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Parashah #7 VaYetze / And he went out

In Weekly Torah Portions | on November, 09, 2013 | by

Parashah #7

VaYetze ~ And he went out
Torah: B’resheet/Genesis 28:10~32:3
Haftarah: Hoshea/Hosea 11:7~14:10
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan/John 1:43-51

Wow!!! I have had a hard time getting out of the first part of this parashah! There is so much meat here!! But then there is so much meat in the rest of it, too!!! Oh well, let’s cover what we can.


This portion forms a carefully delineated unit framed by parallel scenes at the beginning and end (bookends, so to speak!). It begins with a vision of angels as Ya’akov leaves Eretz Israel / the Land of Israel and concludes with a vision of angels as he returns. After the first, Ya’akov erects a monument and before the latter he does the same. Although (Lah-vahn) Lavan/Laban is not mentioned by name in the first case, it turns out he is the center of what The Almighty’s protection will be needed for. The monument at the end of this Parashah is the conclusion of Ya’akov’s confrontation with Lavan. As one prepared him for Lavan, the second seals his relationship with him. In between he has two contests with Laban. The first involves his marriage with Lavan’s daughters (Leah and Rachel) and the second involves his keeping Lavan’s daughters as his wives. The middle section describes how Ya’akov produced his family and wealth.


In B’resheet/Genesis 28:11, (depending on your translation) the phrases “the place”, “of the place”, “a certain place” and “in that place” apparently have a lot of significance since it is used 3 times in one verse. In Hebrew, it is ha makom (המקום), connoting a sacred site and is believed to be Mt. (mor-ee-ah) Moriah. This is the very place where Avraham offered Yitz’chak/Isaac on the altar and the very place where the Temples, both the first and the second, were to be built. Some even believe it represented the area of the Holy of Holies. It is also believed to be the place where Ya’akov/Jacob instituted the (Mah-ah-reev) Ma’ariv / Evening Prayer.

When one really contemplates what has taken place, these events are incredible!!! It is approximately 35 miles from Be’er-Sheva to Jerusalem (These are the modern day landmarks.) The Almighty must have calculated Ya’akov’s journey and caused him to walk at a certain pace so Ya’akov would reach this “certain place” exactly at sunset and be forced to sleep there. Some would call this coincidence; I prefer to call it Divine Providence! Can you begin to imagine how Ya’akov must have felt when he laid his head on the very ground where his father had been laid for a sacrifice? Surely Ya’akov KNEW the story about his father, Yitz’chak / Isaac! Oh my goodness!!!!!

There appears to be much symbolism in Ya’akov/Jacob’s dream. It is said dreams mentioned in Scripture are vehicles of prophecy and since words are used sparingly, at least in Hebrew, Torah would not report these dreams if they were not important.

One of the commentaries involving the angels ascending and descending the ladder, reported Ya’akov/Jacob was shown the guardian angels of the Four Kingdoms which were to dominate Israel. He saw each angel climbing the number of rungs corresponding to the years of its dominance and then descending as it’s time was coming to an end. For instance . . .
• The Babylonian angel climbed 70 rungs and then went down
• Media’s angel, of the Media/Persian Empire, ascended 52 rungs
• Greece’s angel, 130 rungs
• But the Edom/Esau angel kept climbing indefinitely, symbolizing the current exile.
This is an interesting commentary but it is only an example of rabbinic conjecture as scripture says nothing to support it.

Speaking of exile . . . also in verse 11 “. . . because the sun had set.” I read, ordinarily, details of this sort aren’t noted in the narrative. It could just as well have been written “when he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night”, without mentioning the sun had set. When Ya’akov/Jacob descends from the Land of Promise it is seen as a descent into spiritual darkness. Avraham’s experience was similar in context to the Egyptian exile. “As the sun was setting, Avram fell into a deep sleep and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” (B’resheet/Genesis15:12)

The Master, Yeshua, referred to a coming darkness, when He warned His (tahl-m’deem) talmidim/disciples “Night is coming. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” (Yochanan/John 9:4) This is quite prophetic of our culture today! At this point, we have been told . . .

• No Ten Commandments
• No public prayer
• Abortion should be accepted by all
• Homosexual marriages have been legalized
• Same gender couples should be given more and more benefits
• Etc, etc, etc. . . .(I guess I should get off my soapbox!!!!)

Okay, back to our Torah portion. We know of other times when angels descended . . .

• To foretell Yochanan’s/John’s birth to Zechariah (Luke 1:11)
• To Miriam/Mary and Yosef/Joseph (Mattityahu/Matthew 1:20 & Luke 1:26)
• To announce Yeshua’s/Jesus’ birth to the shepherds (Luke 2:13)
• To warn Yosef/Joseph about Herod (Mattityahu/Matthew 2:13 & 19)
• To feed Yeshua/Jesus after the temptation in the wilderness (Mark 1:13)
• To open the tomb and announce the resurrection (Mattityahu/Matthew 28:2 & Yochanan/John 20:12)
• To witness the ascension (Acts 1:10)

And, in the future, angels will descend when “the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him”. (Mattityahu/Matthew 25:31)

Rabbi Ya’akov Youlus, of blessed memory, shared some interesting comments about verse 12. He indicated while Ya’akov slept, he dreamed about the angels going up and down on the ladder. The Torah says the angels were going up and then down. Usually, angels descend before they ascend, so what does this mean? Perhaps this dream is prophetic concerning the future of the nation of Israel. Many nations and civilizations will ascend but later will collapse and disappear. The only nation which continues to ascend and remain throughout world history will be Israel. This is a fact and history has proven it! There were four empires:

                     Babylonian          Persian          Greek          Roman

Each had dominion over the Israelite nation for a time, however, only the Israelite nation and culture still thrives. The others are extinct. Israel has always been the weaker nation yet it still flourishes and is ascending as history unfolds. There is no rational explanation for this fact except the divine providence of The Almighty. He first appeared in the Exodus from Egypt to make Himself known to the Hebrews. He has continued to make Himself known to all nations through the perpetual existence of Israel against all odds. Truly this is a miracle when one considers the multitudes of persecutions and genocides waged against these Chosen Ones. The nation of Israel continues to stand and her history has always been surrounded by miracles.

Verses 13-15 are SO powerful! The Holy One is giving Ya’akov the same blessing He gave to Avraham! Really!!! Remember, Ya’akov has fallen asleep and is dreaming about the ladder resting on the ground and reaching to heaven. Listen . . . “Then suddenly Yehovah was standing there next to him; and He said, “I am Yehovah, the God of Avraham your [grand] father and the God of Yitz’chak. The land on which you are lying I will give to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the grains of dust on the earth. You will expand to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. By you and your descendants all the families of the earth will be blessed. Look, I am with you. I will guard you wherever you go and I will bring you back into this land, because I won’t leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Again, Ya’akov had to have known what The Holy One promised to his grandfather, Avraham. Can you imagine how he must have felt to know the very same blessing was being passed on to and through him!

In verses 16-19 Ya’akov/Jacob awakens knowing he has had a Divine Visitation from TheHoly One Himself and he grasps hold of the promises spoken to him. Therefore, he worships Yehovah and calls the location by two names:
• (Beht Ehl) Bet El (אל בית)/House of God and
• (Sha-ahr Ha Shah-mah yeem) Sha’ar HaShamayim (שער השמים)/Gate of Heaven.

The experience had such an impact on him when he awoke he set up a pillar, a monument, if you will. Then, it says, (he) poured oil on its top. I may be wrong, but I believe this is the first place/time in scripture an anointing takes place. Could this be a reference to Yeshua, the “anointed one”? The more I’m in Torah, the more I see Yeshua in it, if I pay close attention. After the anointing, he called the place Beth-El or Beit-El/House of God. Scripture tells us the town originally was called (looz) Luz.

In my studies, I learned in the ancient Near East, tall, stairway-tower temples called ziggurats served as “ladders” between men and their gods. Remember the Tower of Babel? Also, altars operated on the same principle. This is why altars were constructed at high places and included stairs of ascent. When we see pictures of the altar of the Tabernacle and the Temple, there are also stairs for ascent.

Okay, hang with me here. I don’t know why Abba has me do these things but I think it’s pretty interesting. The Hebrew letters which spell Luz are lamed (20), vav (6), and tzadi (70). As you can see, I have put the numerical equivalent beside each letter. When totaled, they equal 96. I went to my little book of Biblical numbers and found nothing for 96 (bummer!) but with the prodding of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit, I checked on the number 48, half of 96 and this is what I found!!! Forty-eight is the number for “tabernacle” or “dwelling”, so if you doubled it, could it not be significant of “House of God”? Since Abba gave it to me, I choose to think so!!!

Continuing with the numbers 9 and 6, we find, when added together, they equal 15. In Hebrew, the two letters normally indicating fifteen are 10 and 5, which also happens to spell Yah (יה), a shortened (or poetic) form of the sacred name (יהוה) of Yehovah. However, since we are admonished to keep His name holy and not profane it by common usage, the constant common use of these two letters as the number fifteen were replaced by the two letters of 9 and 6 (וט).

We should note here, in addition to setting up the memorial stones, Ya’akov also made a vow of service to Yehovah. It is the first recorded vow in Torah. One of the promises, Ya’akov makes to The Holy One, is to give Him a tenth of his prosperity. This vow of a tenth, as well as the tenth Avraham gave to Malchi-Tzedek, were both voluntary gifts. Yehovah had not commanded them. What a blessing it is to our Heavenly Father when we choose to voluntarily bring Him gifts, over and above the required tithe.

Verses 20~22 show us the impact the Divine Visitation had. Ya’akov/Jacob says “If God will be with me . . .” Some render this as doubt on Ya’akov/Jacob’s part that God will do what He says He will do. I believe the word “since” would be a better translation. I believe, Ya’akov/Jacob is saying, “since Yehovah is going to do all of this for me . . . ., the least I can do is give back to You a tithe of whatever You will give me.” That’s Batyah’s rendering of those verses. As an additional side note: Rabbi Moshe Feinstein stated a Jew should tithe not only his possessions, but also his time, by contributing time to worthy causes.

See, I told you I had a hard time getting out of just the first part of this Parashah!!!


Is it a coincidence Ya’akov/Jacob finds his “bride-to-be” at the well, much like Eliezer did for Ya’akov/Jacob’s father Yitz’chak/Isaac? Later on we will learn Moshe/Moses meets his wife-to-be, Zipporah, at a well, also.

An interesting observance concerning this particular well had to do with the large stone or boulder placed over the mouth of the well. Speculations regarding the covering of the well ranged
• from protecting someone from possibly falling into the well and drowning
• to protecting the well from intruders who might try to poison the water or sabotage it in some way.
Anyway, in verses 1-3, when Ya’akov/Jacob approached the well, the shepherds there were waiting for the other herdsmen to arrive because it took the strength of ALL of them to remove the covering stone in order to draw water for their livestock. While Ya’akov/Jacob was still talking to the other shepherds, from a distance, he sees Raquel/Rachel leading her father’s flock to the well and apparently, it was love at first sight. Although Ya’akov/Jacob was tired from his long trip, scripture says he was able to remove the stone by himself. (verse 10) I believe this is a great illustration for Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 40:31; “those who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength.”

Verse 11: “And Ya’akov kissed Raquel . . .” do ya reckon this is where the term “kissin’ cousins” came from? (Sorry  )

Before we move on, I want to point out it was AFTER he saw Raquel/Rachel he rolled the stone away. Apparently, from a physical stand point, Ya’akov was one “buff” Hebrew! Sometimes men (and women too, for that matter) will show their prowess to make an impression on someone they might be interested in. Anyway, if all of this was not enough, Ya’akov decided to impress her with his admiration and violated an unspoken Middle Eastern law – he kissed her upon their first meeting (verse 12). Technically, Raquel was a relative (cousin) of Ya’akov, but this is the only instance in the Tanakh where a man kissed a woman who was neither his mother nor his wife (yet!).

The first encounter Ya’akov/Jacob has with Lavan/Laban is an interesting one. Verse 13 says “He (Lavan) ran toward him, embraced him . . .” I have a friend who is big on the “Law of First Mention”, and I think we have another one here. Seeing Ya’akov is empty handed, Lavan thought Ya’akov might have money hidden on his person. As Lavan is greeting Ya’akov with an embrace, he is “frisking” him to see or feel if his clothing might be laden with wealth and precious gifts. Lavan, being Lavan, thought surely, if a servant of Yitz’chak, Eliezer, came with 10 camels, loaded with precious gifts then Yitz’chak’s heir must be extremely wealthy. (B’resheet/Genesis 24:10)

Probably much to Lavan’s chagrin Ya’akov arrived with only the clothes on his back. As I understand the latter part of verse 14, Ya’akov worked for his room and board for an entire month before Lavan suggested some kind of payment arrangement.

Then we all know of Ya’akov/Jacob serving 7 years for Raquel/Rachel’s hand in marriage and getting duped. There are a lot of rabbit trails to run on this one. Apparently, Raquel and Le’ah must have resembled each other greatly, not to mention the fact the woman is veiled at the wedding. And, I guess their voices must have been similar as well.

Verse 17 states “Leah’s eyes were tender”. Some say the reason she wept in constant prayer was so she wouldn’t have to marry Esau. Since Lavan/Laban and Rivkah/Rebecca were brother and sister and each had two children; Lavan had two girls and Rivkah had two boys, it was thought perhaps Esau and Leah would marry as well as Ya’akov/Jacob and Raquel/Rachel.

Anyway, Raquel, feeling sorry for her “older” sister and not wanting to marry before her and cause her embarrassment, allowed Leah to take her place. Somehow, dad (Lavan) must have been in the midst of all this for it to come down as it did.

I find it incredibly interesting Ya’akov/Jacob didn’t know something was up until the next morning. Come on folks, he has been around both Leah and Raquel for seven years and he doesn’t know the difference between them until the next morning? Give me a break!!! Maybe it was the wine at the wedding feast!!!! (Verse 25)

For those of us who have been told, or led to believe, Ya’akov worked seven years and wound up with Leah and then worked another seven years BEFORE he married Raquel, this is not so!!! ONE week later he takes Raquel as his bride but get this . . . he’s still “sleeping” with Le’ah. It’s hard for my “westernized mind” to get beyond a monogamous society. Never the less, all of this would not have succeeded if The Almighty had not allowed it. Leah was his primary wife because she had as many sons as the other three “wives” combined. Remember, the “nurses” of the two Matriarchs also bore him children. (Verses 26-30)

Because Le’ah was the unloved one, The Holy One graciously caused her to become fertile while Raquel remained barren. Le’ah’s first born was Re’uven/Reuben (רובן) which means see a son! According to scripture, she becomes pregnant shortly thereafter with (שמעון) Shim’on/Simeon which means hearing and is taken from the Hebrew root word shama (שמע) and refers to Yehovah hearing her heart’s cry to give Ya’akov children. Le’ah conceived two more times before she stopped having children. Their names were Levi, (לוי) which means joining according to most commentary. However, literally, Levi means my heart. Her other son, Y’hudah/Judah, (יהודה) means praise/yadah (ידה) in Hebrew (Verses 31-35). This name contains the sacred name for The Almighty. The name Judah is the word from which “Jew” is derived. Leah offered praise to Yehovah for giving her a fourth son, thinking this would surely win her husband’s devotion.

Oh wow! It just dawned on me . . . . In scripture the number four alludes to the Messiah. Since Yehudah/Judah is from Leah, who had weak eyes, perhaps this explains Judah’s inability to “see” or “recognize” Yeshua as the Messiah at His first coming. Do you suppose this is the meaning indicated by the “tender eyes”?


Verses 1 & 2 certainly indicate the “honeymoon is over” and there is “trouble in paradise”. Raquel lashes out at Ya’akov, “Give me children – otherwise I am dead” and Ya’akov flares back he is not God and didn’t make her womb barren. “Besides, it’s not my fault, I’m not the barren one, obviously, I’m the one who can sire children; it’s you, your womb!” Can’t you just hear this angry diatribe? So Raquel does the “Sarai” thing and gives her maidservant, Bilhah which means timid, to her husband to have children for her. Raquel named Bilhah’s first son, (Dahn) Dan (דן), meaning judge. Her second son was named (Nahf-tah-lee) Naftali (נפתלי) / my wrestling (verses 5-8). Both names suggest jealousy between Le’ah and Raquel.

The sibling rivalry continues when Le’ah gives her maidservant, Zil’pah to Ya’akov. Zil’pah comes from a root word meaning to trickle as myrrh or fragrant dropping. Zil’pah bore two sons; the first one was (Gahd) Gad (גד), meaning good fortune and the second, (Ah-shehr) Asher (אשר), which means happy. (Verses 9-13)

A few years ago, I heard a teaching concerning the Bride and the Concubine, which really made sense to me. The question arose . . . what is the difference between a Bride and a Concubine? The answer is . . . the Bride has the contract, called a (Keh-too-bah) Ketubah, Hebrew for marriage contract. The Ketubah, which The Holy One gave His bride at Mt. Sinai, is known as the Ten Commandments. The other 603 directions for a good life are the “fine print”, so to speak, to help us obey Him. So-o-o-o, those who keep Torah, who obey the first five books, they are the Bride. Those who don’t obey Torah but still have a relationship with The Almighty are the Concubine. They do have a relationship but they don’t have the contract because they choose not to receive it.

Verse 14 begins the story of the “mandrakes”. All of the translations I looked at use this word except the Chumash and TaNaKH. Loving (Eve-reet) Ivrit/Hebrew so much, I really like the word used here, which is (due-da-eem) dudaim and has been translated as jasmine, violets, mandrakes and baskets of figs. Leah’s first born, Re’uven/Reuben, went into the field and brought dudaim to his mother. There are several stories of interest here. All of them relate to Re’uven’s/Reuben’s desire to see others happy and his unselfish nature.

Raquel wants some of the dudaim and long story short “sells” her night with Jacob to Leah for the dudaim (verses 14-21). Further research revealed the dudaim was actually the bowl or basket-like structure in which the mandrakes were carried. According to Webster’s Biblical Dictionary, the mandrake was a narcotic plant, resembling rhubarb, bearing a yellow, aromatic fruit and was used as an aphrodisiac.

So Jacob stays with Leah that night and she conceives AGAIN! This time Leah has a son Yissakhar/Issachar (יששכר), which means hire or reward, taken from the Hebrew word sacar (שכר). Then, as if to add insult to injury, Leah has another son, Z’vulun/Zebulun (זבולון), which means living together, and is taken from the Hebrew word zaval (זבל) meaning to dwell. Leah had hopes Ya’akov’s heart would now be turned toward her. Afterwards, Leah had one more child, this time a daughter, (Dee-nah) Dinah (דינה) which means controversy over rights as well as judgment.

Poor Raquel, can you imagine her frustration. Finally, in verse 22, “God remembered Rachel, heeded her prayer and made her fertile.” Since this verse says The Holy One heeded HER prayer . . . could this mean Ya’akov wasn’t praying for her fertility? Maybe he was enjoying his popularity! Remember when Yitz’chak and Rivkah were praying, it was Yitz’chak’s prayers which were heard. Some translations say Yehovah “opened her womb”. The Hebrew word for opened is (pah-tahk) patach (פתח) and can also be read as unlocked. Based on this reading, the Sages believe The Holy One holds three keys:

• the key of rain
• the key of the womb
• the key of resurrection

Anyway, Raquel conceives and gives birth to Yosef/Joseph, (יוסף) which means may he add and is taken from the Hebrew word (yah-sahf) yasaph (יסף) because she desired yet another child.

Ya’akov has had his fill of Lavan and wants to leave to go back to Eretz Isra’el/Land of Israel. In verses 26-34 they reach an agreement with regard to the sheep and goats. Ya’akov says he will take the animals which are speckled, spotted or brown and any born afterwards. If there were any found in his possession not speckled, spotted or brown, they would be considered as stolen from Lavan. Lavan was more than pleased with this proposition because these were very few and far between.

According to verse 37, Ya’akov tried some kind of genetic engineering with stripping rods of their bark and positioning them at the watering troughs in front of the female animals during their mating time. I’ve been told stripping the bark off the rods releases medicinal properties. There are some who feel/believe Ya’akov cheats Lavan, so to speak. However, I believe Yehovah created a few miracles so Ya’akov would profit greatly from the deal.


As we read in verse 1, Lavan’s/Laban’s family became jealous of Ya’akov/Jacob’s success; even Lavan, when he saw Ya’akov had become rich, treated him much differently.

The Almighty tells Ya’akov/Jacob to get himself home and He will be with him (verse 3). If Ya’akov chooses to stay in this foreign land, Yehovah says His Presence will depart from Ya’akov.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this happening, I believe “the girls” get their eyes opened to the evilness of their own father. It becomes quite apparent he has “sold” his own daughters as if they were slave girls. Furthermore, they realized Lavan had “consumed everything he received in exchange for us.” (verse 15) They recognize Yehovah has blessed them through Ya’akov because of his faithfulness and they are just as ready to “git ‘n’ split” as he is. So Ya’akov instructs them to get everyone ready. In doing so, verse 19 says Rachel stole the (teh-rah-feem) teraphim/household idols to keep her father from idol worship. According to the Sages, although stealing is inappropriate, the Torah records this episode because her intentions were noble.

According to verse 20, Ya’akov outwitted Lavan, who had gone to shear his sheep. He and his family leave with everything he has, cross the (Euphrates) River and set out for the hill-country of Gilad. They had been gone for three days before Lavan learned of their departure!

After pursuing Ya’akov for seven days, Lavan finally caught up with him at Mount Gilead. A confrontation between them takes place in verses 25-43. As Lavan begins to rant and rave about Ya’akov’s departure with all that belonged to him, Ya’akov maintains his “kewl” but finally loses it when Lavan is unable to find any hidden idols in Ya’akov’s camp. Not knowing his beloved Raquel had taken the idols and was hiding them beneath her, Ya’akov suspects Lavan’s charge was a rouse to enable him to make the search. This angers Ya’akov and for the next five verses (38-42) he defends himself and rightly so, I might add.

Lavan proposes a treaty beginning in verse 44. This agreement included two parts:

1. Ya’akov would not mistreat Lavan’s daughters (verses 48-50) as if the last 20 years had not already proven he was a model husband and father.

2. Neither party would pass this designated landmark with hostile intentions (verses 51-53)

Ya’akov agrees. They gather stones, make a mound, and have a meal as part of the ceremony of the covenant. Ya’akov called the place (Gahl Ehd) Gal-Ed/the pile of witness. Apparently there were two structures because one is referred to as “mound” or “pile” and the other as “monument” or a “standing stone” (verses 51-52); both were to be a witness. The monument must have been a much larger structure because it is referred to as (Ha Mits-pah) HaMitzpah which is Hebrew for the watchtower. As we will study later in D’varim/Deuteronomy 19:15 “. . . the matter will be established only if there are two or three witnesses . . .” So there ya are, two witnesses.

I remember this Mitzpah as a departing prayer in a couple of main line denominational churches I attended as a child. I can remember reciting, “May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other.” I don’t recall knowing it came from this event. Do you suppose the adults did? I’m sure I didn’t know it was even in the Bible. It was just a prayer we recited before leaving the service.


Lavan arises early the next morning, bestowed a blessing on and kissed his daughters and grandchildren. (Only 1 translation out of 10 translated this correctly. The remainder say he kissed his sons and daughters. Tradition indicates even grandchildren were referred to as sons and daughters.) Ya’akov goes his way and encounters Angels of God. The Sages tell us they were angels who minister in Eretz Yisra’el/Land of Israel. They came to accompany Ya’akov to the Holy Land, replacing the angels which had been with him outside the Land. Ya’akov named that place (mahk-ah-nah-yeem) Machanayim/two camps; indicating there were two camps of angels:

• those who ministered outside the Holy Land who had accompanied him and . . .
• those of the Holy Land who now came to meet him.

VaYetze ~ And he went out
Haftarah: Hoshea/Hosea 11:7~14:10

Our parashah tells us “Ya’akov went out from Be’er-Sheva and traveled toward Haran.” (B’resheet/Genesis 28:10); the haftarah says Ya’akov fled to the land of Aram (Hoshea/Hosea 12:12 or 13 depending on your translation). This is where the connection between the parashah and the haftarah is made.

The Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash tells us Hoshea/Hosea was one of the greatest prophets and was a contemporary of Yesha’yahu/Isaiah. The biblical prophets wrote down exactly what the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit inspired them to write and Hoshea was no exception. He spoke primarily to the Northern Kingdom, “the House of Israel”, concerning their idolatry and their unfaithfulness to The Almighty. Because of their unfaithfulness, The Holy One promised He must judge them, but in the end, we see the faithful and constant love Yehovah has for His people would prevail and He would win them back and restore the relationship. This is most vividly demonstrated in the words of 11:8, “. . . How can I give you up, or surrender you, Isra’el? . . . My heart recoils at the idea as compassion warms within me.”

Hoshea encourages (B’nay Isra’el) B’nei Isra’el/Children of Israel to return to their God, make t’shuvah, which is the Hebrew word for return and means a 180 degree turn around back towards the Truth of Torah. Having a contrite heart was what moved Yehovah to forgiveness.

In addition, in this passage, Yah talks of His love for the adulterous Northern Kingdom (Ephraim). Remember, Ya’akov, on his deathbed, is going to give the first born blessings to Ephraim. The Holy One indicates His ongoing love for Ephraim in 14:4. He talks about salvation in 13:14 and ransoming him from death and the grave. From all this, it is clear Hoshea is defining two separate “Houses”: Judah and Israel. Hoshea is also indicating the House of Israel (Northern Kingdom or Ephraim) and/or Samaria (Northern territory) will be totally destroyed as punishment. Verse 14:7 says they will return and prosper and 14:8 indicates this is after forsaking Ba’al worship, or in other words, mixed worship, meaning worship of Yehovah mixed with pagan practice. (See Yirme’yahu/Jeremiah 10:1-4 for an example we see today.)

VaYetze ~ And he went out
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan/John 1:43-51

Right away, in verse 51, we see the parallel to our Torah Portion, when Yeshua refers to the ladder of Ya’akov’s dream (B’resheet/Genesis 28:12). Yeshua is our ladder, our connection between heaven and earth. Truly, this is a picture of our Messiah Yeshua as he told (Nahk-deh-moan) Nakdimon/Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” (Yochanan/John 3:13) Again, in Yochanan/John 6:38, Yeshua says “For I have come down from Heaven.” And again in Yochanan/John 20:17 he says “I ascend to My Father and your Father and My God and your God.”

Another B’rit Hadashah passage Brother Lynn suggested is Kefa Aleph/1st Peter 3:8-12. The Complete Jewish Bible rendering of this passage follows:

“Finally, all of you, be one in mind and feeling; love as brothers; and be
compassionate and humble-minded, not repaying evil with evil or insult with
insult, but, on the contrary, with blessing. For it is to this that you have been
called, so that you may receive a blessing. For “Whoever wants to love life
and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking
deceit, turn from evil and do good, seek peace and chase after it. For Yehovah
keeps His eyes on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers’ but the
face of Yehovah is against those who do evil things.” (Psalm 34:13-17[12-16])

Based on these words, it appears to me Ya’akov falls into this category of keeping his tongue from evil and it is why Yehovah blessed him in all his ways. May we strive to uphold the words in Psalm 34.

The corresponding Psalm for this Torah portion is: Psalm 3

Next week’s lesson: Parashah #8
VaYislach ~ He sent
Torah: B’resheet/Genesis 32:4~36:43
Haftarah: Hoshea/Hosea 11:7~12:12; ‘Ovadyah/Obadiah 1-21
B’rit Hadashah: 1st Corinthians 5:1-13; Revelation 7:1-12

Shavuah tov (Have a good week)!!!

Who fills his mind with Torah clears it of fear and folly.
Rabbi Chanina Sgan HaKohanim

Organize yourselves into classes for the study of Torah,
since it can best be acquired in association with others.
Talmud: Berkot 63b

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