Tuesday, 9 November 2021
The week begins on Sunday, the first day of the week. This week the portion is called Vayetzei, (and he went out) Genesis 28:10-32:3.
It starts with Jacob's dream (ladder) and continues in chapter 29 with the great love story of Jacob and Rachel. But that trickster, Laban, pulled the ole 'switcheroo.' The next morning, there was Leah. Leah bore Jacob four sons, (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah) but Rachel had none.
Then in chapter 30, Rachel's maid, Bilhah, bore two sons (Dan and Naphtali) followed by Leah's maid, Zilpah, who also bore two sons (Gad and Asher). The storyline has more twists and turns. Leah has two more sons for Jacob (Issachar and Zebulun), followed by the only Daughter, Dinah. Then the last 2 of the 12 sons of Jacob were born to Rachel (Joseph and Benjamin), who died giving birth to the last of the 12, but here I'm getting ahead of myself.
I'm stopping the story today at Genesis 30:24 with the birth of Joseph. We'll pick it up tomorrow, but first, let's do something fun. The names of the 12 sons of Jacob become the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. Each of these names has the meaning given to them in the text of the Torah. (The reason each name is given is explained.)
These names are arranged in order of birth in rows on the breastplate of the high priest. When interpreted, they tell the story of every follower of Yeshua. If you follow Yeshua, this is your story in the kingdom of God. Here they are in a brief summary. I'm inclined to write more about each of them in the coming days.
The Names of the 12 Tribes Tell the Story of the Gospel
Levi Shimon Reuben (from right to left)
Reuben (Leah) - Gen 29:32 "The LORD has surely looked on my affliction." NKJV Behold a son. To see, but also to fear as in respect.
Shimeon (Leah) - Gen 29:33 Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the LORD has heard" And she called his name Simeon. NKJV (Listen)
Levi (Leah) - Gen 29:34 "Now this time my husband will become attached to me" NKJV (to him) Behold a son, listen to Him and you will be tied to my heart.
Naphtali Dan Yehuda (from right to left)
Judah (Leah) - Gen 29:35 And she said, "Now I will praise the LORD. NKJV (Praiser)
Dan (Bilhah) - Gen 30:6 Then Rachel said, "God has judged NKJV (Judgement)
Naphtali (Bilhah) - Gen 30:8 Then Rachel said, "With great wrestling ..." NKJV (Wrestle)
You will praise the Lord. You will be a judge and you will wrestle with God and man and prevail.
Isachar Asher Gad (from right to left)
Gad (Zilpah) - Gen 30:11 Then Leah said, "A troop comes!" NKJV (Fortune)
Asher (Zilpah) - Gen 30:13 Then Leah said, "I am happy,NKJV (Happy).
Issachar (Leah) - Gen 30:18 Leah said, "God has given me my wages, because I have given my maid to my husband." NKJV (Wages)
Your fortune will be increased (physically or bodily), you will be happy And you will receive a reward. 'spiritual riches.' Body, soul, and spirit will be enriched.
Benjamin Joseph Zebulon (from right to left)
Zebulun (Leah) - Gen 30:And Leah said, "now my husband will dwell with me. NKJV (Dwelling)
Joseph (Rachel) - Gen 30:23 "God has taken away my reproach." NKJV (He will add)
Benjamin - (Rachel) Gen 35:18-20 And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachel's grave to this day. NKJV (Son of the right hand)
You will dwell with the Lord, you will be increased, and you will be the son of the right hand.
A summary of the 4 rows of three names each is provided here ...
Behold a son, listen to Him and you will be tied to my heart. You will praise the Lord. You will be a judge and you will wrestle with God and man and prevail. Your fortune will be increased (physically or bodily), you will be happy And you will receive a reward. 'spiritual riches.' Body, soul, and spirit will be enriched. You will dwell with the Lord, you will be increased, and you will be the son of the right hand.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,