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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 38

Genesis 41:1-37   -   Isaiah 29:8   -   Psalm 34   -   Matthew 2:1-23
 

Kislev 30, 5762 / Dec 15, 2001

Kislev 28, 5765 / Dec 11, 2001

Kislev 28, 5768 / Dec   8, 2007

Kislev 28, 5771 / Dec   4, 2010
Kislev 27, 5773 / Nov 30, 2013

Tevet     2, 5777 / Dec 31, 2016   HANUKKAH – light 8th candle after havdallah

 

Miqeitz / At the end   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

Consider the general usage of visions and dreams in the Torah, as discussed in Talmud: God commonly gives messages to his prophets by angelic appearances or visions, but to the wicked in dreams of the night.

 

Joseph (Yoseph), the husband of Mary (Miryam), was warned by God in a dream (Matt. 2:13), to take the young Yeshua to Egypt. Then, again (Matt. 2:19-20), Joseph was told in a dream to take Yeshua back to Israel. Later (Matt. 27:19) Pilate’s wife claims to have suffered greatly in a dream because of the righteous man – Yeshua. The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew (Shem Tob’s) translates that an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, telling him to go to Egypt, then back to Israel. But, Pilate’s wife suffered a dream at night.

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The Pharaoh was an Egyptian that worshipped idols like the Nile River, frogs, etc., and his “prophets” were astrologers, magicians, and soothsayers.

 

God gave the Pharaoh a dream: seven fat, healthy cows grazed in the lush meadows of the Nile; then (“But I don’t know how she swallowed the cow!”) seven scrawny, sickly cows came up from the Nile and ate the fat ones! And the latter were still scrawny!

 

This was enough to awaken the Pharaoh, but he went back to sleep: so God sent more. A stalk of grain came up with (an unusual) seven bountiful ears. Then seven poor ears sprouted – and swallowed the seven bountiful ones! This was enough to awaken him and leave him troubled. He recognized that this was not an ordinary dream, and he wanted an explanation. God had gotten his attention!

 

The Pharaoh called for ALL the wise men of Egypt. SOMEONE should know the right god to give answer. But there were none to seek answer from Yahweh (Psalm 14:2).

 

Then the cupbearer, whose dream had been interpreted two years earlier, remembered Joseph. Now he came penitently before the Pharaoh, acknowledging his previous offense and pardon, to make mention of the imprisoned Hebrew who had shown the interpretation of dreams.

 

Joseph would not accept any praise for assumed ability to interpret dreams: he forthrightly proclaimed that Elohim would provide the explanation (v.16). However, as one who had grown to great faith, he faithfully executed the position of being God’s mouthpiece.

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Isaiah 29:8 – “And it will be as when a hungry man dreams – and behold, he is eating; but when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams – and behold, he is drinking, but when he awakens, behold, he is faint, and his thirst is not quenched. Thus the multitude of all the nations shall be, who wage war against Mount Zion.

 

Yahweh made a covenant with Abraham: we may be partakers of that covenant today (Ephesians 2:12, 3:6). Catholic Christendom has declared itself to be God’s replacement for His Covenant People. Islam has declared itself to be God’s replacement for both Judaism and Christianity (which should be one and the same). The Islamic nations, who today are waging war to destroy Mount Zion, will dream of being filled with good food and drink, only to awaken hungry and thirsty.

 

(I have heard of people dreaming of eating, only to awaken eating their pillow.)

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Psalm 34 is all about learning to walk with God. (Consider each line.)

 

(V.1) “I will bless Yahweh at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. In all that we do, we should be glorifying Yahweh.

 

(V.2) “My soul will make its boast in Yahweh; the humble will hear it and rejoice.” We need to continually recognize our position before the all-knowing and almighty.

 

(V.3) “O magnify Yahweh with me, and let us exalt His name together.” As a community of believers, we are to praise His Name.

 

(V.4) “I sought Yahweh, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” We should trust Yahweh, and pray to Him for our needs.

6 This poor man cried, and Yahweh heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. 8 O taste and see that Yahweh is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 O fear Yahweh, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want. 10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek Yahweh shall not be in want of any good thing.

 

(V.5) “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.” If we are not ashamed of Him now, we will not be in the future.

 

Yeshua said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” – Mark 8:38.

 

Paul said, “I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” – 2 Timothy 1:12.

 

(Psalm 34) “11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of Yahweh. 12 Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of Yahweh are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of Yahweh is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”

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Faith has many degrees. So do all commandments involving intellect, emotion, or character, have degrees of observance.

 

This is in contrast to commandments relating to tangible matters: a piece of meat is either kosher, or it is not – if it is from an unclean animal, draining its blood cannot make it partly kosher; a tithe is either valid or it is not – one-twentieth cannot be called a partly-valid tithe (since tithe is one-tenth by definition). This is like a window, which is either whole or broken – we do not call a window partly whole.

 

We all show our degree of faith by different levels of mercy, by different levels of humility, by different levels of honesty. As the Sh’ma declares, we are to love Yahweh with all of our intellect (so we must learn His word), with all of our emotion (so we must grow through trials), and with all of our abilities (so we must practice). While we are all different, we should all be “overcomers.” If we have none of the “fruits of the Spirit,” we are not “of the faith.”

 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith1 John 5:4.

 

We can get a glimpse of our level of faith through the level of honesty we practice before God: in day-to-day fulfilling our job obligations, in returning found valuables, or in giving truthful testimony. And there is a difference between achieving a level of honesty because we love God, and achieving such because we are trying to earn our salvation (which we cannot accomplish).

 

His name was called Yeshua, because He would save His people from their sins. Salvation is only possible through faith in Yeshua. And this salvation is FROM sin, not IN sin. This salvation makes us overcomers.

 

Joseph prefigured the Messiah that would come; he trusted God’s provision for his salvation. Then Joseph showed his faith by his attitudes, by his knowledge of God, by his trustworthiness, by being successful through walking with God.

 

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 (Vayhi miqetz shanataim yamim)

Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. 2 And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass. 3 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4 The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.

Reader 2*  Amen. 5 (Vayiyshen vayachalom shanit)

He fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good. 6 Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 7 The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8 Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Reader 3*  Amen. 9 (Vaydaber sar hamashqim Pharaoh)

Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, "I would make mention today of my own offenses. 10 "Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11 "We had a dream on the same night, he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 "Now a Hebrew youth was with us there, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related them to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 "And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; he restored me in my office, but he hanged him."

Reader 4* Amen. 14 (Vayishlach Pharaoh vayiqra et-Yoseph)

Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it." 16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer." 17 So Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, "In my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the Nile; 18 and behold, seven cows, fat and sleek came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass. 19 "Lo, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such as I had never seen for ugliness in all the land of Egypt; 20 and the lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21 "Yet when they had devoured them, it could not be detected that they had devoured them, for they were just as ugly as before. Then I awoke.

Reader 5* Amen. 22 (Va-erei hachalomi)

"I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears, full and good, came up on a single stalk; 23 and lo, seven ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them; 24 and the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. Then I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."

Reader 6* Amen. (Vayomer Yoseph el-Pharaoh)

25 Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, "Pharaoh's dreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26 "The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one and the same. 27 "The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28 "It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 "Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30 and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 "So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe. 32 "Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.

Reader 7* Amen.  (V’attah year Pharaoh)

33 "Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 "Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. 35 "Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh's authority, and let them guard it. 36 "Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine." 37 Now the proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants.

 

"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 29:8

Reader 8* Amen. 8 It will be as when a hungry man dreams – and behold, he is eating; but when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams – and behold, he is drinking, but when he awakens, behold, he is faint And his thirst is not quenched. Thus the multitude of all the nations will be who wage war against Mount Zion.

 

Psalm 34    (To be sung.)

A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.

1 I will bless Yahweh at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will make its boast in Yahweh; the humble will hear it and rejoice. 3 O magnify Yahweh with me, and let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought Yahweh, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and Yahweh heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. 8 O taste and see that Yahweh is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 O fear Yahweh, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want. 10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek Yahweh shall not be in want of any good thing. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of Yahweh. 12 Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of Yahweh are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of Yahweh is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry, and Yahweh hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Yahweh delivers him out of them all. 20 He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 22 Yahweh redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

 

Matthew 2:1-23

Reader 9* Amen. 1 Now after Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, Land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler who shall shepherd My people Israel.’ " 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."

Reader 10* Amen. 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Reader 11* Amen. 13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called My Son." 16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more."

Reader 12* Amen. 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 "Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead." 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: "He shall be called a Nazarene."

 

"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)