Dear family and friends, Genesis 48 has a number of subjects that would be enjoyable to study. Among them is the blessing of the sons of Jacob/Joseph, the death of Jacob, a double portion for the firstborn, the death of Rachel, guidance for blessing our children, Jacob’s war, and other subjects. In Genesis 48 and 49, Jacob is on his death bed. Jacob shares his last words with his sons before his soul enters eternity.
And I have given to you [Joseph] one portion above your [eleven] brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite [the Shechemites] with my sword and with my bow.
The Torah informs us that Jacob was in a war where he took possession of the land of Shechem in Genesis 48.22 and 33.19. These Holy Scriptures along with several others document our undeniable ownership of The Holy Land of Israel. See Genesis 23.16 – 17 Abraham purchases The Cave of Machpelah to bury Sarah. See 1Chronicles 21.25. Which references the purchase of The Land for The Holy Altar and The Holy Temple sites.
In Genesis 34 Simon and Levi attack the city of Shechem because they would not hold the prince of Shechem accountable for kidnapping and raping their sister as required by the Seven Laws God gave to Adam and Chavah and to Noah. Simeon and Levi killed every male in Shechem then gathered up all the females, the children, and their possessions.
Genesis 34.26 – 31
And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, and all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives they took captive and carried off all that was in the houses. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, You have brought trouble on me to make me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and I being few in number, they shall gather together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, should [Shechem] deal with our sister as with a harlot?
Where is Jacob’s participation in this conflict? Where did Jacob use his sword and bow? The comments in The Torah give the impression that Jacob angry with Simeon and Levi. The impression I have is that Jacob is fearful of being attacked and destroyed by these kings. The Midrash informs us that the local kings gathered together against Jacob and his family. The Kings wanted to retaliate against Jacob. Each king brought 10,000 men to fight against Jacob and his family. They were fearful of going to war with Jacob. This family had a reputation for being very fearsome warriors. Simeon and Levi devastated Shechem. They remembered the stories of Abraham and his 318 trained servants who defeated the armies that kidnapped Lot and his family on Passover. Jacob’s brother Esau was greatly feared. Yet, Jacob was feared even more because he went out to fight Esau’s army of 400 soldiers. Jacob commanded Malikim!
Mystically, Jacobs’s sword was through his Words and his Blessings. We will briefly view four. The Gematria for בְּחַרְבִּי Bih Chah Rih Bee meaning ‘through the sword’ is 222. The Gematria for וַיְדַבֵּר Vah Yih Dah Bary meaning ‘And He spoke’ is 222. The Gematria for בָרֵךְ Veh Rah Kih meaning, to Bless is 222. And The Gematria for בְּכֹר Bih Quoor meaning firstborn is 222.
In this mystical teaching, we learn the relationship between four words that may be interchangeable. They are related in this sense. Jacob speaks of the sword. The sword is his word. In Genesis 32.4, we learn Jacob sends messengers ahead of him to Esau’s brother. The messengers were angels. Each of us has angels about us. They are here to help us. However, we may not be able to have access to them as Jacob did. Discussing access is for another adventure in Torah learning.
Jacob used words/thoughts to bless his sons, Ephraim, and Manasseh in Genesis 48.20. Blessings are strange in this sense, who knows when they make a connection? My wife, Revi, and I were sitting in the emergency room of the hospital this past week. I needed medical attention! Mentally, I scanned the individuals needing medical attention while sitting near them in the waiting room. In some instances their need was obvious. So without saying a spoken word I went mentally before our Creator requesting assistance for each of them. Praying quietly to God for someone else is something we each can do. Blessings and prayer operate similarly in this sense. We are supposed to be the light of the world and a blessing to all families of the world. It was a great opportunity to observe the mitzvah of blessing and praying.
In Genesis 35.1 Jacob leads his family and servants to Bethel where he constructs The Mishbeach / and Altar and offers blessings to The Lord God of Israel. He also used his sword of the Word to place fear in the hearts of his adversaries. It works! They decided not to make war with Jacob. They were fearful! They had every right to be fearful. There are times when I faced adversaries that were bigger and taller and quite frightening. As I approached these people I cried out to the Lord God of Israel from the interior of my thoughts beseeching his help. Remember, ‘The Lord is near to all those who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in Truth. Psalms 145.18
In Genesis 48.22 We learned that Jacob was giving Joseph an additional share because he was Bih Quoor, The firstborn of Rachel. The parcel of land Jacob bequests to Joseph was unique in this sense. He took the land away from Shechem who is the father of Osnat, Joseph’s wife. Remember Shechem kidnapped and raped her mother, Dinna. She was left under a bush with an amulet stating she was Jacob’s daughter. A Melech / Angel transported her to the home of Poti Phera, an officer and a eunuch of pharaoh’s staff. He purchased Joseph, placed everything under his charge, then later sent him to prison over false accusations.
When Joseph’s bones were taken from Egypt he was entombed in Shechem.
Dear Ones an in-depth study of Genesis 48.22 has the power to open many special closed doors. We can learn how to be better people by employing The mattress of 222.
וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל־אַחֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר לָקַחְתִּי מִיַּד הָאֱמֹרִי בְּחַרְבִּי וּבְקַשְׁתִּי: ס
May The Lord Bless us in our daily walk and may we stay within Torah’s Guidelines. May we help others, May we bring peace and healing to our world. May this coming Sabbath and every Sabbath be a blessed Day.
Akiva Gamliel Belk