Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

Vayishlach (And He Sent)
(Sefer Bereishit) Genesis 33:3-36:43


32:9- “And Yaakov said, O Elohim of my father Avraham, and Elohim of my father Yitzchak, YHVH which
said unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10- I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou has showed unto Thy
servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11- Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esav: for I fear him, lest he
will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
17- And Yaakov journeyed to Succot and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore
the name of the place is called Succot.
19- And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Chamor,
Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
34:1- And Dinah the daughter of Leah which she bore unto Yaakov, went out to see the daughters of the land.
2- And when Shechem the son of Chamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay
with her, and defiled her.
7- And the sons of Yaakov came from the field when they heard: and the men were grieved and were very
angry because disgrace was done in Yisrael to lie with Yaakov 's daughter; and that should not be done.
25- And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Yaakov, Shimon and
Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
31- And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
35:1- And Elohim said unto Yaakov, Arise, go up to Bet El, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto
Elohim, that appeared unto thee when thou fled from the face of Esav thy brother.
2- Then Yaakov said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are
among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3- And let us arise, and go up to Bet El; and I will make there an altar unto Elohim, who answered me in
the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
5- And they journeyed: and the terror of Elohim was upon the cities that were round about them, and
they did not pursue after the sons of Yaakov.
7- And he built there an altar, and called the place El Bet El: because there Elohim appeared unto him,
when he fled from the face of his brother.
10- And Elohim said unto him, Thy name is Yaakov: thy name shall not be called any more Yaakov, but
Yisrael shall be thy name: and he called his name Yisrael.
11- And Elohim said unto him, I am Elohim El Shaddai: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of
nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
15- And Yaakov called the name of the place where Elohim spoke with him, Bet El.”
22- And it came to pass, when Yisrael dwelt in that land, that Reuven went and lay with Bilhah his father's
concubine: and Yisrael heard it. Now the sons of Yaakov were twelve.”

 

“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”
(Proverbs 18:12)


“I called upon YHVH in distress: YHVH answered me, and set me in a large place.”
(Psalms 118:5)


“Then said I, O “Hear my cry, O Elohim; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry
unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
(Psalms 61:1-2)


“Deliver me from mine enemies, O my Elohim: defend me from them that rise up against me.”
(Psalms 59:1)


“This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under
the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.
And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemot…with words of peace…”
(Deuteronomy 2:25-26)


“For the eyes of YHVH run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the
behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”
(2 Chronicles 16:9)


Vayishlach Summary:
1. Levi and Shimon, The Voice of Yaakov’s Vengeance:

In Genesis 49:5, Yaakov in passing the blessing onto his sons, says regarding the second and third,
“Shimon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.”
With a disconcerting voice, he would speak of an event recorded in this parasha. Genesis 34:30 declares:
“And Yaakov said to Shimon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants
of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather
themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.”
Such forceful words were sure to cast a weight upon his two sons in their future days as did the actual slaughter of Chamor leave an open door for uninvited foes. So in Deuteronomy 33:11, when blessing the tribes of Yisrael, the Levite Moshe countered the breach with a plea for protection to Levi, namely:
“Bless, YHVH, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that
rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.”
Yet, so bellicose was the son who came to personify the warring faction of Yaakov, that Shimon would in later generations serve as a constant line of defense among the sons of Yisrael.
From his birth, Simeon, named because YHVH heard Leah was hated, would come to epitomize an instrument of harm. In Judges 1:3, Shimon is entreated by Yehudah to join him in battle, as it is written:
“And Yehudah said unto Shimon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against
the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Shimon went with him.”
This willing participant, swift to shed blood, was likewise noted for fighting in Chronicles 12:25:
“Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valor for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.”
Understanding his propensity for war, Yaakov, blesses him for being one to take vengeance over the defilement of the daughter of Yisrael. Considering that names like Shabbak, and Shin-Bet have come to connote a potent ruthless force of security in Israel today, these words of Shimon’s father have resonated authoritatively acknowledging a search for that quality posed with the question in Psalms 94:16:
“Who will rise up for me against evildoers? Who will stand up for me against trouble makers?”
Indeed, there is a place for Shimon in Yisrael. When Yaakov “heard” that Shechem’s had disgraced his house, the silence of Yaakov spoke loudly to those who heard and received his burden.
King David, a man of bloodshed, and the prophet, Nathan, a man of peace, alike are joined to hearing the sorrowed tale of Simeon and Levi. Though the terror of war, its price of vindication and resultant satisfaction are difficult to equate, the appearance of Redemption brings with it a reconciling of troubling events. There will be contrition in the house of Yaakov in the days ahead as Zechariah 12:11-13 relates:
“In that day shall there be a great mourning in Yerushalayim...And the land shall mourn, every family
apart; the family of the house of David... their wives...the family of the house of Nathan...their wives...
...the family of the house of Levi ...their wives...the family of Shimei ...and their wives apart.”


2. The Message of Yaakov Sent for Healing the Breach:
With the lesson of communication healing a breach, so too, does Hashem send us His consolation for the promises yet to be realized. Isaiah 55:11 reveals the appeal sent by the Almighty to us:
“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall
accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
May we hear the words of Elohim and always contend for His interests: “Refreshing to the soul as cold snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to them that send him” (Proverbs 25:13)
 

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