Parashat Vayechi, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.


This week’s reading from Parashat Vayechi (Bereshit / Genesis 47:28-50:26) contains the final chapters of the book of Genesis.  The opening verses tell us that Yaakov (Yisrael) lived in the land of Mitzrayim (Egypt) seventeen years and the total years of his life were 147 years.  Before Yaakov died he asked Yoseph saying ל   וְשָׁכַבְתִּי עִם-אֲבֹתַי וּנְשָֹאתַנִי מִמִּצְרַיִם וּקְבַרְתַּנִי בִּקְבֻרָתָם וַיֹּאמַר אָנֹכִי אֶעְשֶֹה כִדְבָרֶךָ: לא   וַיֹּאמֶר הִשָּׁבְעָה לִי וַיִּשָּׁבַע לוֹ וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ יִשְֹרָאֵל עַל-רֹאשׁ הַמִּטָּה: “ 47:30 but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.’ And he said, ‘I will do as you have said.’  Yoseph takes his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim and has Yaakov bless them (48:1-2).  Yaakov tells Yoseph that these two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) will be his (48:5) and declares that Yoseph’s descendents after him shall be called after their names (48:6) Yaakov recounts the death of his wife Rachael (48:7-9).  Yaakov blesses Yoseph’s children placing Ephraim (second born) before Manasseh (first born) saying the younger will be greater than the older (48:10-20) וְגַם-הוּא יִגְדָּל וְאוּלָם אָחִיו הַקָּטֹן יִגְדַּל מִמֶּנּוּ וְזַרְעוֹ יִהְיֶה מְלֹא-הַגּוֹיִם.  Yaakov then proceeds to make statements against his sons on account of what they had done while in the land of Canaan (49:1-26).  In the midst of Yaakov’s blessing over his sons he provides us with a Messianic expectation in his statements to Judah לֹא-יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו עַד כִּי-יָבֹא שִׁילֹה וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים  49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. (NASB)  Yaakov dies and Yoseph and his brothers bury him in the land of Canaan (49:29-50:14).  Yoseph’s brothers seek forgiveness and ask that he have mercy on them for their transgressions.  Yoseph assures them that they need not fear.  The final verses of sefer Bereshit (ספר בראשית) tell of the death of Yoseph, Yoseph lived 110 years and then he died, was embalmed and placed in an Egyptian coffin (50:15-26).  Read More here.