Vayishlach

“And He Sent”

וישלח

Genesis 32:3 – 36:43

Summary:  This week’s Parshah covers Jacob’s return to his homeland.  It begins with Jacob sending messengers to his brother Esau informing him of his imminent return, and from this message Jacob is informed that Esau is preparing to meet him with 400 men.  Faced with this threat, Jacob then goes into “prep” mode and begins to split his family up concerning the way they’ll head into this battle.  First in line were the handmaidens, Bilhah & Zilpah, and their 4 children.  Following after them were Leah and her 7 children.  And finally at the tail end, were Rachel and Joseph.  This actually becomes a very interesting foreshadowing of how the house is split till this day!  Just as Jacob divides his family, it becomes a prophetical acting out of how later his house (the 12 tribes) would be split again, and there’s this interesting order concerning how would encounter Esau (the enemy).  It is also interesting to note that Jacob once again has an encounter with Yahweh, just as he did at the start of this journey.  He wrestles with a messenger (whom we believe to be none other than Yahshua), and in the midst of his wrestling he is touched in the thigh (literally the area of the loins – his seed is changed, the fruit that he produces will no longer be the fruit of the fleshly carnal man but after the spirit) and his walk changes!  His name is now called Israel – one who stands upright before Elohim!

The parshah continues to inform us that all of Jacob’s house bows to Esau, we see this exact scenario again today.  For the most part, the house is bowing to Esau now (with the disputes over the physical land of Israel, but also in the spiritual, with many “believers” attempting to appease and cater to the whims of Esau’s descendants).  Yet there was one member of Jacob’s house that does not bow!  Benjamin does not bow to Esau because he is not born yet.

After Jacob survives his encounter with Esau, we see him going directly to a place named Sukkot, where he worships Yahweh!  It is also during this parshah that his daughter Dinah has the encounter with the Prince of Shekem, leading to Simeon and Levi slaughtering the town, and losing their chance at the birthright because of this encounter!  It finally closes out with the birth of Benjamin, during which Rachel dies, and his son Reuben’s defilement of Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah, causing him to lose his right to the birthright and blessing.

Torah Tidbits:

*If you examine the Hebrew language surrounding the encounter Jacob has when he wrestles and has a name change, it is the same terminology concerning the Passover!  He is touched in the hollow if his thigh (touched is naga’ – same term used in Exodus 12:22 concerning how they were to “strike”/naga’ the doorposts with the blood)

*Esau comes with 400 men – 400 = ת the number of Covenant; could it be that Esau is coming to attack Jacob’s position in Covenant with Yahweh?

*Benjamin is the only individual who doesn’t bow – Benjamin בִּנְיָמִין son of the right hand, a shadow picture of the Messiah, as his name is first called Ben-Oni (Son of my Sorrows – the suffering servant); the seed of Jacob – the Messiah, would not bow to Esau/the enemy!  And all of those who align themselves with the Messiah, the son of the right hand, can stand firm before Esau as well!

*3 sons lose their right to the birthright (1st born status) in this portion, yet one later redeems themselves.  Reuben defiles his father’s bed (sexual perversion), Simeon and Levi slaughter the city of Shechem, but later Levi chooses to stand on the side of Yahweh.  After the Golden Calf incident in the wilderness, Levi is actually taken in place of all the firstborn of Israel to serve in the Tabernacle alongside the priests!

We hope that this information becomes tools in your hands to help you study to show yourself approved this week!  Stay tuned and join us this Shabbat to hear what we’ve dug out of this portion, shalom aleichem!