Learn the secrets and symbolism of Jacob’s Ladder and how it relates to us today and even plays a part in understanding end-time prophecy!
Teaching For Shabbat of November 17, 2018
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Vayetzei (וַיֵּצֵא) — Hebrew for “and he left,” is the seventh weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual cycle of Torah reading. It covers Genesis 28:10–32:3 and tells of Jacob’s travels to, life in, and return from Haran. The parashah recounts Jacob’s dream of a ladder to heaven, Jacob’s meeting of Rachel at the well, Jacob’s time working for Laban and living with Rachel and Leah, the birth of Jacob’s children, and the departure of Jacob’s family from Laban.
Torah Parashah Vayetze Summary
Jacob leaves his hometown of Beersheba and journeys to Charan. On the way, he encounters “the place” and sleeps there, dreaming of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, with angels climbing and descending on it; G‑d appears and promises that the land upon which he lies will be given to his descendants. In the morning, Jacob raises the stone on which he laid his head as an altar and monument, pledging that it will be made the house of God. We look at the correlation with the Divine DNA in man and the continual effort to deface it and create a new “image” by the fallen angels and how this relates to us today!
In Haran, Jacob stays with and works for his uncle Laban, tending Laban’s sheep. Laban agrees to give him his younger daughter, Rachel—whom Jacob loves—in marriage, in return for seven years’ labor. But on the wedding night, Laban gives him his elder daughter, Leah, instead—a deception Jacob discovers only in the morning. Jacob marries Rachel, too, a week later, after agreeing to work another seven years for Laban.
Leah gives birth to six sons—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun—and a daughter, Dinah, while Rachel remains barren. Rachel gives Jacob her handmaid, Bilhah, as a wife to bear children in her stead, and two more sons, Dan and Naphtali, are born. Leah does the same with her handmaid, Zilpah, who gives birth to Gad and Asher. Finally, Rachel’s prayers are answered and she gives birth to Joseph.
Jacob has now been in Charan for fourteen years, and wishes to return home. But Laban persuades him to remain, now offering him sheep in return for his labor. Jacob prospers, despite Laban’s repeated attempts to swindle him. After six years, Jacob leaves Charan in stealth, fearing that Laban would prevent him from leaving with the family and property for which he labored. Laban pursues Jacob, but is warned by G‑d in a dream not to harm him. Laban and Jacob make a pact on Mount Gal-Ed, attested to by a pile of stones, and Jacob proceeds to the Holy Land, where he is met by angels.
Haftarah (Prophets) Summary
This week’s haftorah mentions Jacob‘s flight from home to the “field of Aram,” an episode that is recounted in this week’s Torah reading.
The haftorah begins with the prophet Hosea‘s rebuke of the Jewish people for forsaking God. Nevertheless, Hosea assures the people that God will not abandon them: “How can I give you, Ephraim, and deliver you [to the hands of the nations]? . . . I will not act with My fierce anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim.”
The prophet discusses the misdeeds of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the future degeneration of the Kingdom of Judea. He contrasts their behavior to that of their forefather Jacob who was faithful to God and prevailed against enemies, both human and angelic.
The haftorah also makes mention of the ingathering of the exiles which will occur during the Final Redemption: “They shall hasten like a bird from Egypt and like a dove from the land of Assyria; and I will place them in their houses, says the Lord.”
God desires to betroth us unto Himself and sow His seed in us…
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know YHVH.” (Hos 2:19)
And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith YHVH, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel (Yizre’el).
Yizre’el (Hebrew: יִזְרְעֶאל means “God soweth his seed”!)
And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” (Hos 2:23)
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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Pastor Isaac. © 2017 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.