B’resheet
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h¹b 
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This is my own personal rendering or paraphrase of (and commentary on) the Tanakh and Apostolic Writings. It should not be considered in any way authoritative. It is based on The World English Bible: Messianic Edition, also known as the Hebrew Names Version, which is in the Public Domain.

About This Version

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE.
For assistance in pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.
My short comments on the text are notated in “maroon pop-up text tips” which are accessed by “hovering” your mouse over the text. [Some short comments look like this.] Longer comments are included in footnotes. I have added emphasis to some phrases simply to call them to your attention.
Tanakh Scroll

B’resheet
(Genesis)

Parashah 1: B'resheet (In the Beginning) 1:1-6:8
(Roman numerals in the text indicate each ‘aliyah.)

Creation

[i] 1In the beginning God[1a] created[1b] the heavens[1c] and the earth. 2The earth was unformed and empty.[2a] Darkness covered the surface of the primeval ocean. God’s Spirit[2b] was hovering[2c] over the surface of the waters.

3God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.[3] 4God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” There was evening and there was morning, day one.[5]

6God said, “Let there be an expanse[6] between the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8God called the expanse “sky.”[7] There was evening and there was morning, a second day.

9God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear;” and it was so. 10God called the dry land “earth,” and the gathering together of the waters He called “seas.” God saw that it was good. 11God said, “Let the earth put forth grass,[11a] herbs[11b] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit according to their species,[11c] with its seed in it, on the earth;” and it was so. 12The earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed according to their species, and trees bearing fruit, with its seed in it, according to their species; and God saw that it was good. 13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

[A: ii] 14God said, “Let the lights in the expanse of sky serve to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth;” and it was so.[15] 16God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20God said, “Let the waters abundantly produce living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.” 21God created the large sea creatures, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters teemed, according to their species, and every winged bird according to its species. God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

[A: iii] 24God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their species, livestock, creeping things, and animals of the earth according to their species;” and it was so. 25God made the animals of the earth according to their species, and the livestock according to their species, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its species. God saw that it was good.

26God said, “Let Us make humankind in Our image, after Our likeness:[26] and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27God created humankind in His own image. In God’s image He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food. 30To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food;” and it was so.

31God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.[31]

2 1The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array. 2On the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because He rested on it from all His work which He had created and made.

[A: iv; S: ii] 4This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that ADONAI Elohim made the earth and the heavens.

Adam and Havah

5No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for ADONAI Elohim had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground, 6but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7ADONAI Elohim formed a man[7a] from the dust of the ground[7b], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and Adam[7c] became a living soul.

8ADONAI Elohim planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there He put Adam whom He had formed. 9Out of the ground ADONAI Elohim made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the Tree of Life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads. 11The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone. 13The name of the second river is Gikhon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Kush. 14The name of the third river is Khiddeqel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Perath.[4]

15ADONAI Elohim took Adam, and put him into Gan Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16ADONAI Elohim commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.”[5]

18ADONAI Elohim said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19Out of the ground ADONAI Elohim formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

[S: iii] 20Adam gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21ADONAI Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22He made the rib, which ADONAI Elohim had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to Adam. 23Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called ‘woman’ [Hebrew: ishshah, hXXa] because she was taken out of man [Hebrew: iysh, Xya].” 24Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The Fall of Humanity

1Now the serpent[1] was more subtle than any animal of the field which ADONAI Elohim had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said[2], ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’”

2The woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, 3but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”[3]

4The serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die, 5for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”[4]

6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. 7The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.[5] They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8They heard the voice of ADONAI Elohim walking in the garden in the cool of the day[6], and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of ADONAI Elohim among the trees of the garden.

9ADONAI Elohim called to Adam, and said to him, “Where are you?”[7]

10Adam said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

11God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”[8]

13ADONAI Elohim said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”[12]

14ADONAI Elohim said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
you are cursed above all livestock,
and above every animal of the field.
On your belly you shall go,
and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
15I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will bruise your head,
and you will bruise his heel.”[3-9]

16To the woman He said,

“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth.
In pain you will bring forth children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

17To Adam He said,

“Because you have listened to your wife’s voice,
and have eaten of the tree,
of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground for your sake.
In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
18Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you;
and you will eat the herb of the field.
19By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken.
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

20The man called his wife Havah[10] [Eve; Hebrew hwwx, “living” or “life”], because she was the mother of all living. 21ADONAI Elohim made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.[11]

[A: v; S: iv] 22ADONAI Elohim said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever...” 23Therefore ADONAI Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24So He drove out the man; and He placed k'ruvim at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.[12]

First Three Sons of Adam and Havah

1The man knew Havah his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Kayin, and said, “I have gotten a man with ADONAI’s help.” 2Again she gave birth, to Kayin’s brother Avel. Avel was a keeper of sheep, but Kayin was a tiller of the ground. 3As time passed, it happened that Kayin brought an offering to ADONAI from the fruit of the ground. 4Avel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. ADONAI respected Avel and his offering, 5but He didn’t respect Kayin and his offering.[1] Kayin was very angry, and the expression on his face fell. 6ADONAI said to Kayin, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7If you do well, will it not be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.” 8Kayin said to Avel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” It happened when they were in the field, that Kayin rose up against Avel, his brother, and killed him.

9ADONAI said to Kayin, “Where is Avel, your brother?”

He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10ADONAI said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground. 11Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”

13Kayin said to ADONAI, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14Behold, you have driven me out this day from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. It will happen that whoever finds me will kill me.”

15ADONAI said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Kayin, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” ADONAI appointed a sign for Kayin[2], lest any finding him should strike him.

16Kayin went out from ADONAI’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17Kayin knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Hanokh. Kayin built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Hanokh. 18To Hanokh was born 'Irad. 'Irad became the father of Mechuya'el. Mechuya'el became the father of Metusha'el. Metusha'el became the father of Lemekh.

[S: v] 19Lemekh took two wives: the name of the one was 'Adah and the name of the other Tzilah. 20'Adah gave birth to Yaval, who was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21His brother’s name was Yuval, who was the father of all who handle the harp and pipe. 22Tzilah also gave birth to Tuval-kayin, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron. Tuval-kayin’s sister was Na'amah.

 23Lemekh said to his wives,

“'Adah and Tzilah, hear my voice.
You wives of Lemekh, listen to my speech,
for I have slain a man for wounding me,
a young man for bruising me.
24If Kayin will be avenged seven times,
truly Lemekh seventy-seven times.”

25Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him [lit., “called his name”] Shet, “for God has appointed me another child instead of Avel, for Kayin killed him.”

26There was also born a son to Shet, and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of ADONAI.

Adam’s Decendants to Noach

[vi] 1This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in God’s likeness. 2He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam[1] on the day when they were created. 3Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Shet. 4After he became the father of Shet, Adam lived eight hundred years, and he became the father of other sons and daughters. 5Adam lived nine hundred thirty years[2], then he died.

6Shet lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7Shet lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 8All the days of Shet were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.

9Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 11All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.

12Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalal'el. 13Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalal'el eight hundred forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters 14and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.

15Mahalal'el lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Yered. 16Mahalal'el lived after he became the father of Yered eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 17All the days of Mahalal'el were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.

18Yered lived one hundred sixty-two years, and became the father of Hanokh. 19Yered lived after he became the father of Hanokh eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 20All the days of Yered were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.

21Hanokh lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Metushelach. 22Hanokh walked with God after he became the father of Metushelach three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 23All the days of Hanokh were three hundred sixty-five years. 24Hanokh walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

[vii] 25Metushelach lived one hundred eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lemekh. 26Metushelach lived after he became the father of Lemekh seven hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 27All the days of Metushelach were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died.

28Lemekh lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son, 29and he named him Noach, saying, “This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which ADONAI has cursed.” 30Lemekh lived after he became the father of Noach five hundred ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 31All the days of Lemekh were seven hundred seventy-seven years, then he died.

32Noach was five hundred years old, and Noach became the father of Shem, Ham, and Yefet.[5-3]

Descent Into Wickedness

1It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them, 2that the sons of God saw that men’s daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose. 3ADONAI said, “My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years.” 4The N'filim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in to men’s daughters. They bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.[1]

[Maftir] 5ADONAI saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6ADONAI was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. 7ADONAI said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8But Noach found favor in ADONAI’s eyes.

Parashah 2: Noach (Noach) 6:9-11:32

The Deluge

[i] 9This is the history of the generations of Noach. Noach was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noach walked with God. 10Noach became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Yefet. 11The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

13God said to Noach, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make an ark of gopher [2]. You shall make rooms in the ark, and shall seal it inside and outside with pitch. 15This is how you shall make it. The ark will be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high.[3]

16You shall make a roof in the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit upward. You shall set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third levels. 17I, even I, do bring the flood of waters on this earth, to destroy all flesh having the breath of life from under the sky. Everything that is in the earth will die. 18But I will establish My covenant with you. You shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive. 21Take with you of all food that is eaten, and gather it to yourself; and it will be for food for you, and for them.” 22Thus Noach did. According to all that God commanded him, so he did.

[ii] 1ADONAI said to Noach, “Come with all of your household into the ark, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation. 2You shall take seven pairs of every clean animal[1] with you, the male and his female. Of the animals that are not clean, take two, the male and his female. 3Also of the birds of the sky, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive on the surface of all the earth. 4In seven days, I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. Every living thing that I have made, I will destroy from the surface of the ground.”

5Noach did everything that ADONAI commanded him.

6Noach was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.[2] 7Noach went into the ark with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, because of the waters of the flood. 8Clean animals, animals that are not clean, birds, and everything that creeps on the ground 9went by pairs to Noach into the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noach. 10Seven day later the waters of the flood came on the earth. 11In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were burst open, and the sky’s windows were opened.[3] 12The rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.

13In the same day Noach, and Shem, Ham, and Yefet, the sons of Noach, and Noach’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ark; 14they, and every animal after its kind, all the livestock after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15They went to Noach into the ark, by pairs of all flesh with the breath of life in them.[4] 16Those who went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him; and ADONAI shut him in.

[iii] 17The flood was forty days on the earth. The waters increased, and lifted up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. 18The waters prevailed, and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. 19The waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth. All the high mountains that were under the whole sky were covered. 20The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.[5] 21All flesh died that moved on the earth, including birds, livestock, animals, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died. 23Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, livestock, creeping things, and birds of the sky. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noach was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24The waters prevailed on the earth one hundred fifty days.

The Waters Recede

1God remembered Noach, all the animals, and all the livestock that were with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth. The waters subsided. 2The deep’s fountains and the sky’s windows were also stopped, and the rain from the sky was restrained. 3The waters receded from the earth continually. After the end of one hundred fifty days the waters decreased. 4The ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on Ararat’s mountains.[1] 5The waters receded continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.

6It happened at the end of forty days, that Noach opened the window of the ark which he had made, 7and he sent forth a raven. It went back and forth, until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8He sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from the surface of the ground, 9but the dove found no place to rest her foot, and she returned to him into the ark; for the waters were on the surface of the whole earth. He put forth his hand, and took her, and brought her to him into the ark. 10He stayed yet another seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11The dove came back to him at evening, and, behold, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off. So Noach knew that the waters were abated from the earth. 12He stayed yet another seven days, and sent forth the dove; and she didn’t return to him any more.

13It happened in the six hundred first year [of Noach’s life], in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth. Noach removed the covering of the ark, and looked. He saw that the surface of the ground was dried. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

[iv] 15God spoke to Noach, saying, 16“Go out of the ark, you, and your wife, and your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh, including birds, livestock, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may populate the earth, be fertile, and multiply on the earth.”

18Noach went forth, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives with him. 19Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, whatever moves on the earth, after their families, went out of the ark.[2]

20Noach built an altar to ADONAI[3], and took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21ADONAI smelled the pleasant aroma. ADONAI said in his heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again strike everything living, as I have done. 22While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”[4]

The Noachic Covenant

1God blessed Noach and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that the ground teems with, and all the fish of the sea are delivered into your hand. 3Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As the green herb, I have given everything to you. 4But flesh with its life, its blood, you shall not eat. 5I will surely require your blood of your lives. At the hand of every animal I will require it. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, I will require the life of man. 6Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in His own image.[1] 7Be fruitful and multiply. Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply in it.”[2]

[v] 8God spoke to Noach and to his sons with him, saying, 9“As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, even every animal of the earth. 11I will establish my covenant with you: all flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood, neither will there ever again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13I set my bow in the cloud,[3] and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth. 14It will happen, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, 15and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16The bow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17God said to Noach, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Humanity Continues In Wickedness

[vi] 18The sons of Noach who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Yefet. Ham is the father of Kena'an. 19These three were the sons of Noach, and from these, the whole earth was populated.

20Noach began to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard. 21He drank of the wine and got drunk. He was uncovered within his tent. 22Ham, the father of Kena'an, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23Shem and Yefet took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn’t see their father’s nakedness. 24Noach awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25He said,

“Kena'an is cursed.
He will be servant of servants to his brothers.”

26He said,

“Blessed be ADONAI, the God of Shem.
Let Kena'an be his servant.
27May God enlarge Yefet.
Let him dwell in the tents of Shem.
Let Kena'an be his servant.”[4]

28Noach lived three hundred fifty years after the flood. 29Noach lived a total of nine hundred fifty years, then he died.

Descendants Of Noach / The Table of Nations

10 1Now this is the history of the generations of the sons of Noach and of Shem, Ham, and Yefet. Sons were born to them after the flood.

2The sons of Yefet: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Yavan, Tuval, Meshekh[1], and Tiras.

3The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphat , and Togarmah.

4The sons of Yavan: Elishah Tarshish Kittim, and Dodanim.

5Of these were the islands of the nations divided in their lands, everyone after his language, after their families, in their nations.

Table of Nations
Map courtesy of Bible-History.com [2]

6The sons of Ham: Kush, Mitzrayim, Put, and Kena'an.

 7The sons of Kush: S'va, Havilah, Savta, Ra'mah, and Ra'mah, and Savt'kha.

The sons of Ra'mah: Sh'va and D'dan.

8Kush became the father of Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one [powerful ruler] in the earth. 9He was a mighty hunter before ADONAI. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before ADONAI.” 10The beginning of his kingdom was Bavel, Erekh, Akkad,and Kalneh, in the land of Shin'ar. 11Out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Kelach, 12and Resen between Nineveh and Kelach (that is the great city).

13Mitzrayim fathered the Ludim, 'Anamim, L'havim, Naftuchim, 14Patrusim, Kasluchim (fron which the P'lishtim descended), and Kaftorim.

15Kena'an became the father of Sidon (his firstborn), Het, 16the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Kena'ani [Caananites] were spread abroad. 19The border of the Kena'ani was from Sidon, as you go toward G'rar, to Gaza; as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, to Lasha.

20These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, in their nations.

21To Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Yefet, to him also were children born.

22The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpakhshad, Lud, and Aram.

23The sons of Aram: Utz, Hul, Geter, and Mash.

24Arpakhshad became the father of Shelah. Shelah became the father of 'Ever.

25To 'Ever were born two sons. The name of the one was Peleg, because the earth was divided in his days. His brother’s name was Yoktan.

26Yoktan became the father of Almodad, Shelef, Hatzar-Mavet, Yerach, 27Hadoram, 27Uzal, 27Diklah, 28'Oval, Avima'el, Sh'va, 29Ophir, Havilah, and Yovav. All these were the sons of Yoktan. 30Their dwelling was from Mesha, as you go toward S'far, the mountain of the east.

31These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, after their nations.

32These are the families of the sons of Noach, after their generations, in their nations. Of these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

Dispersion of Humanity

[vii] 11 1The whole earth was of one language and of one speech.[1] 2It happened, as they traveled east, that they found a plain in the land of Shin'ar, and they lived there. 3They said one to another, “Come, let’s make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches the heavens,[2] and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth.”

5ADONAI came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. 6ADONAI said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do. 7Come, let’s go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8So ADONAI scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the earth.[3] They stopped building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Bavel because there ADONAI confused the language of all the earth. From there, ADONAI scattered them abroad on the surface of all the earth.

Beginning Of Nations

10This is the history of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old when he became the father of Arpakhshad two years after the flood. 11Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpakhshad, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

12Arpakhshad lived thirty-five years and became the father of Shelah. 13Arpakhshad lived four hundred three years after he became the father of Shelah, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

14Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber: 15and Shelah lived four hundred three years after he became the father of Eber, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

16Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg. 17Eber lived four hundred thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

18Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu. 19Peleg lived two hundred nine years after he became the father of Reu, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

20Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug. 21Reu lived two hundred seven years after he became the father of Serug, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

22Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nachor. 23Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nachor, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

24Nachor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah. 25Nachor lived one hundred nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and became the father of [other] sons and daughters.

26Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Avram, Nachor, and Haran.

27Now this is the history of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Avram, Nachor, and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. 28Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Kasdim.

[Maftir] 29Avram and Nachor took wives. The name of Avram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nachor’s wife, Milkah, the daughter of Haran who was also the father of Iscah. 30Sarai was barren, childless. 31Terah took Avram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Avram’s wife. They went forth from Ur of the Kasdim, to go into the land of Kena'an. They came to Haran and lived there. 32Terah lived two hundred five years, and he died in Haran.

Parashah 3: Lekh L'kha (Get yourself out) 12:1-17:27

HaShem Calls Avram

[i] 12 1Now ADONAI said to Avram, “Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you.”

4So Avram went, as ADONAI had spoken to him. Lot went with him. Avram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5Avram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother’s son, all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls whom they had gotten in Haran, and they went forth to go into the land of Kena'an. Into the land of Kena'an they came. 6Avram passed through the land to the place of Sh'khem, to the oak of Moreh. The Kena'anite was then in the land.

7ADONAI appeared to Avram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.”

He built an altar there to ADONAI, who appeared to him. 8He left from there to the mountain on the east of Beit-El , and pitched his tent, having Beit-El on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to ADONAI and called on the name of ADONAI. 9Avram traveled on further toward the South.

Descent Into Egypt

10There was a famine in the land. Avram went down into Egypt to live as a foreigner there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11When he was just about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “Look, I know that you are a beautiful woman. 12When the Egyptians will see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me, but they will keep you alive. 13Please say that you are my sister, so that things will go well with me because of you, and that I may live because of you.”

[ii] 14When Avram had come into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that his wife was very beautiful. 15The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and she was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16Pharaoh treated Avram well for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17ADONAI plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Avram’s wife. 18Pharaoh said to Avram, “What is this that you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now therefore, see your wife, take her, and go your way.”

20Pharaoh commanded his men concerning Avram, and they sent him on his way with his wife and all that he owned.

Avraham and Lot

13 1Avram went up out from Egypt into the Negev — he, his wife, all his possessions — and went Lot with him. 2Avram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3He went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Beit-El, to the place where he had originally camped between Beit-El and Ai, 4to the place of the altar that he had made there the first time, and there Avram called upon the name of ADONAI.

[iii] 5Lot, who went with Avram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. 6The land was not able to sustain them living together: for their possessions were so great they could not remain together. 7There was strife between the herdsmen of Avram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock: and the Kena'anite and the Perizzite lived in the land at that time. 8Avram said to Lot, “Please, let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are relatives. 9Isn’t the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if you go to the left, then I will go to the right, or if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”

10Lot looked and saw that the entire Yarden Valley was well-watered everywhere — this was before ADONAI destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah — like the garden of ADONAI, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. 11So Lot chose the Yarden Valley for himself. Lot traveled east, and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12Avram lived in the land of Kena'an, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his camp as far as Sodom. 13Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners against ADONAI.

14ADONAI said to Avram, after Lot was separated from him, “Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, toward the north, the south, the east, and the toward the west, 15All the land you see, I will give to you, and to your descendants forever. 16I will make your discendants as numerous as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then your seed may also be counted. 17Arise, walk throughout the length and breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”

18Avram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hevron, and built an altar there to ADONAI.

War of the Kings

[iv] 14 1It happened in the days of Amraphel, king of Shin'ar, Arioch, king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goiim, 2that they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Birsha, king of Gomorrah, Shinab, king of Admah, and Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar). 3All these joined together in the valley of Siddim (the same is the Salt Sea). 4Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year, they rebelled. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came, and the kings who were with him, and struck the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in their Mount Seir, to Elparan, which is by the wilderness. 7They returned, and came to En Mishpat (the same is Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar. 8The king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar) went out; and they set the battle in array against them in the valley of Siddim; 9against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shin'ar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five. 10Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and those who remained fled to the hills. 11They took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went their way. 12They took Lot, Avram’s brother’s son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

13One who had escaped came and told Avram, the Hebrew.[1] Now he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were allies of Avram. 14When Avram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan. 15He divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and struck them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative, Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

17The king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. 19He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Avram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: 20and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Avram gave him a tenth of all.

[v] 21The king of Sodom said to Avram, “Give me the people, and take the goods to yourself.”

22Avram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted up my hand to ADONAI, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23that I will not take a thread nor a sandal strap nor anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Avram rich.’ 24I will accept nothing from you except that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their portion.”

HaShem’s Covenant With Avraham

15 1After these things the word of ADONAI came to Avram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Avram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

2Avram said, “Lord ADONAI, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Avram said, “Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.”

4Behold, the word of ADONAI came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come forth out of your own body will be your heir.” 5ADONAI brought him outside, and said, “Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Avram, “So shall your seed be.” 6He believed in ADONAI; and he reckoned it to him for righteousness.

[vi] 7He said to Avram, “I am ADONAI who brought you out of Ur of the Kasdim, to give you this land to inherit it.”

8He said, “Lord ADONAI, how will I know that I will inherit it?”

9ADONAI said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10He brought him all of these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn’t divide the birds. 11The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Avram drove them away.

12When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Avram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him. 13He said to Avram, “Know for sure that your seed will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years. 14I will also judge that nation, whom they will serve. Afterward they will come out with great wealth, 15but you will go to your fathers in peace. You will be buried in a good old age. 16In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.” 17It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18In that day ADONAI made a covenant with Avram, saying, “To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: 19the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittis, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Kena'ani, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Hagar and Yishma'el

16 1Now Sarai, Avram’s wife, bore him no children. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2Sarai said to Avram, “See now, ADONAI has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Avram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3Sarai, Avram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Avram had lived ten years in the land of Kena'an, and gave her to Avram her husband to be his wife. 4He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5Sarai said to Avram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. ADONAI judge between me and you.”

6But Avram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.

7The angel of ADONAI found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going?”

She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.”

9The angel of ADONAI said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.” 10The angel of ADONAI said to her, “I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude.” 11The angel of ADONAI said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Yishma'el, because ADONAI has heard your affliction. 12He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers.”

13She called the name of ADONAI who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?” 14Therefore the well was called Be'er-Lachai-Ro'i. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

15Hagar bore a son for Avram. Avram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Yishma'el. 16Avram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Yishma'el to Avram.

Confirmation and Signs of the Covenant

17 1When Avram was ninety-nine years old, ADONAI appeared to Avram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty. Walk before me, and be blameless. 2I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

3Avram fell on his face. God talked with him, saying, 4“As for me, behold, my covenant is with you. You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5Neither will your name any more be called Avram, but your name will be Avraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you.

[vii] 7I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. 8I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Kena'an, for an everlasting possession. I will be their God.”

9God said to Avraham, “As for you, you will keep my covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. 10This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of the covenant between me and you. 12He who is eight days old will be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he who is born in the house, or bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed. 13He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your money, must be circumcised. My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.”

15God said to Avraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but her name will be Sarah. 16I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she will be a mother of nations. Kings of peoples will come from her.”

17Then Avraham fell on his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to him who is one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth?” 18Avraham said to God, “Oh that Yishma'el might live before you!”

19God said, “No, but Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You shall call his name Yitz'chak. I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. 20As for Yishma'el, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21But my covenant I establish with Yitz'chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”

22When he finished talking with him, God went up from Avraham. 23Avraham took Yishma'el his son, all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money; every male among the men of Avraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the same day, as God had said to him.

[Maftir] 24Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised. 25Yishma'el, his son, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. 26Both Avraham and his son Yishma'el were circumcised on the same day. 27All the men of his household, both those who had been born into the household and those who had been bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Parashah 4: Vayera (He appeared) 18:1-22:24

Yeshua Appears to Avraham

[i] 18 1ADONAI appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood opposite him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant. 4Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5I will get a morsel of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.”

They said, “Very well, do as you have said.”

6Avraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly make ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.” 7Avraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it. 8He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

9They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?”

He said, “See, in the tent.”

10He said, “I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Avraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. It had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

13ADONAI said to Avraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Will I really bear a child, yet I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for ADONAI? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son.”

[ii] 15Then Sarah denied, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid.

He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

16The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Avraham went with them to see them on their way. 17ADONAI said, “Will I hide from Avraham what I do, 18seeing that Avraham has surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of ADONAI, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that ADONAI may bring on Avraham that which he has spoken of him.” 20ADONAI said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, 21I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”

22The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Avraham stood yet before ADONAI. 23Avraham drew near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26ADONAI said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake.” 27Avraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to ADONAI, who am but dust and ashes. 28What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?”

He said, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”

29He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.”

30He said, “Oh don’t let ADONAI be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”

31He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to ADONAI. What if there are twenty found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.”

32He said, “Oh don’t let ADONAI be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”

33ADONAI went his way, as soon as he had finished communing with Avraham, and Avraham returned to his place.

[iii] 19 1The two angels came to Sodom at evening. Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them. He bowed himself with his face to the earth, 2and he said, “See now, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, stay all night, wash your feet, and you can rise up early, and go on your way.”

They said, “No, but we will stay in the street all night.”

3He urged them greatly, and they came in with him, and entered into his house. He made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. 5They called to Lot, and said to him, “Where are the men who came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may have sex with them.”

6Lot went out to them to the door, and shut the door after him. 7He said, “Please, my brothers, don’t act so wickedly. 8See now, I have two virgin daughters. Please let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them what seems good to you. Only don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

9They said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one fellow came in to live as a foreigner, and he appoints himself a judge. Now will we deal worse with you, than with them!” They pressed hard on the man Lot, and drew near to break the door. 10But the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11They struck the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

12The men said to Lot, “Do you have anybody else here? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whoever you have in the city, bring them out of the place: 13for we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before ADONAI that ADONAI has sent us to destroy it.”

14Lot went out, and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up! Get out of this place, for ADONAI will destroy the city.”

But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be joking. 15When the morning came, then the angels hurried Lot, saying, “Get up! Take your wife, and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” 16But he lingered; and the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and his two daughters’ hands, ADONAI being merciful to him; and they took him out, and set him outside of the city. 17It came to pass, when they had taken them out, that he said, “Escape for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed!”

18Lot said to them, “Oh, not so, my lord. 19See now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your loving kindness, which you have shown to me in saving my life. I can’t escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die. 20See now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one. Oh let me escape there (isn’t it a little one?), and my soul will live.”

[iv] 21He said to him, “Behold, I have granted your request concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Hurry, escape there, for I can’t do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24Then ADONAI rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah sulfur and fire from ADONAI out of the sky. 25He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground. 26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27Avraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before ADONAI. 28He looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and looked, and saw that the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29It happened, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Avraham, and sent Lot out of the middle of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

Lot’s Daughters

30Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to live in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32Come, let’s make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s seed.” 33They made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34It came to pass on the next day, that the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine again, tonight. You go in, and lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s seed.” 35They made their father drink wine that night also. The younger went and lay with him. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she got up. 36Thus both of Lot’s daughters were with child by their father. 37The firstborn bore a son, and named him Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38The younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben Ammi. He is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.

Avraham and Avimelekh

20 1Avraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in G'rar. 2Avraham said about Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” King Avimelekh of G'rar sent, and took Sarah. 3But God came to Avimelekh in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken. For she is a man’s wife.”

4Now Avimelekh had not come near her. He said, “Lord, will you kill even a righteous nation? 5Didn’t he tell me, ‘She is my sister?’ She, even she herself, said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands have I done this.”

6God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also withheld you from sinning against me. Therefore I didn’t allow you to touch her. 7Now therefore, restore the man’s wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don’t restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours.”

8Avimelekh rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ear. The men were very scared. 9Then Avimelekh called Avraham, and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done!” 10Avimelekh said to Avraham, “What did you see, that you have done this thing?”

11Avraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely the fear of God is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife’s sake.’ 12Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13It happened, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness which you shall show to me. Everywhere that we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14Avimelekh took sheep and cattle, male servants and female servants, and gave them to Avraham, and restored Sarah, his wife, to him. 15Avimelekh said, “Behold, my land is before you. Dwell where it pleases you.” 16To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold, it is for you a covering of the eyes to all that are with you. In front of all you are vindicated.”

17Avraham prayed to God. God healed Avimelekh, and his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children. 18For ADONAI had closed up tight all the wombs of the house of Avimelekh, because of Sarah, Avraham’s wife.

The Birth of Yitz'chak

21 1ADONAI visited Sarah as he had said, and ADONAI did to Sarah as he had spoken. 2Sarah conceived, and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3Avraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitz'chak. 4Avraham circumcised his son, Yitz'chak, when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

[v] 5Avraham was one hundred years old when his son, Yitz'chak, was born to him. 6Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears will laugh with me.” 7She said, “Who would have said to Avraham, that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Yishma'el Expelled

8The child grew, and was weaned. Avraham made a great feast on the day that Yitz'chak was weaned. 9Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Avraham, mocking. 10Therefore she said to Avraham, “Cast out this handmaid and her son! For the son of this handmaid will not be heir with my son, Yitz'chak.”

11The thing was very grievous in Avraham’s sight on account of his son. 12God said to Avraham, “Don’t let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your handmaid. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For from Yitz'chak will your seed be called. 13I will also make a nation of the son of the handmaid, because he is your seed.” 14Avraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Be'er-Sheva. 15The water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16She went and sat down opposite him, a good way off, about a bow shot away. For she said, “Don’t let me see the death of the child.” She sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept. 17God heard the voice of the boy.

The angel of God called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him in your hand. For I will make him a great nation.”

19God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy drink. 20God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and became, as he grew up, an archer. 21He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

[vi] 22At that time Avimelekh and Phicol, the captain of his army, said to Avraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23Now swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my grandson. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner.”

24Avraham said, “I will swear.” 25Avraham complained to Avimelekh because of a water well, which Avimelekh’s servants had violently taken away. 26Avimelekh said, “I don’t know who has done this thing. Neither did you tell me, neither did I hear of it, until today.”

27Avraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Avimelekh. Those two made a covenant. 28Avraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29Avimelekh said to Avraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves mean?”

30He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well.” 31Therefore he called that place Be'er-Sheva, because they both swore there. 32So they made a covenant at Be'er-Sheva. Avimelekh rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33Avraham planted a tamarisk tree in Be'er-Sheva, and called there on the name of ADONAI, the Everlasting God. 34Avraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.

Avraham’s Ultimate Test (Akeidat Yitz'chak)

[vii] 22 1After these things had happened, God tested Avraham, saying to him, “Avraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

2He said, “Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Yitz'chak, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”

3Avraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Yitz'chak his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him. 4On the third day Avraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off. 5Avraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go yonder. We will worark, and come back to you.” 6Avraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Yitz'chak his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. 7Yitz'chak spoke to Avraham his father, and said, “My father?”

He said, “Here I am, my son.”

He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8Avraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together. 9They came to the place which God had told him of. Avraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Yitz'chak his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. 10Avraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.

11The angel of ADONAI called to him out of the sky, and said, “Avraham, Avraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

12He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

13Avraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Avraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14Avraham called the name of that place ADONAI Will Provide. As it is said to this day, “On ADONAI’s mountain, it will be provided.”

15The angel of ADONAI called to Avraham a second time out of the sky, 16and said, “I have sworn by myself, says ADONAI, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your seed greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your seed will possess the gate of his enemies. 18In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

19So Avraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Be'er-Sheva. Avraham lived at Be'er-Sheva.

[Maftir] 20Afterwards Avraham was told, “Milkah also has borne children to your brother Nachor: 21Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and B'tu'el.” 23B'tu'el became the father of Rivkah. Milkah  bore these eight children to Nachor, Avraham’s brother. 24His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Parashah 5: Hayyei-Sarah (Sarah’s Life) 23:1-25:18

The Death and Burial of Sarah

[i] 23 1Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah’s life. 2Sarah died in Kiryat-Arba (also called Hevron), in the land of Kena'an. Avraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. 3Avraham got up from before his dead wife and spoke to the sons of Het, saying, 4“I am a stranger and a foreigner living with you; let me a burial site with you, so I may bury my dead wife.”

5Sons children of Het answered Avraham, 6“Listen to us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Choose the best of our tombs to bury your dead. None of us would refuse you his own tomb for burying your dead.”

7Avraham got up, bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Het, 8and spoke to them, “If you wish to help me bury my dead, listen to me; ask 'Efron Ben-Tzochar 9to give me the cave of Makhpelah that he owns, the one in the end of his field. He should sell it to me in your presence at its full value; then I will own it for a burial site.”

10Now 'Efron the Hitti [Hittite] was sitting with the sons of Het, and he answered Avraham in the presence of the sons of Het, who were the ruling council of the city. 11“No, my lord, listen to me. I give you the field and the cave that is in it. In the presence of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.”

12Avraham bowed to people of the land 13and said to 'Efron in their hearing, “If you will, please hear me. I will give you the full value of the field. Accept my offer, and I will bury my dead there.”

14'Efron answered Avraham, 15“My lord, listen to me. What is a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver between me and you? Just bury your dead.”

16Avraham understood 'Efron, and weighed out the amount of silver he had named in the hearing of the sons of Het, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the current merchants’ standard.

[ii] 17So the field of 'Efron, which was in Makhpelah, which was before Mamre — the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were within the field’s borders — were deeded 18to Avraham as his possession in the presence of the sons of Het, who were the ruling council of the city. 19Then Avraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Makhpelah, by Mamre (also known as Hevron), in the land of Kena'an. 20The field and its cave were deeded by the sons of Het to Avraham as his own possession for a burial site.

A Bride for Yitz'chak

24 1Avraham was old and well-advanced in years, and ADONAI had blessed Avraham in everything. 2Avraham said to the servant who had served his household the longest and who managed everything he owned, “Please put your hand under my thigh. 3I want you to swear by ADONAI, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not choose a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Kena'ani, among whom I live. 4But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and choose a wife for my son Yitz'chak.”

5The servant answered him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I take your son back to the land you came from?”

6Avraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t take my son back there. 7ADONAI, the God of heaven, Who took me from my father’s house, and away from the land I was born in, Who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ He will send his angel before you, and you will find a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you will be released from this my oath. Just do not take my son back there.”

9The servant put his hand under his master Avraham’s thigh, and swore to him concerning this matter.

[iii] 10The servant took ten of his master’s camels and all kinds of his master’s valuable things with him, and left. He arose, and went to Aram-Naharayim (Mesopotamia), to Nachor’s city. 11Toward evening, when the women go out to draw water, he had the camels kneel down near the well outside the city. 12He said, “ADONAI, God of my master Avraham, please let me succeed today, and be kind to my master Avraham. 13Here I am, standing by the spring of water as the daughters of the townsmen are coming out to draw water. 14Let it happen this way, that when I say to the young lady, ‘Please lower your pitcher so I may drink,’ she will say, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’ — let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Yitz'chak. By this sign I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

15Before he had finished speaking, Rivkah came out (she was the daughter of B'tu'el, who was the son of Milkah, the wife of Avraham’s brother Nachor) with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16The young lady was very beautiful, a virgin who had never had sexual relations with a man. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came back up. 17The servant ran to meet her, and asked, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.”

18She said, “Drink, my lord.” She immediately lowered her pitcher onto her arm, and gave him a drink. 19When she had done giving him a drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels, until they have drunk their fill.” 20She quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw more, and she drew water for all his camels.

21The man silently gazed at her, wondering whether or not ADONAI had made his journey successful. 22When the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring weighing half a shekel [one-fifth of an ounce] and two golden bracelets weighing ten shekels [four ounces], 23and asked her, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, if there is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24She answered him, “I am the daughter of B'tu'el the son Milkah bore to Nachor.” 25She also said, “We have both straw and provisions enough, and room to lodge in.”

26The man bowed his head and worshipped ADONAI.

[iv] 27He said, “Blessed be ADONAI, the God of my master Avraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, ADONAI has guided me to the house of my master’s relatives.”

28The young lady ran and told her mother’s household about this conversation. 29Rivkah had a brother named Lavan.

30When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister Rivkah’s wrists, and heard her saying, “This is what the man said to me,” Lavan ran out to where the man was standing by the camels at the spring. 31He said, “Come in, you whom ADONAI has blessed. Why are you standing outside? I’ve prepared the house for you, and space for the camels.”

32The man came into the house, and unloaded the camels. He provided straw and fodder for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33When food was set before him to eat, he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”

Lavan said, “Speak on.”

34He said, “I am Avraham’s servant. 35ADONAI has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore my master son when she was old, and He has given him everything that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You are not to choose a wife for my son from among Kena'ani women, in whose land I live, 38but you are go to my father’s house, to my relatives, and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ 40Avraham answered me, ‘ADONAI, in Whose presence I live, will send His angel with you, and make your journey successful. You are to choose a wife for my son from my relatives in my father’s house. 41When you come to my relatives you will be freed from your obligation to my oath. If they don’t give her to you, you shall still be freed from your obligation to my oath.’ 42Today I arrived at the spring and said, ‘ADONAI, God of my master Avraham, if you are causing me to succeed in this task, 43here I am standing by this spring of water. If it happens that the maiden who comes here to draw water, the one to whom I say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44if she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw water for your camels,” let her be the woman whom ADONAI has selected for my master’s son.’ 45Before I had finished saying these things to myself, Rivkah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew water. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She immediately let her pitcher down from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink. 47I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of B'tu'el, Nachor’s son, whom Milkah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists. 48I bowed my head, and worshipped ADONAI, and blessed ADONAI, God of my master Avraham, Who had led me in the right way to choose my master’s brother’s [grand]daughter for his son. 49Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, so that I may turn elsewhere.”

50Then Lavan and B'tu'el answered, “This thing comes from ADONAI, so we can’t say anything eithere bad or good. 51Rivkah is right here in front of you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as ADONAI has said.”

52When Avraham’s servant heard their words, he prostrated himself on the ground before ADONAI.

[v] 53Then the servant brought out jewels of silver and of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rivkah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.”

55Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she can go.”

56He said to them, “Don’t delay me, since ADONAI made my journey successful, but send me away so I may return to my master.”

57They said, “We will call the young lady, and ask her.” 58They called Rivkah, and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

She said, “I will go.”

59So they sent their sister Rivkah away, along with her nurse, Avraham’s servant, and his men. 60They blessed Rivkah, saying, “Our sister, may you be the mother of millions, and let your descendants possess the cities of those who hate them.”

61Rivkah and her maidservants mounted their camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rivkah and went on his way.

 62One evening Yitz'chak came up from the road to Be'er-Lachai-Ro'i, where he was living in the land of the South [the Negev],  63and went out to meditate in the field. He looked up and saw camels coming. 64Rivkah also looked up, and when she saw Yitz'chak, she jumped down from the camel 65and said to the servant, “Who is the man walking in the field to meet us?”

When the servant said, “It is my master,”  she took her veil, and covered herself. 66The servant told Yitz'chak everything he had done. 67Then Yitz'chak brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rivkah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Yitz'chak was comforted after his mother’s death.

Avraham Marries K'turah

[vi] 25 1Avraham took another wife, whose her name was K'turah. 2She bore him Zimran, Yokshan, Medan, Midyan, Yishbak, and Shuach. 3Yokshan fathered Sh'va and D'dan. The sons of D'dan were Ashurim, L'tushim, and L'umim. 4The sons of Midyan were 'Eifah, 'Efer, Hanokh, Avida, and Elda'ah. All these were descendants of K'turah. 5Avraham gave everything he owned to Yitz'chak. 6but to the sons of his concubines, Avraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them off to the east, to the land of Kedem, away from Yitz'chak his son.

Death of Avraham

 7This is how long Avraham lived: one hundred seventy-five years. 8Avraham gave up the spirit, and died at a ripe old age, an old man full of years, and was gathered to his people. 9Yitz'chak and Yishma'el, his sons, buried him in the cave of Makhpelah, in the field of 'Efron, the son of Tzochar the Hitti, near Mamre, 10the field Avraham had purchased from the sons of Het. Avraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife. 11After the death of Avraham God blessed Yitz'chak, his son, and Yitz'chak lived by Be'er-Lachai-Ro'i.

Descendants of Yishma'el

[vii] 12Now this is the genealogy of Avraham’s son Yishma'el, whom Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Avraham. 13These are the names of the sons of Yishma'el, in their birth order: The firstborn of Yishma'el was N'vayot; followed by Kedar, Adbe'el, Mivsam, 14Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15Hadad, Teima, Y'tur, Nafish and Kedmah.

[Maftir] 16These are the sons of Yishma'el, and these are their names, according to their settlements and camps, twelve tribal rulers. 17This is how long Yishma'el lived: one hundred thirty-seven years. He gave up the spirit and died, and was gathered to his people. 18They lived between Havilah and Shur, near Egypt as you go toward Ashur [Assyria]; he lived near all his relatives.

Parashah 6: Tol’dot (History) 25:19-28:9

The Family of Yitz'chak

[i] 19This is the history of the generations of Yitz'chak, Avraham’s son. Avraham became the father of Yitz'chak. 20Yitz'chak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of B'tu'el the Arami of Paddan-Aram, the sister of Lavan the Arami, to be his wife. 21Yitz'chak entreated ADONAI for his wife, because she was childless. ADONAI was entreated by him, and Rivkah his wife conceived. 22The children struggled together within her. She said, “If it be so, why do I live?” She went to inquire of ADONAI. 23ADONAI said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb.
Two peoples will be separated from your body.
The one people will be stronger than the other people.
The elder will serve the younger.”

24When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him 'Esav. 26After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on 'Esav’s heel. He was named Ya'akov. Yitz'chak was sixty years old when she bore them.

Sale of the Birthright

27The boys grew. 'Esav was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Ya'akov was a quiet man, living in tents. 28Now Yitz'chak loved 'Esav, because he ate his venison. Rivkah loved Ya'akov. 29Ya'akov boiled stew. 'Esav came in from the field, and he was famished. 30'Esav said to Ya'akov, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

31Ya'akov said, “First, sell me your birthright.”

32'Esav said, “Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?”

33Ya'akov said, “Swear to me first.”

He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Ya'akov. 34Ya'akov gave 'Esav bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So 'Esav despised his birthright.

26 1There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Avraham. Yitz'chak went to Avimelekh king of the Philistines, to G'rar. 2ADONAI appeared to him, and said, “Don’t go down into Egypt. Live in the land I will tell you about. 3Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Avraham your father. 4I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, 5because Avraham obeyed my voice, and kept my requirements, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Yitz'chak and Avimelekh

[ii] 6Yitz'chak lived in G'rar. 7The men of the place asked him about his wife. He said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “My wife,” lest, he thought, “the men of the place might kill me for Rivkah, because she is beautiful to look at.” 8It happened, when he had been there a long time, that Avimelekh, king of the Philistines, looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Yitz'chak was caressing Rivkah, his wife. 9Avimelekh called Yitz'chak, and said, “Behold, surely she is your wife. Why did you say, ‘She is my sister?’”

Yitz'chak said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die because of her.’”

10Avimelekh said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!”

11Avimelekh commanded all the people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”

12Yitz'chak sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. ADONAI blessed him.

[iii] 13The man grew great, and grew more and more until he became very great. 14He had possessions of flocks, possessions of herds, and a great household. The Philistines envied him. 15Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Avraham his father, the Philistines had stopped, and filled with earth. 16Avimelekh said to Yitz'chak, “Go from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

17Yitz'chak departed from there, encamped in the valley of G'rar, and lived there.

18Yitz'chak dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Avraham his father. For the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Avraham. He called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19Yitz'chak’s servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 20The herdsmen of G'rar argued with Yitz'chak’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” He called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21They dug another well, and they argued over that, also. He called its name Sitnah. 22He left that place, and dug another well. They didn’t argue over that one. He called it Rehoboth. He said, “For now ADONAI has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”

[iv] 23He went up from there to Be'er-Sheva. 24ADONAI appeared to him the same night, and said, “I am the God of Avraham your father. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed for my servant Avraham’s sake.”

25He built an altar there, and called on the name of ADONAI, and pitched his tent there. There Yitz'chak’s servants dug a well.

26Then Avimelekh went to him from G'rar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army. 27Yitz'chak said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?”

28They said, “We saw plainly that ADONAI was with you. We said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, even between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you, 29that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.’ You are now the blessed of ADONAI.”

[v] 30He made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31They rose up some time in the morning, and swore one to another. Yitz'chak sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32It happened the same day, that Yitz'chak’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” 33He called it Shiv'ah [oath, seven] Therefore the name of the city is Be'er-Sheva [well of seven, well of an oath] to this day.

34When 'Esav was forty years old, he took as wife Judith, the daughter of Be'eri the Hitti, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hitti. 35They grieved Yitz'chak’s and Rivkah’s spirits.

Ya'akov Deceives Yitz'chak

27 1It happened, that when Yitz'chak was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called 'Esav his elder son, and said to him, “My son?”

He said to him, “Here I am.”

2He said, “See now, I am old. I don’t know the day of my death. 3Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison. 4Make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat, and that my soul may bless you before I die.”

5Rivkah heard when Yitz'chak spoke to 'Esav his son. 'Esav went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6Rivkah spoke to Ya'akov her son, saying, “Behold, I heard your father speak to 'Esav your brother, saying, 7‘Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless you before ADONAI before my death.’ 8Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command you. 9Go now to the flock, and get me from there two good kids of the goats. I will make them savory food for your father, such as he loves. 10You shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death.”

11Ya'akov said to Rivkah his mother, “Behold, 'Esav my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12What if my father touches me? I will seem to him as a deceiver, and I would bring a curse on myself, and not a blessing.”

13His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son. Only obey my voice, and go get them for me.”

14He went, and got them, and brought them to his mother. His mother made savory food, such as his father loved. 15Rivkah took the good clothes of 'Esav, her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Ya'akov, her younger son. 16She put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck. 17She gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Ya'akov.

18He came to his father, and said, “My father?”

He said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

19Ya'akov said to his father, “I am 'Esav your firstborn. I have done what you asked me to do. Please arise, sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me.”

20Yitz'chak said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”

He said, “Because ADONAI your God gave me success.”

21Yitz'chak said to Ya'akov, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son 'Esav or not.”

22Ya'akov went near to Yitz'chak his father. He felt him, and said, “The voice is Ya'akov’s voice, but the hands are the hands of 'Esav.” 23He didn’t recognize him, because his hands were hairy, like his brother, 'Esav’s hands. So he blessed him. 24He said, “Are you really my son 'Esav?”

He said, “I am.”

25He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless you.”

He brought it near to him, and he ate. He brought him wine, and he drank. 26His father Yitz'chak said to him, “Come near now, and kiss me, my son.” 27He came near, and kissed him. He smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him, and said,

“Behold, the smell of my son
is as the smell of a field which ADONAI has blessed.
[vi] 28God give you of the dew of the sky,
of the fatness of the earth,
and plenty of grain and new wine.
29Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers.
Let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you.
Blessed be everyone who blesses you.”

30It happened, as soon as Yitz'chak had made an end of blessing Ya'akov, and Ya'akov had just gone out from the presence of Yitz'chak his father, that 'Esav his brother came in from his hunting. 31He also made savory food, and brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that your soul may bless me.”

32Yitz'chak his father said to him, “Who are you?”

He said, “I am your son, your firstborn, 'Esav.”

33Yitz'chak trembled violently, and said, “Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed.”

34When 'Esav heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, my father.”

35He said, “Your brother came with deceit, and has taken away your blessing.”

36He said, “Isn’t he rightly named Ya'akov? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing.” He said, “Haven’t you reserved a blessing for me?”

37Yitz'chak answered 'Esav, “Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers have I given to him for servants. With grain and new wine have I sustained him. What then will I do for you, my son?”

38'Esav said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father.” 'Esav lifted up his voice, and wept.

39Yitz'chak his father answered him,

“Behold, of the fatness of the earth will be your dwelling,
and of the dew of the sky from above.
40By your sword will you live, and you will serve your brother.
It will happen, when you will break loose,
that you shall shake his yoke from off your neck.”

'Esav vs. Ya'akov

41'Esav hated Ya'akov because of the blessing with which his father blessed him. 'Esav said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Ya'akov.”

42The words of 'Esav, her elder son, were told to Rivkah. She sent and called Ya'akov, her younger son, and said to him, “Behold, your brother 'Esav comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Lavan, my brother, in Haran. 44Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away; 45until your brother’s anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”

46Rivkah said to Yitz'chak, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Het. If Ya'akov takes a wife of the daughters of Het, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good will my life do me?”

28 1Yitz'chak called Ya'akov, blessed him, and commanded him, “You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Kena'an. 2Arise, go to Paddan-Aram, to the house of B'tu'el your mother’s father. Take a wife from there from the daughters of Lavan, your mother’s brother. 3May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a company of peoples, 4and give you the blessing of Avraham, to you, and to your seed with you, that you may inherit the land where you travel, which God gave to Avraham.”

[vii] 5Yitz'chak sent Ya'akov away. He went to Paddan-Aram to Lavan, son of B'tu'el the Arami, Rivkah’s brother, Ya'akov’s and 'Esav’s mother.

6Now 'Esav saw that Yitz'chak had blessed Ya'akov and sent him away to Paddan-Aram, to take him a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a command, saying, “You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Kena'an,”

[Maftir] 7and that Ya'akov obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan-Aram. 8'Esav saw that the daughters of Kena'an didn’t please Yitz'chak, his father. 9'Esav went to Yishma'el, and took, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Yishma'el, Avraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.

Parashah 7: Vayetze (He went out) 28:10-32:2

Ya'akov Goes to Haran

[i] 10Ya'akov went out from Be'er-Sheva, and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. He took one of the stones there, put it under his head, and lay down to sleep. 12He dreamed, and saw a stairway on on the ground with its top reached to heaven. The angels of God were going up and down on it. 13ADONAI stood above it, and said, “I am ADONAI, the God of Avraham your father and the God of Yitz'chak. The land on which you lie, l will give it to you and to your descendants. 14Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your descendants all the families of the earth will be blessed. 15I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and I will bring you back into this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

16Ya'akov awoke from his sleep, and said, “Surely ADONAI is in this place, and I didn’t know it.” 17He was astonished, and said, “How awesome is this place! This place is none other than God’s house, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18Ya'akov got up early in the morning, took the stone that he had put under his head, set it up as a standing-stone, and poured olive oil on its top. 19He named that place Beit-El [house of God], but the name of the city was originally Luz. 20Ya'akov took this vow: “If God will be with me, guard me in my way, give me bread to eat, and clothing to wear, 21so that I return to my father’s house in peace, then ADONAI will be my God, 22and this stone that I have set as a standing-stone will be God’s house. Of everything you give me I will faithfully give the tenth to you.”

Ya'akov, Rachel, and Le'ah

[ii] 29 1Then Ya'akov continued on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2He looked and saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying there by it, because they watered the flocks from that well. The stone on the well’s mouth was large,  3and when all the flocks were gathered they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and then return the stone to the mouth of the well. 4Ya'akov said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”

They said, “We are from Haran.”

5He asked them, “Do you know Lavan, the [grand]son of Nachor?”

They said, “We know him.”

6He said to them, “Are things going well for him?”

They answered, “Yes, things are well with him. Here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”

7He said, “Look, it’s still mid day. Isn't it time to gather the livestock together, water the sheep, and pasture them?”

8They said, “We can’t, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well’s mouth. Then we water the sheep.”

9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she tended them. 10When Ya'akov saw Rachel the daughter of Lavan, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Lavan, his mother’s brother, Ya'akov went up, rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Lavan his mother’s brother. 11Ya'akov kissed Rachel, and wept out loud. 12Ya'akov told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, that he was Rivkah’s son. She ran and told her father.

13When Lavan heard the news of Ya'akov, his sister’s son, he ran to meet Ya'akov, embraced him, kissed him, and brought him to his house. Ya'akov told Lavan everything that had happened. 14Lavan said to him, “Surely you are my flesh and blood.” After Ya'akov had lived with him for a month, 15Lavan said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what I should pay you.”

16Lavan had two daughters; the elder was named Le'ah and the younger was named Rachel. 17Le'ah had weak eyes, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.

[iii] 18Ya'akov loved Rachel, so he said, “I will work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19Lavan said, “It is better that I give her to you than to another man. Stay with me.”

20Ya'akov worked seven years for Rachel, but because of his love for her they seemed to him but just a few days.

21Ya'akov said to Lavan, “Give me my wife, since my time is finished, so I may live with her.”

Lavan’s Treachery

22Lavan gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23In the evening he took his daughter Le'ah and brought her to Ya'akov, who. He went in to her. 24Lavan gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter Le'ah to be her servant. 25In the morning Ya'akov discovered he was with Le'ah. He said to Lavan, “What is this you have done to me? Didn’t I work for you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”

26Lavan answered, “That’s not how we do things here, to give the younger daughter before the firstborn. 27Finish the marriage week week of this one, and we’ll give you the other one for the work you will do for me for seven more years.”

28Ya'akov finished Le'ah’s wedding week, then Lavan gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29Lavan also gave his daughter Rachel his servant Bilhah to be her servant. 30Ya'akov went in to Rachel also, and he indeed loved Rachel more than Le'ah, and he served Lavan seven more years.

31ADONAI saw that Le'ah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was childless. 32Le'ah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Re'uven [“see, a son”]. For she said, “Because ADONAI has seen my affliction, surely now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because ADONAI has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” She named him Shim'on [“heard”]. 34She conceived again, and bore a son. Said, “Now this time will my husband be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore was his name called Levi [“joined to”]. 35She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “This time will I praise ADONAI,” so she named him Y'hudah [“praised”]. Then she stopped bearing.

30 1When Rachel saw that she was not having children for Ya'akov, Rachel envied her sister. She said to Ya'akov, “Give me children, or I will die.”

2Ya'akov became angry with Rachel, and he said, “Am I in God’s place? He’s the one Who has kept you from having children!”

3She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Go in to her so she may bear on my knees[1] and that I might have children by her.” 4She gave him Bilhah her servant-girl as “wife,”[2] and Ya'akov went in to her. 5Bilhah conceived, and bore Ya'akov a son. 6Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore called she his name Dan [“judge”]. 7Bilhah, Rachel’s servant-girl, conceived again, and bore Ya'akov a second son. 8Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed.” She named him Naftali [“wrestling”].

9When Le'ah saw that she had finished bearing, she took Zilpah, her servant-girl, and gave her to Ya'akov as a “wife.” 10Zilpah, Le'ah’s servant-girl, bore Ya'akov a son. 11Le'ah said, “How fortunate!” She named him Gad [“good fortune”]. 12Zilpah, Le'ah’s servant-girl, bore Ya'akov a second son. 13Le'ah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” She named him Asher [“happy”].

[iv] 14During the days of wheat harvest, Re'uven found mandrakes[3] in the field, and brought them to his mother, Le'ah. Then Rachel said to Le'ah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15Le'ah answered, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken away my husband? Do you want take away my son’s mandrakes, too?”

So Rachel said, “He may sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”

16When Ya'akov came from the field that evening, Le'ah went out to meet him, and told him, “You have to sleep with me tonight, because I’ve hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”

So Ya'akov slept with her that night; 17God listened to Le'ah, and she conceived and bore Ya'akov a fifth son. 18Le'ah said, “God has given me my hire, because I gave my servant-girl to my husband.” She named him Yissakhar [“wages, reward”. 19Le'ah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Ya'akov. 20Le'ah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons.” She named him Z'vulun [“exalted,” from a root (lbz, zabal) meaning “live with me”]. 21Afterwards, she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah [“judgment”].

22God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her, and opened her womb. 23She conceived, bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24She named him Yosef, [“ADONAI has added” or “may He add”] saying, “May ADONAI add another son to me.”

Ya'akov and Lavan

25After Rachel had given birth to Yosef, Ya'akov said to Lavan, “Send me on my way, so I may return to my own place, my own country. 26Let me take my wives children with me, for whom I have served you, and let me go. You know how well I have served you.”

27Lavan said to him, “If it pleases you, stay with me; for I have seen signs that ADONAI has blessed me because of you.”

[v] 28He said, “Name your wages, and I will pay it.”

29Ya'akov told him, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me. 30Before I came, you only had little, but it has increased to abundantly. ADONAI has blessed you wherever I turned. But now, when will I provide for my own household also?”

31Lavan said, “What shall I give you?”

Ya'akov said, “Don’t give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will pasture and keep your flock again. 32I will go through all your flock today, and remove from it every speckled, spotted, and black sheep, and the spotted and speckled goats. This will be my wages. 33So my integrity will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the sheep that might be found in my possession will be considered stolen.”

34Lavan said, “Good, let it be as you have said.” 35That day he removed the striped and spotted male goats, all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one that had white on it, and all the black sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons. 36He put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Ya'akov, and Ya'akov fed the rest of Lavan’s flocks.

37Then Ya'akov took rods of fresh poplar, almond, and plane tree, and peeled strips in the bark, exposing the white which was in the rods. 38He set the rods he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering-troughs, where the flocks came to drink. They conceived when they came to drink. 39The flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40Ya'akov separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and black animals in Lavan’s flock: and he set his own herds apart, and didn’t put them into Lavan’s flock. 41Also, whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Ya'akov wouold place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, that they would mate by the rods; 42but when the flock was feeble, he didn’t put them in; so the feebler were Lavan’s, and the stronger were Ya'akov’s. 43The man became extremely prosperous, and had large flocks, female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Ya'akov Leaves Lavan

31 1He heard the words of Lavan’s sons, saying, “Ya'akov has taken away all that was our father’s. From that which was our father’s, has he gotten all this wealth.” 2Ya'akov saw the expression on Lavan’s face, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. 3ADONAI said to Ya'akov, “Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

4Ya'akov sent and called Rachel and Le'ah to the field to his flock, 5and said to them, “I see the expression on your father’s face, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all of my strength. 7Your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times, but God didn’t allow him to hurt me. 8If he said this, ‘The speckled will be your wages,’ then all the flock bore speckled. If he said this, ‘The streaked will be your wages,’ then all the flock bore streaked. 9Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock, and given them to me. 10It happened during mating season that I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which leaped on the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled. 11The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Ya'akov,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Now lift up your eyes, and behold, all the male goats which leap on the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled, for I have seen all that Lavan does to you. 13I am the God of Beit-El, where you anointed a pillar, where you vowed a vow to me. Now arise, get out from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’”

14Rachel and Le'ah answered him, “Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15Aren’t we accounted by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also quite devoured our money. 16For all the riches which God has taken away from our father, that is ours and our children’s. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

[vi] 17Then Ya'akov rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, 18and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan-Aram, to go to Yitz'chak his father, to the land of Kena'an. 19Now Lavan had gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim[1] that were her father’s.

20Ya'akov deceived Lavan the Arami, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. 21So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.

22Lavan was told on the third day that Ya'akov had fled. 23He took his relatives with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24God came to Lavan, the Arami, in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Take heed to yourself that you don’t speak to Ya'akov either good or bad.”

25Lavan caught up with Ya'akov. Now Ya'akov had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Lavan with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead. 26Lavan said to Ya'akov, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn’t tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp; 28and didn’t allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly. 29It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Take heed to yourself that you don’t speak to Ya'akov either good or bad.’ 30Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?”

31Ya'akov answered Lavan, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.’ 32Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it.” For Ya'akov didn’t know that Rachel had stolen them.

33Lavan went into Ya'akov’s tent, into Le'ah’s tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn’t find them. He went out of Le'ah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Lavan felt about all the tent, but didn’t find them. 35She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I can’t rise up before you; for the manner of women is on me.” He searched, but didn’t find the teraphim.

36Ya'akov was angry, and argued with Lavan. Ya'akov answered Lavan, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued after me? 37Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.

38These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. 39That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42Unless the God of my father, the God of Avraham, and the fear of Yitz'chak, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”

[vii] 43Lavan answered Ya'akov, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine: and what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? 44Now come, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be for a witness between me and you.”

45Ya'akov took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46Ya'akov said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” They took stones, and made a heap. They ate there by the heap. 47Lavan called it Y'gar-Sahaduta, but Ya'akov called it Gal-'Ed. 48Lavan said, “This heap is witness between me and you this day.” Therefore it was named Gal-'Ed 49and HaMitzpah, for he said, “ADONAI watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another. 50If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, no man is with us; behold, God is witness between me and you.” 51Lavan said to Ya'akov, “See this heap, and see the pillar, which I have set between me and you. 52May this heap be a witness, and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53The God of Avraham, and the God of Nachor, the God of their father, judge between us.” Then Ya'akov swore by the fear of his father, Yitz'chak. 54Ya'akov offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his relatives to eat bread. They ate bread, and stayed all night in the mountain.

[Maftir] 55Early in the morning, Lavan rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Lavan departed and returned to his place.

Ya'akov Returns to Cana'an

32 1Ya'akov went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2When he saw them, Ya'akov said, “This is God’s army.” He called the name of that place Mahanaim.

 

Parashah 8: Vayishlach (He sent) 32:3-36:43

[i] 3Ya'akov sent messengers ahead of him to 'Esav, his brother, to the land of Se'ir, the region of Edom, 4commanding them, “Here is what you are to tell my lord, 'Esav: ‘Your servant, Ya'akov, says, “I have been living as a foreigner with Lavan, and have stayed until now. 5I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants. I have sent these to tell this to my lord, that I may win your favor.”’”

6The messengers returned to Ya'akov, saying, “We went to your brother 'Esav, and he is coming to meet you; he has four hundred men with him.”

 7Then Ya'akov became greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people, flocks, herds, and camels that were with him into two camps, 8saying, “If 'Esav comes and attacks one camp, the camp that is left will escape.” 9Ya'akov said, “God of my father Avraham and God of my father Yitz'chak, ADONAI, Who told me, ‘Return to your country and your relatives, and I will do you good,’ 10I am not worthy of even the least of all the loving kindnesses and faithfulness you have shown to your servant; I crossed over this Yarden with just my staff, but now I have become two camps. 11Please deliver me from my brother 'Esav: for I am afraid of him, that he might come and attack me and the mothers of the children. 12You said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your descendants as numerous as the grains of sand by the sea, which are so numerous they cannot be counted.’”

[ii] 13He camped there that night, then chose a gift for his brother 'Esav from the possessions he had with him: 14two hundred female and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milk camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. 16He turned them over to his servants, each herd by itself, and told his servants, “Cross over ahead of me, and put some space between the herds.” 17He instructed the servant in front, “When my brother 'Esav and asks you, ‘Whose servant are you? Where are you going? Whose animals are these with you?’ 18you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Ya'akov. They are a gift he is sending you, lord 'Esav. He is coming just after us.’” 19He instructed the servants with the second and third herds, and those followed the after the herds, “This is what you shall tell 'Esav when you see him: 20‘Your servant Ya'akov is right behind us.’” For he said, “I will first appease him with the gift that goes ahead of me, and then when I see him face to face, maybe he will accept me.”

21So the gift crossed over ahead of him, and he stayed in the camp that night. 22He got up that night and took his two wives, his two handmaids, and his eleven sons, and forded the Jabbok[1]. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, then sent his possessions over.

Ya'akov Wrestles with ADONAI[2]

 24Ya'akov was left alone, and a man wrestled with him there until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he hadn’t defeated Ya'akov, he struck Ya'akov’s hip joint, so his hip joint was dislocated as he wrestled. 26The man said, “Let me go, because it’s daybreak.”

Ya'akov said, “I won’t let you go, unless you bless me.”

27The man asked him, “What is your name?” and he answered, “Ya'akov.” 28The man said, “From now on you will not be called Ya'akov, but Isra'el; because you have contented with with both God and men, and have prevailed.”

29Ya'akov asked him, “Please tell me your name.”

The man said, “Why do you ask what my name is?” And he blessed him there.

[iii] 30Ya'akov called the place P'ni-El, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” 31The sun rose just as he passed over P'ni-El, and he was limping because of his thigh. 32Therefore, to this day the children of Isra'el don’t eat the sinew of the hip, which is on the socket of the thigh, because He touched the socket of Ya'akov’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.

Ya'akov Meets 'Esav

33 1Then Ya'akov looked up saw 'Esav coming, and four hundred men with him. He divided the children among Le'ah, Rachel, and the two handmaids. 2He put the handmaids and their children in front, Le'ah and her children after them, and Rachel and Yosef at the rear. 3He himself crossed over in front of them, and prostrated himself on the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

4'Esav ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept. 5'Esav looked up and saw the women and children, and asked, “Who are these with you?”

Ya'akov said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

[iv] 6Then the handmaids came near with their children, and they bowed down. 7Le'ah and her children also came near and bowed down. And after them, Yosef came near with Rachel, and they bowed down.

8'Esav said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”

Ya'akov said, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.”

9'Esav said, “I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be your own.”

10Ya'akov said, “Please, no, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face as one sees the face of God, and you were pleased with me. 11Please take the gift that I brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” He urged him, and he took it.

12'Esav said, “Let us take our journey and go, and I will go before you.”

13Ya'akov said to him, “My lord knows that the children are delicate, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die. 14Please let my lord cross over before his servant, and I will lead them on leisurely, at the pace of the these livestock and of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”

15'Esav said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But Ya'akov, “What need is there for that? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”

16So 'Esav returned that day on his way to Seir. 17Ya'akov traveled on to Sukkot, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the name of that place is Sukkot.

18Having traveled from Paddan-Aram, Ya'akov arrived safely at the city of Sh'khem, which is in the land of Kena'an, and camped near the city. 19For one hundred pieces of money, he bought from the sons of Hamor, Sh'khem’s father, the parcel of ground where he had pitched his tent. 20He built an altar there and called it El-Elohe-Isra'el.

Dinah and the Men of Sh'khem

[v] 34 1Dinah, the daughter of Le'ah, whom she had borne to Ya'akov, went out to visit the young women of the district. 2Sh'khem, the son of Hamor the Hivvi, the prince of the land, saw her. He took her, and lay with her by force. 3He was deeply attracted to Dinah, the daughter of Ya'akov, and he loved the young lady and spoke kindly to her. 4Sh'khem asked his father, Hamor, “Get me this young lady as a wife.”

5Now Ya'akov heard that Sh'khem had defiled his daughter Dinah, but his sons were tending his livestock in the field. Ya'akov held his peace until they came in. 6Then Sh'khem’s father Hamor went out to Ya'akov to talk with him. 7The sons of Ya'akov came in from the field when they heard about it. The men were grieved, and they were very angry, because Sh'khem had done a disgraceful thing in Isra'el by lying with Ya'akov’s daughter; such a thing ought not to be done. 8Hamor talked with them, saying, “The soul of my son, Sh'khem, longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. 9Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10Live with us, and the land will be open to you; live and trade in it, and acquire property in it.”

11Sh'khem also said to her father and brothers, “If I find favor in your sight, I will give you whatever you say.

[A: vi] 12Ask me a great amount for a dowry, and I will give whatever you ask of me, but give me the young lady as a wife.” 13But the sons of Ya'akov answered Sh'khem and Hamor his father deceitfully, because he had defiled Dinah their sister.

 [S: iv] 14They said to them, “We can’t do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised; that is a disgrace to us. 15Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will become like us, and every one of your males be circumcised. 16Only then will we give our daughters to you take your daughters for ourselves, and live among you, and we will become one people. 17But if you will not listen to us to be circumcised, then we will take our sister and be gone.”

18Their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and his son Sh'khem. 19The young man didn’t delay in doing the thing, because he was delighted with Ya'akov’s daughter, and he was more respected than all the household of his father. 20Hamor and his son Sh'khem came to the gate of their city, and talked with all the men of their city, saying, 21“These men are friendly to us; therefore let them live in the land and trade in it. For behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and give them our daughters. 22Only on this condition will the men agree to live with us and become one people, if every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. 23Won’t their livestock and their possessions and all their animals be ours? Only let us give them our consent to them, and they will live among us.”

24All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Sh'khem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. 25Now it came about the third day when they were sore, that two of Ya'akov’s sons, Shim'on and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword, came upon the unsuspecting city, and killed all the males.

26They killed Hamor and his son Sh'khem with the edge of the sword, took Dinah out of Sh'khem’s house, and went away. 27Ya'akov’s sons came upon the dead, and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28They took their flocks, their herds, their donkeys, all that was in the city, and all that was in the field, 29and all their possessions. They took captive all their little ones and their wives, and took as plunder everything that was in the houses. 30Then Ya'akov said to Shim'on and Levi, “You have brought troubled on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, among the Kena'ani and the P'rizi. Since I only have few men, they will gather together against me and attack me, and I will be destroyed, I and my household.”

31But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”

Ya'akov Goes to Beit-El

35 1Then God said to Ya'akov, “Arise, go up to Beit-El, and live there. Make an altar there to God, Who appeared to you when you fled from your brother 'Esav.”

2Then Ya'akov said to his household, and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. 3Let us arise, and go up to Beit-El. I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me wherever I went.”

4So they gave Ya'akov all the foreign in their possession, and the rings that were in their ears; and Ya'akov hid them under the oak which was near Sh'khem. 5As they traveled, a terror of God was on the cities that were around them, and they didn’t pursue the sons of Ya'akov. 6So Ya'akov came to Luz (that is, Beit-El), which is in the land of Kena'an, he and all the people who were with him. 7He built an altar there, and called the place El Beit-El, because there God was revealed to him, when he fled from his brother. 8Rivkah’s nurse Deborah died, and she was buried below Beit-El under the oak, which was named Alon-Bakhut.

HaShem Changes Ya'akov’s Name to Isra'el

9When Ya'akov came from Paddan-Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Ya'akov. You will no longer be called Ya'akov, but your name will be Isra'el.” Thus He named him Isra'el. 11God also said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will come from you, and kings will be descended from you.

(A: vi) 12And the land which I have given to Avraham and Yitz'chak, I will give it to you, and to your descendants after you.” 13Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him.

(S: vi) 14Ya'akov set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it. 15Ya'akov called the name of the place where God spoke with him Beit-El.

16They traveled on from Beit-El. While there was still some distance to go to Efrat, and Rachel started to give birth, and she suffered severe labor. 17While she was in severe labor, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for now you will have another son.”

18It came about that as her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Ben-Oni, but his father named him Binyamin. 19So Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Efrat (that is, Beit-Lechem). 20Ya'akov set up a standing-stone on her grave. It is the standing-stone of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21Isra'el continued his travels, and pitched his tent on the other side of Migdal-'Eder.

The Sons of Isra'el

 22It came about that while Isra'el was living in that land, Re'uven went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Isra'el heard of it. Now there were twelve sons of Ya'akov. 23The sons of Le'ah were Re'uven (Ya'akov’s firstborn), Shim'on, Levi, Y'hudah, Yissakhar, and Z'vulun. 24The sons of Rachel were Yosef and Benjamin. 25The sons of Bilhah (Rachel’s handmaid) were Dan and Naftali. 26The sons of Zilpah (Le'ah’s handmaid) were Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Ya'akov, born to him in Paddan-Aram.

 27Ya'akov came to his father Yitz'chak at Mamre, in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hevron), where Avraham and Yitz'chak had lived as foreigners. 28Yitz'chak lived one hundred eighty years. 29Yitz'chak breathed his last, died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. 'Esav and Ya'akov, his sons, buried him.

The Edomites (Descendants of Easau)

36 1Now this is the genealogy of 'Esav (that is, Edom). 2'Esav chose his wives from the Kena'ani women: 'Adah the daughter of Elon, the Hitti; and Oholivamah the daughter of 'Anah, the daughter of Tziv'on the Hivi; 3and Basemat, Yishma'el’s daughter, sister of N'vayot. 4'Adah bore Elifaz to 'Esav. Basmat bore Reuel. 5Oholivamah bore Ye'ush, Ya'lam, and Korach. These are the sons of 'Esav, who were born to him in the land of Kena'an. 6'Esav took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, along with his livestock, all his animals, and all his possessions he had gathered in the land of Kena'an, and went into a land away from his brother Ya'akov. 7For their possessions had become too great for them to live together, and the countryuide they were traveling through couldn’t support them because of their livestock. 8So 'Esav lived in the hill country of Seir. 'Esav is Edom.

9This is the genealogy of 'Esav the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. 10The the names of 'Esav’s sons were Elifaz, the son of 'Esav wife Adah, and Re'u'el, the son of 'Esav's wife Basemat. 11The sons of Elifaz were Teman, Omar, Tzefo, Ga'tam, and K'naz. 12Timnah was the of 'Esav’s son Eliphaz, and she bore 'Amalek to him. These were the descendants of 'Esav’s wife Adah.

 13The sons of Re'u'el were Nachat, Zerach, Shammah, and Mizah. These were the sons of 'Esav’s wife Basemath. 14These were the sons of Oholivamah, the daughter of 'Anah, the daughter of' 'Esav’s wife Zibeon: she bore Ye'ush, Ya'lam, and Korach to 'Esav.

15The tribal chiefs of the sons of 'Esav were the sons of Elifaz, 'Esav’s firstborn, and the tribal chiefs Teman, Omar, Tzefo, K'naz, 16Korach, Ga'tam, and 'Amalek. These were the tribal chiefs descended from Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of 'Adah.

17The sons of 'Esav’s son Reuel were the tribal chiefs Nachat, Zerach, Shammah, and Mizah. These were the tribal chiefs descended from Re'u'el in the land of Edom, from 'Esav’s wife Basmat.

18The sons of 'Esav’s wife Oholibvmah were the tribal chiefs Ye'ush, Ya'lam, and Korach. These were the tribal chiefs descended from Oholivamah the daughter of 'Esav’s wife 'Anah. 19These were the sons of 'Esav (that is, Edom), and these were their tribal chiefs.

[vii] 20These were the descendants of Seir the Hori, the inhabitants of that land: Lotan, Shoval, Tziv'on, 'Anah, 21Dishon, Etzer, and Dishan. They were the tribal chiefs descended from the Hori, the people of Seir in the land of Edom. 22The sons of Lotan were Hori and Heman; Lotan’s sister was Timnah. 23The sons of Shobal were 'Alvan, Manachah, 'Eibal, Sh'fo, and Onam. 24The sons of Tziv'on were Ayah and 'Anah. This is the 'Anah who found the hot springs in the desert when he tended the donkeys of his father Tziv'on. 25The children of 'Anah were Dishon and Oholivamah, the daughter of 'Anah. 26The sons of Dishon were Hemdan, Eshban, Yitran, and K'ran. 27The sons of Etzer were Bilhan, Za'avan, and 'Akan. 28The sons of Dishan were 'Utz and Aran. 29These were the tribal chiefs descended from the Hori: tribal chiefs Lotan, Shonal, Tziv'on, 'Anah, 30Dishon, Etzer, and Dishan. They were the tribal chiefs who were descended from the Hori by their clans in the land of Seir.

31These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king had reigned over the people of Isra'el. 32Bela, the son of B'or, reigned in Edom. The name of his city was Dinhavah. 33After Bela died, and Yovav the son of Zerach from Botzrah, reigned in his place. 34When Yovav died, Husham from the land of the Temani reigned in his place. 35When Husham died, Hadad the son of B'dad, who had killed Midyan in the field of Mo'av, reigned in his place. The name of his city was 'Avit. 36When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. 37When Samlah died, Sha'ul of Rechovot-by-the-river reigned in his place. 38When Sha'ul died, and Ba'al-Chanan, the son of 'Akhbor reigned in his place. 39When Ba'al-Chanan died, Hadar reigned in his place. The name of his city was Pa'u. His wife’s name was M'heitav'el, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mei-Zahav.

[Maftir] 40These are the names of the tribal chiefs descended from 'Esav, according to their clans, places, and names: tribal chiefs Timna, 'Alvah, Y'tet, 41Oholivamah, Elah, Pinon, 42Kenaz, Teman, Mivtzar, 43Magdi'el, chief 'Iram. These were the tribal chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements in the land of they owned. This is 'Esav, the father of the Edomites.

Parashah 9: Vayeshev (He continued living) 37:1-40:23

Yosef’s Early Years

[i] 37 1Ya'akov lived in the land of his father’s travels, in the land of Kena'an. 2This is the history of the generations of Ya'akov. Yosef, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Yosef brought an evil report of them to their father. 3Now Isra'el loved Yosef more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors. 4His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, and they hated him, and couldn’t speak peaceably to him.

5Yosef dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him all the more. 6He said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves came around, and bowed down to my sheaf.”

8His brothers said to him, “Will you indeed reign over us? Or will you indeed have dominion over us?” They hated him all the more for his dreams and for his words. 9He dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, “Behold, I have dreamed yet another dream: and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me.” 10He told it to his father and to his brothers. His father rebuked him, and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves down to you to the earth?” 11His brothers envied him, but his father kept this saying in mind.

[ii] 12His brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Sh'khem. 13Isra'el said to Yosef, “Aren’t your brothers feeding the flock in Sh'khem? Come, and I will send you to them.” He said to him, “Here I am.”

14He said to him, “Go now, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with the flock; and bring me word again.” So he sent him out of the valley of Hevron, and he came to Sh'khem. 15A certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16He said, “I am looking for my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are feeding the flock.”

17The man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’”

Yosef went after his brothers, and found them in Dothan. 18They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19They said one to another, “Behold, this dreamer comes. 20Come now therefore, and let’s kill him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, ‘An evil animal has devoured him.’ We will see what will become of his dreams.”

21Re'uven heard it, and delivered him out of their hand, and said, “Let’s not take his life.” 22Re'uven said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father.

[iii] 23It happened, when Yosef came to his brothers, that they stripped Yosef of his coat, the coat of many colors that was on him; 24and they took him, and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty. There was no water in it.

25They sat down to eat bread, and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and saw a caravan of Yishma'elites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spices and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 26Y'hudah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, and let’s sell him to the Yishma'elites, and not let our hand be on him; for he is our brother, our flesh.” His brothers listened to him. 28Midianites who were merchants passed by, and they drew and lifted up Yosef out of the pit, and sold Yosef to the Yishma'elites for twenty pieces of silver. They brought Yosef into Egypt.

29Re'uven returned to the pit; and saw that Yosef wasn’t in the pit; and he tore his clothes. 30He returned to his brothers, and said, “The child is no more; and I, where will I go?” 31They took Yosef’s coat, and killed a male goat, and dipped the coat in the blood. 32They took the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father, and said, “We have found this. Examine it, now, whether it is your son’s coat or not.”

33He recognized it, and said, “It is my son’s coat. An evil animal has devoured him. Yosef is without doubt torn in pieces.” 34Ya'akov tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son mourning.” His father wept for him. 36The Midianites sold him into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard.

Yehudah and Tamar

[iv] 38 1It happened at that time, that Y'hudah went down from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2Y'hudah saw there a daughter of a certain Kena'anite whose name was Shua. He took her, and went in to her. 3She conceived, and bore a son; and he named him Er. 4She conceived again, and bore a son; and she named him Onan. 5She yet again bore a son, and named him Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bore him. 6Y'hudah took a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7Er, Y'hudah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of ADONAI. ADONAI killed him. 8Y'hudah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and raise up seed to your brother.” 9Onan knew that the seed wouldn’t be his; and it happened, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother. 10The thing which he did was evil in the sight of ADONAI, and he killed him also. 11Then Y'hudah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, until Shelah, my son, is grown up;” for he said, “Lest he also die, like his brothers.” Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

12After many days, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Y'hudah, died. Y'hudah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite. 13It was told Tamar, saying, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14She took off of her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she wasn’t given to him as a wife. 15When Y'hudah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16He turned to her by the way, and said, “Please come, let me come in to you,” for he didn’t know that she was his daughter-in-law.

She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”

17He said, “I will send you a kid of the goats from the flock.”

She said, “Will you give me a pledge, until you send it?”

18He said, “What pledge will I give you?”

She said, “Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.”

He gave them to her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him. 19She arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20Y'hudah sent the kid of the goats by the hand of his friend, the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, but he didn’t find her. 21Then he asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the prostitute, that was at Enaim by the road?”

They said, “There has been no prostitute here.”

22He returned to Y'hudah, and said, “I haven’t found her; and also the men of the place said, ‘There has been no prostitute here.’” 23Y'hudah said, “Let her keep it, lest we be shamed. Behold, I sent this kid, and you haven’t found her.”

24It happened about three months later, that it was told Y'hudah, saying, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has played the prostitute; and moreover, behold, she is with child by prostitution.”

Y'hudah said, “Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” 25When she was brought forth, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man, whose these are, I am with child.” She also said, “Please discern whose are these—the signet, and the cords, and the staff.”

26Y'hudah acknowledged them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, because I didn’t give her to Shelah, my son.”

He knew her again no more. 27It happened in the time of her travail, that behold, twins were in her womb. 28When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This came out first.” 29It happened, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out, and she said, “Why have you made a breach for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perez. 30Afterward his brother came out, that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

Yosef Imprisoned in Egypt

[v] 39 1Yosef was brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the hand of the Yishma'elites that had brought him down there. 2ADONAI was with Yosef, and he was a prosperous man. He was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3His master saw that ADONAI was with him, and that ADONAI made all that he did prosper in his hand. 4Yosef found favor in his sight. He ministered to him, and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5It happened from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that ADONAI blessed the Egyptian’s house for Yosef’s sake; and the blessing of ADONAI was on all that he had, in the house and in the field. 6He left all that he had in Yosef’s hand. He didn’t concern himself with anything, except for the food which he ate.

Yosef was well-built and handsome.

[vi] 7It happened after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes on Yosef; and she said, “Lie with me.”

8But he refused, and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, my master doesn’t know what is with me in the house, and he has put all that he has into my hand. 9He isn’t greater in this house than I, neither has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

10As she spoke to Yosef day by day, he didn’t listen to her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 11About this time, he went into the house to do his work, and there were none of the men of the house inside. 12She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!”

He left his garment in her hand, and ran outside. 13When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had run outside, 14she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, “Behold, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice. 15It happened, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside.” 16She laid up his garment by her, until his master came home. 17She spoke to him according to these words, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me, 18and it happened, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside.”

19It happened, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your servant did to me,” that his wrath was kindled. 20Yosef’s master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody. 21But ADONAI was with Yosef, and showed kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22The keeper of the prison committed to Yosef’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever they did there, he was responsible for it. 23The keeper of the prison didn’t look after anything that was under his hand, because ADONAI was with him; and that which he did, ADONAI made it prosper.

The Interpreter of Dreams

[vii] 40 1It happened after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord, the king of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 3He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Yosef was bound. 4The captain of the guard assigned them to Yosef, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison many days. 5They both dreamed a dream, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison. 6Yosef came in to them in the morning, and saw them, and saw that they were sad. 7He asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8They said to him, “We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it.”

Yosef said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me.”

9The chief cupbearer told his dream to Yosef, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, a vine was in front of me, 10and in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. 11Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.”

12Yosef said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head, and restore you to your office. You will give Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, the way you did when you were his cupbearer. 14But remember me when it will be well with you, and show kindness, please, to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house. 15For indeed, I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.”

16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Yosef, “I also was in my dream, and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head. 17In the uppermost basket there was all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”

18Yosef answered, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days. 19Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off you, and will hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off you.”

[Maftir] 20It happened the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants, and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21He restored the chief cupbearer to his position again, and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; 22but he hanged the chief baker, as Yosef had interpreted to them. 23Yet the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Yosef, but forgot him.

Parashah 10: Mikketz (At the end) 41:1-44:17

41 1It happened at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and behold, he stood by the river. 2Behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, sleek and fat, and they fed in the marsh grass. 3Behold, seven other cattle came up after them out of the river, ugly and thin, and stood by the other cattle on the brink of the river. 4The ugly and thin cattle ate up the seven sleek and fat cattle. So Pharaoh awoke. 5He slept and dreamed a second time: and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, healthy and good. 6Behold, seven heads of grain, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8It happened in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all of Egypt’s magicians and wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

9Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I remember my faults today. 10Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker. 11We dreamed a dream in one night, I and he. We dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12There was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams. To each man according to his dream he interpreted. 13It happened, as he interpreted to us, so it was: he restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”

14Then Pharaoh sent and called Yosef, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”

16Yosef answered Pharaoh, saying, “It isn’t in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”

17Pharaoh spoke to Yosef, “In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river: 18and behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, fat and sleek. They fed in the marsh grass, 19and behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness. 20The thin and ugly cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle, 21and when they had eaten them up, it couldn’t be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good: 23and behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25Yosef said to Pharaoh, “The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Pharaoh. 26The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one. 27The seven thin and ugly cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine. 28That is the thing which I spoke to Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown to Pharaoh. 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30There will arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous. 32The dream was doubled to Pharaoh, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

Yosef’s Rise to Power

33“Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt’s produce in the seven plenteous years. 35Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36The food will be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine.”

37The thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Because God has shown you all of this, there is none so discreet and wise as you. 40You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Yosef’s hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, 43and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, “Bow the knee!” He set him over all the land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh called Yosef’s name Zaphenath-Paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Yosef went out over the land of Egypt.

46Yosef was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Yosef went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly. 48He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was around every city, he laid up in the same. 49Yosef laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number. 50To Yosef were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51Yosef called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” 52The name of the second, he called Ephraim: “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

Famine in the Land

53The seven years of plenty, that were in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54The seven years of famine began to come, just as Yosef had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Yosef. What he says to you, do.” 56The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Yosef opened all the store houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57All countries came into Egypt, to Yosef, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth.

The Sons of Ya'akov Face the Governor of Egypt

42 1Now Ya'akov saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Ya'akov said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2He said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy for us from there, so that we may live, and not die.” 3Yosef’s ten brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4But Ya'akov didn’t send Benjamin, Yosef’s brother, with his brothers; for he said, “Lest perhaps harm happen to him.” 5The sons of Isra'el came to buy among those who came, for the famine was in the land of Kena'an. 6Yosef was the governor over the land. It was he who sold to all the people of the land. Yosef’s brothers came, and bowed themselves down to him with their faces to the earth. 7Yosef saw his brothers, and he recognized them, but acted like a stranger to them, and spoke roughly with them. He said to them, “Where did you come from?”

They said, “From the land of Kena'an to buy food.”

8Yosef recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. 9Yosef remembered the dreams which he dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land.”

10They said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men. Your servants are not spies.”

12He said to them, “No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”

13They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Kena'an; and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.”

14Yosef said to them, “It is like I told you, saying, ‘You are spies!’ 15By this you shall be tested. By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go forth from here, unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you, and let him get your brother, and you shall be bound, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you, or else by the life of Pharaoh surely you are spies.” 17He put them all together into custody for three days.

18Yosef said to them the third day, “Do this, and live, for I fear God. 19If you are honest men, then let one of your brothers be bound in your prison; but you go, carry grain for the famine of your houses. 20Bring your youngest brother to me; so will your words be verified, and you won’t die.”

They did so. 21They said one to another, “We are certainly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us, and we wouldn’t listen. Therefore this distress has come upon us.” 22Re'uven answered them, saying, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘Don’t sin against the child,’ and you wouldn’t listen? Therefore also, behold, his blood is required.” 23They didn’t know that Yosef understood them; for there was an interpreter between them. 24He turned himself away from them, and wept. Then he returned to them, and spoke to them, and took Shim'on from among them, and bound him before their eyes. 25Then Yosef gave a command to fill their bags with grain, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them food for the way. So it was done to them.

26They loaded their donkeys with their grain, and departed from there. 27As one of them opened his sack to give his donkey food in the lodging place, he saw his money. Behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. 28He said to his brothers, “My money is restored! Behold, it is in my sack!” Their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling one to another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?” 29They came to Ya'akov their father, to the land of Kena'an, and told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30“The man, ADONAI of the land, spoke roughly with us, and took us for spies of the country. 31We said to him, ‘We are honest men. We are no spies. 32We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Kena'an.’ 33The man, ADONAI of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your houses, and go your way. 34Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. So I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall trade in the land.’”

35It happened as they emptied their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. 36Ya'akov, their father, said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children! Yosef is no more, Shim'on is no more, and you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.”

37Re'uven spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons, if I don’t bring him to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him to you again.”

38He said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left. If harm happens to him along the way in which you go, then you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”

43 1The famine was severe in the land. 2It happened, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.”

3Y'hudah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you’ll send our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy you food, 5but if you’ll not send him, we’ll not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’”

6Isra'el said, “Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?”

7They said, “The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’”

8Y'hudah said to Isra'el, his father, “Send the boy with me, and we’ll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones. 9I’ll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don’t bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever, 10for if we hadn’t delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now.”

11Their father, Isra'el, said to them, “If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds; 12and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man. 14May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

15The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Yosef. 16When Yosef saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and make ready; for the men will dine with me at noon.”

17The man did as Yosef commanded, and the man brought the men to Yosef’s house. 18The men were afraid, because they were brought to Yosef’s house; and they said, “Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we’re brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys.” 19They came near to the steward of Yosef’s house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food. 21When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand. 22We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don’t know who put our money in our sacks.”

23He said, “Peace be to you. Don’t be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” He brought Shim'on out to them. 24The man brought the men into Yosef’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder. 25They made ready the present for Yosef’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26When Yosef came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to him to the earth. 27He asked them of their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?”

28They said, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” They bowed the head, and did homage. 29He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” He said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Yosef hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there. 31He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, “Serve the meal.”

32They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with him, by themselves, because the Egyptians don’t eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled one with another. 34He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.

44 1He commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth. 2Put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, with his grain money.” He did according to the word that Yosef had spoken. 3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Yosef said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men. When you overtake them, ask them, ‘Why have you rewarded evil for good? 5Isn’t this that from which my lord drinks, and by which he indeed divines? You have done evil in so doing.’” 6He overtook them, and he spoke these words to them.

7They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing! 8Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again to you out of the land of Kena'an. How then should we steal silver or gold out of your lord’s house? 9With whoever of your servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondservants.”

10He said, “Now also let it be according to your words: he with whom it is found will be my bondservant; and you will be blameless.”

11Then they hurried, and every man took his sack down to the ground, and every man opened his sack. 12He searched, beginning with the eldest, and ending at the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and returned to the city.

14Y'hudah and his brothers came to Yosef’s house, and he was still there. They fell on the ground before him. 15Yosef said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Don’t you know that such a man as I can indeed divine?”

16Y'hudah said, “What will we tell my lord? What will we speak? Or how will we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. Behold, we are my lord’s bondservants, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found.”

17He said, “Far be it from me that I should do so. The man in whose hand the cup is found, he will be my bondservant; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

Parashah 11: Vayigash (He approached) 44:18-47:27

18Then Y'hudah came near to him, and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and don’t let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even as Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20We said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother; and his father loves him.’ 21You said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22We said to my lord, ‘The boy can’t leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will see my face no more.’ 24It happened when we came up to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25Our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food.’ 26We said, ‘We can’t go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down: for we may not see the man’s face, unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Your servant, my father, said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons: 28and the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn in pieces;” and I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.’ 30Now therefore when I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the boy’s life; 31it will happen, when he sees that the boy is no more, that he will die. Your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant, our father, with sorrow to Sheol. 32For your servant became collateral for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I don’t bring him to you, then I will bear the blame to my father forever.’ 33Now therefore, please let your servant stay instead of the boy, a bondservant to my lord; and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34For how will I go up to my father, if the boy isn’t with me?—lest I see the evil that will come on my father.”

Yosef and His Brothers Restored

45 1Then Yosef couldn’t control himself before all those who stood before him, and he cried, “Cause every man to go out from me!” No one else stood with him, while Yosef made himself known to his brothers. 2He wept aloud. The Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard. 3Yosef said to his brothers, “I am Yosef! Does my father still live?”

His brothers couldn’t answer him; for they were terrified at his presence. 4Yosef said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.”

They came near. “He said, I am Yosef, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5Now don’t be grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are yet five years, in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. 8So now it wasn’t you who sent me here, but God, and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry, and go up to my father, and tell him, ‘This is what your son Yosef says, “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t wait. 10You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you will be near to me, you, your children, your children’s children, your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11There I will nourish you; for there are yet five years of famine; lest you come to poverty, you, and your household, and all that you have.”’ 12Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13You shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. You shall hurry and bring my father down here.” 14He fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15He kissed all his brothers, and wept on them. After that his brothers talked with him.

16The report of it was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, “Yosef’s brothers have come.” It pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. 17Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this. Load your animals, and go, travel to the land of Kena'an. 18Take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.’ 19Now you are commanded: do this. Take wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20Also, don’t concern yourselves about your belongings, for the good of all of the land of Egypt is yours.”

21The sons of Isra'el did so. Yosef gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22He gave each one of them changes of clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothing. 23To his father, he sent after this manner: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and provision for his father by the way. 24So he sent his brothers away, and they departed. He said to them, “See that you don’t quarrel on the way.”

25They went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Kena'an, to Ya'akov their father. 26They told him, saying, “Yosef is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” His heart fainted, for he didn’t believe them. 27They told him all the words of Yosef, which he had said to them. When he saw the wagons which Yosef had sent to carry him, the spirit of Ya'akov, their father, revived. 28Isra'el said, “It is enough. Yosef my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Isra'el Descends Into Egypt

46 1Isra'el traveled with all that he had, and came to Be'er-Sheva, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Yitz'chak. 2God spoke to Isra'el in the visions of the night, and said, “Ya'akov, Ya'akov!”

He said, “Here I am.”

3He said, “I am God, the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go down into Egypt, for there I will make of you a great nation. 4I will go down with you into Egypt. I will also surely bring you up again. Yosef will close your eyes.”

5Ya'akov rose up from Be'er-Sheva, and the sons of Isra'el carried Ya'akov, their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6They took their livestock, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Kena'an, and came into Egypt—Ya'akov, and all his seed with him, 7his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and he brought all his seed with him into Egypt.

8These are the names of the children of Isra'el, who came into Egypt, Ya'akov and his sons: Re'uven, Ya'akov’s firstborn. 9The sons of Re'uven: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10The sons of Shim'on: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Kena'anite woman. 11The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12The sons of Y'hudah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Kena'an. The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13The sons of Yissakhar: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. 14The sons of Z'vulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15These are the sons of Le'ah, whom she bore to Ya'akov in Paddan-Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty-three. 16The sons of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and Serah their sister. The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Lavan gave to Le'ah, his daughter, and these she bore to Ya'akov, even sixteen souls. 19The sons of Rachel, Ya'akov’s wife: Yosef and Benjamin. 20To Yosef in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 21The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Ya'akov: all the souls were fourteen. 23The son of Dan: Hushim. 24The sons of Naftali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Lavan gave to Rachel, his daughter, and these she bore to Ya'akov: all the souls were seven. 26All the souls who came with Ya'akov into Egypt, who were his direct descendants, besides Ya'akov’s sons’ wives, all the souls were sixty-six. 27The sons of Yosef, who were born to him in Egypt, were two souls. All the souls of the house of Ya'akov, who came into Egypt, were seventy.

28He sent Y'hudah before him to Yosef, to show the way before him to Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. 29Yosef made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Isra'el, his father, in Goshen. He presented himself to him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. 30Isra'el said to Yosef, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”

Isra'el in Goshen

31Yosef said to his brothers, and to his father’s house, “I will go up, and speak with Pharaoh, and will tell him, ‘My brothers, and my father’s house, who were in the land of Kena'an, have come to me. 32These men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.’ 33It will happen, when Pharaoh summons you, and will say, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34that you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we, and our fathers:’ that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

47 1Then Yosef went in and told Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks, their herds, and all that they own, have come out of the land of Kena'an; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen.” 2From among his brothers he took five men, and presented them to Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?”

They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers.” 4They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live as foreigners in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks. For the famine is severe in the land of Kena'an. Now therefore, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.”

5Pharaoh spoke to Yosef, saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6The land of Egypt is before you. Make your father and your brothers dwell in the best of the land. Let them dwell in the land of Goshen. If you know any able men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”

7Yosef brought in Ya'akov, his father, and set him before Pharaoh, and Ya'akov blessed Pharaoh. 8Pharaoh said to Ya'akov, “How many are the days of the years of your life?”

9Ya'akov said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred thirty years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” 10Ya'akov blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.

11Yosef placed his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12Yosef nourished his father, his brothers, and all of his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.

Pharaoh Takes All

13There was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Kena'an fainted by reason of the famine. 14Yosef gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Kena'an, for the grain which they bought: and Yosef brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Kena'an, all the Egyptians came to Yosef, and said, “Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For our money fails.”

16Yosef said, “Give me your livestock; and I will give you food for your livestock, if your money is gone.”

17They brought their livestock to Yosef, and Yosef gave them bread in exchange for the horses, and for the flocks, and for the herds, and for the donkeys: and he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock for that year. 18When that year was ended, they came to him the second year, and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord how our money is all spent, and the herds of livestock are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands. 19Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. Give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land won’t be desolate.”

20So Yosef bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine was severe on them, and the land became Pharaoh’s. 21As for the people, he moved them to the cities from one end of the border of Egypt even to the other end of it. 22Only he didn’t buy the land of the priests, for the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, and ate their portion which Pharaoh gave them. That is why they didn’t sell their land. 23Then Yosef said to the people, “Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Behold, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. 24It will happen at the harvests, that you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four parts will be your own, for seed of the field, for your food, for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.”

25They said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.”

26Yosef made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. Only the land of the priests alone didn’t become Pharaoh’s.

27Isra'el lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got themselves possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.

Parashah 12: Vayechi (He lived) 48:28-50:26

28Ya'akov lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Ya'akov, the years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years. 29The time drew near that Isra'el must die, and he called his son Yosef, and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me. Please don’t bury me in Egypt, 30but when I sleep with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place.”

He said, “I will do as you have said.”

31He said, “Swear to me,” and he swore to him. Isra'el bowed himself on the bed’s head.

Isra'el Adopts the Sons of Yosef

48 1It happened after these things, that someone said to Yosef, “Behold, your father is sick.” He took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2Someone told Ya'akov, and said, “Behold, your son Yosef comes to you,” and Isra'el strengthened himself, and sat on the bed. 3Ya'akov said to Yosef, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Kena'an, and blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful, and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your seed after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Re'uven and Shim'on, will be mine. 6Your issue, who you become the father of after them, will be yours. They will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7As for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died by me in the land of Kena'an in the way, when there was still some distance to come to Efrat, and I buried her there in the way to Efrat (the same is Bethlehem).”

8Isra'el saw Yosef’s sons, and said, “Who are these?”

9Yosef said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.”

He said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.” 10Now the eyes of Isra'el were dim for age, so that he couldn’t see. He brought them near to him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11Isra'el said to Yosef, “I didn’t think I would see your face, and behold, God has let me see your seed also.” 12Yosef brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13Yosef took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Isra'el’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Isra'el’s right hand, and brought them near to him. 14Isra'el stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15He blessed Yosef, and said, “The God before whom my fathers Avraham and Yitz'chak did walk, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day, 16the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Avraham and Yitz'chak. Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

17When Yosef saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him. He held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Yosef said to his father, “Not so, my father; for this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19His father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his seed will become a multitude of nations.” 20He blessed them that day, saying, “In you will Isra'el bless, saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh’” He set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21Isra'el said to Yosef, “Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”

Ya'akov Blesses His Sons and Dies

49 1Ya'akov called to his sons, and said: “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come.

2Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Ya'akov.
Listen to Isra'el, your father.
3“Re'uven, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength;
excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.
4Boiling over as water, you shall not excel;
because you went up to your father’s bed,
then defiled it. He went up to my couch.
5“Shim'on and Levi are brothers.
Their swords are weapons of violence.
6My soul, don’t come into their council.
My glory, don’t be united to their assembly;
for in their anger they killed men.
In their self-will they hamstrung cattle.
7Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce;
and their wrath, for it was cruel.
I will divide them in Ya'akov,
and scatter them in Isra'el.
8“Y'hudah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies.
Your father’s sons will bow down before you.
9Y'hudah is a lion’s cub.
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down, he crouched as a lion,
as a lioness.
Who will rouse him up?
10The scepter will not depart from Y'hudah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs.
To him will the obedience of the peoples be.
11Binding his foal to the vine,
his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;
he has washed his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes will be red with wine,
his teeth white with milk.
13“Z'vulun will dwell at the haven of the sea.
He will be for a haven of arks.
His border will be on Sidon.
14“Yissakhar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the saddlebags.
15He saw a resting place, that it was good,
the land, that it was pleasant.
He bows his shoulder to the burden,
and becomes a servant doing forced labor.
16“Dan will judge his people,
as one of the tribes of Isra'el.
17Dan will be a serpent in the way,
an adder in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
so that his rider falls backward.
18I have waited for your salvation, LORD.
19“A troop will press on Gad,
but he will press on their heel.
20“Asher’s food will be rich.
He will yield royal dainties.
21“Naftali is a doe set free,
who bears beautiful fawns.
22“Yosef is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine by a spring.
His branches run over the wall.
23The archers have sorely grieved him,
shot at him, and persecute him:
24But his bow remained strong.
The arms of his hands were made strong,
by the hands of the Mighty One of Ya'akov,
(from there is the shepherd, the stone of Isra'el),
25even by the God of your father, who will help you;
by the Almighty, who will bless you,
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that lies below,
blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.
26The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors,
above the boundaries of the ancient hills.
They will be on the head of Yosef,
on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.
In the morning he will devour the prey.
At evening he will divide the spoil.”

28All these are the twelve tribes of Isra'el, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his blessing. 29He instructed them, and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of 'Efron the Hitti [Hitti], 30in the cave that is in the field of Makhpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Kena'an, which Avraham bought with the field from 'Efron the Hitti [Hitti] as a burial place. 31There they buried Avraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Yitz'chak and Rivkah, his wife, and there I buried Le'ah: 32the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Het.” 33When Ya'akov made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the spirit, and was gathered to his people.

50 1Yosef fell on his father’s face, wept on him, and kissed him. 2Yosef commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father; and the physicians embalmed Isra'el. 3Forty days were fulfilled for him, for that is how many the days it takes to embalm. The Egyptians wept for him for seventy days.

Yosef Buries Isra'el in Cana'an

4When the days of weeping for him were past, Yosef spoke to the house of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 5‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am dying. Bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Kena'an.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come again.’”

6Pharaoh said, “Go up, and bury your father, just like he made you swear.”

7Yosef went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8all the house of Yosef, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9There went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. 10They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and sore lamentation. He mourned for his father seven days. 11When the inhabitants of the land, the Kena'ani, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore, its name was called Avel Mitzrayim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12His sons did to him just as he commanded them, 13for his sons carried him into the land of Kena'an, and buried him in the cave of the field of Makhpelah, which Avraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burial site, from 'Efron the Hitti [Hitti], before Mamre. 14Yosef returned into Egypt—he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

15When Yosef’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Yosef will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all of the evil which we did to him.” 16They sent a message to Yosef, saying, “Your father commanded before he died, saying, 17‘You shall tell Yosef, “Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of the God of your father.” Yosef wept when they spoke to him. 18His brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21Now therefore don’t be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones.” He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.

Yosef Dies in Egypt

22Yosef lived in Egypt, he, and his father’s house. Yosef lived one hundred ten years. 23Yosef saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children also of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Yosef’s knees. 24Yosef said to his brothers, “I am dying, but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Avraham, to Yitz'chak, and to Ya'akov.” 25Yosef took an oath of the children of Isra'el, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26So Yosef died, being one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Hazak, hazak, v'nit'chazek!
Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!

____________

Notes on Chapter 1

1-1a. Hebrew: Elohim (~yhla), the plural of the Hebrew word Elohahh (hhwla). Note that the word “Elohim” is a plural noun, but always takes a singular verb when referring to God. Some call this usage the “plural of majesty” as monarchs often refer to themselves in the plural. In Hebrew thought it is a plural intensive, or a plural that denotes magnitude or greatness, as in “very God” or “God of all gods.” Some point to this usage and claim that it “proves” the Trinity, but this is absolutely not the case and is grammatical nonsense. Read a more in-depth discussion HERE. After “Elohim,” the Hebrew text has the two letters “Aleph Tav” (ta, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet) as a grammatical marker. Compare this to the Greek phrase "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." (Rev. 22:13) [RETURN]

1-1b. Hebrew arb, bara', to shape, fashion, or create, always with God as the subject. It is often taught that bara' means to create out of nothing. While it is true that God did create everything from nothing, that is not the meaning of the word, and so it may not be legitimately used to form the basis of a point of doctrine. The primitive root bara' has the basic meaning “to create.” It differs from 'asah (hX[), “to fashion, accomplish” in that 'asah primarily emphasizes the shaping of an object or accomplishment of an objective, whereas bara' primarily emphasizes the initiation of something new. [RETURN]

1-1c. In Hebrew thought there are three heavens. The first heaven is earth’s atmosphere. The second heaven is the entire created universe beyond our atmosphere. The third heaven is outside of our space/time continuum, where HaShem dwells. [RETURN]

1-2a. Unformed and empty. Hebrew whbw wht, tohu v'bohu. Tohu, unformed, denotes a total state of confusion and lack of order; a condition of utter chaos; bohu indicates a void or emptiness, a total waste. [RETURN]

1-2b. Spirit: Hebrew xwr, Ruach is the same word for breath or wind. In Trinitarian theology there are absolutely not three separate Gods, as some would understand it, but rather there is one, and only one, absolutely indivisible and eternally unchangeable God as declared in the Shema (Deut. 6:4) Who, from our extremely limited understanding, appears to function or manifest as three primary “Persons” — the Father (haAbba), the Son (haBen), and the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh). HaAbba is all the fullness of HaShem invisible; HaBen is all the fullness of HaShem manifested; Ruach HaKodesh is all the fullness of HaShem acting immediately upon creation. Thus, what the Father decrees, the Son declares, and the Spirit executes. (MORE HERE) [RETURN]

1-2c. The picture here is of a mother bird flying stationary above a nest full of chicks. Many think that when Yeshua walked on the surface of the sea of Galilee, He was reenacting the time when, as pure spirit, He hovered over the primordial oceans of the newly-formed and featureless earth. [RETURN]

1-3. HaAbba (the Father) decreed that there would be light, HaBen (the Son, also called the Word) spoke the Father’s decree, and Ruach HaKodesh (the Spirit) brought light into being from nothing through the power of the Son’s spoken Word. [RETURN]

1-5. The phrase translated “day one” can also be rendered as “one day” or “first day.” Note that in the creation account, “day one” begins with evening followed by morning. Thus in the Hebrew method of time reckoning, the day begins and ends at sunset. Since the Torah clearly states that this day and the five which immediately follow all begin with evening followed by morning, we can safely assume that “day” refers to a single 24-hour day. In the phrase, “The earth was unformed and empty” in verse 2, the word “was” (הָיָה, hayah can also be translated as “became,” leaving the possibility of a vast expanse of time between verse 1 and verse 2. This accommodates the so-called “Gap Theory” of creation. I do not personally subscribe to the Gap Theory, but you are certainly welcome to disagree with me. [RETURN]

1-6. Expanse: Hebrew [yqr, raqiya', an extended solid surface, a support, base, or firmament. This suggests that originally there was a solid enclosure of ice around the entire planet literally separating the waters below it from the waters above it. It is theorized that much of the water from the Flood of Genesis 7 came from this shell of ice suddenly melting. The fact that it is now known that cosmic radiation is the leading cause of aging supports the idea that because this shell of ice was very effective at filtering out radiation, people typically lived 600 years or longer before the flood. Since reptiles continue growing during their entire life span, this may also explain how reptiles grew extremely large before the flood. Consider how large a Komodo dragon, for example, might grow if it lived to be 500 or 600 years old. [RETURN]

1-7. Sky or heavens: Hebrew שָׁמַ֫יִם, shamayim. [RETURN]

1-11a. Grass: Hebrew דֶּ֫שֶׁא, deshe; non-edible vegetation. [RETURN]

1-11b. Herb: Hebrew עֵ֫שֶׂב, edible herbs, vegetables, edible plants. [RETURN]

1-11c. After their kind מִין, min, species. I have rendered this phrase as “according to its/their species” throughout. This debunks the theory of evolution. God ordained that each life form reproduces within its own particular species, and one species does not transform to another. [RETURN]

1-15. This does not mean that God created the sun, moon, and stars after He created the plants. It does mean, however, that He specifically ordained that humanity should use them to tell time and to distinguish the seasons and years. [RETURN]

1-26. What does it mean to be created in the image and likeness of God? This cannot possibly mean that God is a bipedal humanoid. God is invisible (1Tim.1:10), but He is able to take any form He desires: a burning bush, a humanoid (the Angel of Adonai, Yeshua), a pillar of fire, a pillar of smoke, etc. Do Hid “image and likeness” cannot be referring to visible, physical attributes. But God is sentient; He has intellect, will, and emotion. Mankind is sentient: we have intellect, will, and emotion. God is tri-partite: He exists invisibly as the Father; He manifest visibly and physically as the Son; His Spirit interacts directly with His creation. Man is tri-partite: we exist invisibly as mind, will, and emotion; we exist visibly in a physical body of muscle, bone, and blood; we exist spiritually as that part of us which interacts directly with our Creator. For a simple example, GO HERE. [RETURN]

 

1-31. Nuclear physicist Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., has demonstrated in The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (May 9, 2002) how by using Einstein’s Theory of Relativity he has calculated that when viewed from the point of creation looking outward (God’s perspective) the Bible’s six days of creation are identical to the 14 billion years since the “Big Bang” as viewed from earth looking back toward the center of the universe.

“We look at the universe, and say, ‘How old is the universe? Looking back in time, the universe is approximately 14 billion years old.’ That’s our view of time and those years went by. But what is the Bible’s view of those billions of years looking forward from the beginning? How does it see time? …

“We look back in time, and measure of the universe to be 14 billion years old. But as every scientist knows, when we say the universe is 14 billion years old, there’s another half of the sentence that we rarely bother to state. The universe is 14 billion years old as measured from the time-space coordinates of the earth, that is, from our current position in the universe.

“The key is that from the creation of the universe to the creation of the soul of Adam, the Bible looks forward in time, from time-space coordinates when the universe was vastly smaller than it is today. Since then, the universe has expanded out. Space stretches, and that stretching of space totally changes the perception of time.”

The calculations are more fully explained on his website. [RETURN]

2-7a. Man — Hebrew: mda, adam. [RETURN]

2-7b. Ground — Hebrew: hmda, adamah. [RETURN]

2-7c. “Adam” and “man” are spelled with the exact same consonants in Hebrew (~da), so this can be correctly translated either way. [RETURN]

Location of the Garden of Eden[2-4] The Garden of Eden has been believed to be a myth by many scholars, because on a modern map of the Tigress/Euphrates basin there are not four rivers flowing into one. However, modern satellite imaging has discovered two dry ancient river beds (wadis) that would have joined the Euphrates as shown in this illustration. It is now believed that this fertile plain was inundated as sea levels rose and as water rushed in through the Strait of Hormuz to fill up the Persian Gulf. (More here.)

[2-5] Literally, “dying, you will die.”

 

[3-1] The “serpent” was a physical manifestation of HaSatan (!tX), the Adversary or Accuser (see Rev. 12:9).

[3-2] The beginning of sin is to doubt the word of God. The most insipid temptations from HaSatan always begin with, “Has God really said …?”

 [3-3] Notice the beginning of deception here. HaShem’s clear instruction was, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it.” Havah (Eve) added, “neither shall you touch it” to the instructions of HaShem. Perhaps this is why HaShem was careful to admonish Moshe to neither add to nor subtract from His divine instruction (Deut. 4:2; 12:32). Apparently the Sages did not notice this mitzvot when they started “building fences around Torah.”

[3-4] Theologians have labeled HaSatan’s comment here with the technical designation “the Lie,” as Yeshua refers to it as such in John 8:44, and Rav Sha'ul follows His example in 2 Thess. 2:11. “The Lie” is two-fold: disobedience to HaShem does not result in death, and mankind can become as deity.

[3-5] Many scholars believe that before the Fall, Adam and Havah were literally clothed in the Shekinah (the visible Glory of God), and that when they sinned, the Shekinah (emphasis is on the last syllable, not the second — sounds like “shek-in-awe”) left them, thus leaving them naked.

[3-6] It is important to our understanding of all subsequent revelation to know exactly Who it was that walked in the Garden with Adam and Havah. Though the Scripture does not specifically so state, we can assume that because Adam and Havah recognized “the voice of ADONAI Elohim walking in the garden,” it was something with which they were well familiar. Yochanan tells us: “No one has ever seen God; but the only and unique Son, Who is identical with God and is at the Father’s side — He has made Him known” (John 1:18). A careful study of the entire Scripture leads us to the inescapable conclusion that all physical manifestations of God are in the Person of God the Son. Therefore, it was the pre-incarnate Yeshua who walked in the Garden, had lunch with Avram at Mamre, made the covenants with Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov, appeared to Moshe in the Burning Bush and atop Mount Sinai, wrote the “Ten Commandments” in the stone tablets with His finger, and appeared to Isra'el in the wilderness as the pillars of fire and smoke.

[3-7]  HaShem certainly knew where Adam was without asking. He wanted to make sure that Adam knew where he was.

[3-8] Our initial reaction when we are confronted with our sin is nearly always to blame somebody else.

[3-9] HaSatan will bruise Messiah’s heel (inflict a minor injury) by means of the crucifixion, but Messiah will bruise HaSatan’s head (inflict a fatal injury) through that same crucifixion.

[3-10] Eve; Hebrew hwwx, “living” or “life”],

[3-11] This is the first time that death of any kind occurs in the history of humanity. HaShem had told Adam and Havah that on the day they ate of the forbidden tree, they would surely die. The idea of “death” actually refers to a “separation,” which comes in one of three forms: physical death, when the spiritual elements are separated from the physical elements of a living being; spiritual death, when the human spirit is separated from the Creator; and social or community death, when a member of a community is separated from the other members of that community. Because of their disobedience, Adam and Havah were separated from personal fellowark with HaShem. Never again would He walk with them in Gan Eden. I personally agree with those scholars who believe that after the Fall Adam and Havah were literally separated from the Shekinah in which they had been clothed (see Note 3-5, above).

In this event HaShem initiated and instructed Adam and Havah in the concept of sacrificial atonement, in which the death of an innocent can provide a “covering” (but not forgiveness) for the sin of the guilty party. “Atonement” is the English rendering of the Hebrew word Kaphar (rpk), to cover. It does not include the concept of forgiveness. “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). HaShem sacrificed an innocent animal and created for the man and his wife a “covering” or atonement. Although their sin was “covered” they still had to suffer the consequences.

[3-12] It was necessary for HaShem to block access to the Tree of Life in order for mankind to be redeemed. If Adam and Eve had eaten from the Tree of Life in their fallen condition, they would have lived forever, separated from God by sin.

The Tree of Life is first described as being in the Garden of Eden (Gan Eden in Hebrew). The Hebrew word for “Paradise” is Gan Eden. If Yeshua HaMashiach spoke Hebrew, as I am very certain He did, then what He said to the thief on the cross next to His was literally, “Today you will be with Me in Gan Eden.” The next we hear of the Tree of Life is in Revelation 2:7: “Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life which is in God's Gan-'Eden.” After this universe is destroyed and rebuilt, the Tree of Life resides in New Jerusalem between Main Street and the River of Life (Rev. 22:1-2). These facts might well lead one to conclude that what we perceive of as “heaven” is, in fact, here on the re-created earth in and around the city of New Jerusalem.

 

[4-1] Many teach that HaShem rejected Kayin’s offering because it was not a blood sacrifice. This cannot be correct because HaShem accepts all sorts of offerings that are not animals: the grain offering, the wine offering (libation), and First Fruits, for starters. The problem had to have been Kayin’s attitude, and not the nature of the offering itself.

[4-2] For years many racists taught (and surely there are some who still do) that dark skin is “the mark of Cain.” This is utterly ridiculous. The entire population of earth was wiped out in the Flood, including all of Kayin’s descendants.

 

[5-1] As pointed out above (Note 1-2), the Hebrew word ~da (adam) can be translated as either “man” or as the man’s given name, “Adam.” Because of the context, if we were to translate here, it would be “mankind” or “humanity.”

[5-2] One theory for the longevity of mankind before the flood is that when HaShem “divided the waters from the waters” (Gen. 1:6-8), the water “above the expanse” (firmament in the KJV) was literally suspended as vapor in the atmosphere. Remember, before the Flood it did not rain on earth (Gen. 2:5-6). All that water vapor served as a filter to block harmful radiation, which is the primary cause of aging.

[5-3] After the flood, Shem became the progenitor of all the Semitic tribes; Ham was the father of Kena'an and of various peoples which were inhabitants of southern lands, including the Egyptians; Yafet’s descendants settled on the coastal lands of the Mediterranean, spreading north into Europe and parts of Asia.

 

[6-1] Most Bible scholars believe that “sons of God” refers to fallen angels (demons) who cohabited with human women to produce hybrid giant offspring, the N'filim. The name N'filim the name is also used in reference to giants who inhabited Kena'an at the time of the Isra'elite conquest of Kena'an according to Numbers 13:33, including Goliath and his four brothers from the Caananite city of Gath. While some believe that God sent the flood to wipe out the N'filim, the fact that Goliath and his brothers were N'filim indicates that this demonic cohabitation was resumed after the flood. These demons are called Incubi in modern demonology.

[6-2] Gopher wood: Hebrew gofer rpg, perhaps cypress.

[6-3] A cubit is the distance from the tip of the elbow to the tip of the extended middle finger, or approximately 18 inches on average. By comparison a football field is only 300 feet long and 160 feet wide. The ark was taller than a four-story building.

 

[7-1] Those who look for an excuse to ignore HaShem’s dietary instructions given in the Torah claim that since “clean” and “unclean” designation for animals was part of the “Mosaic Law,” obedience by Gentiles is not required. However, please note that the “clean” and “unclean” designations were already in place before the Flood, and therefore apply to all humanity, not just to Isra'el.

[7-2] Tradition holds that the task of building the ark took Noach and his sons a hundred years. Quite an undertaking for a man who was five hundred years old at the outset. Verse 5:32 tells us that Noach was five hundred years old before his sons were born.

[7-3] Some earth scientists claim that even a very severe downpour of rain for forty days and forty nights is not sufficient to inundate the entire earth, so the Flood story must be a myth. This was no ordinary rain. Remember that it had never rained on earth before this. All of the water vapor that had been suspended in the atmosphere since the beginning of creation was released to fall as rain. Also the Torah says, “on the same day all the fountains of the great deep were burst open,” indicating that in addition to the condensation of all the water vapor in the atmosphere, there was a major tectonic upheaval of the entire earth, and enormous amounts of underground water were included in the flood waters.

[7-4] Critics say that Noach could not have possibly gone out and rounded up mating pairs of all species. Note the Torah says that they came to him. Which is more difficult for HaShem: to created the entire universe out of nothing by the power of His spoken word, or to call mating pairs of each species to the Ark by His spoken word?

[7-5] The Torah indicates that floodwaters “prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.” This seems to indicate that the floodwaters rose to fifteen cubits (22.5 feet) above the tops of the mountains. We have no way of knowing the elevation of the highest mountain at the time the flood began. The Torah indicates an horrific tectonic event as part of the flood. It is not unreasonable to assume that many of the highest mountains on earth are at least partly the result of that tectonic shift.

 

Map Showing Possible Location of Ararat[8-1] Ararat (“the curse reversed: precipitation of curse”) is not a single mountain, but rather an entire mountainous region of eastern Armenia, between the river Araxes and the lakes Van and Oroomiah. The particular mountain in that range where it is believed the ark came to rest is at the extreme eastern border of modern Turkey. The actual remains of the ark are believed to have been located.

[8-2] “Because all other human life perished in the Flood, genetic evidence should suggest that there was a population bottleneck, and that we all trace ancestry back to Noah's family. According to mathematical models plotting genetic tracks, the most recent common ancestor can indeed be traced back around 3,000 years—not quite to estimated dates of the flood, but still far closer than evolutionary assertions of common ancestors.” (Source: creationwiki.org) Kind of makes racism rediculous when you think about it. Since we all come from Mr. and Mrs. Noah, we are all of the same race.

[8-3] This was apparently the first altar in history; it is at least the first altar mentioned in the Torah. However, one must wonder whether HaShem instructed Adam in the construction and use of an altar when he made them clothing from skin in Genesis 3:21, and whether Kayin and Hevel used altars for their sacrifices in Genesis 4:3-5.

[8-4] This applies only to the present creation. 2Peter 3:10-11 and Revelation 21:1-3 tell us that in the future this creation will be destroyed and HaShem will create “a new heaven and a new earth.” It is then, and not during the Messianic Kingdom period, that New Jerusalem will come down.

 

[9-1] What does it mean to be created “in the image of God?” It is a fallicy to suppose that the invsible (1Tim. 1:17), omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Creator Whom the Scriptures declare is a Spirit (John 4:24) has the form of a man with head, torso, arms, and legs. What then does it mean that mankind was created “in the image of God?” The Scriptures clearly teach that the God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov eternally exists as an eternally unchangeable and indivisible Tri-Unity consisting of Abba (God the Father), HaBen (God the Son), and Ruach HaKodesh (God the Holy Spirit), one (echad) in nature, yet somehow three in Personality. The Father is neither the Son nor the Spirit, the Son is neither the Father nor the Spirit, and the Spirit is neither the Father nor the son; yet all three are one (echad) God. In the image of God, mankind is also an indivisible tri-unity consisting of body, soul, and spirit. The body is neither the soul nor the spirit, the soul is neither the spirit nor the body, and the spirit is neither the soul nor the body; yet all three are one (echad) human being. For further discussion and illustration, see What Does The Star Of David Symbolize? and Is the “Trinity” Biblical? I find it interesting that the Jewish mind has such a difficult task imagining how Hashem can be echad and yet consist of three unchangeable and indivisible Persons; every Shabbat they partake of the challah loaf, which is echad loaf consisting of three indivisible strands, a perfect picture of the tri-unity of HaShem.

[9-2] According to traditional Judaism, God gave Noah and his family seven commandments to observe when he saved them from the flood. These commandments, referred to as the Noahic or Noahide commandments, are inferred from [but certainly not specifically stated in] Genesis 9:1-7, and are as follows:

1) to establish courts of justice;

2) not to commit blasphemy;

3) not to commit idolatry;

4) not to commit incest and adultery;

5) not to commit bloodshed;

6) not to commit robbery; and

7) not to eat flesh cut from a living animal.

These commandments are fairly simple and straightforward, and most of them are recognized by most of the world as sound moral principles. Any non-Jew who follows these laws has a place in the world to come, according to traditional Judaism.

The Noahic commandments are binding on all people, because all people are descended from Noah and his family. The 613 mitzvot of the Torah, on the other hand, again according to traditional Judaism (and some leaders within Messianic Judaism), are only binding on the descendants of those who accepted the commandments at Sinai and upon those who take on “the yoke of the commandments” voluntarily. I disagree with this position, in that I believe that HaShem has only one “Standard of Righteousness” for all people. Click here for a more detailed discussion of this subject. See also Matthew 5:19.

[9-3] The Hebrew word for “bow” is tXq (QesHet) and refers to a hunter’s or warrior’s bow. According to some historians, in ancient civilizations when a battle was finished, the victorious army would all point their bows upward, away from the defeated enemy, to indicate the end of hostilities. Whether God chose this sign because of what Noah would already be familiar with, or whether this military tradition began after the flood to follow God’s example, we have no way of knowing. In any event, it is a beautiful sign that HaShem has ceased hostility towards His creation.

[9-4] The Torah does not explain why Noach was so angry with Kena'an for simply seeing him naked. We might assume that there was some serious disrespect involved on Kena'an’s part.

 

[10-1] The descendants of Meshekh (Mesech) are often mentioned in connection with Tubal, Magog, and other northern nations including the Moschi, a people on the borders of Colchis and Armenia. Because of the name similarities, many believe that Meshekh (or Moschi) is modern Moscow and Tubal is modern Tobolsk, Russia.

[10-2] Breakdown of the nations as posted on bible-history.com:

Shem, Ham, and JapHet
The sons of Noah were Shem, Ham, and JapHet. These three sons of Noah represented the three great races of mankind. The map shows a table of God’s dispersion of the nations after they migrated from the Tower at Babel.

Shem (Asia)
Shem (Heb. “Name”) was Noah’s oldest son and part of Noah’s family of eight who survived the great flood. Shem and his wife were childless before the flood, but after the flood Shem bore a son at 110 years of age. He was father to five sons who became the fathers of the five Semitic nations as shown below. Shem was actually the father of the nations of the ancient Near East including the Isra'elites and the Jewish religion, and therefore Judaism, Christianity, and pagan Islam sprang from the line of Shem. The Semites were particularly known for their religious zeal.

The Five Semitic Nations:

1. Elam (the Persians) settled northeast of the Persian Gulf.

2. Asshur (the Assyrians) the Biblical name for Assyria, settled between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

3. Arphaxad (the Babylonians) settled in Chaldea.

4. Lud (the Lydians) settled in Asia Minor, but some of them sailed across the Mediterranean and settled in northern Africa.

5. Aram (the Syrians) the Biblical name for Syria, located north and east of Isra'el.

Ham (Africa)
Ham (Heb. “hot” or “black”) was Noah’s second oldest son and part of the family of eight who survived the great flood. Ham and his wife bore four sons who became the fathers of the nations of Africa. Ham’s fourth son Canaan was prophetically cursed because he gazed at his fathers nakedness while he was drunk. This curse would mean later that Canaan would lose his land to the Hebrews and would be subservient to the descendants of Shem. The Hamites were known for their physical endurance.

The Four Hamitic Nations:

1. Cush (the Ethiopians) settled in Ethiopia south of Egypt, also early in their history some of them migrated to an area north of the Persian Gulf.

2. Mizraim (the Egyptians) the Bible name for Egypt, settled in northeastern Africa.

3. Phut (the Libyans) sometimes translated Libya, settled in northern Africa.

4. Canaan (the Canaanites) settled above Africa east of the Mediterranean (later was given to the Hebrews).

JapHet (Europe)
JapHet (Heb. “God will Enlarge”) was Noah’s third oldest son and part of the family of eight who survived the great flood. JapHet and Shem were both greatly blessed for respecting their father Noah. Noah’s blessing on JapHet was far reaching for all of his descendants being the European (Caucasian) nations that were mentioned in Genesis 10. The JapHetites were known for their intellectual activity.

The Seven Japhetic Nations:

1. Gomer (the Cimmerians) settled north of the Black Sea, but afterwards his descendants probably occupied Germany, France, Spain, and the British Isles.

2. Magog (the Scythians) lived north of the Caspian Sea.

3. Madai (the Medes) settled south of the Caspian Sea.

4. Javan (the Ionians or Greeks) Javan is the Hebrew name for Greeks, they settled in Greece.

5. Tubal (the Turks) lived south of the Black Sea.

6. Meshech (the Slavs) lived between the Black and Caspian Seas.

7. Tiras (the Etruscans) located west of the Black Sea.

For another easy-to-read breakdown of the Table of Natios, see Wikipedia.

 

[11-1] I believe that this one language for all of humanity was the language that HaShem taught to Adam and Havah. Because HaShem is eternal (timeless) and humans were created to be eternal (timeless) then the language should also be a timeless language with no tenses (past, present, future). One of the outstanding characteristics of the Hebrew language is that is has no tenses, as we think of them. Whether the action being spoken of occurs in the past, present, or future is determined by the context, not by the tense. I therefore believe that Hebrew is the original language of humanity, and that it will be the language of both the Kingdom Period and the eternal Olam Habah (the world to come).

[11-2] Literally: “a tower; at its top, the heavens.” The city of Bavel (Babel) was built by Nimrod, and he was king there. It was there that the pagan religion known as “the Babylon Mystery Religion” or “Mystery Babylon” was developed. This religion was developed around the worship of Nimrod and is the ancestor of all pagan religions (including the many pagan aspects of “Christianity” — don’t get upset, just read the article). One significant element of this religion is that is the source of the occult practice of astrology. The tower was very likely a combination temple and observatory from which to study the stars for the express purpose of divination. Notice how the goal of humanity to ascend to the heavens is part and parcel of the sin of Lucifer:

“How did you come to fall from the heavens, Morning Star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isaiah 14:12-14)

[11-3] At the end of the Flood, God commanded Noah to “… be fruitful, multiply, swarm on the earth and multiply on it” (Gen 8:17; 9:7). Instead, apparent virtually all of Noach’s descendants had decided to settle on or near the “plain in the land of Shin'ar” (Gen. 11:1-2)

[11-4] 

 

[14-1] Hebrew (yrb[, `Ibriy) means “one who crosses over” or “one from beyond,” and is an ethnic designation for the patriarchs and the Israelites.

 

  [30-1] We consider this immoral today, but it was common practice in the ancient near- and middle-East for childless women to use their servant girls as “surrogate mothers.” The servant would literally sit on the wife’s lap while the husband impregnated her. Then the servant would again literally sit on the wife’s lap for the delivery.

  [30-2] The reason I have placed the word “wife” in quotes is that although the Hebrew word 'ishshah [hXXa] is most frequently translated as “wife,” it is also translated as “adulteress,” “harlot,” and “woman.” Scripture later (Gen. 35:22) calls Bilhah Ya'akov’s “concubine.”

  [30-3]& The madrake (Atropa mandragora) is a medicinal plant that has been used from earliest times as a pain reliever, sleep aid, and to relieve melancholy. Because the bifurcated root is somewhat man-shape, it has also sometimes been thought to improve fertility. It is possible that Rachel felt it may cure her infertility.

 [31-1]& The teraphim were household idols that may have been associated with inheritance rights to the household property.

 

[32-1] The Yabbok (qbby, “emptying”) is a stream which intersects the mountain range of Gilead, and falls into the Jordan on the east about midway between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

[32-2] Because no one has ever seen God the Father at any time (John 1:18, 1 John 4:12), we know that all physical manifestations of God are God the Son, the pre-incarnate Yeshua HaMashiach. We therefore know that it was Yeshua that Ya'akov wrestled with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[23] back to 37:35 Sheol is the place of the dead.

[24] back to 38:29 Perez means “breaking out.”

[25] back to 38:30 Zerah means “scarlet” or “brightness.”

[26] back to 41:51 “Manasseh” sounds like the Hebrew for “forget.”

[27] back to 41:52 “Ephraim” sounds like the Hebrew for “twice fruitful.”

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