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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 36

Genesis 39:1-23   -   Isaiah 52:3-9   -   Psalm 32   -   Acts 7:9-37
 

 

Kislev 16, 5762 / Dec  1,  2001

Kislev 14, 5765 / Nov 27, 2004 

Kislev 14, 5768 / Nov 24, 2007

Kislev 14, 5771 / Nov 20, 2010

Kislev 13, 5774 / Nov 16, 2013

Kislev 17, 5777 / Dec 17, 2016

 

VaYosheph / Now Joseph   SCRIPTURES should be read first  

 

Consider how Joseph prefigured Yeshua:

Joseph led in spirituality; he was sold for telling what God ordained – that his brethren would bow to him; he was accused of sin that he did not commit; he was the provider of food for the world; he was ultimately placed in the position of highest authority, and his brethren bowed before him in awe.

 

Joseph was acknowledged by his father, Jacob/Israel, as the one of the twelve brethren who learned and observed and taught the way of God as it had been passed down from Adam. This was the significance of the special garment. It was the reason he was hated. Sinners hate the light.

 

Joseph told his prophetic parable-dreams to his brethren. They hated him all the more for this, and sought to kill him: how dare young Joseph make himself a king over them?
John 10:32-33 – Yeshua answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

 

Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph, but he stood fast with God.
Matthew 4:8-10  – Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ”

 

Then she falsely accused him, and he was bound in prison: but even there, he ruled!
Matthew 26:59-61 – Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’ ”
Acts 2:24-28  – it was impossible for Him (Yeshua) to be held in its (death’s) power. “For David says of Him, ‘I was always beholding the Lord in my presence; for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will abide in hope; because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; Thou wilt make me full of gladness with Thy presence.’ ”
Revelation 1:1, 17-18 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, . . . “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

Joseph provided food to save Egypt and his own family.
Acts 13:47 – “For thus the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, that You should bring salvation to the end of the earth.’ ”

Through this salvation – providing food – Joseph attained a high position, and his brethren bowed down before him.
Revelation 4:10-11 – The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”
Are these twenty-four elders the twelve princes of Esau and the twelve princes of Israel?

Isaiah 52 is an obvious reference to this Torah portion, and its ultimate fulfillment:
3 For thus says Yahweh, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.” 4 For thus says Yahweh God, “My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there, then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.” . . . 9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for Yahweh has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

Psalm 32 is a contemplation:
1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom Yahweh does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! . . . 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked; but he who trusts in Yahweh, lovingkindness shall surround him. 11 Be glad in Yahweh and rejoice, you righteous ones, and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

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Another aspect of this portion: As Joseph did, we also should portray Yeshua.

We should be lights to a dark world, being interested in spiritual profit.
Phillippians 2:13-15 – It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.

By being familiar with God’s Word, knowing our end, we can resist temptation.

If we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we can rejoice! We can glorify God through it!
Matthew 5:10 – “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Through God’s Word, we can be wiser than those of the world.
Psalm 119:97-101 – O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Thy precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word.

In the end, God will exalt us! Overcomers have a great future in store!
Revelation 2:6 – To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.'
2:11 – 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'
2:17 – To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'
2: 26-28 –  'And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.
3: 5 'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.
3:12 – 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
3: 21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
21: 7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
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Some explanations from the Hebrew text:

Concerning Potiphar’s wife “lifting up her eyes to Jopseph”: the Midrash teaches, “The righteous are exalted through their eyes, but the wicked fall through their eyes.”

Joseph refused to lie with Potiphar’s wife: using the same word, Scripture later states (v.45:19) that Jacob refused to switch his hands, and blessed Joseph. The Zohar claims this is a reward.

Joseph left his garment in her hand and fled (v.12). Talmud teaches us to flee rather than remain and resist strong temptation.
2 Timothy 2:22 – Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

The Yalkut says that Potiphar was ready to kill Joseph, but his daughter Asenath came to him and swore that Joseph was innocent. She told her father the entire story as it actually happened. It was on the merit of this that she was eventually privileged to marry him (see v. 41:50).

Readings:

"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. 1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2 Yahweh was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. 3 Now his master saw that Yahweh was with him and how Yahweh caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.

Reader 2*  Amen. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. 5 It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, Yahweh blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus Yahweh's blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. 6 So he left everything he owned in Joseph's charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate.

Reader 3*  Amen. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7 It came about after these events that his master's wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me." 8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. 9 "There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?"

Reader 4*  Amen. 10 As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. 11 Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. 12 She caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.

Reader 5*  Amen. 13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, "See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed. 15 "When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside."

Reader 6*  Amen. 16 So she left his garment beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she spoke to him with these words, "The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me; 18 and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside." 19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your slave did to me," his anger burned.

Reader 7*  Amen. 20 So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail. 21 But Yahweh was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. 22 The chief jailer committed to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. 23 The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph's charge because Yahweh was with him; and whatever he did, Yahweh made to prosper.

 

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."

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"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."

 

Isaiah 52:3-9

Reader 8*  Amen. 3 For thus says Yahweh, "You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money." 4 For thus says the Lord Yahweh, "My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there; then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what do I have here," declares Yahweh, "seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?" Again Yahweh declares, "Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'" 7 How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" 8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; for they will see with their own eyes when Yahweh restores Zion. 9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for Yahweh has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

 

Psalm 32    (To be sung.)    A Psalm of David. A Maskil (contemplative poem).

1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom Yahweh does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to Yahweh"; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. 6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. 9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you. 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in Yahweh, lovingkindness shall surround him 11 Be glad in Yahweh and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

 

Acts 7:9-37

Reader 9*  Amen. 9 "The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household. 11 "Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. 12 "But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. 13 "On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family was disclosed to Pharaoh. 14 "Then Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all.

Reader 10*  Amen. 15 "And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. 16 "From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. 17 "But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18 until there arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph. 19 "It was he who took shrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive.

Reader 11*  Amen. 20 "It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father's home. 21 "And after he had been set outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. 22 "Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. 23 "But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. 24 "And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. 25 "And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand. 26 "On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?' 27 "But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, Who made you a ruler and judge over us? 28 You do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?'  

Reader 12*  Amen. 29 "At this remark, Moses fled and became an alien in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. 30 "After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. 31 "When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 I am the God of your fatrhers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.' Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. 33 "but Yahweh said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have certainly seen the oppression of My People in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’  

Reader 13*  Amen. 35 "This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36 "This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’

 

"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)