Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah # 8: Vayishlach (He sent) Genesis 32:4-36:43
Haftarah: Ovadyah (Obadiah) 1-21
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 7:1-12
In light of the exponential increase in prophetic events being fulfilled on a global scale, today’s focus will be on the genealogy of ‘Esav (Edom). We need to know from whence such evil in humanity has evolved since the fall of Lucifer/HaSatan/ the Adversary and the ungodly line that was established in humans after Adam’s fall (the fall of man). We know the sin gene is passed through the male and this is the reason it was necessary for an Olah (complete) offering to be made for G-d to atone for mans’ sin; to provide a way to be reconciled to G-d and to provide man a chance to repent and walk in love and obedience to G-d’s commands. Messianic Jewish believers know the only acceptable sacrifice was Yahshua. We also know this is only one reason He had to be born of a virgin, although there are many others that establish His right to be Prophet, Priest, and King. This teaching is for another time but is mentioned as part of the prelude to our lesson today.
We are told in Genesis 36:1 and forward that “This is the genealogy of ‘Esav (that is, Edom). Esav chose Kena’ani women as his wives. Characters of importance include Korach and Amalek. Reading through the line we see that incest was more normative in the line of Edom. Zibeon, father of Anah (Gen. 36:24) is also the brother of Anah (Gen. 36:20). According to Rashi, the granddaughter of Se’ir the Horite (Timna), wanted to intermarry Avraham’s tribe- even as a concubine in order to obtain Avraham’s blessings. Her child by Elifaz- Amalek- crosses C’na’anim with Esav’s line. The resulting tribe of Amalek (Gen 36:12;1 Chr.1:36) are a ruthless people who attack Israel from behind, killing the weak and infirm and anyone else who cannot defend themselves. The Amalekites show no fear of G-d then or now. G-d’s declaration of war against Amalek will continue until Yahshua’s return and the establishment of His rightful reign as Messiah ben David (Ex.17;14-16; Jer. 14:18-20; Obadiah 1-21; Amos 9).
Obadiah prophesies that Edom’s envy concerning Ya’akov’s election will be the cause of Edom’s ruin. Also recall that Edom watched with contempt the destruction of Y’hudah and Jerusalem without lifting a finger to help his hurting brother (Ps.137:7). This contempt is a reminder of Lamech’s arrogance just before Kayin’s line was annihilated (Gen. 4;23-24). Edom’s lawlessness against his brother (Ob. 1;10-11) has its origins in Hagar’s attitude towards Sarah (Gen. 16:5) Indeed, the constant fighting and enmity between the Arabs and Israel stems from the Arab argument that Yishma’el is the rightful son of promise as the first born instead of Isaac. The warring between the Arabs and Israel are an extension of this conflict involving the next generation of Ya’akov and Esav. No amount of sanctions or rhetoric will end this conflict permanently until Yahshua establishes His kingdom on earth and puts Edom in its place; destroyed forever. We must also mention that Edom is not only those who have no fear of G-d throughout the world but is headquartered in Italy as the Roman Church (Catholicism). Yahshua gives a strong warning to those who follow the Edomite paradigm in Revelation 18:4. Cross references include Genesis 19:14;Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52;11; Jer. 50:8; 51:6-9; 51:45; 2 Cor. 6:17. As you read the aforementioned references, note that the descendants of the Babylonians and the Assyrians who recognize their ancestry are the modern Chaldeans and Assyrians. They are the people descended from those ancient empires that carried the culture forward. The Arab Muslims of Iraq and eastern Syria are also descendants of the Ancient Babylonians and Assyrians except that they have been Arabized through the acceptance of Islam as a religion and speaking Arabic as their mother tongue. So, we have a conglomerate of cultures and peoples under the “banner” of Edom which will be destroyed at the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 21:1). Revelation 16:16 describes what happens after G-d pours out the sixth bowl of wrath. The Anti-Messiah gathers “kings” to Armageddon who will gather their armies to wage war against the people of G-d. This continues the theme of ungodliness and hate that started with the fall of Lucifer and one third of the angels from heaven. Fortunately for true believers in Messiah, we know G-d will ultimately win and will destroy all enemies that come from all the ends of the earth to cross the Euphrates in an attempt to destroy G-d’s people, true Israel. Edom will be thrown down, and his kingdom will become the L-rd’s (Ob. 1:20-2). Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!
Ya’akov bowed to Edom (Esav) to keep peace, become reconciled, and return the blessing. But Edom hardened into covetous nation gloating over Israel’s chastisement (Ob. 1:11-12). For Israel’s part; speaking of true believers defined as Israel- true Jews (Romans 2-3; John chapter 14: The Seven- Fold Witness in the book of Revelation), we must remain holy by following G-d’s Torah out of love. “he who has ears, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15; 13:9;13:43; Mk 4;9; Luke 8:8;14:35).
Haftarah: Ovadyah (Obadiah) 1-21
The punishment of Edom, the descendants of Esau is the focus of Ovadyah’s prophecy. Ovadyah (Obadiah), himself an Edomian convert to Judaism, describes the punishment destined for the nation Edom. Note that Ovadyah is a convert from Edom! This fact illustrates that any person can come to Yahshua from any nation. Ovadyah found a special place in G-d’s plan as his name indicates (servant of G-d). His prophesies occurred at around 900 BCE. The Edomites did not come to Judea’s assistance when she was being destroyed by the Babylonians, and even joined in like a pack of wild dogs. Many years later the Edomites (the Roman Empire) destroyed the Second Temple and killed or enslaved their Jewish cousins without any mercy or remorse.
Though the Roman Empire was one of the mightiest in world history, Obadiah forewarns that G-d will bring down those who attempt to place themselves among the stars and fly high as the eagle. “And the house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble, and they shall ignite them and consume them, and the house of Esau shall have no survivors, for the L-rd has spoken.”
After describing the division of Esau’s lands among the returning Judean exiles, this passage concludes with this beautiful familiar passage: “And saviors shall ascend Mt. Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the L-rd shall have the kingdom.” Ken yehi ratzon! (May it be so soon/speedily)
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 7:1-12
In the beginning verses of this passage we read of the impending Tribulation. However, there is a blessed hope for those who are true believers and those sealed to serve G-d through this time (NOT the Church!) In the typical symbolic language of G-d’s Torah according to Matthew Henry, the blowing of the four winds together means a dreadful and general destruction of the Tribulation. But the destruction is delayed. Seals are used to mark those of the 12 Tribes listed in this passage. Note that Levi is now a tribe. Why? Because true believers from the loins of Avraham belong to a higher priesthood (1 Pet. 2), of Melchizedek, who was an anti-type of Yahshua. Those who are saved when they stand before Yahshua will be administering His Millennial Kingdom. The Levites will be supervising the sacrifices in the 3rd Temple. Dan is no longer listed. Although Ruben was the first born, we see that Judah is listed first. The tribe if Joseph and M’nasheh are half-tribes from the Son of Joseph. Now they are split into two separate tribes. We do not know if the seals are visible to those marked, if they can be seen by other believers, or if they are only visible to HaSatan and his followers. Whatever the case, G-d will protect them from harm as they carry out their mission of witnessing to Jews who have not accepted Yahshua as the Messiah. Note: this is NOT a conversion to Christianity. Rather, it is the acceptance of the second requirement of the seven-fold witness stipulated by Yahshua for those who want to be considered true believers. The witnesses will tell those who are alive on the earth at this time about the Kingdom of G-d that is about to come and of Yahshua’s return as Messiah ben David. Judah will understand this terminology as their eyes will certainly be opened by G-d to see these truths. The sealed ones will also tell of the wrath of G-d that is about to fall on those who oppose Yahshua’s coming and choose to reject His Word. A profession of faith is clearly not going to cut it. Action speaks louder than words. When their mission has been fulfilled by G-d’s plan, the end shall come as prophesied in Matt. 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom [not of faith] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.” True believers will be teaching in direct opposition to the forces of the harlot World Church that has within it the replacement theology that G-d has rejected the Jews and is therefore no longer any earthly provision for a Jewish kingdom. Many who follow the harlot will be expecting an all-inclusive Messiah, not a Jewish one. The Messiah who many already have and will accept is the counterfeit Messiah (Anti-Messiah). The world can either accept the truth that the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel preach or they will continue to choose deceptive teachings and beliefs consistent with secular humanism and false religion labeled by Yahshua as apostate (Rev. 17-18). Those who reject the message of those sealed by G-d will believe that HaSatan is G-d and that the Babylonian Kingdom he rules fulfills the promise of a kingdom of G-d. They will take the mark of the beast and by doing so will receive the same fate as the beast, his false prophet and Satan at the judgment. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Those Jews from Judah (tribes of Benjamin, Judah, and Levites) who repent and accept Yahshua during the Tribulation will be martyred (Rev 13:15). However, they will understand this does not compare to eternity with YHVH/Yahshua in the New Jerusalem. However, let us not assume an elitist attitude. The grafted branches are in the same Olive Tree as the natural branches when all is said and done (Ezekiel 37). A study of Romans chapters 9-11 makes it clear that all people who fulfill the requirements of the seven-fold witness in the book of Revelation as the definition of a true believer according to Yahshua, whether Jew or Gentile, make up the bride of Yahshua spoken of throughout the Bible and in Revelation specifically. Israel in this context consists of these true believers, again, NOT the Church! After all, according Hebrews 12:22-24 describes the promise of a new covenant (not for Christians) that was made with the house of Israel and Judah, not to Gentiles (Jer.31:31-33). The new covenant spoken of in these verses in no way implies a new system that advocates abrogation of G-d’s laws, regulations, or statutes. Yahshua came to interpret his Father’s laws in a way that man could understand; not only in his teachings, but by his life.
There is no difference between G-d/Yahshua in the Old Testament or His definition of a true believer. He is One and remains “asher Haya v’Hoveh v’Yavo (Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come).” May it be in our lifetime.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart