ויחי Vayechi ('and he lived')
Genesis 47:28 - 50:26
In this chapter, the final chapter of Genesis, Joseph's name is mentioned 17 times which is quite extraordinary. He is mentioned earlier in Genesis quite often but here in the last chapter of Genesis, chapter 50 it is particularly noticeable. We shall discover why these 17 mentions of Joseph's name are significant. And this is due to Joseph's fruitfulness and the Messiah's task when he came the first time in the spirit of Joseph.
Joseph is promised to be fruitful and that fruitfulness spills over into the New Testament very conspicuously.
There is a link between Joseph obtaining the double portion birthright and the 17 times his name is mentioned in chapter 50. Indeed there is a link between the 153 fish caught by the disciples Joseph through the number 17 too.
To Joseph was passed on the promise of fruitfulness that had been handed down from Adam to Noah and then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This fruitfulness would be passed down to Joseph's son Ephraim which means 'I will be fruitful'.
Joseph & 17
He was betrayed at the age of 17.
And in Genesis 50 Joseph's name is mentioned more than any other chapter of the bible, 17 times in fact. No coincidence.
Genesis 50:1,2,4,7,8,14,15, 16,17,19,22,23,24,25,26;
Genesis 17:17 talks about the promised Seed
Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold by his brothers and escorted in Egypt.
- Genesis 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Jacob lived 17 years in the country of Egypt.
Genesis 47:28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
17 regions are mentioned at the Pentecost:
Acts 2:5-12 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak (1)Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 (2)Parthians,and (3)Medes, and (4)Elamites, and the dwellers in (5)Mesopotamia, and in (6)Judaea, and (7)Cappadocia, in (8)Pontus, and (9)Asia, 10 (10)Phrygia, and (11)Pamphylia, in (12)Egypt, and in the parts of (13)Libya round to (14)Cyrene, andngers of (15)Rome, Jews and proselystes, (16)Cretes and (17)Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
17 verses in the 10 Commandments
The Meaning of the Number 17
Seventeen stands out very prominently as an important number. It is not a multiple of any other number, and therefore it has no factors. Hence it is called one of the prime (or indivisible) numbers. What is more, it is the seventh in the list of the prime numbers.
The prime number series runs 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, etc. Thirteen, it will be noted, is also a prime number, and is therefore important; but it is the sixth of the series: hence it partakes of the symbolism of the number 6, and is indeed an intensified expression of it.
In like manner seventeen, being the seventh of the series, partakes of and intensifies the meaning of the number seven. Indeed, it is the combination or sum of two perfect numbers - seven and ten - seven being the number of spiritual perfection, and ten of ordinal perfection.
Contrasted together the significance of these two numbers is clear; and when united in the number 17 we have a union of their respective meanings, viz., spiritual perfection, plus ordinal perfection, or the perfection of spiritual order.
17's spiritual perfection in Romans 8:35-39
How does the number seventeen symbolize spiritual perfection? We see a beautiful illustration of 17's perfection in Romans 8:35-39.
Romans 8, which concludes the first great division of that all-important Epistle, sums up the blessings of those who are dead and risen in Christ. First we have a series of seven, then a series of ten. The seven are marked off by being put in the form of a question, while the ten are given as the answer to it.
Romans 8:35 asks: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall . . ." (NKJV Bible). The answer is given as a series of 7 in the rest of the verse:
1) Tribulation, 2) distress, 3) persecution, 4) famine, 5) nakedness, 6) peril 7) sword?
The apostle Paul then states in verses 38-39 that he is persuaded:
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
- Neither death,
- Nor life,
- Nor angels,
- Nor principalities,
- Nor powers,
- Nor things present,
- Nor things to come,
- Nor height,
- Nor depth,
- Nor any other created thing,
Thus is set forth the spiritual and eternal perfection of the believer's standing in Christ.
By forming the conclusive answer to the question, and giving us the positive assurance (though in a negative form), it seems as though the number ten is of more weight than seven when thus used together. It is so in 2Chronicles 2, where, in verse 7, Solomon sends to Hiram for a cunning workman, and seven particulars are specified; and in verse 14 a man is sent and his qualifications are enumerated in ten particulars. A more important illustration will be found in the book of Hebrews.
17 - Old versus New Covenants
- Hebrews 12:18-24
How does the number 17 reveal the difference between Old and New Covenants? Hebrews 12:18-24 is where the Old Dispensation (under the Old Covenant) and the New (under the New Covenant) are contrasted. Verse 18 begins with "For you have not come . . . " (NKJV version) then answers in the rest of the verse and verse 19:
The apostle Paul begins verse 22 with "But you have come to . . ." and then answers:
- to the mountain that may be touched
- and that burned with fire,
- and to blackness
- and darkness
- and tempest,
- and the sound of a trumpet,
- and the voice of words . . .
Here again the blessings of the New Covenant are seen to be higher than those of the Old, both in number and in importance. The Old were spiritual (7), but the latter are more so, for they are doubly the manifestation of Divine grace, ten, or 2 x 5.
- Mount Zion,
- and to the city of the living God,.
- the heavenly Jerusalem,
- to an innumerable company of angels,
- to the general assembly
- and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven,
- to God the Judge of all,
- to the spirits of just men made perfect,
- to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant,
- and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.."
- 10 enemies to be destroyed
- plus 7 enemies that have been destroyed
Who are the ten enemies that prophecy states will make Israel EXTINCT? Psalm 83:6-11 gives us the ten and the seven in a different order. Verses 6-9 give us a confederation of ten enemies for the purpose of making Israel extinct, and "to cut them off from being a nation"; while verses 10 and 12 give us an enumeration of seven enemies which the Lord had destroyed in the past, with the prayer that He would do to the confederacy of the ten what He had done to the seven in the past.
The commentators agree that no such confederacy can be found in the past history of Israel, so that we are shut up to the conclusion that the Psalm speaks of a yet future confederacy of which the later Prophets speak more particularly.
Psalm 83:6-9 tells us the ten-fold confederation:
Then, in verses 10-12, the Bible lists the seven enemies which had been destroyed in Israel's past:
- The Ishmaelites
- The Hagarenes
- The Philistines
- Assur (Assyria)
The number seventeen (not the word merely) has a significance of its own, and therefore an importance which must be taken into account wherever it appears in the Word of God by itself or as a factor. It forms a great factor in the number 153.
- Midianites (1), Judges 7:8
- Sisera (2), Judges 4:5, 21
- Jabin (3), Judges 4:5, 21
- Oreb (4), Judges 7:25
- Zeeb (5), Judges 7:25
- Zebah (6), Judges 8:5
- Zalmunna (7), Judges 8:5
Additional commentary on the Biblical Meaning of 17
*In the Bible the number 17 signifies "vanquishing the enemy" and "complete victory in Christ." During the days of Noah, God vanquished rebellious mankind by the flood which He began on the 17th day of 2nd month. The ark came to rest on the 17th day of the 7th month. Jesus was victorious over death when God raised Him from the dead on the 17th day of the first month.
17 - The Greatest of all is Love
The 17th time love is mentioned in 1Corinthians 13, it says, "[The] greatest of [all] is LOVE" (verse 13). Hence, the love of God (John 3:16) is victorious in all things. True believers will be victorious over death at the resurrection (1Corinthians 15:54-55).
Beast with 7 heads and 10 horns (7+10=17)
The beasts of Daniel 7 have 7 heads and 10 horns, totaling 17. The beasts symbolize world-ruling kingdoms from Daniel’s time to the return of Christ — kingdoms which reign victoriously over the nations that reject God’s rule. Revelation 13 depicts Satan’s end-time system as having 7 heads and 10 horns, again totaling 17. The whole world will worship Satan and the Beast, and no one will be able to make war against him (verses 4, 8); he will make war against the saints (verse 7) and have a temporary victory over them:
"Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
"So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
"And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
"All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:1-8, NKJV)
The saints will ultimately be victorious over the Beast when God raises them from the dead at the first resurrection (Revelation 15:2; 20:4).
On the 10th day of the 7th month, the Day of Atonement, Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3). Thus, 10 + 7 = 17, depicting Jesus Christ vanquishing Satan.
Nun & the number 50
There just so happens to be a chap named Joshua who is the son of nun. And this name is related to the meaning of the letter nun which has a numeric value of 50.
Joshua is a son of Ephraim who's name means fruitful. Joshua's name means Yah will save and is related to the name of the Messiah Yeshua meaning 'He will save'.
Anyway lets read a verse about Joshua the son of Nun.
Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
וְדִבֶּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה פָּנִים אֶל־פָּנִים כַּאֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ וְשָׁב אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה וּמְשָׁרְתֹו יְהֹושֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן נַעַר לֹא יָמִישׁ מִתֹּוךְ הָאֹֽהֶל׃
From H5125; perpetuity; Nun or Non, the father of Joshua: - Non, Nun.
The number 50 which is represented by the letter nun is related to the counting of the Omer between Passover (Pesach) and Pentecost (Shavuot). It was during Pentecost that the Law came down on mount Sinai and it was on Pentecost that the Church of the firstborn was 'born'.
Pentecost is also about the gathering in of the wheat harvest. Again the Omer and 50 are related to the physical harvest and the spiritual harvest of souls. During the last 2000 years we could call this age of Grace, or the age of the Messiah a time of the wheat harvest of souls. Many of the lost tribes that are descended from Joseph have been saved during this period of time along with others.
So Pentecost is directly related to the number 50 through the counting of the omer that leads up to it. And Joshua the son of Nun is a picture of the Messiah, the son of Perpetuity. And the name nun is related to the numeric value of the letter with the same name which equals 50.
There is one place in the old testament, in Psalms 72:17 where the word nun is used as a verb H5125 נוּן and it is translated in the KJV as 'continued'.
H5125 נוּן nûn noon
A primitive root; to resprout, that is, propagate by shoots; figuratively, to be perpetual: - be continued.
Psalms 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
יְהִי שְׁמֹו לְֽעֹולָם לִפְנֵי־שֶׁמֶשׁ [יָנִין כ] (יִנֹּון ק) שְׁמֹו וְיִתְבָּרְכוּ בֹו כָּל־גֹּויִם יְאַשְּׁרֽוּהוּ׃
Inverted nun - outside of time & space
Inverted nun (נו"ן מנוזרת "isolated nun" or נו"ן הפוכה "inverted nun" in Hebrew) is a rare glyph used in Classical Hebrew. Its function in the ancient texts is disputed. It takes the form of the letter nun in mirror image, and appears in the Masoretic text of the Tanakh in nine different places:
Occurrence and appearance
Inverted nuns are found in nine passages of the Masoretic Text of the Bible. The exact shape varies between different manuscripts and printed editions. In many manuscripts, a reversed nun is found—referred to as a "nun hafucha" by the Masoretes. In some earlier printed editions, they are shown as the standard nun upside down or rotated, because the printer did not want to bother to design a character to be used only nine times. The recent scholarly editions of the Masoretic text show the reversed nun as described by the Masoretes. In some manuscripts, however, other symbols are occasionally found instead. These are sometimes referred to in rabbinical literature as "simaniyot" (markers).
In the Torah, the inverted nuns frame the text
Whenever the ark set out, Moses said,
"Rise up, Lord! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you."
Whenever it came to rest, he said,
"Return, Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel."
Pisces - מזל דגים
Joshua the son of Nun was a descendant of Ephraim. And the name Nun is related to the idea of perpetuity, eternity etc.
It is also related to the idea of fishing according to some. Joseph's seed would multiply like fish in the water. The idea of fishing is a theme that is throughout the gospels. This was no accident as we were entering the Age of Pisces. Our Paganised Zodiac is a corruption of the biblical use of the 12 constellations which tell the story of redemption and are related to the 12 sons of Israel.
The sun and moon determine the biblical Hebrew feasts, Gen 1:14. The Stars determine the Biblical Age. In Hebrew the Word for Age is 'Olam'.
The ages are determined by the precession of the Equinox. Each Age lasts for about 2160 years.
We are currently in the age of Pisces and have been for the past 2000 years more or less. And are slowly moving into the age of Aquarius.
During the beginning of Yeshua's ministry we were moving into the sign of Pisces and so naturally there was a lot of emphasis on fish and fishing. Yeshua is fishing for men, and many of them are from the tribe of Joseph and the other lost tribes.
Now we are still moving through the end of the age of Pisces and we are moving into the cusp of Aquarius.
The tribe of Reuben is associated with Aquarius the water carrier because Reuben is a man (Adam) as unstable as water. Reuben represents the wisdom of Adam which will reach it's zenith in this world during the midst of the Millennial Reign of Messiah Yeshua. It is then that the living waters will gush forth from the temple. This is part of what Yeshua alluded to regarding the Holy Spirit when He spoke during Sukkot in the gospel of John 7:38.
See the articles titled 'The Rapture' & '4 Square & the 5th Encampment' for a little more on this topic of the 12 tribes of Israel and the Mazaroth (Zodiac).
Fishers of Men
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
So what is the meaning of the 153 and why is it mentioned here? Why is the bible so specific about the number 153? What does it mean. Let's read what others have to say about it.
Catch of 153 fish From Wikipedia as of July 1, 2007
The Catch of 153 fish is an episode in the appendix of the Gospel of John, in which seven of the Twelve Apostles were out fishing when they unexpectedly witness one of the resurrection appearances of Jesus (Luke 5:1-11 has a similar story placed before the resurrection). In the narrative (John 21:1-14), a mysterious stranger asks the apostles for fish, but when they say that they have none, the stranger tells the apostles to throw their net into the water, and the apostles are unable to pull it back due to the volume of fish. The narrative goes on to state that the (unnamed) beloved disciple identifies the stranger as Jesus, which causes Simon Peter to jump into the water, wrapping his coat around him, while the others follow in their boat dragging the net behind them. The number of fish caught is specified to have been 153.
The precision of the number of fish has long been considered peculiar, and many scholars, throughout history, have argued that 153 has some deeper significance. Jerome, for example, claimed that the Greeks had identified that there were exactly 153 species of fish in the sea (modern marine biology puts the figure as something over 29,000, though the disciples were fishing in the Sea of Tibeias, which actually is a lake). Mathematically, 153 is a triangular number, more precisely it is the sum of the integer numbers from 1 to 17 inclusive; more significantly, 153 also has the rare property that it is the sum of the cubes of its own digits (i.e. 153 = 1x1x1 + 5x5x5 + 3x3x3). In the time of Pythagoras, 153 was most significant for being one of the two numbers in the closest fraction known, at the time, to the true value of the square root of 3, the fraction in question being 265/153 (the difference between this and the square root of 3 is merely 0.000025......). The ratio of 153:265 was consequently known throughout the Hellenic world as the measure of the fish.
The fact that the measure of the fish was known to include 153, as one of its two numbers, and that the measure of how many fish the disciples are said to have caught is also 153, has not gone unnoticed by many scholars, with some suggesting that the number of fish in the New Testament episode is simply down to being the most familiar large number to the writer, or a deliberate reference to the geometric nomenclature as a sort of in-joke. It is significant that a story was told of Pythagoras, and later reported by Plato, that is very similar, even in wording, to the Biblical narrative of this event; some scholars have argued that that the entire Biblical episode is a coded reference to a geometric diagram, since Pythagoreanism saw geometry and numbers as having deep esoteric meaning, and via Hermeticism (and more minor routes) it was profoundly influential in the development of Hellenic mystery religions, and in certain aspects of gnosticism, an early form of Christianity. While such themes would be unusual if the New Testament was only intended to be taken literally, several modern scholars, as well as most ancient followers of gnosticism, have argued that parts of the New Testament were written as gnostic documents.
Rory's note - 17 is related to 153 because Joseph is related to the Messiah. Both are firstborn. Joseph who was mentioned 17 times in Genesis chapter 50 is a picture of the Messiah who came in the Spirit of Joseph to save and forgive.
The triangle of 17 equals 153. Remember the word triangle is used in the mathematical sense of 1+2+3+4...+17 = 153.
153 is related to the catch of fish and the ones doing the fishing were fishers of men. They were the disciples who would later become the apostles who were sent out to fish for men and bring them to a knowledge of the Messiah, Matthew 4:19.
And we will see shortly that 153 is related to the one who is in the image of God, even Yeshua HaMashiach, the last Adam.
153 and Joseph's fruitfulness
Remember Joseph is represented by the number 17
And 9 represents fruitfulness. There are 9 fruits of the spirit for example.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
153 = 9 x 17
153 = Joseph's fruitfulness.
which = 153 fish in the nets.
And we shall see that 153 also equals the Messiah who came to build his church or congregation.
153 & Bezaleel - the one who is in the Image of God
Exodus 31:1-3 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
Probably from H6738 and H410 with prepositional prefix; in (the) shadow (that is, protection) of God; Betsalel; the name of two Israelites: - Bezaleel.
30+1+30+90+2 = 153
So the one who is in the image of God, Bezaleel, בצלאל is related to the number 153. Thus 153 is related to the Messiah who is the builder of the heavenly temple which is the 'church of the firstborn' or more precisely the 'congregation of the firstborn'.
153 & the 3 Captains & their 50's
2 Kings 1:9-15 Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. 10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 11 Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. 12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 13 And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. 14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight. 15 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.
1 Captain + his 50 / Destroyed
1 Captain + his 50 - 1/3rd Saved
Total = 3 Captains + their 150
The ratio of 2 out of 3 captains and their 50's destroyed while only one Captain and his 50 is saved is the same ratio of those in the land of Israel that are destroyed and saved in the prophet Zechariah's vision.
Zechariah 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
So Zechariah's prophecy is related to the 2/3rds ratio of the 3 captains and their 50's because 2 of the captains and their 50's are destroyed while 1 Captain and his 50 are saved.
The mention of Joseph's name 17 times in Genesis 50 is no mere happen-stance. The number 17 is all about Joseph.
We see in scripture that there are often lists containing 17 things. Sometimes they are grouped in a configuration of 10+7 or 7+10.
And the number 17 is also related to the number 50 through the counting of the Omer that leads us to Pentecost. It is through the prophetic fulfilment of Pentecost from Acts chapter 2 onwards until the final last days outpouring of God's Spirit that the Sons of Joseph have been gathered in like Wheat during the harvest. And they are also being gathered in like Fish during this age of Pisces under the Messiah who began his ministry with the 12 humble disciples of whom some of them were fishermen.
The number 153 is related to the Messiah who is represented by Bezeleel who designed the tabernacle articles during the exodus. The name Bezeleel means in the image of God and it's numeric value is 153. The number 153 is related to the disciples catch of fish, representing souls. These fish a sorted out and like the 3 lots of captains and their 50's there will be 2/3rds destroyed and 1/3rd will be saved. Remember that seventh parable of the Kingdom in Matthew 13 is about a dragnet that pulls all the fish in but then they are sorted out later. Many are called but few are chosen.