Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, December 29, 2022

What Was, Will Be Again

I didn’t want this week to go by without acknowledging “Vayigash,” our Torah portion for the last day of 2022.   (Genesis 44:18-47:27)

Rabbi Trail:  I’ve written on this before.  After about 1500 devotionals with 7700 pages of text, it is hard to find any subject not previously touched.  It does make me wish I had followed good advice and tagged relevant subjects as I published the daily blogs.  Anybody want to take that on as a project?  I wouldn’t recommend it.  End RT.

Literally, Vayigash means “and he will approach.”  However; because it uses the “Vav Conversive,” the tense is changed from future to past, so we commonly translate it as “and he approached.”

Rabbi Trail:  The Torah is full of this “Vav Conversive” structure (also called the Vav-Consecutive”), however; it is strange to modern Hebrew.  When a past tense word is preceded by a Vav (the Hebrew letter, which when prefixed means “and”) the tense is changed to future tense.  In the same way a future tense word is changed to a past tense translation.

This proves that God is not time constrained.  He is eternal.  To Him, what was is what will be and what will be is what was.  God is not troubled to write what happened 4,000 years ago as if it will happen in the future.  End RT.

In fact, I believe this scene will yet again happen in the future.  Joseph is a kinsman redeemer.  God placed all authority in Joseph’s hands so that he could save his brothers.  Yeshua came to earth as the ultimate kinsman redeemer to save His brothers.  This is described here…

Philippians 2:7 But He emptied Himself— taking on the form of a slave, becoming the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man. 8 He humbled Himself— becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

But Yeshua’s brothers (the Jewish leaders) wouldn’t come near to Him.  Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Yet, there is a future for the children of Israel.  Romans 11:26 and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.

Just like Joseph, Yeshua will be revealed to His brothers.  Genesis 45:4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me.” So they came near. “I’m Joseph, your brother—the one you sold to Egypt,” he said.  And just like Joseph’s brothers, Yeshua’s brothers will recoil in fear when they finally see Who He is.  And just like Joseph, Yeshua will say to them… Genesis 45:5 “So now, don’t be grieved and don’t be angry in your own eyes that you sold me here—since it was for preserving life that God sent me here before you.

It is a great story, full of passion.  As we read it, we are reminded of that greater reality yet to be revealed.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 29-Dec-2022 5th of Tevet, 5783
Ge 45:28-46:27 2 Sa 12 Ps 84 Lk 8:1-25 (2 Co 7)