Vayigash – “And He Came Near”

The Parasha for this week is entitled Vayigash, which means “And He Came Near.” It is taken from the book of Genesis 44:18-47:27,

In last week’s Parasha Joseph evaluated his brother’s honesty, by devising a plan to accuse them of thievery.

He engineered a plan to accuse Benjamin, his younger brother, the son of his mother Rachael. Benjamin would be the means of this test.

By announcing that Benjamin would remain in Egypt as a slave while the rest of the brothers were free to return home, he was assessing their character.

Would they, as before, callously deliver up another son of Rachel whom their father loved?” Or would they self-sacrificially intercede and risk their own lives and liberty for his protection?

Judah begs Joseph passionately to release Benjamin, offering to be imprisoned in his place. Several commentaries state that a more enthusiastic plea in Scripture, is not to be found.

Years earlier, Joseph looked up from a pit he’d been thrown into, and heard Judah plead with his brothers not to kill him.

Now from his lofty position of authority, he watches his brothers as they bow down to the ground before him. He hears Judah pleading for Benjamin’s life and for the life of his father.

This sincere plea that Judah spoke must have been so moving, so touching, so enthusiastic, that Joseph could no longer maintain his composure.

Chapter 45, Joseph could take it no longer and burst into tears. The Scripture says that he wept aloud – he cried so loudly, so intensely, that some Egyptians heard it and brought news to Pharaoh that something was happening with his prime minister.

In that moment, Joseph, revealed himself to his brothers: and said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into slavery!”

His brothers were stunned, shocked and amazed, in fact speechless – every mouth stopped as they stood guilty before their judge.

“Joseph said, don’t be upset, don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place.” “It was Adonai who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.”

“It was He who sent me here, not you!” “And He is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.”

With weeping and joy, “he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin did the same. Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that, they began talking freely with him.”

Joseph tells his brothers to hurry and tell my father to pack up everything and bring everyone and come to Egypt.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, don’t worry about their personal belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is Theirs’s.'”

Joseph had not forgotten his father. His one desire was to bring him to share his glory. He sent wagons to transport his father, the little ones, and the wives.

At first Jacob was unbelieving. It seemed too good to be true.

But when he observed the wagons, Joseph had sent, (some perhaps with the Royal Egyptian seal), this caused his aged spirit to believe.

Then Jacob confessed, “It must be true! My son Joseph is alive! I must go and see him before I die.”

The provision Joseph sent them for the journey, the distance was traversed, without excessive fatigue, by means of the wagons.

In Joseph’s love for his father and family, we can see the glory of our risen and ascended Lord, and especially of His desire that where He is, through faith, we may be also.

Praise Yeshua that He is not only willing to receive us but provides the grace and help of the Spirit to transport us to Himself.

Israel began his journey and came to Beersheba. Beersheba had been the residence of Abraham and Isaac. Here Israel would worship and seek Adonai, and there, Adonai directs Jacob to move to Egypt, promising to care for him there.

Chapter 46, then Jacob left Beersheba, with his sons,

their wives, and their little ones. They also took their livestock and their possessions and came to Egypt, – Jacob and all his descendants.

Joseph made ready his chariot; I believe (This was no ordinary chariot). Joseph went in all his splendor to meet his father. He came in the splendor of “his chariot” and in the splendor of his official apparel.

Joseph presentation was of a son showing his beloved father that he had performed in a way that would thrill and honor his father.

The meeting of Jacob and Joseph was a moment of great gladness. Both were too deeply moved to speak. “They held each other in a strong embrace for a good while.”

Before Joseph presented his family to Pharaoh, he gave them specific instructions about how to reply to Pharaoh’s questions. When asked about their calling, they were to represent themselves as shepherds.

Pharaoh gave Jacob’s family the best part of the land of Goshen. “Pharaoh even gave some of the brothers oversight of his own livestock.” Jacob’s family settled in Goshen, where Joseph carefully attends to the needs and desires of his father.

Joseph’s wisdom as an administrator in the government not only excelled during the famine but it also excelled after the famine. He was a tremendous asset to the Pharaoh of Egypt.

There is no one in all of Scripture whose life so closely foreshadows Yeshua, then Joseph’s. Had it not been for Joseph the streets would have been filled with the dying and the dead.

Some scholars believe Joseph’s Egyptian name means “the savior of the world” although other scholars have other interpretations. If it does mean savior of the world, how close to Yeshua would that be?

Joseph rose from the pit and the prison to the second highest position in all of Egypt,

Yeshua rose from the grave to be the eternal Prince, king and a Savior.

Both were a shepherd of their father’s sheep, both of their father’s love them dearly, both were hated by their brothers,

Robes were taken from them both, both were taken to Egypt, both sold for a price, both were bound in chains,

Both were placed with two other prisoners, one who was saved, and the other lost, both were exalted after suffering.

A few questions, how blessed would we be if we were people whose faith resembled that of Yeshua or Joseph? Do we truly realize our heavenly sonship?

Can we serve The Father, from a sense of absolute surrender and devotion? Can we dye completely to self? How can we know the fellowship of Yeshua’s suffering?  and yet be ever rejoicing in the prospect of the glory that is, yet to be?

Yeshua gives us the answer. With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God.