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The eleventh Bible Study from the book of Genesis to Revelation is named “and he came near”, or “he approached” [Vayigash in Hebrew (ויגש)]. The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Then Judah [Vayigash, came near] him” (Genesis 44:18). The study begins with the dramatic unveiling of Joseph’s true identity and his reconciliation with his brothers. It then proceeds to tell the story of the migration of Jacob’s family to Egypt and the rest of the famine years. This study not only begins to set the stage for the Egyptian captivity of the sons of Jacob, but also contains prophecy that is being unveiled today.. . . . Continue the study below.
You will also find study guides by chapter and advanced study of the original languages following the Bible study outline. While it is our belief that many of the letters of the New Testament were originally written in Aramaic and/ or Hebrew, the Greek texts are used for study even when there are known Hebrew manuscripts (eg. Mathew and Hebrews).
This Week’s Bible Audio, Outlines & Study Guides
The Revelation of Joseph
Prophets & Writings
The Two Sticks/ Two Houses Joining Together
Yeshua (Jesus) Sends 12 Apostles to the lost sheep of the House of Israel
Chapter 10 Printout Outline
Jesus (Yeshua) Returns to the 12 Apostles, Restoring the kingdom to the house of Israel
Chapter 1 Printout Outline
Fulfilling Prophecy of Renewed Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah
Chapter 8 Printout Outline
Jacob’s Letter to the 12 Tribes Scattered Abroad
Chapter 1 Printout Outline
A Song for the 144,000, Time to Harvest the Earth
Chapter 14 Printout
Review from last week
Israel, Jews (Two Olive Trees, Two Houses, Two Witnesses) and the Mystery of the Gentiles
Chapter 9 Printout Chapter 10 Printout Chapter 11 Printout Outline
This Week’s Bible Study Commentary
Exile; This is a key needed to understand what the last days are really all about. This also explains why Jacob referred not to the years of his life but to the years of his “sojourning.” Though he spent 130 years as a stranger on earth, he still anticipated a homecoming when he would enter the City of God and be rejoined to his fathers, Abraham and Isaac. Though the years of his sojourning were soon to end, the years of his life had just begun.
Ezekiel 37’s prophesies explain this in more detail. We then see even further revelation from Jesus (Yeshua) sending out His 12 apostles with the same message/ gospel that was given to the 12 prophets of the Old Testament, from Paul and Luke describing the New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31). Then we see the letter from James (Jacob) sent to the 12 Tribes and see them regathered (12 thousand from each Tribe) in the book of Revelation. Listen to the Bible passages below and read along!
Joseph himself revealed his identity to his brothers. Unlike Jacob, Judah, and Tamar, Joseph did not hold up any personal items (such as his coat or a staff and seal) and say, “Please recognize.” Rather he removed the mask himself, declaring, “I am Joseph.” As he did so, he interrupted the cycle of concealed identities. Though Jacob concealed his identity from Isaac, Leah from Jacob, and Tamar from Judah—Joseph revealed his own identity to his brothers.
Joseph’s reconciliation with his brothers can be understood as a prophetic portent for Messiah’s ultimate reconciliation with Israel. A day will come when the Messiah will reveal His identity to all of Israel, but He will do it in His own time and on His own terms.
According to one tradition, the brothers did not believe that he was really Joseph until he proved his identity by showing them the marks of his circumcision. Christianity has so consistently misrepresented Jesus/Yeshua of Nazareth to the Jewish people that most devout Jewish people cannot accept the notion that He might have been a good Jew, much less, the Messiah of all Israel. Many devout Jewish people are unaware that Yeshua was Jewish at all.
When Joseph said “I am Joseph,” God’s master plan became clear to the brothers. They had no more questions. Everything that had happened for the last twenty-two years fell into perspective. So, too, will it be in the time to come when God will reveal Himself and announce, “I am the LORD.” The veil will be lifted from our eyes and we will comprehend everything that transpired throughout history.” (Chofetz Chaim)
The revelation of Joseph brought a moment of sudden clarity to the brothers. The same realization will accompany the revelation of Messiah. When that day comes, the scales will fall from all of our eyes and we will perceive God’s hand at work in all events. We will finally understand the long separation and concealment. We will understand the events of history. The nightmares of the exile will vanish. Our many troubles and sorrows will be lifted as we perceive the sovereign hand of God in all of these things.
This is how it will be in the day of King Messiah when He reveals Himself to His brothers and to all the world, as Scripture says, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), “that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God” (Romans 3:19).
But there’s more! Jews are prophetically going through the same thing Judah did in this story, and just like in our study, we too today can tell the Jews, I am Joseph! The Messiah is in us and we are all hidden in exile together! Like we read in Romans 9-11 last week we are all grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel through the Messiah’s redemption of the house of Israel. This week we study Acts chapter 1 and the FIRST thing the 12 Apostles asked was…
Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? Acts 1:6
We read also this week that Jesus/ Yeshua had already told them…
Do not go to the Gentiles, and do not enter into any Samaritan town. 6 But go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near!
As we go out looking for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, all the nations have the same opportunity to be grafted in as well. And one day, everyone who has been grafted in to the house of Israel will become one with the house of Judah as we read in Hebrews!
This Week’s Hidden Aleph-Tav’s
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are hidden aleph-tav’s [את] that aren’t usually translated into English. But they are very enlightening when we read them in the Hebrew, especially because Jesus/ Yeshua said He WAS the aleph-tav. These are the ones we find in this week’s study:
Continuing with the story of Joseph and his brothers we see in Gen 44:22 and 34 that their father Jacob (Israel) sits in a position of authority over the 12 sons as את and eventually they will have to confront Jacob and confess what they have sworn never to tell him under penalty of death to each other, that they were responsible for getting rid of Joseph. This is also a type and foreshadow of the House of Judah one day realizing what they did to Jesus/ Yeshua and having to both confess and seek forgiveness before our heavenly Father. In Gen 46:30 Jacob finally sees Joseph again, whom he thought was dead and says now he can die because he has seen the face of את in Joseph’s face, who has saved Jacob and the Children of Israel and all Egypt from starvation.
Bible Study for Kids
It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s activities:
For Deeper Language & Learning
Hebrew “Word of the Week” by Hebrew4Christians.com
Greek “Greek of the Week”
THE HIDDEN EXILE
Our study speaks about the descent of the children of Israel into Egypt,
These are the names of the children of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn…All the souls of the house of Jacob, who came into Egypt, were seventy.”Genesis 46:8, 27
There is one slight problem in this verse: There are only 69 individuals named. Genesis 46 enumerates the individuals, not counting Jacob, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah but the 70th exile is missing! Who is this mysterious person? The missing name is apparently hidden among the sons of Leah, as the text says that her children numbered 33, and only 32 are listed. Pirkei d’Rebbi Eliezer identifies the Hidden Exile: It is God Himself!
“When the children of Yisrael entered Egypt they numbered sixty-six men, and Yosef and his two sons brings the total to sixty-nine. . . What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He entered into the count with them, making it seventy, to fulfill His promise, “I will go down to Egypt with you (Bereishis 26:4).” Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer, Chapter 39, translated by Avraham Yaakov Finkel, Yeshivath Beth Moshe, pg. 49
The Talmud says,
“I will go down with you into Egypt; and I will also surely bring you up again” (46:4) Come and see how beloved are Israel in the sight of G-d! To every place to which they were exiled, the Divine Presence went with them. They were exiled to Egypt and the Divine Presence was with them; they were exiled to Babylon, and the Divine Presence was with them; and when they will be redeemed in the future, the Divine Presence will be with them.” Megillah 29a cited at Chabad.org
…YHVH your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, where YHVHyour God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there will YHVH God gather you, and from there he will bring you back.Deuteronomy 30:3-4
Rashi comments on this passage, revealing that when the Jewish people return, He will return,
“The Hebrew word used here for “he will return” is not veheishiv — which means “he will bring back” – but veshav, which literally means “he will come back.” Our sages learned from this that the Divine presence resides among Israel, as it were, in all the misery of their exile, and when the Jews are redeemed, G-d speaks of it as His own redemption – He Himself returns along with Israel’s exiles.” Rashi on Deuteronomy 30:3, cited in Chabad.org
MESSIAH IN EXILE
Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs, is said to be the Holy of Holies in the Bible. The most wonderful secrets of Redemption are contained within its pages. It speaks of the “Beloved” behind the wall,
Behold, he stands behind our wall! He looks in at the windows. He glances through the lattice. Song of Songs 2:9
Numbers Rabbah says,The Wall
“R. Jose, son of R. Hanina, said it means ‘to the young of the gazelle’. ‘Behold, he stands behind our wall. ‘Wall’ alludes to the Western Wall of the Temple, which will never be destroyed. Why? Because the Shechinah is in the west. ‘He looks in through the windows ‘ by virtue of the merit of the Patriarchs. ‘ He peers through the lattice’ by virtue of the merit of the Matriarchs.” Numbers Rabbah 11:2, Soncino Press Edition
R’ Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe comments,
“Moreover, the previous Rebbe has already announced “Forthwith to redemption!” and informed us that the situation is one of “Behold, he [Mashiach] is standing behind our wall, he looks in at the windows, he peers through the lattice.” Mashiach is waiting, looking — and Mashiach’s looking certainly has an effect. Thus every Jew can certainly bring the redemption speedily in our days — not tomorrow or later, but today…” Menachem Schneerson, Sichos in English, Shabbos Parshas Pinchas, 14th Day of Tammuz, 5744 (1984)
Like Joseph, Messiah is on the outside of the Jewish community. He stands outside of the wall, looking in. If he is on the outside of the Jewish community, where is he? It is well known that Mashiach is hidden at the Gates of Rome,
“R. Joshua b. Levi met Elijah standing by the entrance of R. Simeon b. Yohai’s tomb…he asked him, ‘When will the Messiah come?’ ‘Go and ask him himself’, was his reply. ‘Where is he sitting?”At the entrance.’And by what sign may I recognize him? He is sitting among the poor lepers…When will you come Master?’ he asked. ‘Today,’ was his answer. On his returning to Elijah, the latter inquired, What did he say to you?’ ‘He spoke falsely to me’, he rejoined, ‘stating that he would come today, but has not.’ He [Elijah] answered him, ‘This is what he said to you, ‘Today, if you will hear his voice.” Sanhedrin 98a, Soncino Press Edition
The Talmud has the Messiah sitting at the entrance of the ‘Gate’. The Vilna Gaon emends the text to read apitcha d’Romi (אפתחא דרומי), at the “Gate of Rome.” The Torah speaks about Joseph being imprisoned,
Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the kings prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody.Genesis 39:20
Jesus/ Yeshua says that when his people are imprisoned, he is imprisoned,chain
Then the King will tell those on his right hand, Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you? The King will answer them, ‘Amein I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Matthew 25:34-40
Sefer Zerubbabel says Mashiach is imprisoned in Rome,
He said to me, ‘Go to the “house of filth” near the market-district,’ and I went just as he had commanded me. He said to me, ‘Turn this way,’ and so I turned. He touched me, and then I saw a man (who was) despicable, broken down and in pain. That despicable man said to me: ‘Zerubbabel!? What business do you have here? Who has brought you here?’ I responded and said: ‘A wind from the Lord lifted me up and carried me to this place.’ He said to me: ‘Do not be afraid, for you have been brought here in order that He might show you (and then you in turn might inform the people of Israel about everything which you see).’ When I heard his words, I was consoled and regained my self-composure. I asked him, ‘Sir, what is the name of this place?’ He said to me, ‘This is mighty Rome, wherein I am imprisoned.’ I said to him, ‘Who then are you? What is your name? What do you seek here? What are you doing in this place?’ He said to me, ‘I am the Messiah of the L-rd, the son of Hezekiah confined in prison until the time of the End.’ Sefer Zerubbabel, translated by John C. Reeves
See commentary on this remarkable passage here. The imprisonment and suffering of the Messiah is to atone for the sins of Israel and the world,
“In the month of Nisan, the Patriarchs will arise and say to the Messiah: Ephraim, our true Messiah, you are greater than we because you suffered for the iniquities of our children; and terrible ordeals befell thee, such ordeals as did not befall earlier generations or later ones; for the sake of Israel you became a laughingstock and a derision among the nations of the earth, and did sit in darkness, in thick darkness, and your eyes saw no light, And your skin cleaved to your bones, and your body was as dry as a piece of wood; And your eyes grew dim from fasting, and your strength was dried up like a potsherd – All of these afflictions on account of the iniquities of our children…the Holy One, Blessed be He, will lift the Messiah up to the heaven of heavens, and cloak him in something of the splendor of His own glory…” Pesikta Rabbati , Piska 37, Yale University Press, Pages 685-686
EDOM = ROME
Edom links to Rome, based on a prophecy in Psalms that speak of the children of Edom destroying the Temple as Rome did in 70 C.E.,
Remember, YHVH, against the children of Edom, the day of Jerusalem; who said, ‘Raze it! Raze it even to its foundation! Psalms 137:7
In Jewish thought, Rome is synonymous with Christianity, specifically a Roman system that conceals the Jewishness of the Messiah and those who follow its practices. This is where Messiah is hidden and is a prisoner. The idea of the imprisoned Messiah may be alluded to in Ecclesiastes,
Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who doesn’t know how to receive admonition any more. For out of prison he came forth to be king, yes, even in his kingdom he was born poor. Ecclesiastes 4:13-14
Pirkei Avot de-Rabbi Nathan comments on this verse,
“When a man bestirs himself and goes off to some unchastity, all his limbs obey him, For the evil impulse is king over his two hundred and forty eight limbs. When he goes off to some good deed, all his limbs begin to drag. For the evil impulse within a man is monarch over his two hundred and forty eight limbs, while the good impulse is like a captive in prison, as it is said, For out of prison he came forth to be king (Eccl. 4:14), that is to say, the good impulse. . . And some say: The verse in Ecclesiastes refers to Joseph the righteous…” Pirkei Avot de Rabbi Natan, translated by Judah Goldin, Yale University Press, pg 85
In some way, the Mashiach ben Yosef is imprisoned within us, chained by our own choice. When we overcome the temptation to sin, and defeat the yetzer hara, the evil inclination, he is “released from prison.” Personally, when we ‘release Mashiach ben Yosef’ in our lives, he becomes manifest in the world, through us. Collectively, when Israel repents and recognizes the Mashiach ben Yosef, the Redemption will begin. The concealment of the Messiah in Edom (Rome) is the secret of the verse,
Jacob went near to Isaac his father. He felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. Genesis 27:22
As Jacob was cloaked in Esau, Joseph and even Moses were cloaked in Egypt. Messiah is hidden in the antithesis of Israel, but he is not part of the system. From a distance, he appears to be part of Rome, but he is actually on the outside, waiting for Israel to be ready. Isaiah speaks of this day,
Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this who is glorious in his clothing, marching in the greatness of his strength? It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Isaiah 63:1
The Ramchal, R’ Moshe Chaim Luzzato, comments on this passage,
…ועתה הנני מפרש לך סוד אחד חתום מאד והוא מה שכתוב מי זה בא מאדום וגוי [ישעיה סג, א] וכל זה הוא הצדיק, והוא משיח בן יוסף
“I will explain to you a certain sod which is completely sealed, and it concerns what is written, “Who is this who comes from Edom…’ (Yeshayahu 63:1). This is the Tzadik, and he is Mashiach ben Yosef.” Ramchal, Ma’amar HaGeulah, Secrets of the Redemption, Translated by R’ Mordecai Nissim, Feldheim Press, pg 118
TEARS OF MESSIAH
At last Joseph could no longer control his feelings in front of his attendants and cried, “Get everybody away from me!” So no one else was with him when Joseph revealed to his brothers who he was. He wept aloud, and the Egyptians heard, and Pharaoh’s household heard. Genesis 45:1-2
The shortest verse in the Bible speaks of the Messiah weeping (prior to his resurrection of Elazar in John 11),
Yeshua wept. John 11:35
There is a story told of R’ Yehoshua ben Levi,
“Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said, “When I came to the Messiah, he asked me and said, “What is Israel doing in the world from which you came? I said to him, ‘They are waiting for you every day. Instantly, he lifted up his voice and cried.” The Acts of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, cited in Torah Club, Volume Two: Shadows of the Messiah, First Fruits of Zion, pg. 176
Yeshua wept over Jerusalem,
When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it. Luke 19:41
The Zohar speaks of the Messiah weeping before the Redemption,
The Messiah…lifts up his eyes and beholds the Fathers (Patriarchs) visiting the ruins of G-d’s Sanctuary. He perceives mother Rachel, with tears upon her face; the Holy One, blessed be He, tries to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted (Jer. 31:14). Then the Messiah lifts up his voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous and saints who are there break out in crying and lamentation with him…All through the seven days the Messiah shall be crowned on earth. Where shall this be? ‘By the way’, to wit, Rachel’s grave, which is on the cross-road. To mother Rachel he will give glad tidings and comfort her, and now she will let herself be comforted, and will rise and kiss him.” Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 8a-b, Soncino Press Edition
The day is coming when he will no longer be in exile. No longer be hidden “behind the wall.” In that day, every tear will be wiped away, and our exile will end,
I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away. Revelation 21:3-4