Portrait of Messiah- Vayeshev

10 January 2009

If we were to be transported back in time to the first century and were to study “Moses and the Prophets” as Jesus, the disciples, and the two men on the road to Emmaus did (Luke 24:27), what would we learn? What portraits of the Messiah would we find? Come… join our band of believers and study Scripture in the footsteps and pattern of our Lord and Savior.

The bedrock foundation of first-century studies included an annual reading of the Torah: Genesis through Deuteronomy. The passages that are studied this time of year are found in the book of Genesis chapters 37:1-40:23. The chapter and verse numbers that we use to identify passages of Scripture today did not exist in the days of the Master. Instead, they identified the weekly passages, known as a parashah (”portion”) by the first word or two of that passage. This week’s parashah is known as Vayeshev (pronounced vye yeh SHEV). This Hebrew word means “and he lived” as it is written in the beginning of our portion:

Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in  the land of Canaan.

In this week's parashah we find the beginning of the story of Joseph.  Joseph's Hebrew name is Yosef and the number of parallels between Yosef and Messiah are so great that they warranted their own article to contain them all.  In this article we will focus on only a few specific points:

Joseph was most loved by his father (Genesis 37:3).   So, too, was Messiah most beloved of the Father (Mark 1:11).

Joseph's brothers were jealous of their father's special favor and put Joseph into the ground [the well] (Genesis 37:24).  So, too, Messiah's brothers put Him into the ground... for 3 days and 3 nights (Mark 15:46).

Joseph was given over to the Gentiles (Genesis 37:28).  So, too, Messiah has been given over to the Gentiles (Acts 11:1).

Joseph was taken into Egypt to avoid being killed (Genesis 37:28).  So, too, Messiah was taken to Egypt to avoid being killed (Matthew 2:13).

Joseph was dead before his father (Genesis 37:33).   So, too, was Messiah dead before his Father (Luke 23:46).

Here in parashah Vayeshev in Joseph is a true portrait of Messiah.




Last modified on 01 October 2017

Torah Portion




or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Sh'lishi, 28 Adar, 5783

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Learn more about this date in history.