RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Pentateuch
Parashah #9 Veyeshev “And He Settled”
Gen. 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Jasher 41:6 And when Joseph saw the strength of his brethren, and their greatness, he praised them and extolled them, but he ranked himself greater than them, and extolled himself above them; and Jacob, his father, also loved him more than any of his sons, for he was a son of his old age, and through his love toward him, he made him a coat of many colors.
This verse has been translated a myriad of different ways from a coat of many colors to, to a long sleeved tunic, to a wide stripped coat, to a coat of various patterns. The Hebrew word “pas” does imply all these things. “Ketonet passim” in Hebrew, the word “passim” can be translated as “colorful” (Radak, Septuagint), “embroidered” (Ibn Ezra; Bachya; Nachmanides on Ex. 28:2), “stripped” (Ibn Jahacb, Radak Sherashim), or “illustrated” (Targum Yonathon). It can also denote a longgarment coming down to the “palms” on the hand (RasWaam, Ibn Ezra, Baaley Tesafoth, Midrash Rabbah) and the feet (LekachTov). Alternately the word denotes the material out of which the coat was made, which was fine wool (Rashi) or silk (Ibn Janach). Hence, Ketonet Passim, may be translated “A full sleeved robe,” “a coat reaching to the feet,” “a coat of many colors,” “an ornamented tunic,” “a silk robe,” or a “fine woolen cloak.”
“Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, so light and delicate that it could be crushed and concealed in the closed palm of one hand.” – Legends of the Bible, Louis Ginzberg
Regardless of how it looked it was unique and covered him from neck, to palm to toe. The implication of such a gift did show favoritism but also gave the impression that Jacob was going to make Joseph, the youngest next to Benjamin, the family Patriarch after Jacob passed away. None of this whether factual or implied, set well with his brothers as they worked their fingers to the bone as Joseph (according to Jewish Tradition) lived a posh life of study in the tents. It’s the same thing that happens in a class when a teacher picks a brownnoser and a tattle tale as teachers pet; the rest of the kids resent this individual, turn on them and makes his/her life miserable.
In Gen 37:4-8 it appears the coat may have bad some sort of an anointing on it that sparked some prophetic dreams which confirmed the brothers assumption and fears of him receiving the birthright and greater portion of inheritance.
In Elementary school one learns the colors of the rainbow by the mnemonic name, “Roy G. Biv.” Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet; 7 colors. Now we can write volumes on the Hebraic and Biblical significance of the number 7, but I wish to focus more on the seven colors and how it relates to other groupings of seven.
Black is the presence of all colors and white is the absence of all color. Colors are “echad”, one in plurality.
Red in Hebrew is Adom representing the Adamic Covenant and symbolizes life by the color of blood and death the shedding of that color.
Orange in Hebrew is Katom and represents the Edenic Covenant and symbolizes the setting sun and thus expulsion for the Garden, the end of the era of paradise.
Yellow is Tzahov in Hebrew and represents the Noahtic Covenant and symbolizes sickness (jaundice) and hence the Flood which cleansed that sickness.
Green is Yarok in Hebrew and represents the Abrahamic Covenant and symbolizes new life, like that of green plants.
Blue is Techelit in Hebrew and represents the Mosaic Covenant and symbolizes water, sky and Torah because blue is said to be the color of the throne room of YHWH from whence Torah came.
Indigo is Kachol in Hebrew and represents the Davidic Covenant and symbolizes the transition from Judges to Kings, because Indigo is the color between blue and violet; a transitory type color.
Violet is Segol in Hebrew and it represents the Messianic or Renewed Covenant and is the color of royalty.
In Isaiah 11:2 you have seven Spirits of YHWH.
1. YHWH – Gives and takes life
2. Wisdom – YHWH was wise in expelling Adam and Eve
3. Understanding – YHWH understood the Flood was the only way
4. Counsel – YHWH gives Abraham counsel regarding dealing with his sons and the nations
5. Might – YHWH revealed His might to Moses on Mt. Sinai
6. Knowledge – YHWH gave David knowledge of the Messianic Kingdom
7. Fear of YHWH – Fear and reverence of G-d as King.
The seven colors also create a wordless book:
· Red – Yeshua’s Blood
· Orange – Fire of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)
· Yellow – Angelic protection for heaven, from whence they come is of gold
· Green – Ones spiritual growth in Torah and Messiah
· Blue – The Mikvah (Baptism)
· Indigo – Preparation and consecration
· Violet – In Him we are a Royal Priesthood
There are seven synagogues recorded in Revelation 2-3
I will lay out the pro’s (+) and con’s (-) of each one of them.
1. Ephesus: + Labor, patience, endurance - Forsaken First Love
2. Smyrna: + Endure tribulations - N/A
3. Pergamum: + Resilient, steadfast - Tolerate false doctrine, immorality
4. Thyatira: + Persevered in the Torah - Tolerate false doctrine, immorality
5. Sardis: + Purity kept Mitzvot - They were dead hypocrites
6. Philadelphia: + Patient and kept Torah - N/A
7. Laodicea: + N/A - Lukewarm; poor, blind and naked
And I don’t think it is a coincidence that seven shows up all through the next Torah Portion.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
This Haftarah Portion ties up out Torah Portion very nicely with a bow, a multicolored bow as we see the unity and meaning of the colors and how they relate to many things throughout YHWH word study which could easily birth volumes!
Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
-- Rabbi Yehudah
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