Torah Pearls #12 – Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

Torah Pearls Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26, biblical poetry, blessing, blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, blessing Jacob’s sons, blessing twelve tribes, blessings, Double portion, Ephraim, Hebrew poetry, Jacob, Manasseh, Menasheh, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Shechem, Shiloh, swear by God’s name, Torah Pearls, Torah Portion, vayechiThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26). In the final Genesis portion, Gordon provides the cultural and geographical significance of the blessings to the 12 tribes. We learn the special inheritance given to the Levites, why their descendants are still traceable, why Reuben’s portion went to Joseph’s sons, and the significance of the “right hand.” From Jacob’s insistence that Joseph “swear” to him, we learn that the patriarchs knew God’s name and how to use it.

While Jacob’s artful use of the Hebrew poetic form is soul-stirringly beautiful in the original language, it leaves us with some guesswork in English. Gordon takes us on a literary tour of the quadruple alliterations, the sophisticated triple-plays on words, the dropped prepositions, and the use of rare words (or common words with rare connotations) that could be translated in wildly different ways. Other word studies include: “blessing,” “Shechem,” “Shiloh,” “gathered to his people,” the rare context of “angel,” and the unique structure of the name “Issachar.”

In closing, Gordon pronounces the traditional Sabbath blessing—“May you be like Ephraim and Manasseh”—and encourages listeners to receive from Yehovah—as a child at his knee with his hand on our head.

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Prophet Pearls - Vayechi (1 Kings 2:1-12)

9 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #12 – Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

  1. Observation: “Angel” = messenger of God; sent one. Discussion in this presentation (and I’ve heard this talked about in at least one other presentation), was that the angel is NOT God, but “just a messenger who represents God and can speak on His behalf (as if God).” I find this a bit difficult to accept given the specific language used in a variety of texts (in the Tanakh) that seem to imply the Angel is a manifestation/apparition of God Himself (personal pronouns, etc.). I know “the arguments”, but just doesn’t seem honest to the plain reading of the text. Furthermore, Yeshua was “sent by God” and is not “an Angel” but God, Himself (incarnate), so this is a very important subject. The Ruach is also “sent by God” and IS God, so, I feel it is an oversimplification to dismiss this “Angel” as “just an angel.” (And I fully understand that not all accept that Yeshua is God/part of the Godhead, or that the Ruach is a “third person of the Trinity”, but that is what the Brit Hadasha claims and seems, in this regard, to be consistent with the plain reading of the Tanakh.) Shabbat shalom

  2. I listen to the podcast all day at work,they are truly a blessing,I learn so much and they are funny too. A truly great podcast.

  3. Why did you not say anything about explaining the verses for the tribe of Benjamin? You read it and then went on to the burial of Joesph. I waited for one hour and 10 minutes, then nothing. Please stay more focused and leave the levity until after the important talk. Love Torah Pearls.

  4. I just wonder is it possible that Keith has his roots from Ham, Jono from Yapheth and Nehemia from Shem, the sons of Noach. If yes, what is Yah trying to do and the significance?

  5. May you be like Ephraim and Menasse? Thou you are born outside the promised land, the sons of an Eqyptian; we can adopt you into our Covenant family, Kingdom of G-d, and you will be treated as a native born.

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