Studies in Torah

Parashat Vayigash (ויגש): Genesis 44:18–47:27

“He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11 NASB)

” ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.’ ” (Mark 6:4 NASB)

The ancient saying “familiarity breeds contempt”1 could easily sum up how Yosef‘s brothers treated him in his early years and how many leaders of Yisra’el treated Yeshua. The prophetic parallels between Yosef and Yeshua the Mashiakh sharpen further in this week’s Torah section, ויגש Vayigash (“he approached,” Genesis 44:18–47:27).

In it, the brothers’ contempt turns to fear when they realize their plots against Yosef have put them at his mercy.  It’s also a picture of the Day of the LORD, when Yisra’el then the world must confess, “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the LORD” (Psalm 118:26; Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35).

The traditional haftarah (complementary reading) from the Writings and Prophets is Ezekiel 37:15–28.

Companion readings from the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) from MessianicJudaism.net (also has through-the-Bible readings):

  • Acts 7:9–16 (Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern)

The following are notes and recordings of studies by Hallel Fellowship teachers on passages in this week’s Torah portion.

Vayigash discussions

Genesis 44:18–47:27: Yosef foreshadows Yeshua’s grace

Genesis 44:18–45:28

Yosef slips his silver cup to Ben Yamin

In parashat Miketz, Yosef hosted a large banquet for his brothers and household staff. At the time of the account in Genesis 44, Yosef was still hidden from his brothers. He is the second in command of Mitzraim, one of the world’s most powerful nations of the period. This account of the actions of Pharaoh and Yosef is a parable of what the Father and the Son planned to do to and through a group of believers in God, a group called Israel.

Yosef reveals the true selves of the brothers

Yosef‘s scheme to discover how his brothers really felt about Ben Yamin (and by extension, himself) came to a head. The “revealer of what is concealed” forced his brothers to reveal their own secrets, not only to him but to their father.

Yosef reveals his secret to his brothers

We see here that God caused and allowed many bad things to Yosef for the salvation of Yosef‘s family, but He caused and allowed even worse things to happen to the Messiah Yeshua for our salvation.

Genesis 46

Ya’akov goes to Mitzraim and finally sees his son Yosef again

Ya’akov asks God’s permission to go to the Land of Mitzraim to meet his son Yosef again. When God gives him the green light, he leaves the land of Canaan and travels to Mitzraim in the entourage Pharaoh provides him and his family. Ya’akov‘s and Yosef‘s joy are complete.

Message about Messiah in the names of Israel’s descendants

The list of the names of the offspring of Yisrael, f.k.a. Ya’akov , can be read as a message about the work of the Messiah if the meanings of the names are strung together.

Genesis 47:1–27

Yosef presents his family to Pharaoh, receives double blessing via Ephraim and Manasseh

We read more about how the land of Egypt survived the seven-year famine thanks to God’s revelation to Yosef and his stewardship of pharaoh’s land. Later, Ya’akov gives Yosef his double portion of the blessing vicariously through his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.

Ya’akov moves to Goshen; Yosef takes control via the famine; Yisra’el blesses Ephraim & Manasseh

Ya’akov blessed pharaoh of Mitzraim upon arrival there. Ya’akov blessed the sons of Yosef , Ephraim and Manasseh, as if they were his own elder sons. As we have noticed in past studies of the account of Yosef in Genesis, there are parallels between the roles of pharaoh, Yosef and Yisra’el, f.k.a. Ya’akov, and those of the Father, the Son and a people called Yisra’el.


  1. Aesop (c. 620-564 B.C.). “The Fox and the Lion.” Aesop’s Fables

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