I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)
Today is the 12th Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle: parashah (Torah portion) Vayechi / And he lived, Gen 47:28-50:26. Read Genesis 47:28-50:26 at Bible Gateway.
This week’s Torah portion forms a chaistic structure. I have included the markings (s for stumah and p for p’tuchah) for the paragraph divisions (see the teaching tools of Scripture) so that it can be seen that the paragraph divisions often reveal the chiastic structure.
1a) Gen 47:28-31 (p), Jacob’s request that his bones are taken up from Egypt;
1b) Gen 48:1-6, Jacob ill; Joseph and sons appeared before Jacob; Jacob’s command to Joseph;
1c) Gen 48:7, Rachel buried on the road to Bethlehem;
1d) Gen 48:8-20, The great multitude of Ephraim and Manasseh;
1e) Gen 48:21-22 (p), Jacob about to die + the land of the Amorites;
1f) Gen 49:1-2, Jacob to give his sons their prophetic blessing;
1g) Gen 49:3-4 (p), Reuben;
1h) Gen 49:5-7 (p), Simeon and Levi to be separated among his brothers;
1i) Gen 49:8-12 (p), Judah’s blessing of leadership;
1j) Gen 49:13 (p), Zebulun;
1k) Gen 49:14-15 (s), Issachar;
1l) Gen 49:16-17 (s), Dan;
central axis) Gen 49:18 (s), “I have waited for Your salvation, O YHVH!”
2l) Gen 49:19 (s), Gad;
2k) Gen 49:20 (s), Asher;
2j) Gen 49:21 (s), Naphtali;
2i) Gen 49:22-25, Joseph’s blessing of fruitfulness;
2h) Gen 49:26 (p), Joseph separated from his brothers;
2g) Gen 49:27, Benjamin;
2f) Gen 49:28, Jacob gave his sons their prophetic blessing;
2e) Gen 49:29-33, Jacob about to die + the cave of Machpelah;
2d) Gen 50:1-11, The imposing company of Jacob’s mourners;
2c) Gen 50:12-14, Jacob buried in Machpelah;
2b) Gen 50:15-21, Jacob dead; Jacob’s sons appeared before Joseph; Jacob’s “command” to Joseph;
2a) Gen 50:22-26 (p), Joseph’s request that his bones be taken up from Egypt.
The central axis is prophetic of the coming of Messiah, as Messiah’s name, Yeshua, means “salvation” in Hebrew. Israel is prophetically blessing his seed, and at the center of that blessing, is the blessing over Yeshua, the Seed of Israel and the Seed of Promise, and that Israel and Israel’s seed will wait upon the LORD for His promise of His coming.