Parashah #9 Vayeshev (He continued living) B’resheit (Genesis) 37:1-40:23

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #9 Vayeshev (He continued living) B’resheit (Genesis) 37:1- 40:23
Haftarah: ‘Amos 2:6-3:9
B’rit Chadashah: Acts 7:9-16

It is important to know who the sons were that plotted against Yosef in the first section of this week’s parashah. We read in Gen. 37:2 that Yosef was with the sons of Bilpah and the sons of Zilpah; not the other sons of Leah and Rachel. Bilhah’s sons were Dan, (he judged), and Naphtali (my wrestling) (Gen. 30:5-8). Zilpha, Leah’s slave-girl bore Gad (good fortune), and Asher (happy) (Gen 30:9-13). Re’uven (see, a son) was Ya’akov and Leah’s first son. With this knowledge, we can move forward.
Re’uven was the one that convinced the others not to kill Yosef but throw him in the empty cistern for a planned later rescue. Then Judah (Leah’s 4th son) introduced the idea of selling Yosef to the traveling caravan instead of killing him. Re’uven had exited the scene at this point and was unaware of this event. However, when he returned, he took part in the dipping of Yosef’s robe in the blood of a male goat. Fast forward a moment to Yahshua’s crucifixion. His garments were taken, he was sacrificed as an olah offering, a total consecration such as was commanded by G-d using a male goat, a goat without blemish. As the blood used to saturate Yosef’s robe was a symbol of the covering of our PAST sins with the blood of Yahshua, so Ya’akov’s grief for his beloved son a symbol of the grief experienced by G-d at the physical death of Yahshua.
The scripture abruptly switches to Judah who left his brothers and married a Kena’ani woman. This was a problem from the start. First, we notice that the Scripture does not immediately tell us exactly where Judah settled other than “near a man named Hirah who was an ‘Adulami.” (Gen. 38:1). We must ask ourselves what these names mean and why is it important to mention them. After all, what about any other men that may have been in the vicinity. “Hirah” is translated as hi’-ra (chirah; Septuagint Eiras): A native of Adullam, and a “friend” of Judah (Genesis 38:1, 12). The Septuagint and the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) both describe him as Judah’s “shepherd.” Adullam (Heb. עֲדֻלָּם) was a city in Judah, originally a Canaanite town in which Hirah, a friend and father-in law of Judah resided (Gen. 38:1, 12, 20). But the narrative goes on to say Judah saw one of the daughters of the Kena’ani who was named Shua and he married her (sleeping with someone in those days meant you were married to him or her). Now we know that Adullam was a Canaanite city. Through Shua which means “salvation,” Er was born. The name “Er” translates as “evil.” Let’s take a look at the gematria of Judah’s progeny from the point of taking Shua as a wife.
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk with Messianic Jewish insights added by R. Tamah Davis-Hart

We observe the death of Y’hudah’s firstborn son and his second born son for “EVIL”. This evil is autoeroticism / coitus interruptus, spilling one’s seed of life onto the ground… HaShem termed this an “evil” act. Genesis 38:7 We see this evil in the letters of Er’s name, Ayin Reish. If we reverse their order they spell Rah, meaning evil.
270 = Reish = 200 + Ayin = 70
270 = Ayin = 70 + Reish = 200
The Torah states, “Yehudah took a wife Li Ayr” {meaning “for Er”} Genesis 38:6 The Hebrew letter Lamid (L) is added as a connector to the Ayin and the Reish. Together they equal the Gematria of 300. They also point to the center of our {man’s} inclination, our Yay Tzer. Unfortunately in Er’s situation his Yay Tzer was a Yay Tzer Rah, an evil inclination.
Li Ayr {to Er}
300 = Reish = 200 + Ayin = 70 + Lamid = 30
Yay Tzer {Inclination}
300 = Reish = 200 + Tzaddi = 90 + Yud = 10
On the one hand, we have a very evil man, Er, with a very righteous wife, Tamar. This is a paradox. Our Sages rave about Tamar’s righteousness. She went to the cave of Avraham to pray for a close relative to carry on the seed from her departed husbands, Er and Onan… The Torah records that she covered her face NOT as a harlot but as a righteous woman. When she was in her father-in-law’s house she also covered her face because of her righteousness. Yehudah did not know what his daughter-in-law looked like. Her righteousness is represented by the mysterious Mem (M) in the center of her name. The Gematria Godal of the letter Mem(M) is also 640. Tamar was Toh Mehr, meaning “straight {like a palm rising out of the ground}, steady, unmoving {like a pillar}.” This is the same spelling of Tamar with a different pronunciation. For her actions of righteousness her descendants include David Ha Melech (King David), Shlomo Ha Melech (King Solomon) and the coming Moshiach (Yahshua)!
640 = Reish = 200 + Mem = 40 + Sav = 400
Toh Mehr
640 = Reish = 200 + Mem = 40 + Sav = 400nterruptus
Mem{Gematria Godal}(most revered form of Gematria)
640 = Mem = 600 + Mem = 40
On the other hand, the Gematria Miluy of Er is also 640. (mispar gadol using the greater number values of the five sofit letters A_Le_F = A_1 + Le_30 + F_800 = 831 (mispar shemi, mispar miluy) or: counting each letter/number at the value of the common gematria of its written out name A_Le_F = alef_111 + lamed_74 + fe_81 = 266 . That is, all of the letters of his name put together equal the total essence of who he is, of what he is. He was not righteous as was his wife Tamar. He was evil and he was Tah Mayr, meaning rebellious. Again this is a different pronunciation of the same spelling of Tamar.
Tah Mayr {rebellious}
640 = Reish = 200 + Mem = 40 + Sav = 400
Now when we consider the name of Onan the Gematria is 107. It matches the word Zoh Neem, meaning “{One who} goes astray.” His name represents what HaShem does to the evil, Yoh Chi Lay Moh, meaning “It consumes them” as in {You G-d} “In Your great majesty, You destroy Your opponents; You send forth Your fury, it {Yoh Chi Lay Moh} consumes them like straw.” Exodus 15:7 Onan represents those who, as HaShem said, “{Maw Aw Soo} despise My laws and they loathed, “rejected” My statutes,” Leviticus 26:43 which is exactly what Er and Onan did. They both despised and rejected HaShem’s statutes!
Onan {Second Son of Yehudah}
107 = Nun = 50 + Nun = 50 + Vav = 6 + Aleph = 1
Zoh Neem {To Go Astray}
107 = Mem = 40 +Yud = 10 + Nun = 50 + Zayin = 7
Yoh Chi Lay Moh “It {as G-d’s fury} consumes”
107 = Vav = 6 + Mem = 40 + Lamid = 30 + Chof = 20 + Aleph = 1 + Yud = 10
Maw Aw Soo {Despised}
107 = Vav = 6 + Samech = 60 + Aleph = 1 + Mem = 40
Through the Gematria of these names we see in Er and Onan destruction, evil, despising of and rejection of HaShem’s Torah; while in Tamar we see steady, unwavering acceptance and defense of Torah. Righteousness prevailed through some of the most unlikely circumstances; not unusual in G-d’s Torah!

Self- nullification is a consistent Torah theme illustrated again in this parashah. In this narrative we read of how Tamar was willing to be burnt at the stake rather than embarrassing Judah (Gen. 38:24-5). She had every opportunity to save her life by revealing that the items in her possession belonged to Judah. However, she gave greater emphasis to the embarrassment that Judah would endure if she did so and therefore remained quiet. The Talmud deduces from this that a person must give his life before embarrassing someone else (Bava Metsia, 58b). Keep in mind that this is a rabbinic interpretation, but it is worthy of considering in the context of doing our best to spare someone embarrassment in our everyday activities. How many of us protest loudly and without restraint when it comes to protecting our integrity over saving another embarrassment?
Haftarah: Amos 2:6-3:8
This week’s haftarah reflects back on our parashah to the sale of Joseph by his brothers. Amos opens with the bad news first; G-d had been patient with them notwithstanding their transgression of the three cardinal sins- sexual impropriety, idolatry, and murder. Their fourth sin was the last straw; the mistreatment of the innocent, widows, orphans, and the poor.
G-d reminds the Jewish people how He lovingly took them out of Egypt and led them through the desert for forty years to the Holy Land. Yet the people did not respond appropriately. They gave wine to those who took the Nazarite vow, and told the prophets not to prophecy. Amos then describes G-d’s punishment: “And the stouthearted among the mighty shall flee naked on that day, says the L-rd.”
This passage ends with an admonition from G-d, one that recalls His eternal love for His people: “hearken to this word which the L-rd spoke about you, O children of Israel, concerning the entire nation that I brought up from the land of Egypt. Only you did I love above all the families of the earth; therefore, I will visit upon you all your iniquities…” As opposed to other nations to whom G-d does not pay close attention, G-d’s love for His nation causes Him to punish us for our misdeeds, to cleanse us and prod us with His rod of justice and staff of grace and love back onto the path of the just. Remember, He chastises those He loves (Heb. 12:6) and His will is perfect (Psalm 18:30). Let us internalize and act upon this truth even when the tempest roars and we cannot physically see the Son. Do not fear or doubt; He is behind and above the clouds of our storms!

B’rit Chadashah: Acts 7:9-16
“Now the Patriarchs grew jealous of Yosef and sold him into slavery in Egypt. But Adonai was with him; he rescued him from all his troubles and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him administrator over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine that caused much suffering throughout Egypt and Kena’an. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. The second time, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. Joseph then sent for his father Jacob and all his relatives, 75 people. And Jacob went down to Egypt; there he died, as did our other ancestors. Their bodies were removed to Sh’khem and buried in the tomb Avraham had bought from the family of Hamor in Sh’khem for a certain sum of money.”
Joseph’s life reveals a parallel to Yahshua’s, for Joseph was a type of Yahshua to his people. G-d gave Joseph favor and wisdom for his appointed mission in life. G-d provided Yahshua all he needed for his earthly ministry. Joseph was appointed the chief administrator over Egypt. Yahshua was appointed King of Israel and L-rd of all the universe. Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery and taken to Egypt that characterized the epitome of all that represented sin. Yahshua was a righteous man sold into the hands of the unrighteous for silver. Joseph had to live in the world of sinful Egypt, but he kept himself separated even in prison. He remained close to G-d and exemplified his faith through his behavior. Similarly, Yahshua came to a sinful world to show us how to live G-d’s Torah not only by His teachings, but by example. Joseph prepared Egypt for the food famine that was about to strike the land. Yahshua shows us how to prepare for the famine to come when the world will no longer have the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) present. Joseph withheld his identity from his brothers until the second time they went to him and confessed what they had done to him, not knowing they were speaking to him. Similarly, the majority of Jews did not recognize Yahshua for who He is the first time He came to earth. He will identify himself to them when He returns the second time and they say “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai.” Unfortunately, these will be martyred for their faith during the Tribulation. The time is coming soon. Take heed to G-d’s written and Living Torah, and prepare yourselves.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart