Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

Vayeishev (And He Dwelt)
(Sefer Bereishit) Genesis 37:1-40:23

37:1- “And Yaakov dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2- These are the generations of Yaakov. Yoseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his
brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and
Yoseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3- Now Yisrael loved Yoseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he
made him a coat of many colors.
4- And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and
could not speak peaceably unto him.
5- And Yoseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6- And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7- For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and,
behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8- And his brethren said to him, Shall thou indeed reign over us? Or shall thou indeed have dominion
over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
9- And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream
more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
11- And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
12- And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.
13- And Yisrael said unto Yoseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send
thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14- And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks;
and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Chevron, and he came to Shechem.
18- And they saw him from afar, and before he approached them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19- And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer comes.
24- And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
39:1- And Yoseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an
Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
20- And Yoseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were
bound: and he was there in the prison.
40:8- And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Yoseph said
unto them, Do not interpretations belong to Elohim? Tell me them, I pray you.
23- Yet the chief butler did not remember Yoseph, but forgot him.”

“Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.”
(Psalms 129:2)

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but Elohim meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is
this day, to save many people alive.”
(Genesis 50:20)

“With the pure thou will show thyself pure; and with the forward thou will show thyself unsavory. And
the afflicted people thou will save: but thine eyes are on the haughty that thou may bring them Down.”
(2 Samuel 22:28)

“He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light..”
(Job 33:28)

“I waited patiently for YHVH; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a
horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he has put
a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our Elohim: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in YHVH.”
(Psalms 40:1-3)

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for YHVh has
comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.”
(Isaiah 49:13)

“As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered;

so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places

where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.”

(Ezekiel 34:12)

Vayeishev Summary:
1. From the Pit to the Prison:

Waiting in restraints for the next stage while the fulfillment of his night visions tarry, the persecution of Yoseph adds a message to all those destined for Glory. Snatched from savoring the status as his father’s favorite son, the dreamer’s trials serve as an intimidating model of the chastening that comes to those called to Covenant. Likewise, does it offer an answer to the age-old query of Why do the righteous suffer. In the great Psalm 119, King David echoes the voice of one who’s discovered the handiwork of affliction. Verse 71 reveals the justice for the prescription of peril and woe issued to the true talmid, as it is written:
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.”
And again in verse 75, he acknowledges the conscientiousness of HaShem’s chastening, revealing the most holy posture one should take while being dealt the trials that purge; he magnifies HaShem’s ways:
“I know, O YHVH, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness has afflicted me.”
While striving to relinquish the passing passions of this world, which by their vanity, undermine the promises to Elohim’s people, we first find ourselves incarcerated from that freedom to expedite the realization of those dreams. Like Yoseph, the tongue has declared it, faithfully relaying the convictions
of the heart, yet the result of that faith is not initially a promotion to the palace but a plunge into the pit.
It is in this place of impervious escape yet implausible contentment that we, like Yoseph, must rest. Though a victim of the malice of mankind and seemingly forgotten in his chains, the remaining choice of this noble son of Yaakov was to maintain a right attitude during the time of testing. Not to be dejected due to an affliction’s appointed time, Psalms 105:17-19 offers a reassurance that delays do come with purpose:
“He sent a man before them, even Yoseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with
fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that His word came: the word of YHVH tried him.”
With a certain prophetic tone, which beckons us to gain perspective as we joyfully consider the future hope, Moshe relates the redemption inherent to perseverance amid suffering. In Psalms 90:15-16, we are challenged like Yoseph to rise above those hardships that aim to paralyze our hearts:
“Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou has afflicted us, and the years wherein we have
seen evil Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children.”

2. Shall Thou Indeed Have Dominion?:
Confronted by critics all around, the question posed to Yoseph long ago requires an answer from us today. Are we really anticipating the fruition of HaShem’s redemptive plan? Behind the locked door, are we readying ourselves for that day “we are remembered?” Upon seeing the captivity of a people destined for glory, the prophet Yermiyahu understood the terminality of affliction; Lamentations 3:31-33 decrees:
“For Adonai will not cast off forever, but though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according
to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”
As it was in the beginning, mankind has been called into a place of dominion. Even as the brutish brothers of Yoseph were able to process the meaning of his dreams, so are we to accept the ultimatum presented within the Word. Genesis 1:28 describes the plan for man beyond all temporary afflictions:
“And Elohim blessed them, and Elohim said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the
earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
Awaiting our return to Eden, we must remain steadfast to the higher ways of HaShem. Cleaving to our revelation that His design is for good and not evil, we must subdue our despair with His words of faith.


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