Tevet 28, 5762 /
Jan 12, 2002
Tevet 27, 5765 /
Jan 8, 2005
Tevet 27, 5768 /
Jan 5, 2008
Tevet 27, 5771 /
Jan 1, 2011
Tevet 25, 5774 / Dec 28, 2013
Shevat 1, 5777 / Jan 28, 2017
Then He Approached
SCRIPTURES should be read first
This is one of the most emotional
scenes in all of Scripture.
Joseph had named his first son
Manasseh, partly because God made him forget his father’s household (v.41:51) –
meaning that it was no longer in the forefront of his memory. Now all is brought
into immediate remembrance, with Judah telling how his father’s life is wrapped
up in Joseph and Benjamin. With Joseph presumed dead, Benjamin is as an only son
to Jacob – being the only known living son of his late beloved wife Rachael.
To add to the emotion, Judah is now
taking responsibility for Benjamin and his father’s peace. Joseph has the answer
he sought, that his brothers have a new attitude.
Joseph can no longer retain his
At issue was Jacob’s prospective loss of peace over a missing
son. Benjamin had ten children at home: their prospective loss of peace due to a
missing father was not mentioned. Judah’s testimony here is used as an example
of how parents have more compassion for their children than children have for
their parents (R.Menachem Mendel of Kotzk).
Judah (v.24) spoke of “your servant, my father”. Joseph could
have said that a resident of Canaan was not his servant, without revealing his
identity. But he kept silent when his father was described in this “degrading
manner”. The sages (Sotah 13b) say that Joseph lost ten years of his life for
doing so. In any case, this is basis for consideration of how children should
respect their parents.
Judah relates details here (v.27-28) that were not recorded in
the previous account (v.43:6-7). It is common for the Torah to be brief in one
place, and then give details later where they are more pertinent. We see this in
the account of creation (Gen.1 vs. Gen.2), and in Eve’s saying “Neither shall
you touch . . .” (v.3:3) [If, as some say, Eve had added these words, that would
have been the first human sin (lying), rather than the taking of the forbidden
fruit upon being tempted].
Joseph’s uncontrollable weeping could
be heard by the stewards whom he had sent out. For one in such an office to be
heard weeping was cause for concern throughout the kingdom.
Joseph then stunned his brothers with,
“I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?”
Hear what an Orthodox Rabbinical
source (Chafetz Chaim) says:
“When Joseph said, ‘I am Joseph,’ God’s master plan became
clear to the brothers. They had no more questions. Everything that had happened
for the last twenty-two years fell into perspective. So, too, will it be in the
time to come when God will reveal Himself and announce. ‘I am Hashem!’ The veil
will be lifted from our eyes and we will comprehend everything that transpired
Here are some related prophecies
concerning the return of Yeshua:
“Then I will turn your festivals
into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring sackcloth on
everyone's loins and baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of
mourning for an only son, and the end of it will be like a bitter day”
– Amos 8:10.
“And in that day I will set about
to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the
house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of
supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will
mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly
over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be
great mourning in Jerusalem, . . .the families that remain, every family by
itself and their wives by themselves. In that day a fountain will be opened for
the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for
impurity. It will come about in that day,” declares Yahweh of hosts, “that I
will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be
remembered; . . . And one will say to him, 'What are these wounds
between your arms?' Then he will say, 'Those with which I was wounded in the
house of my friends.' ” – Zechariah 12:9 – 13:6.
Joseph then sent his brothers home
with food and provision for all of them to return to live in the rich Nile Delta
of Egypt. There they would be separate from Egyptian idolatry, the reason given
the Egyptians being because they were shepherds.
Jacob and his descendants who dwelt
in Egypt numbered seventy men. After hundreds of years, Israel would be
delivered from Egypt, returned to the Promised Land, and forbidden to ever
return to Egypt.
We have been placed in a rich land. But when we finally are
delivered to the Promised Land, we will never be allowed to return to this world
The portion from Joshua refers to the
return to Canaan after four-hundred years. The portion from Ezekiel tells of a
future return to the Promised Land.
Today’s Psalm sounds like Joseph’s
Rebuke me not in Your wrath, and chasten me not in Your burning anger. 4
For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much
for me. 5 My wounds grow foul and fester because of my folly. 6
I am bent over and greatly bowed down; 17 For I am ready to fall, and
my sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I confess my iniquity; I
am full of anxiety because of my sin.”
In Acts 2, Peter tells a story
reminiscent of Joseph and his brothers. His audience, Yeshua’s brethren of the
tribe of Judah, are told that they crucified their Messiah. But God brought Him
back, and they would one day bow to Him, and He would rule over them.
But, as Joseph said to his brothers,
it was all in God’s plan. Like Joseph, Yeshua was not left in the pit.
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who chose us from among all peoples by
giving us Your Torah.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
(Vayinash elayv Yehudah /
Then-approached toward-him Yehudah )
18 Then Judah approached him,
and said, "Oh my lord, may your servant please speak a word in my lord's ears,
and do not be angry with your servant; for you are equal to Pharaoh. 19
"My lord asked his servants, saying, 'Have you a father or a brother?' 20
"We said to my lord, 'We have an old father and a little child of his old age.
Now his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves
him.' 21 "Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me that
I may set my eyes on him.' 22 "But we said to my lord, 'The lad
cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would
die.' 23 "You said to your servants, however, 'Unless your youngest
brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.' 24
"Thus it came about when we went up to your servant my father, we told him the
words of my lord. 25 "Our father said, 'Go back, buy us a little
food.' 26 "But we said, 'We cannot go down. If our youngest brother
is with us, then we will go down; for we cannot see the man's face unless our
youngest brother is with us.'
Amen. 27 "Your servant
my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons; 28 and
the one went out from me, and I said, "Surely he is torn in pieces," and I have
not seen him since. 29 'If you take this one also from me, and harm
befalls him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.' 30
"Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with
us, since his life is bound up in the lad's life, 31 when he sees
that the lad is not with us, he will die. Thus your servants will bring the gray
hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in sorrow. 32 "For your
servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, 'If I do not bring him
back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.' 33
"Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my
lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34 "For how shall I go
up to my father if the lad is not with me-- for fear that I see the evil that
would overtake my father?"
Amen. 45:1 Then Joseph
could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, "Have
everyone go out from me." So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself
known to his brothers. 2 He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard
it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it. 3 Then Joseph said to
his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could
not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. 4 Then Joseph
said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he
said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 "Now do
not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent
me before you to preserve life. 6 "For the famine has been in the
land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be
neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 "God sent me before you to preserve
for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.
8 "Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He
has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all
the land of Egypt.
Amen. 9 "Hurry and go up
to my father, and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, "God has made me lord
of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 "You shall live in
the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your
children's children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have.
11 "There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of
famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be
impoverished."' 12 "Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother
Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you. 13 "Now
you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen;
and you must hurry and bring my father down here." 14 Then he fell on
his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15
He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked
Amen. 16 Now when the
news was heard in Pharaoh's house that Joseph's brothers had come, it pleased
Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say to
your brothers, 'Do this: load your beasts and go to the land of Canaan, 18
and take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the
best of the land of Egypt and you will eat the fat of the land.' 19
"Now you are ordered, 'Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your
little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come. 20
'Do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of
Egypt is yours.'" 21 Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave
them wagons according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for
the journey. 22 To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to
Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.
23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the best
things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and
sustenance for his father on the journey. 24 So he sent his brothers
away, and as they departed, he said to them, "Do not quarrel on the journey."
Amen. 25 Then they went
up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26
They told him, saying, "Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all
the land of Egypt." But he was stunned, for he did not believe them. 27
When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when
he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father
Jacob revived. 28 Then Israel said, "It is enough; my son Joseph is
still alive. I will go and see him before I die."
46:1 So Israel set out with all
that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his
father Isaac. 2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said,
"Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am." 3 He said, "I am God, the
God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a
great nation there. 4 "I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will
also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes."
Amen. 5 Then Jacob arose
from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their
little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6 They took their livestock and their property, which they had
acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants
with him: 7 his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and
his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt. 8
Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to
Reuben, Jacob's firstborn. 9
The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi. 10 The
sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son
of a Canaanite woman. 11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and
Merari. 12 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and
Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). And the sons of Perez were
Hezron and Hamul. 13 The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob
and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel.
15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with
his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.
16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and
Areli. 17 The sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah
and their sister Serah. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18
These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore
to Jacob these sixteen persons. 19 The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin. 20 Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born
Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,
bore to him. 21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel,
Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard. 22 These
are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen persons in
all. 23 The sons of Dan: Hushim. 24 The sons of Naphtali:
Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of
Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob;
there were seven persons in all.
26 All the persons belonging to
Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of
Jacob's sons, were sixty-six persons in all, 27 and the sons of
Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of
Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living
Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who selected good prophets, delighting
in their words which were spoken truthfully.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the
Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,
and the prophets of truth and
Amen. 6 Then the sons of
Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the
Kenizzite said to him, "You know the word which Yahweh spoke to Moses the man of
God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. 7 "I was forty years old
when Moses the servant of Yahweh sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land,
and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. 8 "Nevertheless
my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but
I followed Yahweh my God fully. 9 "So Moses swore on that day,
saying, 'Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance
to you and to your children forever, because you have followed Yahweh my God
fully.' 10 "Now behold, Yahweh has let me live, just as He spoke,
these forty-five years, from the time that Yahweh spoke this word to Moses, when
Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old
today. 11 "I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent
me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out
and coming in. 12 "Now then, give me this hill country about which
Yahweh spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with
great fortified cities; perhaps Yahweh will be with me, and I will drive them
out as Yahweh has spoken." 13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron
to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore,
Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until
this day, because he followed Yahweh God of Israel fully.
Amen. 9 Then He said to
me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus
says Lord Yahweh, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these
slain, that they come to life."'" 10 So I prophesied as He commanded
me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their
feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then He said to me, "Son of man,
these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are
dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.' 12
"Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I will
open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I
will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 "Then you will know that I
am Yahweh, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your
graves, My people. 14 "I will put My Spirit within you and you will
come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I,
Yahweh, have spoken and done it," declares Yahweh.'"
Psalm 38 (To be sung.) A
Psalm of David, for a memorial.
1 O Yahweh, rebuke me not in
Your wrath, and chasten me not in Your burning anger. 2 For Your
arrows have sunk deep into me, and Your hand has pressed down on me. 3
There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; there is no
health in my bones because of my sin. 4 For my iniquities are gone
over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. 5 My
wounds grow foul and fester because of my folly. 6 I am bent over and
greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long. 7 For my loins are
filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am
benumbed and badly crushed; I groan because of the agitation of my heart. 9
Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even
that has gone from me. 11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof
from my plague; and my kinsmen stand afar off. 12 Those who seek my
life lay snares for me; and those who seek to injure me have threatened
destruction, and they devise treachery all day long. 13 But I, like a
deaf man, do not hear; and I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no
arguments. 15 For I hope in You, O Yahweh; You will answer, O Lord my
God. 16 For I said, "May they not rejoice over me, who, when my foot
slips, would magnify themselves against me." 17 For I am ready to
fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I confess my
iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin. 19 But my enemies
are vigorous and strong, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. 20
And those who repay evil for good, they oppose me, because I follow what is
good. 21 Do not forsake me, O Yahweh; O my God, do not be far from
me! 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
Reader 10* Amen.
22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Yeshua the Nazarene,
a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God
performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- 23
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you
nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24
"But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was
impossible for Him to be held in its power.
Reader 11* Amen.
25 "For David says of Him, 'I saw the Lord always in my
presence; for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26
Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will
live in hope; 27 because You will not abandon my soul to hades, nor
allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 28 You have made known to me
the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.' 29
"Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he
both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30
"And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an
oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead
and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that He was neither abandoned to
hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 "This Yeshua God raised up
again, to which we are all witnesses.
Reader 12* Amen.
33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God,
and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has
poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 "For it was not
David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'The Lord said to my lord,
"Sit at My right hand, 35 until I make Your enemies a footstool for
your feet."' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for
certain that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah-- this Yeshua whom you
crucified." 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the
heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we
"Blessed are You, Yahweh
our God, King of the Universe,
Rock of Ages, righteous
throughout all generations.
You are the faithful God,
promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,
for all Your words are true
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."