas Season”, one favourite song amongst the season greetings is a story of wise men who saw the star from afar and followed it to the Mashiach.   I would suggest that many Scribes, Pharisees and Rabbi were awaiting the coming of Mashiach and were watching the times and seasons.  They only needed to count the weeks mentioned in Daniel 9 to know that the time was near.

In the book of Matthew chapter 2, Herod asks “ALL the chief priests and scribes of the people” to demanded of them where the Mashiach should be born.   All who spoke to Herod appeared to know that the Mashiach had arrived –  it was no surprise, they had seen Him come from afar.    What were they thinking for the next 30 years?  Did they assume that Herod had been successful in killing the baby King?

I’ll finish with this.   During Chanukah, we read that Yeshua was challenged by the Jews if he was the Mashiach.   He replied that He already had told them so.  
“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not”.  John 10:22-25.

This Chanukah and “Christmas Season” the Jews are still asking, is HE the Mashiach. 
Yes He is.

Shalom and Blessings to you during this holiday season.  I’ll let you decide which Holiday I mean.

Jon Eaton

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