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Echoes of the Future
Video 13 of 17
So let's continue here in verse 4; Hashem he'elita min she'ol nafshi - G-d You have lifted me up; Min She'ol. This word over here means grave, it's a word which appears a fair amount in later biblical literature, but very little in early biblical literature and very little in the Book of Genesis. As a matter of fact, in the book of Genesis it appears three times and all of those three times have to do with - guess what - yes, the Joseph story. With actually Jacob mourning the loss of Joseph.
Here it is, you see it, I'll show you one of them. Jacob when he originally sees the bloody coat and he thinks Joseph is dead, so; Vayomer ki eired el beni avel she'olah - I will go down to my grave mourning Joseph. Oh over here; Hashem he'elita min she'ol nafshi - You pulled me up from the grave. Just like we had before, it's as if Judah says, you know I meant to put Joseph in the pit but when You, G-d helped me somehow get out of the hole that I had dug myself in, in the Joseph story, it was as if You pulled me up out of the pit. Here it seems like it's as if You pulled me up of what I would have done to my father, I was going to consign my father to go down mourning to his grave, You lifted me up out of that, it's as if You lifted me up out of the grave for doing that.
Now, listen to this next echo, it's almost the same thing. Chiyitani miyordei bor - You have enlivened me, it's as if You have brought me back to life; Miyordei bor - from those who go down to the pit. Now we already mentioned before that those who go down to the pit is suspiciously evocative of Joseph of course, who Judah had thrown in the pit. But again, here it's as if You've given me life, for me being down in the pit. It's Judah himself or David occupying Judah's voice, saying, it's as if I was down to the pit and I was given life again.
But it's actually even a more striking parallel than just that. It's not just the fact that we're talking about someone who is going down from the pit. This verb over here Chiyitani is especially evocative, because just as the beginning of verse 4 has to do seemingly with Judah reminiscing about the effect of the sale of Joseph upon his poor father Jacob, that he would go down to his grave mourning Joseph. So too this word seems to evoke the same memories.
Let's go to when Jacob learns that Joseph is alive, Chapter 45. Vayedabru eilav et kol divrei Yosef asher diber aleihem, vayar et ha'agalot - Jacob sees the chariots that Joseph, this Vizier in Egypt has sent for them; Asher shalach Yosef laseit oto - that Joseph sent to carry him. Vatechi ruach Yaakov avihem - and Jacob's life was given back to him, his soul was enlivened, life came back to him. Why? Vayomer Yisrael rav od Yosef beni chai - my son Joseph is alive. You see this? Jacob feels alive because now he realizes that Joseph is alive. It literally has been as if Jacob has been in the grave, gone into the grave early, he was like living a life but a life in the grave, a life of walking dead. All of a sudden he comes back to life because he realizes his son is alive.
Chiyitani miyordei bor - You have enlivened me from those who would be down in the pit. It's as if David inhabiting Judah's voice is going back and meditating, my goodness, what would I have done to my father? I almost killed my father in life, I almost consigned him to a life of death. In extricating me from all of this You have given me life, You brought me back from the pit, You brought me up out of the She'ol. I have a keen awareness of what this would have done, of the terrible consequences for both Joseph and for my father, and G-d You helped save me from all of that. Being able to finally redeem Benjamin and get Joseph to unmask himself and somehow, again, extricate myself from the terrible mess that Judah got himself into in the story.
Let's continue when we come back, look at verse 5, again a challenge for you; verse 5, 6, 7 and 8, as you continue looking in Psalm 30 do you continue to hear the echoes of the Joseph story. I think you do, let's come back and see how.
1. What Does the Book of Psalms Have to Do With the Joseph Story?
2. A Curious Dedication
3. Profit Motive
4. Blood Money
5. Did Jacob Know?
6. A Father's Ambivalent Blessing
7. The Ruthlessness of War
8. The Lion and the Cub
10. To Redeem an Ancestor's Pledge
11. The Lion and the Lamb
12. Moving Up
13. Memories of Father
14. First Cries
15. Where Would I Be Without You
16. What Could Kill Me--But Then What?
17. A Palpable Presence
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