Parashot

Week Ending Saturday, December 9, 2017

וישב

VAYESHEV (AND HE SETTLED)


Genesis 37-40

Parashat Vayeshev

Joseph, Favored Son

37 Now Jacob dwelled in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan. These are the genealogies of Jacob.

When Joseph was 17 years old (he was a youth), he was shepherding the flocks with his brothers—with the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons because he was the son of his old age. So he had made him a long-sleeved tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak to him in shalom.

Then Joseph dreamed a dream and told his brothers—and they hated him even more. He said to them, “Please listen to this dream I dreamed. There we were binding sheaves in the middle of the field. All of a sudden, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.”

“Will you truly be a king over us?” his brothers said to him. “Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and because of his words.

But then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “I have just dreamed another dream. Suddenly, there was the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowing down to me!” 10 He told it to his father as well as his brothers.

Then his father rebuked him and said to him, “What’s this dream you dreamed? Will we really come—your mother and I with your brothers—to bow down to the ground to you?” 11 So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the speech in mind.

Joseph Betrayed

12 Then his brothers went to graze their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers grazing the flocks in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.”

“Here I am,” he said to him.

14 Then he said to him, “Go now, and check on the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flocks and bring word back to me.”

So he sent him from the valley of Hebron and he went to Shechem. 15 A man found him there, wandering in the field, and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 “I’m looking for my brothers,” he said. “Please tell me where they’re grazing.”

17 The man said, “They moved on from here. For I heard them saying, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

18 Now they saw him from a distance. Before he was close to them they plotted together against him in order to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes the master of dreams! 20 Come on now! Let’s kill him and throw him into one of those pits, so we can say that an evil animal devoured him. Then let’s see what becomes of his dreams.”

21 But Reuben heard and rescued him out of their hands, saying, “We must not beat him to death.” 22 In order to rescue him from their hand and to return him to his father, Reuben said to them, “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him!”

23 So as soon as Joseph came up to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic (the long sleeved tunic that he had on). 24 Then they took him and threw him into the pit. (Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.)

25 Then they sat down to eat bread. When they looked up, behold, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balsam, and myrrh—going to bring them down to Egypt.

26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on! 27 Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not lay our hand on him—since he’s our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers listened to him. 28 When some men, Midianite merchants, passed by, they dragged Joseph up and out of the pit and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt. 29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes. 30 Then he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I—where should I go?”

31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a billy goat, and they dipped the tunic into the blood. 32 Then they sent the long-sleeved tunic, and it was brought to their father, and they said, “We found this. Do you recognize whether or not it is your son’s tunic?”

33 He did recognize it and said, “My son’s tunic! An evil animal has devoured him! Joseph must be torn to pieces!” 34 Jacob tore his clothing and put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons got up along with all his daughters to console him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” So his father kept weeping for him.

36 Meanwhile the Midianites sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar an official of Pharaoh, the commander of the bodyguards.

Judah and Tamar

38 About that time Judah went down from his brothers and he camped near an Adullamite man, whose name was Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua, and he took her as wife and slept with her. Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er. She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan. She gave birth to yet another son and she called him Shelah. He was in Chezib when she gave birth to him.

Then Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so Adonai put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, go to your brother’s wife to perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a seed for your brother. But Onan knew that the seed would not be his. So every time he went to his brother’s wife he would destroy it on the ground so as not to provide a seed for his brother. 10 What he did was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so He put him to death also.

11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Stay as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up,” because he thought, “Otherwise he too might die, like his brothers.” So Tamar went and stayed in her father’s house.

12 Now the days became many, and Shua’s daughter, Judah’s wife, died. After Judah consoled himself, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 Then Tamar was told, “Look! Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his flocks.” 14 And she removed her widow’s clothes from herself, covered herself with a veil, wrapped herself, and sat by the entrance to the springs on the way to Timnah (for she saw that Shelah had grown up and she had not been given to him as a wife).

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16 So he turned aside to her along the way and said, “Please let me sleep with you” (for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law).

“What,” she asked, “will you give me to sleep with me?”

17 “I will send you a young goat from the flock,” he said,

“Provided you give a pledge until you send it,” she said.

18 “What kind of pledge shall I give you?” he asked.

“Your seal, and your cord, and your staff in your hand,” she said. So he gave them to her and he slept with her, and she got pregnant by him. 19 After she got up and left, she removed her veil from herself and put on her widow’s clothes.

20 When Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he could not find her. 21 He asked the men of her area saying, “Where is the cult prostitute? She was at the springs along the way.”

But they said, “There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.”

22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her, and the people of that place also said, ‘There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.’”

23 Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, or we’ll be held in contempt. Behold, I did send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”

24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been a prostitute—look, she’s even pregnant by prostitution.”

“Bring her out!” Judah said, “and let her be burned.”

25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law saying, “I’m pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.” Then she said, “Do you recognize whose these are—the seal, the cords and the staff?”

26 Then Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I didn’t give her to my son Shelah.” He was not intimate with her again.

27 Now when it was time for her to give birth, behold there were twins in her womb. 28 While she was giving birth, one stuck out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it to his hand saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But as he was pulling his hand back in, behold, his brother came out. So she said, “How you have broken through! The breach is because of you.” And he named him Perez. 30 Afterward his brother, on whose hand was the scarlet thread, came out. And he named him Zerah.

Joseph Succeeds in Adversity

39 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh, commander of the bodyguards, bought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down there. But Adonai was with Joseph. So he became a successful man in the house of his master, the Egyptian. His master saw that Adonai was with him and that Adonai made everything he set his hand to successful. Joseph found favor in his eyes, so he served him as a personal servant and he made him an overseer over his household; everything that was his he entrusted into his hand. From the time that he made him an overseer in his house and over everything that belonged to him, Adonai blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph; Adonai’s blessing was on everything that belonged to him, in the house and in the field. So he released everything he owned into Joseph’s hand. With him in charge, he did not think about anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and handsome in appearance.

Now after these things, the master’s wife lifted up her eyes at Joseph and said, “Come, lie down with me!”

But he refused. “Look,” he said to his master’s wife, “my master doesn’t think about anything in the house with me in charge, and everything that belongs to him he’s entrusted into my hand. No one in this house is greater than I, and he has withheld nothing from me—except you, because you are his wife. So how could I commit this great evil and sin against God?”

10 So whenever she spoke to Joseph, day after day, he did not listen to her invitation to lie down beside her, to be with her. 11 Now on one such day, he came into the house to do his work, and none of the people of the house were there in the house. 12 Then she grabbed him by his garment saying, “Come, lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, fled and went outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, 14 she screamed to the men of her house and said to them, “Look! Someone brought a Hebrew man to us to fool with us. He approached me to lie with me so I screamed out loud. 15 When he heard me raise my voice and scream, he left his garment with me, fled and went outside.”

16 Then she kept the garment with her until his master came home. 17 She spoke the same words to him saying, “The Hebrew slave that you brought us approached me to fool with me. 18 When I raised my voiced and screamed, he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

19 Now when his master heard the words his wife spoke to him saying, “Such are the things your slave did to me,” his anger burned. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So there he was, in the prison.

21 But Adonai was with Joseph and extended kindness to him and gave him favor in the eyes of the commander of the prison. 22 The commander of the prison entrusted into Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison, so that everything that was done there, he was responsible for it. 23 The commander of the prison did not concern himself with anything at all under his care, because Adonai was with him, and Adonai made whatever he did successful.

Interpreter of Dreams

40 Now it was after these things that the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, with the chief of the cupbearers and with the chief of the bakers. So he put them in custody of the house of the commander of the bodyguards—in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. The commander of the bodyguards assigned Joseph to be with them and served them as their personal servant. They were in custody for some time.

Then the two of them each dreamed a dream on the same night. The dream of each man—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each had its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he observed them, and there they were, looking miserable. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in the custody of the house of his master saying, “Why are your faces so sad today?”

They said to him, “We dreamed a dream and there is no one to interpret it.”

Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell me.”

So the chief of the cupbearers told his dream to Joseph, saying to him, “In my dream, suddenly, there was a vine in front of me. 10 On the vine were three branches, and as it was budding, its blossoms came out, its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand and I took the grapes, pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in Pharaoh’s palm.”

12 “This is its interpretation,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches: they are three days. 13 In another three days, Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position. Then you’ll put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand just as you used to do before when you were his cupbearer. 14 But if you remember me, that I was with you, when it goes well with you, please show me kindness and mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house. 15 For I was forcibly kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing at all that they should put me in this pit.”

16 When the chief of the bakers saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream. Expectantly, there were three baskets of white bread on my head. 17 In the top basket was food for Pharaoh—all kinds of baked goods. But the birds were eating them from the basket on my head.”

18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets: they are three days. 19 In another three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—off of you—and will hang you on a tree. Then the birds will eat your flesh off of you.”

20 Then it happened on the third day—Pharaoh’s birthday—that he held a banquet for all his servants. He lifted up the head of the chief of the cupbearers and the head of the chief of the bakers among his servants. 21 He restored the chief of the cupbearers as his cupbearer, and he put the cup on the palm of Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But the chief of the bakers he hung. It was just as Joseph had interpreted for them. 23 Yet the chief of the cupbearers did not remember Joseph—indeed, he forgot him.


Amos 2:6-3:8

Thus says Adonai:
“For three crimes of Israel
    even for four, I will not relent.
For they sell the righteous for silver
    and the needy for a pair of shoes.
They trample the head of the poor
    into the dust of the earth
and thwart the way of the humble.
A man and his father go to the same girl,[a]
    to profane My holy Name.
Upon garments taken in pledge
    they stretch out beside every altar,
and drink wine confiscated as fines
    in the house of their gods.

“I destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like cedars
    and as strong as oaks—
    yes, I destroyed his fruit from above
    and his roots from beneath.
10 It was I also who brought you up from the land of Egypt
    and led you forty years in the wilderness
    to possess the Amorite’s land.
11 I raised up prophets from your sons
and Nazirites from your young men.
Is this not so, Bnei Yisrael?”
declares Adonai.
12 “But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink,
and you commanded the prophets saying,
    ‘Do not prophesy.’
13 Behold! I will cause a tottering beneath you
    as a cart totters when full of sheaves.
14 Then flight will fail for the swift.
The mighty will not strengthen his power,
The warrior will not save his life.
15 The archer will not stand,
the fleet-footed will not escape,
the horseman will not save himself.
16 The valiant among the warriors
    will flee naked in that day.”
declares Adonai.

The Prophet Reveals Destruction

Hear this word that Adonai has spoken against you, Bnei Yisrael, against the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:

“Only you have I known from among
    all the families of the earth.
Therefore, I will punish you
    for all your iniquities.

Can two walk together
unless they meet by appointment?
Does a lion roar in the forest
    when he has no prey?
Does a young lion growl from his den
    unless he has taken prey?
Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground
    if it has no bait?
Will a snare spring up from the ground
    without taking anything?
If a shofar alarm sounds in a city,
    will people not tremble?
If there is calamity in a city,
    has not Adonai caused it?
For the Lord Adonai, will do nothing,
unless He has revealed His counsel
    to His servants the prophets.[b]
A lion has roared, who will not fear?
My Lord Adonai has spoken,
    who shall not prophesy?


Matthew 1:1-6

Forefathers of Yeshua the Messiah

The book of the genealogy[a] of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-David,[b] Ben-Avraham: Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,[c] Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,[d] Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David the king.

David fathered Solomon by the wife of Uriah,


Matthew 1:16-25

16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Miriam, from whom was born Yeshua who is called the Messiah. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the Babylonian exile are fourteen generations, and from the Babylonian exile until the Messiah are fourteen generations.

The Miraculous Birth of Yeshua

18 Now the birth of Yeshua the Messiah happened this way. When His mother Miriam was engaged to Joseph but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, made up his mind to dismiss her secretly. 20 But while he considered these things, behold, an angel of Adonai appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Miriam as your wife, for the Child conceived in her is from the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 21 She will give birth to a son; and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by Adonai through the prophet, saying, 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”[a]

24 When Joseph woke up from his sleep, he did as the angel of Adonai commanded him and took Miriam as his wife. 25 But he did not know her intimately until she had given birth to a Son. And he called His name Yeshua.


Matthew 19-20

Marriage and Covenant Faithfulness

19 Now when Yeshua had finished these words, He moved on from the Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. Pharisees came up to Yeshua, testing Him and saying, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”

“Haven’t you read?” He answered. “He who created them from the beginning ‘made them male and female’ [a] and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ [b] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to ‘give her a certificate of divorce and put her away?’”[c]

Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. Now I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”[d]

10 The disciples said to Him, “If that’s the case for a man and his wife, it’s better not to marry!”

11 But He said to them, “Not everyone can accept this saying—only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made that way by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who can accept this, let him accept it.”

Receiving the Kingdom of Heaven

13 Then little children were brought to Yeshua so that He might lay hands upon them and pray. Then the disciples rebuked those who brought them. [e] 14 But Yeshua said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After laying His hands upon them, He went on from there.

16 Now behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good shall I do to have eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Yeshua said to him. “There is only One who is good; but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he said.

Yeshua said, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”[f]

20 “All these I’ve kept,” the young man said to Him. “What do I still lack?”

21 Yeshua said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you own, and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving, for he had much property.

23 Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Amen, I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”

26 And looking, Yeshua said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”[g]

27 Then Peter said to Him, “Look, we’ve left everything to follow You! So what will we have?”

28 And Yeshua said to them, “Amen, I tell you, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne in the new world,[h] you who have followed Me shall also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundred times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Parable of the Day Laborers

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the workers for a denarius per day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing in the marketplace, idle. And to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour and did the same. And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing around. And he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?’

“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.

“He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too.’

“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ And those who had come about the eleventh hour each received a denarius. 10 And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; yet they too received a denarius.

11 “But when they received it, they began to grumble against the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last guys did one hour, and you’ve made them equal to us, who bore the burden and scorching heat of the day!’

13 “But answering, he said to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go. But I want to give this last guy the same as you. 15 Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Third Prediction: Death and Resurrection

17 Now as Yeshua was going up to Jerusalem, He took the Twelve aside privately; and on the way he told them, 18 “Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death 19 and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify. Yet on the third day, He will be raised up.”[i]

Leading by Serving

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came with her sons to Yeshua, and she was kneeling down and asking something from Him.

21 “What do you want?” He said to her.

She said to Him, “Declare that these two sons of mine might sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

22 But Yeshua replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?”

“We are able,” they say to Him.

23 He said to them, “You shall indeed drink My cup. But to sit on My right and left, this isn’t Mine to grant. Rather, it’s for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

24 Now when the ten heard, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them. 26 It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you shall be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

29 Now as they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30 And here two blind men sitting by the roadside, when they heard that Yeshua was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!” 31 The crowd warned them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”[j]

32 Yeshua stopped and called out to them. “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said.

33 They said to Him, “Master, let our eyes be opened!” 34 Moved with compassion, Yeshua touched their eyes. Instantly they regained their sight and followed Him.[k]