Parashah #8: Vayishlach (He sent) B’resheit ( Genesis) 32:4(3)-36:43

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #8: Vayishlach (He sent) B’resheit (Genesis) 32:4(3)-36:43
Haftarah: Ovadayah (Obadiah) 1-21
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 7:1-12

Considering current world events that reflect an increasing depth and overt expression of evil focused against Israel and Judaism in general, today’s focus will be on Chapter 36, a further examination of Edom (Esav), his genealogy, and prophecy regarding his descendants. Although many people may be offended at this message, it is the responsibility of rabbis and other teachers of G-d’s Word to strive for an unbiased approach when addressing G-d’s Torah. Biblical teaching must address each the truth in totality, even if the content is offensive. The Bible and the One who dictated its contents in the original Hebrew and Aramaic is not concerned with political correctness and He does not subscribe to Woke ideology that has been expanded from its original form to a far-left democratic paradigm that includes ideas and tolerance of lifestyles and behaviors that are anti-Torah, that is against G-d’s commands and instructions. If true believers are going to effectively resist such social movements and increasing ostracization for following G-d’s commands, we must gain the knowledge needed to uphold and defend G-d’s Torah in this evil generation. We must learn from the past by studying G-d’s Torah daily, examine the progression of evil through the generations described in G-d’s Torah, identify how it is being perpetuated today, and how to effectively don the whole armor of G-d.There is no better source for accomplishing this objective than G-d’s Torah, including this week’s parashah, the Zohar, and other credible biblically based literature.
G-d’s Torah does not go into detail naming the sons of Edom/Esav until after the death of Isaac is recorded. However Jacobs sons were enumerated much earlier. This order was not by accident. The reason given in the Zohar supported by G-d’s Torah was that Esav/Edom has no part or inheritance in Isaac that was to be enjoyed by Jacob and his sons. Esav/Edom cannot and will not partake of the portion of true faith starting with Avraham and passed on through the son of promise, Isaac (Gen. 21:12) to Jacob and his descendants who followed G-d’s commands and rulings. Looking at the entire Torah which includes the B’rit Chadashah (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Esav/Edom’s portion parted physically and spiritually. Esav took the “broad road” (Matt. 7:13-14) designated as the road to destruction. How can we say this and tie in Hamas, Amalek, and Hezbollah to Esav and the narrative that enumerates his wives and progeny? First, we must decide if we believe G-d’s Torah; all of it. Secondly, we prayerfully read through the history of the evil line from the Satan and the fallen angels, to the flood; the continued presence of evil expressed through Ham and his descendants, then through Cain, Ishmael, Esav, then to his offspring including Amalek who is specifically named and referred to throughout the Bible. G-d’s Torah continues to describe the ongoing battle between good and evil that is taking place throughout the spiritual realm and on earth, more of which we will explore as the parashot cycle continues. But for today’s lesson we will restrict it to Chapter 36.
After Isaac died and Esav went the opposite way, he took wives from Kena’an which was forbidden. Genesis 28:1-22 makes this clear when Isaac specifically told Isaac that was is not to take a wife from the daughters of Kena’an. Of course this prohibition applied to both sons. Esav’s choice to take foreign wives reveals his rebellion against Isaac’s instructions which originally came from G-d (Genesis 24:3). These instructions not to take a wife from the Kena’ani were given by Avraham to his servant when he was tasked with finding a wife for Isaac.
Esav’s rebellious lifestyle was foretold by G-d in Genesis when He described Ishmael’s personality and the rebellious anti-Torah that would follow throughout history (Gen 16:12). He was described as red/ruddy [Edom] which also refers to the Edomites who would constantly afflict those who follow and worship the G-d of Israel.
Esav’s life was a continuous rebellion against G-d even though he was Jacob’s brother. Again, this is verified with the description of Esav’s life and that of his descendants including Amalek specifically discussed throughout G-d’s Torah. We must also acknowledge that the Roman Catholic Church and “her daughters” (Protestant denominations which are a branch of Christianity) emphasize the Christian belief that Christians are justified by G-d through faith alone rather than by faith with works which is clearly taught in the Bible as the only way to G-d. The fact that “Yahshua,” means “G-d saves”, tells us that we can safely trust in His faithfulness to the execution stake to forgive us of past sins (Rom. 3:25; 2 Pet. 1:9) that He is G-d. It therefore follows that we are not justified by faith alone when Yahshua taught that all true believers must carry the testimony of Yahshua, becoming reconciled to G-d through Him, AND to guard the commands of G-d. These two criteria are identified seven times in the Book of Revelation with slight variation in the phrasing in each occurrence (Rev. 12:14:12; 15:215:2-3; 1:2; 1:9; 6:9; 20:4). Additional scripture that clearly tells us that we must lovingly follow the commands of G-d is found in John 14 and Romans 1-3. Simply comparing these scriptures to Esav’s life we can discern that neither he nor his descendants were included in the G-dly line along with Jacob. G-d also validates this truth when He told Rebekah that she had two nations in her womb (Gen 25:23) and that the older would serve the younger. We read of further separation between good and evil through the separate ways and lives of Jacob and Esav and the terminology used throughout the narratives.
When Esav took his wives, and went in a different direction from Jacob, he chose the bondage of Egypt, representative of an evil lifestyle, forfeiting a burial place at Machpelah and abandoning G-d completely. Esav had no desire for Jacob’s portion and Jacob was left in possession of the heritage of his father and of his ancestors.
Although this lesson focuses on Esav and Amalek, it is well worth time taken to explore the other descendants of Esav for a more complete understanding of the effects of the evil line stemming from HaSatan through humanity until the final battle at Armageddon. This knowledge coupled with wisdom from above will enable the believer to effectively don the whole armor of G-d in this very present battle between good and evil. Remember, true believers are G-d’s people. We are serving the King of the universe!
The following verses include information about Amalek, the ideology of evil that must be included in our lesson: Gen 36:12; 36;16; Ex. 17:8-13; Ex. 17:14,16; Num. 24:20; Deut. 25:17-19; Jud. 3;13-14; 1 Sam. 15:2,3,5; 15:20; 1 Sam. 28:18; 2 Sam. 8:12; 1 Chron. 1:36; 1 Chron 18:11; Ps.83:7. Numbers 24:20 assures mankind that Amalek which is represented today by all forms of evil including Hamas, Hezbollah and other radically anti-G-d individuals and nations, that evil described in this verse as Amalek, will perish forever. Clarifying the differences between the above-mentioned radical groups, we find the following information. Hamas and Hezbollah are both backed by Iran, but they are different.
According to news (University College London), Hezbollah promotes itself as a Shia resistance movement with an ideology focused on expelling western powers from the Middle Eat and on rejecting Israel’s right to exist. We are witnessing the growing hatred for the United States by Hezbollah with the increasing number of attacks against the American bases in northern Israel.
“Hamas” translates as evil in the Hebrew but “zeal” in Arabic. Hamas is an acronym for “Islamic resistance Movement” and was founded in Gaza in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization is a prominent Sunni group based in Egypt. Hamas was the first group of Palestinians who are against Israeli occupation. They adopted the principle of armed resistance calling for the annihilation of Israel. As a Sunni organization, Hamas does not share the Shia religious link to Iran that is characteristic in Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies. Hamas operates more independently than Hezbollah while still maintaining a close relationship with Iran.
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. And is now the largest religious denomination in the world. Followers of this branch of Islam hold the belief that they must have faith in Allah and his prophets, believe in the righteous deeds of the Quran, and accept Muhammad as the final prophet to be given a chance at Paradise. The Quran states in 5.33 that “ The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they shall be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace to them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.” There are many other verses that describe hatred for Jews and Christians and the previous verse is but one example that described the mindset for the devout Muslim.
Shias, a term that originates from shi’atu Ali, Arabic for “partisans of Ali” believe that Ali and his descendants are part of a divine order. Sunnis, meaning followers of Mohammed, are opposed to political succession based on Mohammed’s bloodline. Both factions are Muslims, and both subscribe to the Quran although they disagree on the authorship. The commonality in the context of Israel and the Jews rightful ownership is that Jews should be exterminated, and the state of Israel dissolved.

With a brief explanation of the differences in the two main groups that are involved in attacking Israel and the Western powers, we can make the connection to Esav/Edom, and evil. Hamas and Hezbollah are seeking to exterminate the Jews from Israel and occupy the land that was specifically given to G-d’s people described in Gen. 12:7; 15:18; 17:8. This land ownership is irrevocable, yet the Israelites have not fully occupied the totality of the land to date. G-d commanded Israel regarding Amalek as follows: “When the L-rd your G-d gives you rest from all your enemies around you in the land He is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!” In other words, this scripture indicates this will occur when Israel has taken possession of the whole of Israel and not just a portion as it inhabits today. Amalek which is associated with evil as is Edom represented by the Roman Catholic Church and its followers today. Edom and Babylon are prophetically synonymous entities.
Esav’s descendants continue to deny Israel’s right to exist as a people and a nation as a living miracle of G-d that has not and will not change. They will never accept this blessed relationship that started when G-d promised Avraham that the son of promise would be Isaac and not Ishmael who was Esav’s ancestor. This is the crux of the constant unrest in the Middle East and increasingly in the world against Israel and the Jews. Diligent prayerful study of G-d’s Torah provides the true believer insightful knowledge needed to understand the progressive nature of evil, how to live in the world without becoming of the world, and how to carry the testimony of Yahshua and guard the commands of HaShem until He takes his rightful kingship and destroys every form of evil.

Haftarah: Ovadyah (Obadiah) 1-21
The punishment of Edom who are the descendants of Esau is mentioned this week. Ovadyah (Obadiah), himself an Edomian convert to Judaism, describes the punishment destined for the nation Edom. Note that Ovadyah is a convert from Edom! This fact illustrates that any person can come to Yahshua from any nation. Ovadyah found a special place in G-d’s plan as his name indicates (servant of G-d). His prophesies occurred at around 900 BCE. The Edomites did not come to Judea’s assistance when she was being destroyed by the Babylonians, and even joined in like a pack of wild dogs. Many years later the Edomites (the Roman Empire) destroyed the Second Temple and killed or enslaved their Jewish cousins without any mercy or remorse.
Though the Roman Empire was one of the mightiest in world history, Obadiah forewarns that G-d will bring down those who attempt to place themselves among the stars and fly high as the eagle. “And the house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble, and they shall ignite them and consume them, and the house of Esau shall have no survivors, for the L-rd has spoken.”
After describing the division of Esau’s lands amongst the returning Judean exiles, this passage concludes with this beautiful familiar passage: “And saviors shall ascend Mt. Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the L-rd shall have the kingdom.” Ken yehi ratzon! (May it be so soon/speedily)
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 7:1-12
The beginning passage in this narrative describes the impending Tribulation. However, there is a blessed hope for those who are true believers and those sealed to serve G-d through this time (NOT the Church!) In the typical symbolic language of G-d’s Torah according to Matthew Henry, the blowing of the four winds together means a dreadful and general destruction of the Tribulation. But the destruction is delayed. Seals are used to mark those of the 12 Tribes listed in this passage. Note that Levi is now a tribe. Why? Because true believers from the loins of Avraham belong to a higher priesthood (1 Pet. 2), of Melchizedek, who was an antitype of Yahshua. Those who are saved when they stand before Yahshua will be administering His Millennial Kingdom. The Levites will be supervising the sacrifices in the 3rd Temple. Dan is no longer listed. Although Ruben was the first born, we see that Judah is listed first. The tribe of Joseph and M’nasheh are half-tribes from the Son of Joseph. Now they are split into two separate tribes. We do not know if the seals are visible to those marked, if they can be seen by other believers, or if they are only visible to HaSatan and his followers. Whatever the case, G-d will protect them from harm as they carry out their mission of witnessing to Jews who have not accepted Yahshua as the Messiah. Note: this is NOT a conversion to Christianity. Rather, it is the acceptance of the second requirement of the seven-fold witness stipulated by Yahshua for those who want to be considered true believers. The witnesses will tell those who are alive on the earth at this time about the Kingdom of G-d that is about to come and of Yahshua’s return as Messiah ben David. Judah will understand this terminology as their eyes will certainly be opened by G-d to see these truths. The sealed ones will also tell of the wrath of G-d that is about to fall on those who oppose Yahshua’s coming and choose to reject His Word. A profession of faith is clearly not going to cut it. Action speaks louder than words. When their mission has been fulfilled by G-d’s plan, the end shall come as prophesied in Matt. 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom [not of faith] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.” True believers will be teaching in direct opposition to the forces of the harlot World Church that has within it the replacement theology that G-d has rejected the Jews and is therefore no longer any earthly provision for a Jewish kingdom. Many who follow the harlot will be expecting an all-inclusive Messiah, not a Jewish one. The Messiah who many already have and will accept is the counterfeit Messiah.. The world can either accept the truth that the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel preach or they will continue to choose deceptive teachings and beliefs consistent with secular humanism and false religion labeled by Yahshua as apostate (Rev. 17-18). Those who reject the message of those sealed by G-d will believe that HaSatan is G-d and that the Babylonian Kingdom he rules fulfills the promise of a kingdom of G-d. They will take the mark of the beast and by doing so will receive the same fate as the beast, his false prophet and Satan at the judgment. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Those Jews from Judah (tribes of Benjamin, Judah, and Levites) who repent and accept Yahshua during the Tribulation will be martyred (Rev 13:15). However, they will understand this does not compare to eternity with YHVH/Yahshua in the New Jerusalem. Let us not adopt an elitist attitude. The grafted branches are in the same Olive Tree as the natural branches when all is said and done (Ezekiel 37). A study of Romans chapters 9-11 makes it clear that all people who fulfill the requirements of the seven-fold witness in the book of Revelation as the definition of a true believer according to Yahshua, whether Jew or Gentile, make up the bride of Yahshua spoken of throughout the Bible and in Revelation specifically. Israel in this context consists of these true believers, again, NOT the Church! According to Hebrews 12:22-24 there will be a new covenant (not for Christians) that was made with the house of Israel and Judah, not to Gentiles (Jer.31:31-33). The new covenant spoken of in these verses in no way implies a new system that advocates abrogation of G-d’s laws, regulations, or statutes. Yahshua came to interpret his Father’s laws in a way that man could understand; not only in his teachings, but by his life.
There is no difference between G-d/Yahshua in the Old Testament or His definition of a true believer. He is One and remains “asher haya v’hoveh v’yavo (Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come).” May it be in our lifetimes.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart