THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION:
From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets.
We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. All texts are those of English translations of the Scriptures.
The readings for this week December 25-31,2016 are called MiKetz—“At the End Of”:
TORAH: Genesis 41:1—44:17
HAFTARAH (Hanukkah): Zechariah 2:10—4:7
(NOTE: Years in which Hanukkah does not fall within the week for this parasha, the haftarah reading for Miketz is: I Kings 3:15—4:1.)
*Genesis 41:1; 15-16. “Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream…And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.’ So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of shalom.’”
PLEASE PRAY: That the LORD release dreams into our secular leaders—which can only be interpreted by those godly ones whom He has prepared to be near to them. Pray that the Lord raise up young men and women who will be filled with His Spirit, and who will be able supernaturally (in this rationalistic age) to show the way for our Prime Minister and other leaders to “an answer of Shalom.”
*Genesis 44:5, 15: “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’” “Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”
Joseph never actually tells the brothers that he “practices divination”—rather, he presents them with two questions, “Is this not the one…with which he indeed practices divination?” and “Didn’t you know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”. He is still allowing his brothers to assume him to be a native Egyptian ruler, who normally would be expected to do such things. Numbers 23:23 uses the same Hebrew word translated here “devination” (nakhash) in asserting that “there is no sorcery in Jacob”. As we have already seen (Genesis 40:8; 41:16), Joseph was always open in attributing his powers not to himself or his expertise, but to God.
*Zechariah 2:10-11. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD. “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.”
There is nothing in the Hebrew of this passage to suggest that the One (i.e. the LORD—Yehovah) who in vs. 10 and again in vs. 11 says He is “coming to dwell in Zion’s midst” is not the same “One” who continues, “Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.” We see this “knowing” as the same “recognition” taking place in Zechariah 12:10, when “they will look on Me whom they pierced.”
PLEASE PRAY: For revelation in Israel to understand and believe that The LORD of Hosts (who promised to “dwell in Israel’s midst”) and the One sent to her (“whom she pierced”) are ONE (John 10:30).
*Zechariah 2:12-13. “And the LORD (Yehovah) will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Hush! all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”
With the passage in late 2012 of UN Gen. Assy. resolution 67/19, granting “Palestine” official recognition as a “state”, whose borders would presumably encompass this adamat-hakodesh, (literally “holy earth”), within which the YHVH (Yehovah—“The LORD”) says He will “take possession” as His “inheritance”— things are coming into position for a clash of unprecedented proportions (We find it significant that the November 29 date of that vote fell in the Hebrew calendar on the 15th of Kislev, the same day as the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation mentioned in I Maccabees 1:54 and alluded to in Daniel 11:31). To survive and see our way—to see His way—in the coming storm, it will be of paramount importance that we “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit,” that we “set our minds on the things of the Spirit” and “by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, that we may live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:4,5, 13-14).
PLEASE PRAY: That the Body of Messiah in Israel move into a deep understanding and practice of what it means to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25 NIV), to say “Hush!” to our flesh before our LORD, as He is aroused from His holy habitation!
*Zechariah 3:2. “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’”
Revelation 12:11 points to a time when the Accuser will be overcome “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” We infer from this Zechariah passage that part of that “word of testimony” may include a linking of the name of the LORD/YHVH with his choosing of Jerusalem. This will be the place of His throne! (Psalm 2). An acknowledgment and confession of the LORD’s covenant link with Jerusalem will release a power to silence the Accuser in the last days!
*Zechariah 3:8. “Behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.”
Part of the Hanukkah celebration includes use of a special eight-branched menorah (hanukki’ah) upon which a new oil lamp or candle is lit each evening. Each light is ignited from the flame of a separate “branch” called shamash—“servant.”
Remarkably, the Haftarah reading for this Saturday within Hanukkah, besides containing, as might be expected, a menorah (Zechariah 4:2-3), also includes these words, “Behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.” Although a different Hebrew word for “servant” is used here, there is no doubt that it refers to the Servant-Messiah, sent by the Father—the Light Inextinguishable, who illumines all coming into the world (John 1:9)!
Zechariah 4:6. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”
These words are emblazoned in Hebrew across the bottom of the outer branches of the menorah which stands before the Knesset in Jerusalem (below).
PLEASE PRAY: that the Holy Spirit of God invade the halls of government in Israel. That Spirit-filled believers rise into the higher echelons of government, displacing the powers of darkness there and influencing the leadership for righteousness!
Martin & Norma Sarvis
The readings for next week (January 1-7, 2017) are called VaYiggash—“And He [Judah] Drew Near”
TORAH: Genesis 44:18—47:27
HAFTARAH: Ezekiel 37:15-28