Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 31

Genesis 32:3-33:17   -   Obadiah 1:1   -   Psalm 27   -   James 1:1-12

Heshvan 10, 5762 / Oct 27, 2001

Heshvan   8, 5765 / Oct 23, 2004 

Heshvan   8, 5768 / Oct 20, 2007

Heshvan   8, 5771 / Oct 16, 2010

Heshvan   8, 5774 / Oct 12, 2013

Heshvan 11, 5777 / Nov   9, 2016

Heshvan 11, 5780 / Nov   9, 2019

Heshvan 11, 5783 / Nov   5, 2022


Vayishlah / Then he sent   SCRIPTURES should be read first  


In ancient Hebrew teaching, we have a great messianic interpretation of this passage:

“. . . this is the chapter of Israel’s subjugation to Edom. Jacob’s behavior in the face of a mortal threat from the stronger Esau is to guide our conduct in similar circumstances, and his salvation is our assurance that God will save Israel from destruction by Esau’s powerful offspring until the eventual complete redemption by Messiah.” (Ramban / Artscroll Tanach)


Edom is Esau: Edomites are his descendents (Genesis 25:30, 36:43). The ancient land of Edom roughly coincides with the present day Jordan. The Edomites refused passage to Israel in the Exodus.


Edomites are Arabs; they are not Pelishtim (Philistines / Palestinians), and present-day so-called “Palestinians” are Arabs, not Philistines. In the sixth century BC, the Babylonians conquered Edom, and many fled to southern Israel, where they were called Idumeans. Babylon eventually conquered Israel also.


Rome later conquered the land of Edom, and in the first century AD was seen in Judaism as the world power that God’s kingdom would imminently replace.


Paul says, “These things were written for our admonition” (1 Corinthians 10:11) – “to guide our conduct in similar circumstances.”


Today, every day’s news headlines deal with Edom’s attempt to destroy Israel: the so-called “Palestinians,” the Taliban, Iraq, Syria, etc. The U.S. and others keep trying to “make peace” by yielding to Edom.


Koenig's International News · http://watch.org/ · October 24, 2001

The three largest insurance claims in United States history all have direct connection to American involvement in the Middle East peace talks when Israel was pressured to give up God's covenant land in exchange for peace.

On the front page of the Business Section in today's Washington Post was “Putting a Price on ‘What Ifs’,” a story which contained the dollar amounts, along with accompanying photos, of these insurance events.

These three largest insurance claims are listed here. In parentheses, I have noted the connection to the ongoing Middle East “peace process” in which the issue of land for peace was a key factor.

·         Hurricane Andrew: $19.6 billion. (This event happened on August 23, 1992, the day the Madrid Peace Conference re-convened in Washington to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.)   


·         Northridge Earthquake: $16.2 billion. (This event happened on January 16, 1994, as President Clinton and Syria's President Haffez el-Assad called for Israel to give up the Golan Heights to Syria at a public meeting in Geneva. As the ancients have understood for thousands of years, God will preserve His elect until the final redemption by Messiah.   


·         Terrorist Attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon: $30-$50 billion. (The September 11 event happened at the moment that the Bush Administration was putting the final touches on a Middle East initiative, which included recognition of a Palestinian State, endorsement of the Mitchell Plan, and position statements about Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. This initiative was to be shared with the Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations on Sept. 13, with a formal presentation to the U.N. General Assembly by Secretary of State Colin Powell on September 23.)

Putting this information into perspective, the three largest events in U.S. insurance history all took place on the same day or at the same moment (in the case of the WTC/Pentagon terror events) that Israel was being pushed by the United States to give up God’s covenant land.

The odds against these events happening at the same time are astronomical. These are not mere coincidences.



Obadiah said, “Thus says Yahweh Elohim concerning Edom – ‘We have heard a report from Yahweh, and an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle.” ’ ”


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Note: (Definition) God’s Kingdom (or the Kingdom of Heaven) is the total arena of His subjects over which He is Lord – His people.


Jacob called Esau “My Lord” eight times. Esau consequently produced eight kings before Jacob produced one. [Gen 36:31-39 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel: Bela, Jobab, Husham, Hadad, Samlah, Saul, Baalhanan, and Hadar.]

It will cost us – to consider the enemy’s power more significant than God’s. David said, “Yahweh is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Yahweh is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? (Psalm 27:1)


Note that there is a difference between trusting in God’s power to defend us from spiritual and physical enemies of our service toward Him, and tempting God by doing foolish dangerous things with the expectation that He will protect us from harm. We should trust God for protection when we decide to follow His commandments in this perverse world; we should not drive a car where we cannot see if the way is clear, thinking that God will protect us.


Jacob acknowledged his unworthiness, and prayed to Yahweh for the fulfillment of His promise (V.9-12).

We should pray for the things that are for building God’s Kingdom (that is the essence of praying in Yeshua’s name, as “ambassadors for Christ”). And if we lack wisdom, we should “ask God, who gives to all men generously” (James 1:5). We have great promises for a peaceful, prosperous future: we should be praying for grace and wisdom to walk in a path pleasing to God, and should be cognizant of the prize which we are working towards.


Jacob made preparations for a possible battle.

We should take earthly actions toward building and protecting God’s Kingdom. And when we are attacked, we should “consider it joy . . . knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3). “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which Yahweh has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12). We need the girding of truth – not dogma, the breastplate of righteousness over the heart, our feet shod with the gospel of peace-with-God, the shield of faith to protect against enemy attacks, the helmet of salvation from sin, and the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God, not our feelings (Ephesians 6:14-17).


We need to understand, as the ancients have understood for thousands of years, that God will preserve His elect until the final redemption by Messiah. This applies both collectively, and individually.


Our salvation depends upon Yeshua’s work – if we are “of the faith.” But our individual condition here, and our reward eternally, depend upon our walk. Paul said, “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (1 Thess 5:23).


Thus Yeshua said, “Whoever then breaks one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” We are to grow in understanding and faithfulness, and instruct and encourage others to do the same.


Our goal should be to build the Kingdom of God: our destiny is a renewed earth wherein dwells righteousness!



"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."


Reader 1*  Amen. 3 Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He also commanded them saying, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: 'Thus says your servant Jacob, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; 5 I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight."'" 6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him." 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; 8 for he said, "If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape."

Reader 2*  Amen. 9 Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Yahweh, who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,' 10 I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. 11 "Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. 12 "For You said, 'I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.'" 13 So he spent the night there. Then he selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.

Reader 3*  Amen. 16 He delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass on before me, and put a space between droves." 17 He commanded the one in front, saying, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?' 18 then you shall say, 'These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.'" 19 Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the droves, saying, "After this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him; 20 and you shall say, 'Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.'" For he said, "I will appease him with the present that goes before me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me." 21 So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.

Reader 4*  Amen. 22 Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." 27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 He said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."

Reader 5*  Amen. 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved." 31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh. 32 Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh, because he touched the socket of Jacob's thigh in the sinew of the hip.

Reader 6*  Amen. 33:1 Then Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2 He put the maids and their children in front, and Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 But he himself passed on ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 He lifted his eyes and saw the women and the children, and said, "Who are these with you?" So he said, "The children whom God has graciously given your servant." 6 Then the maids came near with their children, and they bowed down. 7 Leah likewise came near with her children, and they bowed down; and afterward Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed down. 8 And he said, "What do you mean by all this company which I have met?" And he said, "To find favor in the sight of my lord." 9 But Esau said, "I have plenty, my brother; let what you have be your own." 10 Jacob said, "No, please, if now I have found favor in your sight, then take my present from my hand, for I see your face as one sees the face of God, and you have received me favorably. 11 "Please take my gift which has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have plenty." Thus he urged him and he took it.

Reader 7*  Amen. 12 Then Esau said, "Let us take our journey and go, and I will go before you." 13 But he said to him, "My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds which are nursing are a care to me. And if they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die. 14 "Please let my lord pass on before his servant, and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir." 15 Esau said, "Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me." But he said, "What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord." 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 Jacob journeyed to Sukkot, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Sukkot.


"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."



"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."


Obadiah 1:1

Reader 8*  Amen. 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus says Yahweh God concerning Edom – We have heard a report from Yahweh, and an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, "Arise and let us go against her for battle."


Psalm 27    (To be sung.)  A Psalm of David.

1 Yahweh is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Yahweh is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? 2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident. 4 One thing I have asked from Yahweh, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Yahweh and to meditate in His temple. 5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to Yahweh. 7 Hear, O Yahweh, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me. 8 When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O Yahweh, I shall seek." 9 Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but Yahweh will take me up. 11 Teach me Your way, O Yahweh, and lead me in a level path Because of my foes. 12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. 13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. 14 Wait for Yahweh; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for Yahweh.


James 1:1-12

Reader 9*  Amen. 1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Reader 10*  Amen. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Reader 11*  Amen. 9 But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.


"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)