This Week’s Torah Portion: Vayigash


Reading: Genesis 44:18 – 47:27

Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:15 – 37:28

Parsha Summary – Vayigash

Preface: Joseph’s silver goblet has just been recovered in Benjamin’s bag. Joseph commands the brothers to leave and decrees that Benjamin must remain behind as a slave.

Judah Begs Joseph

Judah tells Joseph the story of Benjamin: that he is the son of his father’s old age, and the last child of his mother as his brother is dead. He recounts that Joseph insisted that Benjamin came to Egypt against his father’s wishes and that if anything befalls the precious youngest son, their father will fall to an early grave. He begs Joseph to let Benjamin go free and stay behind as a slave himself.

Joseph Reveals Himself to his Brothers

Joseph sends his servants out of the room and tells his brothers who he is. He cries and tells them that he is not angry that they sold him because God brought him to Egypt to save lives. He tells the brothers to go to Jacob and tell him that his son is alive and that they should all come to Egypt with their families and flocks to live in Goshen.

Joseph hugs Benjamin and the brothers cry together. He embraces his other brothers. Pharoah is pleased to hear of the reunion and tells Joseph to give his brothers provisions and wagons for the journey. Joseph sends the brothers away with changes of clothing and donkeys laden with food and Egypt’s wealth.

Jacob Comes to Egypt

Jacob is shocked to hear that his precious son Joseph lives. He leaves for Egypt so that he can see his son before he dies. God reassures Jacob that He will make his children into a great nation in Egypt, so Jacob sets off with his family. His descendants are listed. Joseph arrives in his great chariot to greet Jacob and cries with his father. Pharoah tells the family to live in Goshen, and they become wealthy.

The people of Egypt and Canaan have traded all their money and cattle for food. Joseph buys their land from them on Pharoah’s behalf so that they can buy more food for the rest of the famine.