PANIM EL PANIM (the faces of Elohim) what are they? GEN 32:30

Mar 5, 2017
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“The Faces of God” (Panim el Panim) GEN 32:30


(a last-minute thought on Parashah VaYishlach)


Jacob finds himself alone, facing, as he thinks, eminent danger from being slaughtered by his brother Esau, He puts his family in hiding, he sends gifts of cattle to Esau to maybe “soften him up” he might think. Now comes a wrestling match. Jacob is at his wits ends, it is only he and Elohim. Elohim comes to visit him in form of the “Angel of YHVH” the Torah says that he “wrestled with a man all night” and Jacob did not relent, he did not give up the wrestling match until the Angel touched his thigh, thus wounding him. Then comes the interesting part, the Angel gives him a blessing, he changes his name from “Jacob” to “Israel”
From “trickster, deceiver” to “straight to G-d” When we see the name “Yisrael” it can be divided into two parts; “Yasher- El” (straight to G-d) the name “Yisrael” also contains the acronyms of the patriarchs and matriarchs who played a part in forming the nation of Israel; “YI” Yitzchak “S” Sarah “R” Rachel and Riv’kah “AE” Abraham “L” Leah. The gematria for the word “Yisrael” (Yod, Sheen, resh, aleph, lamed) adds up to 541, when we add together 5+4+1 = 10. “10” symbolizes the Torah, it was to the nation of Israel that the 10 Commandments were given as a “wedding contract” or “contract of nationhood”
Israel now says something interesting; “Vayikra Ya’akov shem haMakom Peniel Ki ra’iti Elohim Panim Et Panim” (and Jacob called the name of that place “Peniel” (face of God) for I have seen Elohim “faces to faces”.
What is interesting is that here, the word “face” is used in the singular and in the plural. Peni-el, (face of God) in the ancient paleo-Hebrew letters, the word is symbolized as “mouth, life, action, God, Leader” in gematria, the word “Peniel” adds up to 171, (the unique, one (echad) G-d is perfect) when we add 1+7+1 = 9. “9” is the number of “emet” (truth) and “Yeshua” also has that title.
But “Panim El Panim” (faces to faces) is somewhat strange, or is it? How many faces does God have? Or does he even have a face, since he is “spirit”. In one way, he “has a face” in physical form as the “Angel of YHVH, Jacob saw him, Abraham also saw him. But now “faces?” what could that mean? Here is one idea;
I am sure you can remember as a child, making “funny faces” in the mirror. You might have seen in elementary school, school work papers that have different “faces” and you have to guess what they are. A “sad” face, a “happy” face, an “angry” face, etc. do the “faces” describe the person? Or are “faces” an indication of the person’s internal being? I am sure you can remember your mother or father’s face when you disobeyed or goofed up something, you knew you “were in trouble” just by looking at their face. Just as our parents had their “faces” which illustrated what was going on inside their soul and being, so our Heavenly Father has different attributes, personalities, feelings, attitudes, etc. that “could” be compared with “Panim” (faces).
He has the “Panim Rachamim” (faces of Mercy) or “mercies” (endless mercy!”) He has the “face of forgiveness” the “face of longsuffering” the “face of patience” yet the faces of “punishment” “chastisement” “judgement and condemnation” for unrepentant sinners, the faces of “joy” and “wrath” of “happiness and sadness” “approval and disappointment” the face of a “God who listens and responds” the list could go on.
We can just imagine the “face” of God when he sees us doing certain things, both “kosher” and “un-kosher”
If we can imagine his faces, then, we can imagine how he is feeling inside when we are in obedience or disobedience. Another way of seeing “Panim El Panim” is “Faces God Faces” because “El” is one of G-d’s names. (the shortest one)
Can we say that during that night of ordeal, when Jacob wrestled with the “Malach Elohim” he saw the different “faces” of G-d? perhaps he saw in the “Panim Elohim” the future of his descendants, his 12 sons! It is something to think about!


PARASHA: “VaYeshev” (and he settled)


GENESIS 37:1-1-40:23..................AMOS 2:6-3:8................MATT 14:1-15:39, JOHN 10:22-23


In this study, the focus in on Yosef, who is going to be in the lime-light of God. Things seem to be going from bad to worse for this young teen-ager. But it wasn't all his fault we could say. His father Jacob held him high up on a pedestal, “Papa's favorite”. Always when there is family favoritism among sons and daughters, there is bound to be trouble, especially from the other siblings who are the “less preferred”
Papa Jacob makes him a “coat of many colors” This coat was a symbol of leadership, this is like getting a kid a three-piece suit made of fine silk, and then sending out to the fields where his brothers are wearing overalls and straw hats. This is going to get jealousy aroused. These brothers are boiling mad, and to make matters worse, Yosef is given dreams by YHVH and he doesn't keep them to himself, he shares them. He shares them not to be haughty, but just to let his family know what is happening, or rather, what is “going to happen” in the future. But I don't think that at that time, Yosef understood the meaning of the dreams.
To make a long story short, he gets out to the fields, the brothers strip him of his coat, rip it, dip it in goat's blood, plan to kill him, Judah talks them out of it, and instead, throw him in an empty well, wait until a group of Ishmaelite traders come by, they sell him to the buyers for 20 pieces of silver , and that is that, they are rid of brother Yosef, “daddy's boy” the dreamer, yet unknowingly, they are playing right into the perfect plan of YHVH, they are “investing” in their own future welfare.
But let's go back to the events. How do these events symbolize, compare with Messiah Yeshua? We do not see any blemish on Yosef, as if he is “perfect and righteous” as Yeshua was/is “Tzadik kadosh” (Righteous and Holy” Yosef is the “victim” of his own people (his brothers). As Yeshua was given up to the Roman governor, by a group of religious leaders.
The brothers striped Yosef of his coat, the coat was dipped in goat's blood. Yeshua was stripped of his clothing, and was beaten, his flesh “ripped” by a Roman whip, until the blood poured out. The “goat's blood” reminds us of “Yom Kippur” where goats were sacrificed and one was “set free” the blood of the goat reminds us of our sins “covered by the blood” (back then) but now, our sins are “erased” by the blood of “God's chosen LAMB” the “Lamb of God” which taketh away the sins of the world.
Yosef was thrown into a pit, an empty cistern, void of water. Scripture doesn't say, but I imagine that his brothers tied him up with a rope and lowered him into the pit by the rope. A “water well” symbolizes “Life” but when it is empty, it can symbolize “death”. Just try to climb out a deep pit with dirt sides without anything, you can't, might as well be dead. Yosef being lower into the pit can symbolize Yeshua's death, and his descent into “Sheol” yet when the Midianites came by, the brothers pulled him “out” of the pit, it could symbolize Yeshua's “resurrection unto life”. Before the pit, Yosef was part of his immediate family, after the incident of the pit, he is on his way to a “new life”, with trials, testings, troubles, suffering, and finally, rewards! Doesn't that sound like our life today?
Yosef was sold for “20 pieces of silver” by “Y'hudah Ben Ya'akov” (Judah son of Jacob)
Yeshua was sold for “30” pieces of silver by “Y'hudah Ish Kariot” (Judah, a man from the region of Kariot)
Y'hudah Ben Ya'akov was part of Jacob's family, whose name changed to Israel. Y'hudah Ish Kariot was part of Yeshua's family of talmidim (disciples) by “name only” not spiritually. The name “Israel” comes from “Yasher-El” (straight to God) “Yeshua” relationship is “straight to God”. The difference between 30 pieces of silver and 20 pieces of silver is “10” the number of “Torah”. ALL is recorded and written down in the Torah, and Yeshua is the “Living Torah”


AMOS 2:6-3:8

The prophet preaches “judgment on Israel” (because they sell the righteous for silver), and for many more evil deeds, they have turned away from God and are behaving like the heathen, that know not the LORD. Yosef was righteous, and he sold for 20 pieces of silver, Yeshua was / is righteous, and was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Israel has traded a “Torah” (30-20=10) walk for an “unrighteous” walk and lifestyle, trouble is ahead, judgment is coming, and it came, God used Babylon, Greece, Antiochus, Rome, as instruments of judgment, yet Israel prevailed, through YHVH's grace, goodness, righteousness, and through a “few gallant men” who fought the fight of freedom.


MATT 14:1-15:39 and JOHN 10:22-23

“Yeshua blesses the crowd” we see that Yeshua went to a place alone, perhaps to mourn the death of his cousin, Yochanan the Baptist, yet the crowd found him, he had compassion and healed the sick, he fed them when he multiplied the 5 loaves and 2 fish. Interesting enough, when we add 5 and 2 we get “7” the perfect number, the number of Holiness, we have the “Bread (loaves) of Life” and he who makes “fishers of men” (fish). Also, the symbol of the “fish” was used in early messianic believers.

In John, we see that Yeshua attends the Feast of Hanukkah, the “dedication” and takes this opportunity to tell the Jews, “I AM the Messiah....yet you do not believe” the choice to believe, is always OURS. Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Ben Avraham