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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaYigash 11-3

And (he) approached

Genesis 45:8-18

So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

Gen. 45:8 NIV

What does being a father mean?

Yosef says that God made him a father to Pharaoh. How is it possible to be father to one you have not begotten? The answer is in the meaning of the Hebrew term that was translated as "father". The Hebrew word avאב  father – has several meanings. According to Rashi it doesn’t only mean father, but also "counsellor", "friend" and "manager".

In regards to the relationship of Yosef with Pharaoh we can conclude that the title av doesn't mean that Yosef originated him or that he had a higher position than Pharaoh. This would be absurd since it was Pharaoh who gave him that position and thus who always remained as higher in authority than he. The one who sets someone else in a position is always higher and has more authority and responsibility. The delegate will have to be accountable to the one who gave him the position. So, Yosef was set as the personal counsellor to the king of Egypt. This is the way of understanding the title av in this context.

Something similar happened with Messiah son of Yosef. He received from the Eternal the position of being av of the creation, without being equal to or higher than the Eternal who is One and only.

This comparison with Yosef can give us a good explanation to one of the eight names given to the Messiah in the prophecy found in Isaiah 9:6 where it is written: "For a child was born to us, a son was given to us; and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counsellor Mighty Hero Everlasting Father (av) Prince (of) Peace." (private translation).

Based on what happened with Yosef, a prophetic figure of the Messiah, we can come to the conclusion that when the Messiah is called "father" it doesn't mean that he is the Eternal, or is his equal with the same position or above Him.

No one can be equal to the Eternal, not in heavens or earth, as it is written in 1 Kings 8:23b and 2 Chronicles 6:14: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You” (NKJV)

In 1 Corinthians 8:6 we find in the title "father" the meaning "originator of everything", as it is written: "yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (NKJV)

According to this text, it is obvious that Yeshua the Messiah is not God, and is excluded from the position of Father in the sense of "originator". The Eternal is the originator (the Father) of all things. Everything outside of Him was created by Him, the Messiah included. Only God is the Father and only the Father is God – the Messiah is excluded from this – and Yeshua the Messiah is the means that the Father used to create all things. The Messiah existed in the Father's mind before the creation; he was the purpose of creation and the model the Almighty used to create everything.

However, according to the messianic prophetic message that is found in the narration of Yosef we see that after the resurrection, the Messiah was set as "father" in the sense of closest friend of the heavenly Father and as the manager in the house of the heavenly Father and as the governor of the whole creation.

Even though Yosef was like Pharaoh (44:18) he was not Pharaoh. Even though Yeshua is like the heavenly Father (John 14:9) he is not the Father as the Scriptures say: “the Father of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah". As Yosef was set as second to Pharaoh but not to be Pharaoh, so Yeshua was lifted up after his resurrection, to become second after the great Heavenly King, but not to become the great Heavenly King.

May the Eternal help us not to put the One in charge, in the place of the Boss.


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