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Even as early as the book of Genesis we see the concept of a remnant. There are at least 3 different words in the Tanach for “remnant” but most of them are derived from the same root word which is שְׁאָר. In this week’s parasha we are going to explore the word for remnant used in Genesis 45:7. The word is  שְׁאֵרִית:

“And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant (שְׁאֵרִית) on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.” Genesis 45:7

It is easy to see that the word for remnant in Genesis 45:7 contains the root word. When words in Hebrew share a common root, they share a common idea. The whole Tanach is intricately woven together through the Hebrew language. Let’s continue to explore. Another use of the word שְׁאֵרִית is found in Jeremiah:

“Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.” Jeremiah 23:3

Now let’s look at the Apostolic Scriptures for the same root.

“And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant (ὑπόλειμμα hypoleimma) of them will be saved,’” Romans 9:27

The Greek word ὑπόλειμμα hypoleimma is only used once in all of Scripture. Here, is Paul is quoting from Isaiah 10:22:

“For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant (שְׁאָר)of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.”

All of these verses are knit together by the root word for remnant. Genesis 45:7 not only describes the miraculous salvation of the tribes through Joseph but also foreshadows a future deliverance. Unfortunately, the truth is not and will not be popular. More people will have the fear of men and not the fear of G-d. In the end, only a remnant will be saved. Just as Joseph delivered the remnant of his family from the crippling famine so too will Yeshua deliver the remnant of His flock from destruction.

“He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:10

Throughout these last few portions Benjamin has played a significant role. This week’s portion is no exception. In chapter 46 verse there a list of each tribe and their sons with a head count totaling seventy.  Benjamin, the youngest, had ten sons, which was the most out of all of his brothers. It is also a minion, or an assembly of ten men! If he pleased, Benjamin could have established his own community with just his family. They would not have had to deal with all those cousins and they would have been able to travel faster having fewer people. Despite the benefits, Benjamin stays with his family, travels with them, and settles with them in the land of Goshen. Without remaining joined to what would later be the nation of Israel Benjamin and his family would have perished due to the famine. Once again we see salvation is inextricably linked to Israel. Even though we have little communities and families we must remain united with Israel as a whole both in the physical sense and the spiritual sense.

“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.” Romans 11:17-18

Due, in part, to Benjamin’s faithfulness the total number of Jacob’s household that went to Egypt was seventy. In Exodus we learn of the seventy elders of Israel and also in Numbers it says:

“Then the L-RD said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.” Numbers 11:16

It was no accident that the exact number of Jacob’s family that came into Egypt was also the same number designated for the amount of elders to lead Israel. Jacob’s family was the representative of Israel. Though they lived in Egypt they dwelled together and remained chaste to G-d’s instructions. The same was true for the elders. They were faithful, they dwelled together, and they represented the nation. One little discrepancy I have not been able to explain is this verse in Acts:

“And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all.” Acts 7:14

From where did the number seventy-five come? Was this a misquote or a deliberate clue? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts in the comment section.

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