2The 8th Torah Portion Reading 8th reading in the Book of Genesis VayishlachVayishlach“And he sent”The 8th Torah Portion Reading8th reading in the Book of GenesisGenesis 32:4 – 36:43Obadiah 1:1-21John 1:19 – 2:12
3The Shadows of the Messiah VayishlachThe Shadows of the MessiahTitles of Messiah• The Pierced One - Zechariah 12:10• Son of Trouble - Genesis 35:18• Son of the Right Hand - Genesis 35:18• Man at Your Right Hand - Psalm80:17,llO:1• Ruler in Israel - Micah 5: 1 (2)• Shepherd of the Flock - Micah 5:3(4)• Our Peace - Micah 5:4(5)• Son of Jesse - Lechah Dodi• The Bethlehemite - Lechah Dodi
4Preparing to Meet EsauGenesis 32:3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.Jacob's return to the land symbolizes the great ingathering and prophetic return of the Jewish people.Esau wanted Jacob dead. After he lost his birthright and blessing, he waited only for his father, Isaac, to die before killing his brother, Jacob. Jacob left the land of promise and fled to the homeland and family of his mother. Rebekah told him, "Stay there ... until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there" (Genesis 27:44-45) . Esau's anger never cooled, and Rebekah's message never came. Four wives and twenty years later, as Jacob journeyed back to the land, he felt apprehension regarding hisbrother. He wondered if Esau still harbored anger and intended him harm.
5Jewish tradition associates A Nation DividedGenesis 32: And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;Jewish tradition associatesMessiah son of David with the camp of Leah and Messiah son of Joseph with the camp of Rachel:Jacob's messengers returned. When Jacob heard that Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred armed men, he had his answer. Jacob cried out to God, invoking His covenantal promises. Jacob divided his household into two camps: the house of Leah and the house of Rachel. He hoped that if Esau came and attacked one camp, the other might escape.Jacob's strategy of dividing into two camps prophetically foreshadowed the kingdom of Israel splitting into two sovereign nations during the reign of Rehoboam son of Solomon.As followers of Yeshua, we know that our Master fulfills the roles of both the Messiah son of Joseph and the Messiah son of David.
6A Nation Divided Esau forgives Jacob and they reconcile Esau refuses Jacob’s gifts, but then accepts(typical Middle Eastern custom)Esau assumes Jacob will follow him into EdomEsau leaves, and Jacob implies he will follow
7How can it be God and a Angel? At first, says Jacob wrestledwith a “man”Ish = manJacob’s hip is dislocated toend the matchVs. 29 & 31 changes tosaying the being was“Elohim” (God)An Angel is the “bearer ofthe divine Word”An Angel brings a divinemessage from God, or carriesout an instruction
8How can it be God and a Angel? Angels are not God; they are the messengers of God: "He makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.'" On the other hand, the reader of the Torah frequently encounters the mysterious Angel of the LORD.He makes his angels - Hebrews 1:7, quoting Psalm 104:4.The Angel of the Lord appears in various angelic forms. He appeared to Abraham as one of three travelers. He appeared to Moses in a burning bush. He went before Israel in the pillar of fire and the cloud. When the Angel of the LORD speaks, He speaks for God in the first person and identifies Himself as the LORD. It appears that Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the LORD.
9An Old Testament Christophany? Was the Angel of the LORD actually God, or was He an angel sent by God?Was it a Christophany?Probably not, our Master Yeshua did not seem to make cameo appearances in the Torah.Christian commentators have often reconciled the difficulty by explaining the Angel of the LORD in terms of "Old Testament" encounters with Jesus (i.e. a Christophany). Christian writers frequently suggest that whenever the Angel of the LORD appears in the text, this actually indicates an Old Testament visitation by Jesus called a Christophany.Advance Slide – Was this a christophany?Advance Slide – Probably not…To picture Him as a time-traveler, popping in on the patriarchs, diminishes the authenticity of His humanity. It makes His conception, birth, and life seem insubstantial and artificial. The real man, Yeshua of Nazareth, quickly disappears in the Angel of the LORD imagery. The Angel of the LORD cannot be Yeshua because the Angel of the LORD is an angel. Yeshua became a man, made "for a little while lower than the angels“ but now crowned "with glory and honor" and appointed over all things, even above the angels.' Since the writer of the book of Hebrews argues that Yeshuais not an angel, why would we say that He is?
10Angel of the Lord - Malach Elohim The best overall translation that more gets the meaning right is probably “Messengers of the Divine Word”• Prophets Haggai and Malachi were called “malachelohim”• The distinctions between malach Elohim and Yehovehare often blurred in Scripture• In the Burning Bush, it was “malach Elohim”• Similar issue with Yeshua• He is 1) Bearer of the Divine word (Angel)2) THE Divine Word (God)3) Flesh and blood (Man)
11Angel of the LordGenesis 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among usThe Angel of the LORD is the "Word made angel."Trying to understand God is a lot like wrestling with a mysterious assailant. Just when we suppose that we have Him pinned down, He escapes our grasp. Wrestling God can be a dangerous enterprise. Jacob did not escape unscathed. For that reason, we should be cautious as well. Our attempts to explain or quantify Him can be compared to a childish stammering about concepts we only think we grasp.When Moses, the patriarchs, or other biblical characters encountered God, they did not perceive God in His complete transcendent totality. Instead, they encountered a finite form of Him. Finite human beings cannot see, hear, or speak with the infinite. Our senses cannot perceive that which is beyond their limits. Our confined existence of three dimensions cannot contain the infinite. Therefore, if God wants to have any interaction with finite creation at all, He must do so under the guise of the finite.For example, He might choose to do so by means of an angelic representative. He might create a finite angelic projection through which He can speak, act, and interact within the finite world.The sages imagined God limiting and contracting Himself for the sake of interacting with creation. They imagined His speech as the primary expression through which He accomplished that self-imposed limitation. We have already learned in the comments on Genesis 1 that the translators of the Targums referred to that limited and finite aspect of God that intersects the created order as the Word (Memra). John used the Greek term Logos ("Word") to the same effect:In this week's Torah portion, Jacob is assaulted by an unknown assailant in the darkness of night. Jacob wrestles him down and refuses to let go of his mysterious assailant, even demanding a blessing of him. The assailant asks him, "What is your name?" As Jacob holds on to the man with all his strength, he answers, "Yaakov" meaning "Heel-grabber." The name is a reference to his talent for not letting go. It is a wrestling name.Jacob wrestles with God. He struggles with God and men. He struggled with God for the blessing. He struggled with Esau for the blessing, with Isaac for the blessing, with Laban for the blessing, and in each struggle he eventually prevailed. He is Jacob the wrestler. Jacob pursued a life of wrestling because he recognized that the blessing of God was worth the struggle. A thing for which Esau was willing to trade a bowl of soup, Jacob was willing to wrestle for his whole life. We learn from Jacob the value of the eternal. We learn to hold on to God, and to refuse to let go of Him.
12Angel of the LordGenesis 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.Jacob did not escape unscathed.The fact that the match lasted till daybreak is significant. For the darkness symbolized Jacob’s situation. Fear and uncertainty seized him. If Jacob had perceived that he was to fight God, he would never have engaged in the fight, let alone have continued all night.On the other hand the fact that the wrestling lasted till daybreak suggests a long, decisive bout. In fact the Assailant did not defeat Jacob till He resorted to something extraordinary.At last the Assailant touched Jacob so that his hip went out of joint. The point is clear: the Assailant gave Himself the advantage. Jacob, the deceitful fighter, was crippled by a supernatural blow. In a word, like so many of his rivals, Jacob now encountered Someone he could not defeat.
13Jacob’s Dislocated Thigh Genesis 32:32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.“Go ahead: make my dog”“No ifs ands or butts”“Your buns deserve better”Hebrew National
14No Longer JacobGenesis 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.In a remote sense, the mysterious wrestler can still be identified with the Messiah. After all, Yeshua of Nazareth is the Word made flesh. The Word of God occupies His true essence and comprises His divine nature: "In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9). This same Word that inhabits Yeshua of Nazareth took on the garments of an angelic being to wrestle our father Jacob. From that perspective, a person might say that Jacob wrestled with the Messiah, or at least He wrestled with the essential, divine nature of Messiah.A person who encounters the Master undergoes a radical change of identity, like a change of name. Through the Messiah, God adopts us into His family and makes us into sons and daughters with a new name and a new identity.Similarly, when Jacob encountered the angel, the wrestling match resulted in a name change. The angel said to him, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed." On a spiritual level, everyone who encounters Yeshua must go through a similar name change. In Messiah we take the name of Israel. The Jewish believer enters into his spiritual inheritance. The Gentile believer receives adoption into the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is not to say that faith in Messiah transforms Gentile Christians into Jews, but it does mean that Gentile Christians receive citizenship in the "commonwealth of Israel," the "Israel of God.'"
15The Match Ya’aqob “Jacob” the man Yabboq “Jabbok” the place Ye’abeq “he wrestled” the matchBefore ya’aqob could cross the yabboq to the land of blessing he had to ye’abeq wrestleIsrael Defined The Hebrew word Yisra’el (H3478) comes from sar (H8269), "prince“ (sarah (H8282), "princess"), meaning prevailed or ruled as a prince; and ‘El (H410), God, Strength, Mighty, the Almighty. It means Prince with God "for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (Genesis 32:28). He had prevailed with man (Genesis 25:29-34; Genesis 27:1-31:55); now he prevailed with God (Genesis 32:29-32).
16The Messiah’s Concealed Identity Genesis 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.The Angel of the LORD is not Yeshua of Nazareth, but they do share an essential affinity with each other in that Yeshua is the Word made flesh and the Angel of the LORD is the Word made angelic.The concealed identity of the mysterious wrestler reminds us of how Jacob concealed his identity from his father, Isaac, in order to procure the blessing. His wife Leah likewise concealed her identity in order to marry Jacob and bring about the line of Messiah. In the next Torah portions, Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah, will conceal her identity to contribute to the maternity of Messiah, and Joseph will conceal his identity from his brothers to bring about the salvation of Israel. The concealed-identity motif alludes to Yeshua of Nazareth whose identity as Messiah andSon of God remains concealed from Israel to this very day.
17The Face of MessiahGenesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.Jacob named the place where the wrestling match occurred "Peniel (?I'l'J!l)" on the basis that he had seen God (Elohim) face to face. Peneiel means "face of God." He declared, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved." Did he really see God's face? In that dim, pre-dawn light, did he glimpse the silhouette of the Almighty?The Torah does not say in what sense he saw God or in what manifestation God appeared to be seen.We have already seen that the prophet Hosea says, "He contended with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel“ (12:3-4). Jacob did not know how to explain it either. He only knew that he had encountered God, seen Him in some form, and his own life had been spared. In a similar way, we encounter God face-to-face, so to speak, in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth. "For God ... is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of the Messiah" (2 Corinthians 4:6) . Through Yeshua, our lives are preserved for eternal life, as Jacob said, "Yet my life has been preserved."
18The Redemption and Joseph and Rachel Genesis 33: Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.As Jacob prepared his family to encounter Esau, he betrayed his priorities in the marching order.He placed his other wives and children ahead of Rachel and Joseph. When the encounter finally came, Jacob's wives and their children presented themselves to Esau family by family, and bowed down before him. First Bilhah and Zilpah approached with their children, then Leah also approached with her children, and "afterward Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed down." The rabbis took note of the inversion of order. With the other three mothers, it says that each mother "carne near with her children," but regarding Rachel, it says that her son Joseph took the lead: "Joseph came near with Rachel.“The midrash interpreted Joseph's fearless bravery as an allusion to the verse in Obadiah that says, "The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house ofJoseph a flame; but the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them, so that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau."
19Reuben, Simeon, and LeviGenesis 34:25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.The Torah tells a series of tragic stories that occurred after Jacob's return to the land. The misadventures begin with the rape of Dinah and the subsequent slaughter of the men of Shechem. A little further on the Torah tells the story of the death of Jacob's beloved wife, Rachel. Then it tells the shameful story of how Reuben had sexual relations with his step-mother, Bilhah. The awful story of the slaughter at Shechem, the tragic story of the death of Rachel, and the disgraceful story of Reuben and Bilhah all share a common purpose. These stories provide the basis for Messiah coming from the tribe of Judah rather than from Reuben, Simeon, or Levi. The Torah tells these stories to explain to us why the rights of the firstborn and leadership passed to Joseph and Judah rather than to the firstborn Reuben, the second-born Simeon, or the third-born Levi. Later in the story, Jacob will mention the impropriety of Reuben and the violence of Simeon and Levi as justification for placing the blessing of rulership on Judah, his fourthborn.
20Reuben, Simeon, and Levi Dinah was about 15 years old Ra-ah = wanting to see, learnShechem, son of KingHamor, rapes DinahMaybe an act of rebellion togo into the city.King’s son now says he wantsto marry Dinah
21Shechem In John 4, Shechem is currently called Sychar Jesus encounters a Samaritanwoman at Jacob’s well, the wellIsrael used when camping outsidethe walls of ShechemShe is the 1st non-Jew to be offeredsalvationToday Shechem (Sychar) is calledNablus, in the West BankJacob erects an altar, calls it El-Elohe-Israel means El, the God ofIsraelIt’s interesting is that in the future, at this very spot (that little piece of land just outside the walls of Shechem), Yeshua would demonstrate a principle that most of us in this room should be thankful for.
22House of the God of Jacob Genesis 35:7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.Jacob purchased land near the Canaanite city of Shechem, but the rape of his daughter, Dinah, and the subsequent slaughter of the citizens ofShechem forced him to flee. The LORD instructed him to return to Bethel. the place at which he had seen the vision of the ladder and set up a monument to the LORD. Bethel (Beit-El) means "House of God." Jacob found the standing stone he had set up and anointed more than two decades earlier. He built an altar and called it El-bethel which means "God of the House of God."Jacob's journey to Bethel alludes to the reign of King Messiah in the city of Jerusalem.
23Jacob’s TroubleGenesis 35:16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.Jeremiah 30: For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.In the last years before the coming of the Messiah, the earth will go through a time of trouble and tribulation that can be compared to the labor pains of a woman about to give birth. The sages referred to these days of trial and tribulation as the birth pains of Messiah (Chevlei Mashiah).Advance slide- Along similar lines, the prophet Jeremiah predicted a coming tribulation he called "the time Jacob's distress." Jeremiah's prophecy may have been alluding back to our Torah portion. "The time of Jacob's distress“ that came "as a woman in childbirth" seems reminiscent of the travail and death ofJacob's beloved wife, Rachel. In that sense, Rachel's travail alludes to the calamitous days of the birth pains of Messiah which Jeremiah calls the time of Jacob's distress.
24Ben - oniGenesis 35: And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.Rachel's travail portends the birth pangs of Messiah. The name Ben-ani foreshadows Messiah in His first coming. The name Benjamin foreshadows Messiah in His second coming.Rachel suffered severely in childbirth and gave birth to a son. With her dying gasps of breath, she named him Ben-ani "son of my trouble." Her death gave Jacob his twelfth and last son. Jacob changed the name to Benjamin.Advance Slide- "Son of my trouble" aptly describes the rabbinic idea of Messiah son of Joseph who rises up to make war against the enemies of Israel and dies for the sins of the nation. When He returns, the nation of Israel will recognize Yeshua as the One seated at the right hand of the Father. Jacob alluded to this when he renamed the "son of my trouble" as "son of the right hand"
25VayishlachRachel's travail, her death, and her entombment occurred on the way to Ephrath, the territory that would later come to be known as Bethlehem. Jewish people still visit Rachel's tomb on the edge of Bethlehem, off the side of the road on the way to Jerusalem. In today's world, security fences and soldiers surround the small domed building that protects the tomb. Judaism ranks it as the third holiest site in the world, after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Machpelah-tomb of the patriarchs at Hebron.Genesis 35: Ge 19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.
26Nachor married his brother Haran’s daughter Milcha TerahHaran Abram NachorSaraiMelchaLot Milcha SaraiBirth order: Nahor, Abraham, and Haran; ACC = Haran, Nahor, AbrahamGenesis 20:12 (KJV) And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.Gen 14:12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s sonGen 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive he armed his trained servants born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.Gen 14:16 and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.Abram married his brother Haran’s daughter SaraiNachor married his brother Haran’s daughter MilchaLot was the son of Haran, and was Abram’s nephew
28It’s like Las Vegas: what happens in the family stays in the family! Missler: Two factors: 1) Maintain purity of the line of descent in general; 2) The existence of the Rephaim, et al. (Gen 6:4, etc.). After the announcement of Gen 15:13-16, Satan had four centuries to lay down a mine field...Joshua was instructed to wipe out all of certain tribes…Josh 11:20-22, et al. Cf. Deut 3:11.
29 5. Issachar Hire; service 6. Zebulun Dwelling Born to Leah: 1. Reuben Affection 2. Simeon Hearing 3. Levi Husband; Joined 4. Judah Praise 5. Issachar Hire; service 6. Zebulun Dwelling 7. Dinah, Judgment; vindicatedBorn to Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: 1. Dan Judged; judgment 2. Naphtali Wrestling's; prevailedBorn to Zilpah, Leah’s maid: 1. Gad Nations oppose Israel 2. Asher HappyBorn to Rachel: 1. Joseph Adding 2. Benjamin Son of my right handLevi: Even from his birth and name there is something different about him. Rashi: In all the other cases, the Torah states, “and she named,” whereas in this instance, the Torah states, “and he named.” There is Midrash in Devarim Rabah, that God sent [the angel] Gabriel who brought [the baby] before Him. He gave [Levi] this name, gave him the twenty-four priestly gifts. Because he was accompanied with gifts, He named his Levi.Eventually God answered Rachel’s prayers and gave her a child of her own. In the meantime, however, she had given her maidservant to Jacob. Trusting God when nothing seems to happen is difficult. But it is harder still to live with the consequences of taking matters into our own hands. Resist the temptation to think God has forgotten you. Have patience and courage to wait for God to act.Torah Class: Look at verse 23. Speaking about Rachel, it says that she gave birth to a son, Rachel announced that “God as taken away my disgrace”. The Hebrew word translated as taken away is asaf. In the next verse, 24, Rachel goes on to say that she therefore would name him yosef, because the Lord ADDED another son to her. Yosef means, “to add”. Asaf, take away, yosef, add. This was a prophetic name for Joseph, because in a few years Joseph would be taken away from his father, and then many years after that added back in.It’s interesting to note, here, as I mentioned at the beginning of this lesson, that all butONE of Jacob’s sons would be born while he was still in bond-servitude to Laban, and while still living up in Haran of Mesopotamia. So, just as the sons of Israel would be born outside of the promised land, so would they be held captive and grow into a nation outside of the promised land, in Egypt
30The SignatureThis account later had great significance for Israel: God would deliver and protect Israel as He brought them back to the land from Egypt.Too often we are quick to let go of Him. When He does not answer our prayer, we let go of Him. When He smites us, when He touches our hip or strikes us, we let go of Him. Jacob did not let go. And God didn't want him to let go. Neither does He want us to let go. He wants a people that will hold onto Him, cling to Him, grasping His heel through the dark night.We do not understand why God conceals Himself when He could reveal Himself. We do not understand why we must grope in the darkness to apprehend Him, or why He leaps on us in the metaphorical darkness of life, but He does. He certainly does.Probably our darkness is self-imposed. From Jacob's story, we learn that there are two kinds of people in this darkness. There are those who will hold on to God and those who will not. Modern man says, "I can't see Him, and I can't hold on to what I cannot see." A person overcomes only by emulating our father Jacob, who did not let go—even in the darkness.The last words of the torah portion introduces Israel, the Hebrews, a people set apart to be the chosen ones, the blood line to the Messiah. Chasidic teaching associates these closing words with Messiah.The last words of a Torah portion are called the "signature." One Chasidic teaching states, "Everything goes before the signature." That means that the essence of the Torah portion is contained in the last few words.Chasidic = a sect of Jewish mystics founded in Poland about 1750, characterized by religious zeal and a spirit of prayer, joy, and charity