The Torah reading ויצא Vayetze (“and he went out,” Genesis 28:10–32:2) is another example of how all the Scriptures testify of the Mashiakh (Messiah). The account of Ya’akob’s (Jacob) using striped sticks to encourage breeding among livestock and separating livestock sounds like archaic superstition, but it actually is a Messianic prophecy about how Yeshua (Jesus) would draw to Himself the “lost sheep of Israel” (Matt. 10:6; 15:24) and make them stronger than what appeared to be the preferred flock.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51 NASB)
That rather cryptic comment from Natan’el wrapped up Who the Mashiakh would be and the Anointed One’s role in a neat package.
“Under the fig tree,” “true son of Israel,” “Son of Man,” ladder between Heaven and Earth: These are symbols a student of “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” like Natan’el would have known.
The Torah reading (parashah) ויצא Vayetze or Vayetzei (“he went out,” Gen. 28:10–32:2) covers the dream of Ya’akob’s ladder, Ya’akov‘s seven-year wait to marry Rakhel, Laban’s double-dealing to marry off his oldest daughter, a sister battle over fertility and the origins of the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. Sprinkled through these accounts are prophetic breadcrumbs leading to Continue reading Parashat Vayetze (ויצא): Genesis 28:10–32:2
One lesson from the life of Esau is who and where we came from doesn’t necessarily define who we are or will become. Another takeaway is to recognize the good around us and become wise to the frequent folly of “following your heart” after what appears to be good. This is why Messiah Yeshua wants us to learn how to be “complete,” not lacking in anything.
At first glance, the trustworthiness troubles of Abraham, his son Yitzkhak (Isaac) and grandson Ya’akov (Jacob) can be disturbing, considering they are pillars of faith in the Kingdom of God. How can we forget Ya’akov’s “red, red stuff” deal for the birthright his brother, Esau?
Rather than a descent into “truthiness,” their legacy for the commonwealth of Israel is growth from faith-fickle to faithful. In this week’s Torah portion (תולדות Toldot, “generations,” Gen. 25:19–28:9), we follow Ya’akov’s journey to becoming a “new man,” renamed Israel (“struggles with God” or “rules with God”). That “rebirth,” pictured via Ya’akov’s dream of a ladder between Earth and Heaven, is why Yeshua (Jesus) likened that ladder to Himself (John 1:43–50).
“Then Ya’akov departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.” (Genesis 28:10–11 NASB)
The rock Ya’akov put under his head at the beginning of the Torah section וַיֵּצֵא Vayetze (“he went out,” Genesis 28:10–32:2) reminds me of the rock Aharon and Khur provided for Moshe to sit on while Yehoshua was leading Yisrael in the battle against Amalek (Exodus 17:12).
“Now these are the records of the generations of Yitzkhak, Abraham’s son: Abraham became the father of Yitzkhak.” (Genesis 25:19 NASB)
The struggles of Yitzkhak and Yishma’el explored in Torah section Toldot or Toledot (“generations” or “accounts”) were very similar to the later struggles of Ya’akov and Eysau. We see why in Romans 9:6-24. We have two sets of men: Yitzkhak and Ya’akov vs. Yishma’el and Eysau.
“He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12 NASB)
Ya’akov returns to Bethel, called Luz at this time. Jewish tradition says this is the same place as Mt. Moriah but the Torah does not say that. Yerushalayim, where Mt. Moriah is located, was never called Luz. There is only one Bethel in the Promised Land.