Studies in Torah

Genesis 46: Message about Messiah in the names of Israel’s descendants

Richard AgeeThe list of the names of the offspring of Yisrael, f.k.a. Ya’akob (Jacob), can be read as a message about the work of the Messiah if the meanings of the names are strung together.

This is a chapter full of information with many interesting words, particularly the names all of those Ya’akob brought with him to Egypt.  One of the things we will look into is why Ya’akob is referred by the name Ya’akob in certain places and Israel in others.

The reason that the Hebrews were an “abomination” to the Egyptians was not the possession of animals. The word עִבְרִי ʿivri (Hebrew; Strong’s lexicon No. H5680) comes from Hebrew words for “to cross over” (עָבַר ‘abar, H5674) or “region beyond” (עֲבַר ‘abar, H5675). The term is first used in reference to Abraham and it’s not used again until it’s used in reference to Joseph. The Hebrew is a person who is in the world but not of the world. He is a foreigner or alien in his own land.

Gen. 32:28 tells us that Ya’akob was given a blessing by the angel he wrestled with. On the surface, all he gets is a name change but it’s more than that. The angel tells Ya’akob that God is giving him jurisdiction over other men. He will be given whatever he needs to accomplish his goal.

The family of Israel are an abomination to the Egyptians because they do not fit in with the Egyptian culture and will never do so.

Yosef (Joseph) brought his family into Egypt for a reason, but he also instructed them as to what to say to Pharaoh so that they would be placed in Goshen by Pharaoh.

Ya’akob was conflicted about whether to go into Egypt. So he took the entire family to Beersheba to speak with God to find out what God wanted to go. He was very eager to see Yosef again but he also knew that the promise of Abraham and Isaac was in regards to the Promised Land.

But God tells him in vision:

“I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Yosef will close your eyes.” (Gen. 46:3–4)

When the messiah put his eyes on the blind man’s eyes, he could not only see the physical world but he also understood the spiritual truth that Yeshua, his healer, was also his Messiah. Ya’akob’s eyes were opened to see that Yosef, who he thought was dead, was “resurrected” and Ya’akob understood God’s plan more fully.

Ya’akob didn’t understand Yosef’s dream when Yosef told him about it. Yosef didn’t understand it either but now both of them understand Yosef’s dreams.

When the brothers found out who Yosef really was, did they trust him? No, they didn’t, and even when Ya’akob died, they still didn’t trust him. Genesis doesn’t just tell us how great Yosef was but more importantly, how great the Messiah is.

“And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.” (John 5:37-39)

Yeshua referred to Himself as the “son of man” over and over. We think of Him as the son of God but He is also the son of man. He had flesh and blood. He lived and died.

Genesis doesn’t tell us that the Messiah is going to die, or does it? Isaac’s sacrifice is a testimony of what will happen to the Messiah. Yosef being thrown in to a pit for three days was a picture of the death of the Messiah.

God was with Yosef while he was in Egypt. God told Ya’akob that he was sending him to Egypt, in a sense, to heal him.

Yosef took over rulership over the entire family, even Ya’akob himself once they arrived in Egypt.  It was Yosef who told them what to say and where to live. There are sons of Ya’akob and there are sons of Israel.

We think that God sent Ya’akob to Egypt by coincidence but this entire plan was orchestrated by God. God gave those dreams to Yosef, God brought the famine. These were not happenstance. God left Canaan and went to Egypt with Israel and his sons. It was the will of God from the beginning that

Ya’akob and his descendants would end up in Egypt. They took everything with them to Egypt knowing they would be there for some time.

Message in the meanings of the names of Israel’s offspring

The names of all the children and grandchildren of Yisrael who went down to Mitsraim are fascinating (Gen. 46:8–27). The children and grandchildren are organized based on their matriarch, not based on Ya’akob. They are truly the sons of Israel, not just the sons of Ya’akob.

This may appear to be a boring list of names [download the list as a PDF document], but there seems to be a message in the arrangement of these names, considering the meanings of them.

  • רְאוּבֵן Reuben: “behold a son”
  • חֲנֹוךְ Khanoch, Hanoch: “dedicated”
  • פַלּוּא Phallu, Pallu: “distinguished”
  • חֶצְרֹון Khetsron, Hezron: “surrounded by a wall”, “courtyard”
  • כַרְמִי Kharmi, Carmi: “my vineyard”
  • שִׁמְעוֹן Shim’on, Simeon: “heard”
  • יְמוּאֵל Yemuel, Jemuel: “day/time of Elohim”
  • יָמִין Yamin, Jamin: “right hand”
  • אֹהַד Ohad: “united”
  • יָכִין Yakhin, Jachin: “He will establish”
  • צֹחַר Zokhar, Zohar: “tawny”; “whiteness as wool”; “color of port wine”
    • The color of wine, to bring forth life. Because wine symbolizes blood and blood symbolizes life.
  • שָׁאוּל Shaul, Saul: “desired”
  • לֵוִי Levi: “joined to”
  • גֵּרְשׁוֹן Geyrshon, Gershon: “exile”; “to drive out”
  • קְהָת Kehat, Kohath: “assembly”
    • Remember the prodigal son, he left and he came back. The elder brother was upset about the younger brother’s return. When you reassemble those who were exiled with those who were not, there will be some bitterness. This will happen through the Messiah.
  • מְרָרִי Merari: “bitter”
  • יְהוּדָה Yehudah, Judah: “praised” (“to use the hand,” that is, hold out the hand); (to know Elohim by using His hand; “Elohim makes known”; by use of the hand being held out by Elohim)
  • עֵר Er: “awake”
  • אוֹנָן Onan: “strong”
    • Er and Onan are mentioned even though they died in the land of Canaan. These names are not simply listed as a census document. They are teaching a prophesy about what Messiah will do.
  • שֵׁלָה Shelah: “a petition”
  • פֶּרֶץ Pharez: “breach”
  • זֶרַח Zerakh, Zerah: “rising”
  • חֶצְרוֹן Khezron, Hezron: “surrounded by a wall” (son of Ruben)
  • חָמוּל Khamul, Hamul: “spared”; “to have compassion on”
  • יִשָּׂשׂכָר Issakhar, Issachar: “there is recompense”; “to pay for a loss”
  • תּוֹלָע Tola: “worm”
    • (cf. Psa. 22:1-6) The Messiah became an “abomination,” a creepy thing for us.
  • פּוּאָה Phuvah: “splendid” “to cleave in pieces, break into pieces”
  • יוֹב Yob, Job: “persecuted”; “a desert”to cry, cry shrilly
  • שִׁמְרוֹן Shimron: “watch-height”
  • זְבוּלוּן Zebulun: “exalted”
  • סֶרֶד Sered: “fear”; “to tremble”
  • אֵילוֹן Elon: “terebinth, mighty”; “mighty tree”
  • יַחְלְאֵל Yakhl’eyl, Jahleel: “Elohim waits”;”to wait, hope, expect”
  • דִּינָה Dinah: “judgment”, ”to judge, contend, plead”
  • גָּדַד Gad: “troop” “a troop come”
  • צִפְיוֹן Tsiphion, Ziphion: “lookout”;”to look out or about, spy, keep watch”
  • חַגִּי Khaggi, Haggi: “festive”;”to hold a feast, hold a festival, dance”
  • שׁוּנִי Shuni: “fortunate”;”meaning to rest”; “to quiet
  • אֶצְבֹּן Etsbon, Ezbon: “hasting to discern: I will be enlargement” (unknown)
  • עֵרִי Eri: “watchful”; “to rouse oneself, awake, awaken”
  • אֲרוֹדִי Arodi: “I shall subdue: I shall roam”;” “I shall break loose”
  • אַרְאֵלִי Areli “lion of Elohim”
  • אָשַׁר Asher: “happy”; (Leah: to be called blessed; bestraight; goforward, behonest, prosper)”to go straight, goes on, advance, makes progress; to set right, to be upright”
  • יִמְנָה Yimnah: “right hand”
  • יִשְׁוָה Ishuah: “he will resemble” (1) “to agree with, be or become like, to make level, resemble” (2) “to set, to place; to set together”
  • יִשְׁוִי Isui: “he resembles me” (same verb as above)
  • בְּרִיעָה Beriah: “with a friend” (unknown)
  • שֶׂרַח Serach: “the prince breathed” (excess, overhanging) “to go free, be unrestrained, be overrun, exceed, overhang, grow luxuriously”
  • חֶבֶר Khever, Chever: “comrade”; “fellowship”; (verb) “to unite, join, bind together, be joined, be coupled, be in league, heap up, have fellowship with, be compact, be a charmer”
  • מַלְכִּיאֵל Malkhi’el, Malchiel: “my king is Elohim”
  • יֹוסֵף Yosef, Joseph: (let Him add) “Yahua has added”; to add, increase, do again
  • מְנַשֶּׁה Manasseh: “Elohim causing to forget”
  • אֶפְרַיִם Ephraim: “double ash-heap: I shall be doubly fruitful” “to bear fruit, be fruitful, branch off”
  • בִּנְיָמִין Ben-Yamin, Benjamin: “son of the right hand”
  • בֶּלַע Belah: “destruction”; “to swallow down, swallow up, engulf, eat up”
  • בֶּכֶר Bekher, Becher: “young camel” (verb; to be born first)
  • אַשְׁבֵּל Ashbel: “a man of Elohim: I will make a path” (to flow; like a train of a robe)
  • גֵּרָא Gera: “a grain” (relates to weight)
  • נַעֲמָן Naaman: “pleasantness” verb: “to be pleasant, to be beautiful, to be sweet, to be delightful, to be lovely”
  • אֵחִי Ekhi, Echi: “my brother”
  • רֹאשׁ Rosh: “head”; “top, summit, upper part, chief, total, sum, height, front, beginning” (verb: to shake)
  • מֻפִּים Muppim : “serpents?” verb: “to move to and fro, wave, besprinkle”
  • חֻפִּים Khuppim, Huppim: “protected” “coverings”
  • אַרְדְּ Ard: “I shall subdue” (verb: to wander)
  • דָּן Dan: “a judge”
  • חוּשִׁים Khushim, Chushim: “whose who makes haste”
  • נַפְתָּלִי Naphtali: “wrestling”; “my strife”
  • יַחְצְאֵל Yakhts’el, Jahzeel: “Elohim divides” “whom Elohim allots” “to divide, cut in two, cut short”
  • גּוּנִי Guni: “my defender” “to defend, cover, surround”
  • יֵצֶר Yeytser, Jezer: “he forms” “form, framing, purpose, framework”
  • שִׁלֵּם Shilleym, Shillem: “repaid” “recompense, requital” verb: “to be in a covenant of peace, be at peace”

They were sent to the land of Goshen, an area where one can do labor and do work. Once Jacob the entire family with him into Egypt, they were in Joseph’s care and they were in peace. They came into Goshen boldly on chariots and carts provided by Joseph.

Joseph provided for all of their needs. Joseph, the second in command of Egypt, was their protector and provider.

This is symbolic of moving from the old world into the Kingdom of God.

The Hebrews were not an abomination because of their occupation as shepherds. Pharaoh owned his own cattle, goats and sheep and asked Joseph to have his family take care of his own flocks. It wasn’t their nomadic life and their herdsmen-ship that the Egyptians despised. The reason the Hebrews were an abomination is wherever they go, they change the land, so they were segregated from the Egyptians.

We don’t think of ourselves as an “abomination” to others, but once they know how you have left Halloween, Christmas trees and Easter bunnies behind, they will reject you. Many of you have already experienced rejection by your friends and family for refusing to participate in Halloween costumes, Christmas gift giving and Easter egg coloring parties and hunts. They tell you that it’s “for the children” and imply it would be child abuse to take those things away from them. When you point out what the Scriptures say about these things, they will get made and attack you.

It isn’t a bad thing to be an abomination to the world. It’s only a bad thing to be an abomination to God. If they called Yeshua Beelzebub (literally, “the lord of the crap pile”), they will call you worse. He was considered an abomination the Sanhedrin so much so that they wanted to have him killed.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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