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Goats and Coats
Video 7 of 14
Let's just see where we were up to. We had talked about all of these parallels over here, which is kind of the prelude to G-d coming out of the clouds, as it were, and speaking to Jacob after he finds out that Joseph is alive. That reminded us of the events that took place before the angel, so to speak, comes out of the clouds and speaks to Abraham and says, don't touch the child. Then we began to look at the actual content of what it is that G-d says to Jacob in this vision, and we showed how there are four different parts to it, and we talked about part number 1 and part number 4. We saw that part number 1 seems to echo the end of the first speech that the angel makes over here, this is the echo of 1. Then part 4 over here seems to be echoed over here in the beginning. So all this we did before.
Okay so the parts which we haven't yet talked about in this speech that G-d makes to Jacob over here in Chapter 46, is the part that I've bounded here with this orange rectangle, and that would be what we had earlier called the second piece of the speech and the third piece of the speech. So where are we going to find - or will we find any echoes of this second section of the speech and the third section of the speech, do we find any echoes of the Akeidah there? So we pretty much talked about the whole speech involving the first angel to Abraham, we saw that - that's where we saw our parallels 1 [to/and 2:02] 4. So we might actually look to the second speech to see the parallels to 2 and 3 over here. In fact, believe it or not, that actually is where these parallels show up.
Right over here, I'll use another orange triangle to show you where they are, and you don't quite have the same reverse pattern over here in terms of order, but you do kind of have the reverse, I think, at least in terms of the themes, or in terms of the significance. So let's kind of take a look at it. I'm just going to shade the parts that I'm talking about to make it a little bit easier.
So let's take this part of the Akeidah, the second angel, remember comes out of the clouds and says, I swear by the name of the G-d that because you've done this thing and you haven't held back your son, your only son. So then we have over here in verse 17 that I will bless you; Ki barech avarechecha - I will surely bless you; V'harbah arbeh et zaracha kekochvei hashomayim v'kachol asher al sefat hayam - I will greatly increase your children like the stars of the heavens and like the sand of the seas. So does that remind us of anything over here, the idea of having lots and lots of children? The answer is yes, it absolutely does, it reminds us of this piece over here, number 2. So let's just color-code that. In the Akeidah Avraham was promised that he would have progeny as numerous as the stars, and over here; Ki l'goy gadol asimcha sham - for in fact I will make you into a great nation there, sounds like the same thing. Jacob is going to be made into a great nation and over here, Abraham, the grandfather, he's going to have lots of children, so it sounds like the same idea.
So it sounds sort of like this breaks our pattern because it sounds like this is not the reverse of the idea, it's actually the same idea. But if you look very carefully it's actually - something subtle is going on. Let's read these words very carefully over here in Genesis 46, what's the promise that G-d makes to Jacob? Ki l'goy gadol - I will make you into a great nation, but where? Asimcha sham - I will make you into a great nation over there in Egypt. You see there's no mention of that over here. As a matter of fact, if you're just reading through the Akeidah it doesn't sort of sound like that's going to happen in Egypt, it's just - I'll make you into a great nation and you'll go and you'll conquer the land, the idea right over here. So it sounds like it's going to be great. I'll make you into a great nation, you won't have to worry about your enemies, I'll conquer your enemies for you, you'll be there in the land. But all of a sudden over here, we learn that no, no, no, where is it that Jacob, Abraham's progeny, is going to become a great nation? L'goy gadol asimcha sham - that's going to happen in Egypt. We of course know that that's going to happen actually in a condition of slavery.
So Jacob is also told he'll become a great nation but it's going to happen in Egypt. So an interesting contrast. Not quite a reverse but a contrast. It's not quite as happy as we have over here.
Finally, if we take one last look at the last element which we haven't talked about yet, which is going to be element 3 over here; Onochi eired imcha Mitzrayma v'onochi a'alcha gam aloh - G-d says I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will go back up with you out of Egypt. Of course there's no mention of the intervening slavery. As we talked about before, Jacob is on this need-to-know basis, he's not actually told about that. But there's this sort of dark, implicit idea that you're going to die there, it's going to be a while until you finally come out, G-d will eventually take you out. Of course, the reader of Exodus, the next book in the Torah, knows that what takes place in between is many, many years of painful servitude. So is there an echo of this in the Akeidah?
The answer is of course yes, there is that backwards echo. If we clear some of the ink off the screen you see it right over here. In the Akeidah Abraham was told that his children would actually vanquish their enemies and conquer their land, well what's the opposite of vanquishing your enemies and conquering their land? It's actually being subjugated by your enemies in their land. Being conquered by them not in your land but in their land. In fact, that's what happens over here. Jacob hears something that sounds like not so bad, don't worry Jacob I'll go down with you to Egypt, I'll come back up with you, but what's in fact happening there - what is implied, is that in the interim there's going to be slavery. You're going to be subjugated by your enemies, the opposite.
In other words, it's not just that there are backwards and reverse parallels, the meaning of what's happening over here is backwards and reverse, all around. It's almost as if what we have here is a backwards Akeidah story. Literally an unraveling of the Akeidah story. You see the reverse order and the reverse significance when you add it up what's [unclear 6:12] about putting things in backwards, chronological order, and the reverse significance of each of event is kind of leading you to a general overall conclusion. I want to argue, that those great, exciting promises of the Akeidah; land and children, everything is going to be great, you're going to have all these children, they're all going to go into land, they are disintegrating. Now they're not disintegrating in the sense that they're not going to come true, they will still come true but they're going to be delayed by centuries. It's not going to happen immediately. It's going to take a long time to happen and before that, there's going to be this sort of disastrous period. It's beginning with Jacob doing down to Egypt and of course, Jacob doesn't get out Egypt so fast, there's slavery, hundreds of years of slavery that beset his progeny in Egypt.
So it's like this Akeidah story that began in Chapter 37 and is ending over here in Chapter 46, ends up being a disaster. It sort of begins with a disaster, which is the sale of Joseph, it's a test of Joseph perhaps gone awry, hijacked by G-d, almost for G-d's own purposes. Coming to a fruition really again for G-d's own purposes, to bring us ultimately into Egypt and bring us into slavery. The beginnings of that are the sale of Joseph.
What I want to do with you next is to sort of zoom out the zoom lens and to try to look at this story over here which we were just focusing on, the sale of Joseph and its aftermath Chapter 37 and Chapter 46, to zoom out a little bit more and to see this in the broad context of what's happening in Genesis. I have been talking about these two promises of the Akeidah; the promises of land and children, the forefathers are going to have this increased progeny and they're going to come into the land. I want to trace sort of a little bit of the timeline of pieces of Abraham's life and of Jacob's life to try to understand how it is that these promises of land and children are developing, and the significance really of the sale of Joseph - again, as part of that larger picture. So let's come back and begin to take a look at that larger picture in our next video.
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