Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

 Vayigash (And He Neared)
(Sefer Bereishit) Genesis 44:18-47:27

44:18- “Then Yehudah came near unto him, and said, Oh my master, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word
in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.
31- It shall come to pass, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall
bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
32- For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I
shall bear the blame to my father for ever.
33- Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the
lad go up with his brethren.
45:1- Then Yoseph could not restrain himself before all that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to
go out from me. And there stood no man with him when Yoseph made himself known unto his brethren.
4- And Yoseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I
am Yoseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
7- And Elohim sent me before you to place you a remnant in the earth and sustain you by great deliverance.
9- Hurry, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus says thy son Yoseph, Elohim has set me as
master of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
11- And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and
all that thou has, come to poverty.
12- And behold, your eyes see and the eyes of my brother Benyamin, that it is my mouth that speaks to you.
13- And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and
bring down my father hither.
25- And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Yaakov their father,
26- And told him, saying, Yoseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Yaakov's
heart fainted, for he believed them not.
27- And they told him all the words of Yoseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons
which Yoseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Yaakov their father revived:
28- And Yisrael said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
46:2- And Elohim spoke to Yisrael in the visions of the night and said, Yaakov Yaakov. And he said, Here am I.
3- And he said, I am Elohim, the Elohim of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make
of thee a great nation:
4- I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Yoseph shall put his
hand upon thine eyes.
28- And he sent Yehudah before him unto Yoseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the
land of Goshen.
30- And Yisrael said unto Yoseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou are yet alive.
47:12- And Yoseph nourished his father, his brethren and all his father's house with bread, unto the infants.”

“When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die
not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto YHVH.”
(Exodus 30:20)

“iS it but a small thing unto you, that the Elohim of Yisrael has separated you from the congregation of
Yisrael, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of YHVH, and to stand before
the congregation to minister unto them?”
(Numbers 16:9)

“The holy portion of the land shall be for the koHANIM the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come
near to minister unto yhvh: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary.”
(EzekIEL 45:4)

“As for me, nearness to Elohim is good: I have put my trust in Adonai YHVH that I may tell of all thy Works.”
(Psalms 73:28)

“Let my cry come near before thee, O YHVH: give me understanding according to thy word. Let my
supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.”
(Psalms 119:169-170)

“My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people;

the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.”

(Isaiah 51:5)

Vayigash Summary:
1. Yisrael Draws Near to the Throne through Yehudah:

Understanding that the answer given by ‘the Ruler’ was unacceptable to the heart of their father and
now unthinkable to their minds, Yehudah takes charge of Yisrael’s sons. So, significant is his leadership
here, that this historical account will serve as the model for approaching the throne of the Most High.
While it is true that Yehudah’s preeminence over his brothers would be solidified within Yaakov’s
blessings to his sons, naming him to be the representative head of all the tribes, what is more significant is
the meaning of his name, i.e. praise. What happens in this physical drama when a desperate son of Yisrael
discovers his humility before the Authority of the whole earth, expresses a spiritual reality that in similar
fashion brings us before the majesty of HaShem. Our steps to the Throne must be preceded by praise. In
Psalms 100:4, King David presents us with the key toward drawing near to Elohim, urging us to:
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise...”
Found within the words of Yehudah are: a reiteration of the master’s original decree, giving subpoena
to Benyamin accompanied by an acknowledgment of how critically Yaakov cherished the child of his later
years. Along with a melodious appeal for mercy, declaring the conscientiousness by which they carried out
his orders, is Yehudah’s altruism, as he willingly offers to bear the punishment for the peace of his Father.
This virtue of self-sacrifice always coexists with authentic praise. Only after one has humbly identified the
absolute need for HaShem’s pardon, can a soul deliver such unfeigned praise. For when ones faces the cords
of death, such desperation overcomes any remaining fears of this life and lifts a voice, bold and true. It is in
this same confident praise that Psalms 56:4 points us to our own great deliverance; as it is written:
“In Elohim I will praise His word; in Elohim I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me.”
Yehudah brought tears to the eyes of his Potentate. Determined to walk in the way, which pleased
his father, this son, who once had hesitated in performing the vow’s made to one under his care, i.e. Tamar,
now arises to the occasion, and leads a nation before the Judge. Proverbs 1:8 reminds all those who seek
HaShem’s audience to come near to Him, being mindful of His words and observant of His decrees:
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the Torah of thy mother.”
By risking his own life, Yehudah responds in instantaneous faith, not with over-analysis which leads to a
shrinking fear but with intrepid haste, pressing Heaven’s courts, reflecting Isaiah 55:6’s quick call to action:
“Seek ye YHVH while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.”

2. Down to Egypt for some Bread, Yoseph is Sent on Ahead:
Inextricably bound to His people for the sake of the Fathers, throughout Yisrael’s days, HaShem has
carefully considered our sojourning. Not only was Yoseph Providentially given the childhood portents to
elicit enough fraternal controversy to thrust him down to Egypt, but likewise, would the further subterfuge of
others in Egypt catapult him to prison’s destined encounter with Pharaoh’s servant. Ever mindful of our true
need, the Eternal forever prepares the resources against that lean day. Isaiah 46:10 prophetically tells all:
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,
saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
The words of His servants goad us to remain steadfast in His faithfulness. Despite any foreboding famine,
there is yet an overlooked Yoseph, who revives us with promised provisions as conveyed in Joel 2:26-27:
“And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of YHVH your Elohim, that has dealt
wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst
of Yisrael, and that I am YHVH your Elohim, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed.”


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