Updated: Oct 11
[24-30 Dec 2023]
Theme of the Book of Genesis:
Desire for life, to choose life and to create!
This week is our last week of Genesis, next week we move on to Exodus (Shemot).
Meaning of "vayechi" = "and he settled / lived"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Gen 47:28-48:9
Monday: Gen 48:10-16
Tuesday: Gen 48:17-22
Wednesday: Gen 49:1-18
Thursday: Gen 49:19-26
Friday: Gen 49:27-50:20
Shabbat: Gen 50:21-26 & 1 Kings 2:1-2:12
1 Peter 1:3-9
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
2 Samuel 14-19
2 Corinthians 9-13
It's the last portion of the book of Genesis. In the first portion of Genesis we looked at how we should walk in God's creative power - as we have a desire for life and a desire to create. And this last portion is like a conclusion.
In his portion, we read about Jacobs last few years. He passed away whilst they were still living in Egypt. Before Jacob passed away, he told Joseph that he wanted to be buried in Canaan and not in Egypt. It's a prophetic action from Jacob - to say that even in his death, he wants to "be" in the promised land. Holding steadfast to the promise God gave him.
We also read how Jacob disinherits Reuben and Simeon and take Joseph's two sons (Ephraim & Manasseh) as his own. Reuben & Simeon was Jacob's first and second born sons. And through Jacob's action - he declared that Ephraim and Manasseh will take their (Reuben & Simeon) place as first and second born sons of Jacob.
The 12 tribes came from Jacob's sons. And after this point, you never read again about the tribe of Joseph. The tribe of Joseph was split into the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh. In other words, from this point onwards there were actually 13 tribes and not only 12 any longer.
The tribe of the Levites ministered to the other 12 tribes. Which is also a shadow of Yeshua (Jesus) Who came and ministered to His 12 disciples.
Manasseh was the first born. First-borns usually received the blessing as kings and priests through their fathers laying their right hand on the child and declaring the blessing over the child.
But in this portion we see that instead of blessing Manasseh, the first born - Jacob intentionally blessed Ephraim.
We also see that Jacob split the blessing of the priesthood (the blessing of being a blessing) in two. He divided it from being a ruler and a king and made it two separate blessings. Manasseh he blessed to become a great nation. And to Ephraim, the second born, Jacob blessed him and told him that he would become a multitude of nations, that he (Ephraim) would be a blessing unto others.
After blessing Ephraim & Manasseh, Jacob also blessed the rest of his children. Jacob declared over Reuben that he gave Reuben's position over to Ephraim because Reuben had transgressed and slept with his father's concubine. Furthermore, Jacob also declared over Simeon that wherever he would go in life - that the people would be people of war. Jacob then moved on to blessing Judah and proclaimed that the Messiah would be born from his linage. The royal blessing was bestowed onto Judah. It was split between Ephraim & Judah.
And what's interesting to take note of, is that when Israel was divided into two - it was divided between Judah (to bring forth the Messiah) and Ephraim (to bring forth blessing to the nations).
To the rest of Jacob's sons he blessed:
Zebulon - sea farers
Issachar - keepers of the riches of the earth
Dan - judges and Dan will play a significant role as a warning to all the other nations.
Gad - a number of people from all different places gathered together
Asher - farmers
Naphtali - the one to whom people will look to for wisdom
Joseph - Jacob declared that he would be blessed and also be a blessing unto the nations - referring & confirming the blessings spoke over Manasseh & Ephraim.
Benjamin - overcoming nation that wil overcome like a wolf.
After Jacob blessed his sons, he passed away.
At the end of this parashat we also see that Joseph passed away. Before he passed, he had the same wishes as his father, Jacob - when he passed that he would not be buried in Egypy, but in Canaan - the land Abba promised to them.
Before Joseph passed away, he spoke a blessing of hope & faith over the entire Israel.
The theme of this parashat can be summarised as how we continue to live and experience Abba's redemptive plan. And we do so through pronouncing blessing. The blessings we pronounce must always be in line with Abba's instructions. Hence why it's so important to have discernment of the bigger picture.
The key to having this desire for life (theme of Genesis) is about blessing others!
We need to bless others if we desire life and want to continue walking in Abba's redemptive plan.
The power between life and death lies in the tongue! To curse is to speak death. How often do we curse ourselves and those around us when circumstances looks less then ideal. When we bless, we get to experience Abba's plan.
Thus we now know that we have to (1) discern Abba's bigger picture, (2) we have to reveal Abba's redemptive plan to others, and (3) we have to continue to proclaim this promises - and we do that through blessing!
Just like Abba created the whole earth through the words which He spoke. In the same manner our words have power to create - either blessing or curse.
Just like Abba was able to bless others because he saw the bigger picture. In the same breath we need to see the bigger picture and what Abba wants to reveal to us:
Even shortly before Jacob's death he still held onto Abba's promise for him. We read that Yeshua rejoiced despite His circumstances. We should be doing exactly the same!
In the Apostolic Writing (New Testament) reading of this week, we read about the inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled. The inheritance which we receive is our faith! We receive salvation!
Right from the very start - blessings was part of Abba's design for mankind. The entire Bible proves it! Just like there was blessings in the times of Jacob & Joseph. In the same manner there are still blessings for us in today's day and age. We have a spiritual inheritance through our faith in Abba through Yeshua!
Back in the day, the children received their blessing through their father blessing them. And today we receive the blessing of our salvation and faith through Yeshua!
Blessing is part of Abba's redemptive plan! His redemptive plan includes both that we receive blessing as well as for us to go out and bless others / be a blessing.
We are the part of the inheritance of Abba's covenant with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. And that means that we are part of this amazing inheritance!
What is this inheritance that we continue to hammer on? It's the inheritance of Abba's covenant with Abraham which we read about in Genesis 12: "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you. And in you all nations of the earth will be blessed."
Our inheritance is to bless others so that they could also partake in Abba's Redemption Plan through Yeshua! Freely we have received it and freely we should share it with others!
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Portion 12: Vayechi (This blog you are reading now)