12 Vayechi

וַיְחִ֤י יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וַיְהִי יְמֵֽי־יַעֲקֹב שְׁנֵי חַיָּ֔יו שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִים וְאַרְבָּעִים וּמְאַת שָׁנָֽה׃

And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years.
So the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
"

Shabbat

Name

Parasha

Haftora

Brit Chadasha

January 11 2020

Vayechi
“He Lived”

Genesis 47:
28-50:26

1 Kings
2:1-12

Hebrews 11:21-22
1Peter 1:3-9

 This final parashah of Genesis bears a puzzling title: Vayehi, He (Jacob) lived. The Jacob, a man who has wrestled, mourned and rejoiced, deceived and been deceived; a man who has been wounded and yet prevails, who has been humbled by his sons and yet manages to retain enough vigor and authority to command them until his dying breath, is the vital of Jacob’s destiny that connects the bonds of family. 

It’s no wonder, then, that the reader feels alarm in our parashah when Jacob is nearing death and word is somehow dispatched to Joseph alone, who presents himself at his father’s bed with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph learns that Jacob will exercise his prerogative and elevate Joseph’s sons through adoption to the same status (vis-à-vis inheritance) as Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 48:5–6).

Jacob has died, and Joseph’s brothers fear that Joseph will finally feel free to retaliate against them for their long ago cruelties toward him. They say that before Jacob died he conveyed to them that Joseph must forgive them their wrongs. Joseph weeps. He recognizes that the destiny that has driven his life and riven his family from the very first was from God and was for the good.

At every transition, at every challenge, there is God, encouraging Jacob.

As we complete the first book of the Torah, I pray for might to move through the teachings and instructions of our God, to immerse in the knowledge of His word with the strength to more intimacy.