Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 39

Genesis 41:38 - 42:17   -   Isaiah 11:2-9   -   Psalm 35   -   Acts 7:1-19


Tevet 7, 5762 / Dec 22, 2001 

Tevet 6, 5765 / Dec 18, 2004 

Tevet 6, 5768 / Dec 15, 2007 

Tevet 6, 5771 / Dec 11, 2010

Tevet 4, 5774 / Dec   7, 2013

Tevet 9, 5777 / Jan    7, 2017

Tevet 7, 5780 / Jan    4, 2020

Tevet 7, 5783 / Dec 31, 2022


Hanimtza / Can We Find?   SCRIPTURES should be read first


(V.38) Then Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?" So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.

Is this not what Joseph’s father Jacob, saw in him?


Still, Joseph prefigures Yeshua: Isaiah (11:2,9) prophesied concerning Yeshua, “And the Spirit of Yahweh will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh. . . . the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea.”


Egyptian law forbade elevating a slave to a position of aristocracy. The Talmud states (Sotah 36b) that when Pharaoh proposed elevating Joseph to this high position, the royal astrologers exclaimed, “Will you set over us a slave whom his master bought for twenty pieces of silver?”


“So they weighed for my price thirty silver shekels. Then said the Lord to them, ‘Cast them to the potter, that “magnificent” price that I was valued by them.’ – Zechariah 11:12.


Matt 27:3-9 – "Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter's Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel"


Even the Pharaoh, who considered himself a god, acknowledged that Joseph had the Spirit of God of supreme King of Kings. By referring to Joseph’s wisdom as a power outside of Joseph, the Pharaoh avoided affronting the “wise men” of Egypt. No one’s discernment of the future compared to that shown by Joseph, and no one’s wisdom in planning for the future compared to that displayed by Joseph.


(V.40) As did Potiphar in the prison, so now the Pharaoh sets Joseph as second highest in the palace – controlling everything, notably agriculture and commerce. Again Joseph symbolizes Yeshua, reigning over everything, notably over our sustenance for which we offer blessing several times a day.


(V.42) Joseph is given the ring of authority, and a special garment of fine linen.


Rev 1:13 and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet,

Rev 4:12-13 "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." And every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."


(V.43) They proclaimed before him, “Avrech!” This means “Father (Counselor) to the King”, as Joseph affirms in v.45:8. Joseph had rejected praise for himself, ascribing greatness to God; now God exalted Joseph.


(V.45) Then the Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah (Tzaph-nath' Pa-ne'-ach) – He who explains what is hidden; and he gave him Asenath (As-nath'), the daughter of Potiphera (see v.39:1) priest of On, as his wife.

A name change was normal for one promoted to a high position (as with Hosea/Joshua and Daniel/Belteshazzar). In this case, it helped conceal Joseph’s identity from his brothers.


It was customary for retired Egyptian nobles to devote themselves to service of their gods. Hence, Potiphar (Poti Phera – emasculated), who had been responsible for Pharaoh’s prison, became a priest of one of the gods.

One suspected of illicit relationship with a woman is was not allowed to marry her daughter; by giving Potiphar’s daughter to Joseph, Pharaoh was showing that the accusation was not to be believed, and allowed Joseph to hold high office. In similar manner, God will show all accusations against Yeshua to be false: He will ultimately be given a “daughter of Egypt”, a bride redeemed from idolatry.


Isa 19:21 Yahweh will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know Yahweh in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to Yahweh and perform it.


(V.46) Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt, learning about it, attending to its affairs, and leading the people to prepare for the coming famine. Yeshua traveled about Eretz Israel, learning, attending to its people, and leading those who were to prepare for eternal life. We should likewise be learning God’s Word, attending to His people, and preparing for our future inheritance.


(V.50) Aseneth bore two sons to Joseph before the famine. The wording indicates that Joseph, the exalted slave, prevailed over Aseneth, the aristocrats daughter. Being the only Hebrew in Egypt, and married to the daughter of an idolatrous priest, Joseph raised a family to fear God. So, in the Erev Shabbat home service, we wish for our sons to emulate “Ephraim and Manassah”.


(V.51) Manassah – He who causes to forget: the implication is that one thought pushes to the forefront, past other thoughts. Thoughts of this son displaced thoughts about prime years in prison, and the previous troubles with his brothers, and perhaps continuous feelings of missing his father.


(V.52) Ephraim – Fruitful: God had made Joseph fruitful after all, with honor, wealth, and now children. “In the land of my suffering” relates to one who is privileged to eat from the King’s table, on the condition that he eat outside (not in Eretz Israel).


(V.53) The seven years of abundance was only in Egypt, but the following famine was in the entire world: so Egypt provided for the world. As Joseph walked with God to provide for the world, so Yeshua walked with His Father to provide salvation for the world.


(V.56) The famine spread over “the faces of the earth”, meaning that it struck the wealthy first, or particularly hard.


Chapter 42

(V.17) Joseph put his ten older brothers in prison for three days. Perhaps Manassah didn’t cause complete forgetting! According to the Zohar, the three days correspond to the three days that Shechemites were in pain because of the brothers’ scheme (v.34:25).


Today’s Psalm speaks to Joseph’s situation, as well as to Yeshua’s (v.26-28),  Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, ‘Yahweh be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ And my tongue shall declare Thy righteousness and Thy praise all day long.”


The first word of this Psalm is “(L’David – To David.” It was written for David. Then we read, “Fight, Yahweh, my adversaries, battle my atackers . . .” Moses made reference to the same subject in Numbers 21:14 – “The Book of Yahweh’s Wars”. If we are immersed in learning and walking with God, then He will fight our wars.


The essence of praising God is to learn of God’s desires and to walk accordingly. We often hear of “Praise teams” – groups within a congregation that “lead the worship.” We sometimes hear of dance being referred to as the worship of God. But worshipping God is the whole of learning God’s Word and obeying it.


For us today:

God has instructed us to set aside the Sabbath Day for worship. As part of that, a “solemn assembly” is required (Leviticus 23:3). This public worship service was designed be God Himself for the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and is the pattern for synagogues/churches.


The Sabbath service is to be prayerful throughout; each activity is to be accompanied by blessings. While we do not teach that specific wording is required, some object to “written” prayers; yet most of these people use the same prayer format from day to day, though it is not written. Yeshua gave us a pattern for daily prayers (Matthew 5:9) that compares to the Shemoneh Esrei – the Eighteen Benedictions that were understood as a pattern.


God’s Holy Word is to be heard and expounded. This is not primarily an evangelistic tool, but is basic to the believer’s learning how to walk with God during the week (It is each individual’s responsibility to evangelize outside in the world). God’s Word should be heard reverently – this is a high form of worship, and distractions should be minimized.


God gave us inspired songs to be used for the worship services – many of them for specific stated times. The Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) are to be sung when going up to worship. Psalm 91 is specifically for the Sabbath. Hallel (Psalms 113-118) are to be sung at each of the three Feasts. Most fundamentalists would not believe that any of our sermons were perfect – that is inspired, in the sense that the Bible is; yet, many take songs composed by today’s popular artists as inspired, and use them in place of the Psalms that God gave us for the worship services! We can get so caught up in the songs that we like, that we reject what God instructed – and then call that worshipping Him: think about that.


As for the remainder of the Sabbath Day, we are instructed to “rest” from our mundane work in order to spend the day in worship. That means that we should minimize other work: it is proper to care for children and the needy, and perform basic meal preparations and health requirements – those things which are necessary. Things that can be performed on other days instead should not detract from worship time. We should take care to be rested and prepared for Sabbath, as an honor to our Savior. This is also a picture of our needed preparation for the Great Sabbath.


We are also instructed to mark-out the beginning and ending of the Sabbath Day. This is the only way that we are likely to consistently observe the day. It is customarily done with the lighting of Erev-Shabbat candles and Havdallah candles, this being also prophetic (See Millennial Sabbath).


Sanctify My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and You, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God” – Ezekiel 20:20.


Also the gentiles who join themselves to Yahweh, to minister to Him, and to love the name Yahweh, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the Sabbath and holds fast My covenant; even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their elevation offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples” – Isaiah 56:6-7.



"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 (Hanimtza kazah ish asher ruach Elohim ki /

                                     Can we find   like this - a man   in whom   spirit   of Elohim   is?)

38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?" 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. 40 "You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you." 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." 42 Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43 He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, "Bow the knee!" And he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Reader 2*  Amen. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." 45 Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt. 46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. 49 Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.

Reader 3*  Amen. 50 Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." 52 He named the second Ephraim, "For," he said, "God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."

Reader 4*  Amen. 53 When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do." 56 When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.

Reader 5*  Amen. 42:1 Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, "Why are you staring at one another?" 2 He said, "Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from that place, so that we may live and not die." 3 Then ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, "I am afraid that harm may befall him." 5 So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also. 6 Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.

Reader 6*  Amen. 7 When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, "Where have you come from?" And they said, "From the land of Canaan, to buy food." 8 But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him. 9 Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them, and said to them, "You are spies; you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land." 10 Then they said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11 "We are all sons of one man; we are honest men, your servants are not spies."

Reader 7*  Amen. 12 Yet he said to them, "No, but you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land!" 13 But they said, "Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer alive." 14 Joseph said to them, "It is as I said to you, you are spies; 15 by this you will be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here! 16 "Send one of you that he may get your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies." 17 So he put them all together in prison for three days.


"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."


Isaiah 11:1-9

1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of Yahweh will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh. 3 And He will delight in the fear of Yahweh, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; 4 but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist. 6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. 7 Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea.


Psalm 35    (To be sung.)    A Psalm of David.

1 Contend, O Yahweh, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. 2 Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. 3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; say to my soul, "I am your salvation." 4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. 5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of Yahweh driving them on. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of Yahweh pursuing them. 7 For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 8 Let destruction come upon him unawares, and let the net which he hid catch himself; into that very destruction let him fall. 9 And my soul shall rejoice in Yahweh; it shall exult in His salvation. 10 All my bones will say, " Yahweh, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, and the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?" 11 Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good, to the bereavement of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer kept returning to my bosom. 14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. 15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; the smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, they slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth. 17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, my only life from the lions. 18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. 19 Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously. 20 For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. 21 They opened their mouth wide against me; they said, "Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!" 22 You have seen it, O Yahweh, do not keep silent; O Lord, do not be far from me. 23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right and to my cause, my God and my Lord. 24 Judge me, O Yahweh my God, according to Your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me. 25 Do not let them say in their heart, "Aha, our desire!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up!" 26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. 27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, " Yahweh be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant." 28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long.


Acts 7:1-19

1 The high priest said, "Are these things so?" 2 And he said, "Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, 'Leave your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.' 4 "Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. 5 "But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him. 6 "But God spoke to this effect, that his descendants would be aliens in a foreign land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four-hundred years. 7 "'And whatever nation to which they will be in bondage I Myself will judge,' said God, 'And after that they will come out and serve Me in this place.' 8 "And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 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. 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.


"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)