A SUMMARY OF VAYIGASH, Gen. 44:18- 47:27:
After his brothers, led by Yehuda, pass their test of devotion to Benyamin, Yosef reveals himself and brings his family down to Egypt for the duration of the famine; no Jews now live in Israel. As Yosef consolidated Pharoh's central government, his brethren prospered in Goshen's golden ghetto and settled down there, possessed by their possessions (cf. today).
THE HAFTORA, EZEK. 37:15-28, speaks of the eventual Messianic Union of Yehuda and his comrades, the children of Israel, with Yosef, Efrayim, and his comrades, the entire house of Israel. In the interim, Yehuda and Yosef's tribes separate into Judea and Israel, also called Efrayim. Both wind up in exile. But the prophet laments antagonism between Yehuda and Efrayim even after Efrayim's prior exile!
A SHORT STUDY OF VAYIGASH, GEN. 44:18-47:27:
Yehuda now boldly argues with Yosef- the PM said that he wouldn't hurt the other brothers, innocent of Benyamin's "crime"; yet, by enslaving Benyamin, he'll automatically cause innocent Yaakov's breakdown and death, and ruin the lives of his sons. Yehuda begs TP to take him instead of Benyamin.
Ch. 45:Yosef can't control himself- he orders everyone else out, while he has a good cry and reveals himself to his astonished brethren. He urges them to bring everyone down to Egypt- there he'll support them for the remaining 5 years of famine. He gives them wagons for the trip back, but only per Pharoh's command- fear of accusations of dual loyalty may have prevented Yosef from granting foreign aid to retain Zionist settlement in Israel. He promises them Goshen Ghetto. Yaakov's spirit revives, hearing Yosef is alive.
Ch. 46: Again called Yisroel, Yaakov descends to Egypt; the Lord appears in "visions of the (impending) night": "Fear not going down to Egypt, for I shall there make you a great nation. I'll go down with you... and I'll bring you up (for Zionist burial- Rashi; 46:2-4)". 70 souls begin Yaakov's new community.
Ch. 47: TP brings 5 of his shepherd brothers before Pharoh. He presents Yaakov, now 130, who tells Pharoh of his tough life, and blesses him. Yosef's family were comfortably settled in Raamses, despite worsening famine. TP's stored grain did not rot, saving Egypt. he used his power to reform and centralize the political and economic system of Egypt (eventually enabling them to afflict the Jews-- Germany, better had it remained illiterate), shifting populations, preventing resurgence of local power blocs; Jews were now just another displaced minority (cf. USA). The PM instituted a 20% agricultural income tax; priests were exempt. The Jews prospered and grew.
THE HAFTORA, EZEK. 37:15-28, envisions a Messianic Union of Yehuda and Co., the children of Israel, with Yosef, Efrayim, and Co., the entire house of Israel. Despite Yosef and Yehuda's Egyptian reunion, their Israeli descendants split Solomon's kingdom into Judea and Israel (Efrayim). Yehuda's descendants, tho better than Yosef's, will also soon wind up in exile.
The prophet, even after Efrayim's exile, portrays 2 antagonistic archetypal societies- Yehudah and Efrayim. Efrayim's politically savvy, outgoing, generous, but assimilated; they rely upon political alliances, not Torah and God. His "friends" finally betray him (Hosea 13:15, 7:8, 8:8- cf. Herman Cohen's plea for all Jews to adulate Germany, the Jewish dream of culture and intellect). Yehuda, the orthodox Jewish archetype, acknowledged the rule of Torah, observing ritual laws; but he lacked deep faith and connection to God- a prerequisite to freely and generously relate to others with 100% integrity, lack of envy, and love (cf. Israel today). First God will bring both types back to Israel, unify them, and refine them. Then, a Divine model nation, they'll redeem all mankind (M. Hirsch).
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