Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile

11 Heshvan 5760 / October 21, 1999

Head of Joseph;

Heart of Judah

The illness of Zion and OIL on the crown of the head of Joseph  


If the disease is allowed to spread any further, the man of Zion may die!

What started in Jericho as a pain in the back of the neck , Tulkarm as a headache and on the Mount of Olives as a lump in the throat,  has progressed to a runny nose in Kalkilya, an ear ache at Nablus and a sore throat at Ramallah. Now Bethlehem is  having severe chest pains and Hebron the symptoms of a heart attack!

The attached map outlining the unannexed territories, which the Palestinians are seeking as their state -- including the Birthright given to Joseph -- clearly outlines a man's head, neck and shoulders and reveals these dire symptoms in the locations given.  Diagnosis: Zion is sick almost unto death. The disease: Palestinian ultra-Nationalism. The treatment: Summon Joseph and anoint the crown on the head of the N'zir, the one SEPARATED or exiled from his brothers. (Bereshit 49:25-26) We must ask ourselves whether this exile and separation, alluded to in such a cryptic manner by Moshe, may apply specifically TODAY to the unannexed territories, which have been SEPARATED from the rest of Israel and which comprise the biblical heartland, the HEAD OF JOSEPH, including the neck of Benjamin, and the HEART OF JUDAH.

Others may see in this outline, the King Messiah himself ... but with his face looking away ... as though waiting to reveal himself within the framework of what happens in these territories and whether the Israeli leadership allows a Palestinian state.  In which case, we may soon see his purple robe splattered with blood.

Whoever this N'zir is, he is suffering on behalf of the unannexed territories which are home to Joseph and Judah. I believe Moshe referred to this condition and its treatment as part of the last words he uttered in Vezot Haberachot (And These are The Blessings).  In D'varim (Deuteronomy) 33:12-17, Moshe specifically defines the outline of the head, neck and shoulders of a man formed from the biblical territories of Joseph, Benjamin and Judah IN THE LAST DAYS.

We know these are last days blessings because earlier Jacob refers to the identical blessing on Joseph's "head" and the crown on the "head" of the N'zir (Bereshit 49:25-26) by prefacing his blessing in Bereshit 49:1 with this statement:  "Assemble yourselves and I will tell you what will befall you B'ACHARIT HAYAMIM (in the End of Days)." (Stone Chumash).

The exegesis below details the BLESSING that will restore Eretz Yisrael to health and prosperity, but a more immediate threat upon the life of the man of Zion exists. To the city of Jerusalem, "A knife is at your throat" and the hands Hashem will use to remove it is that of the sons of Joseph.

Exegesis of  Deuteronomy 33:12-17

Verse 12. Of Benjamin he said - May Hashem's beloved dwell securely by him. He hovers OVER him all day long; and rests between his shoulders.

In biblical times, this Scripture coupled with Joshua 15:8 (which uses the same Hebrew word for "shoulder"  K'TEYF, to mean SIDE in defining the borders of Benjamin to the south SIDE of the Jebusite) helped determine the location of the Temple in Jerusalem at the southwest corner but still within the precincts of Benjamin.

IN THE LAST DAYS, Hashem's BELOVED in this context is either Joseph or Judah or both. If it is Joseph, then Joseph is the subject who hovers over Benjamin, and Joseph rests atop Benjamin, (which forms the neck) or between his shoulders (describing the neck).  If the beloved of Hashem is Judah, then Benjamin dwells securely by Judah and hovers over Judah all day long and rests between Judah's shoulders. (The portion of Judah not annexed does appear to be the profile of the shoulder of the man of Zion). If the beloved of Hashem represents both Joseph and Judah, then both apply, Joseph dwells securely by Benjamin and Benjamin hovers over Judah.

Joseph would be "secured" to Benjamin with the LUZ bone at the base of the skull, which attaches the head to the neck allowing it to rotate.  Curiously, the word LUZ, is seen in satellite maps of Israel in the formation of the mountains surrounding ancient Bethel, which was anciently called, LUZ! 

With this understanding, it is easy to delineate other sites associated with the head (Joseph) and neck (Benjamin) of the man of Zion. His closely cut beard is defined by the NAHAR AJALON, which begins around LOD (in vicinity of the airport) and proceeds to just north of TEL GEZER and on to KIRIYAT YEARIM (the Northwestern border of Benjamin where the Holy Ark awaited David's rescue). From there the neck of "JOSEPH," (Benjamin is part of Joseph from the time the divining cup is found in his sack) is defined by the old watershed from KIRIYAT YEARIM to  JERUSALEM where it meets the SHOULDER.  The spine roughly follows the outline of the mountains of Judea and the Shomron (Samaria) which curiously form the LUZ BONE (atop which the head rests at the base of the skull) EXACTLY at Bethel, formerly called LUZ!!! 

By extension, it is POSSIBLE that the entire unannexed portion of Judah forms the actual shoulder of the silouette bust which is called a PARTZUF in Hebrew.  If this BUST forms the head of Joseph, then the crown on the head lies somewhere in the PLAIN OF JEZREEL. 

Verse 13. Of Joseph he said - Blessed by Hashem is his land -- with the heavenly BOUNTY of dew, and with the DEEP crouching below:

The BOUNTY is the MEGED or pleasant fruits. The DEEP is the T 'HOM and describes an abyss or cavity in the deep interior of the earth. (Jastrow)

Verse 14. with the BOUNTY of the sun's crops, and with the BOUNTY of the moon's yield:

This refers to the promise made to Jacob (the sun in prophetic imagery) being extended to the progeny of his son, Joseph, whose very name "multiplier" spells out the bounty MEGED of the "yield" of the moon (Rachel in prophetic imagery). So Rachel's yield is her children, Joseph and Benjamin.  Numerous other prophecies spell out the same truth that the blessing of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is carried forward in JOSEPH and especially EPHRAIM whose name means "doubly fruitful."

Verse 15. with the quick-ripening crops of the early mountains, and with the MEGED (bounty) of ANCIENT hills:

If this alludes to the blessings of the deep, it would indicate some relationship between the oldest mountains. Oral Tradition states that Hashem created the mountains of the Shomron and Judea before any other mountains. A Jewish settlement called Itamar is today spread out over these mountains, which are called the GIVAT OLAM (everlasting hills).

Verse 16. with the MEGED of the land and its fullness, and by the favor of Him Who rested upon the thorn bush; may this blessing rest upon Joseph's head, and upon the crown KADKOD of him who was separated from his brothers:

This blessing is recited at the end of every Shabbat after we extinguish the Shabbat candles to start the new week!  So a lot of prayers over the centuries have gone into the discovery of the blessing on the head of Joseph.  Another reminder of the blessings of Joseph is said every night as the last prayer before going to sleep, the Bedtime Shema.

The CROWN KADKOD has several possible definitions according to the Etymological Dictionary (ED) and Jastrow's Dictionary of the Targums and Talmud.

1)                Simply "crown" of the head. (ED)

2)                Vertex of an angle (ED)

3)                Place on the head where a child's brain is seen to pulsate (Jastrow)

4)                Highest point of the head (Jastrow)

5)                A hump in which there is no bone, elevation of flesh or swelling (Jastrow)

We have already discussed the N'ZIR above as the one exiled or separated from his brothers and its relationship in the END TIMES to the unannexed territories and possibly those intended to fill them … the Assimilation of Joseph and Judah mixed into Gentile cultures who unite with the House of Judah, under the banner of the House of Israel after first turning again to Hashem and Torah.  But Jastrow quotes Leviticus 25:5 as defining the NAZIR (an undressed vine) as "that which is guarded in the ground." This means a possible relationship between the geographic region, the people who will return AND the blessing.

This means L'rosh Yosef ulkadkod nazir achav COULD be translated "on the head of Joseph and the vertex/place/hump on his head which is guarding his brothers or perhaps GUARDED BY HIS BROTHERS."

Note on the map above that a crown complete with a spired point is formed atop the head of the man in Zion.  The region of the crown points to the Valley of Jezreel and specifically to Megiddo.

The key to understanding the KADKOD may be the phrase PLEASANT FRUITS or as it is translated in most Hebrew Bibles, BOUNTY, which occurs throughout this blessing. Again, the Hebrew word is MEGED, Strongs 4022.

Megiddo, Strongs 4023, is formed from the same verb stem (MEM-GIMEL-DALET) as MEGED, Strong's 4022.  This would indicate that the bounty on the head of Joseph, even the crown of this head is at Megiddo, which might explain why the forces of Gog and Magog will some day converge at this same point in the valley of the Mountain of Megiddo (Har M'Giddo or 'Armageddon) in quest of robbing a "spOIL."

The only other place in Scripture where Strongs 4022 (Meged) is found is in the Song of Solomon 4:13,16 and 7:13.  In each instance, the PLEASANT FRUIT is described as part of an orchard, vineyard and garden.

There is an infamous garden somewhere in the Jezreel Valley in proximity to an ancient palace of King Ahab.  This garden vineyard belonged to NABOTH before King Ahab and Queen Izabel conspired to have Naboth falsely accused and executed so Ahab could claim the garden. It is the vengeance for this heinous crime that was exacted with the sword of Jehu upon Ahab's son, Jehoram.

The prophet Eliyahu himself anointed Jehu the King over the Northern Kingdom of Israel and anointed him specifically to slay the House of  King Ahab. Although Jehu rid all of the Northern Kingdom of the idols of Baal, he continued in the sins of his father Jereboam.  His animosity toward Judah was evident when he not only killed Jehoram but also the King of Judah, Ahaziah, and the royal princes of Judah.  This is the blood of Jehu to which the prophet Hosea refers in renaming Israel "Jezreel" AND IT ALL STEMS FROM THE THEFT OF NABOTH'S VINEYARD AND HIS EXECUTION.

The name NABOTH comes from one of two Hebrew roots, either NUN-BET-ALEPH, which is the root stem for the verb "to bubble up." This is the word from which we derive the NAVI, or prophet who speaks forth the word of Hashem when it bubbles inside of his belly.  But NABOTH may also stem from NUN-BET-AYIN, which is the verb that means "to gush forth" as a geyser or underground well.

In the book of 1 Kings where Ahab covets the vineyard of NABOTH, we learn that it is near his palace.  We also learn that after Jehu slew Jehoram, he was buried in this same vineyard.  So to locate this vineyard, which is possibly the very place of the blessing on the head of Joseph, as defined by the delineation of the unannexed territories, we need to first locate Ahab's palace.

Historically, Ahab is associated with three different palaces.  The first is at the ancient site of Jezreel, which would appear to be the most logical choice, since NABOTH was a Jezreelite.  But this palace is more intimately associated with Queen Izabel and is the same palace from which Izabel was thrown from a window and killed, the dogs carrying off her body and licking her blood. Since Ahab was a prolific builder and is known to have built palaces for all of his sons and daughters, it is logical that he had another palace himself.  (And I ask you, if you were married to Izabel, would you not want to live at least the length of the Jezreel Valley apart from her?)

Ahab is also associated with a palace at Samaria, which his father Omri actually built. And this is a logical site except that it is not located in the Valley of Jezreel.

Finally, Ahab has in recent decades been associated with another palace that had already been in existence since the 17th Century B.C.E. at MEGIDDO. This large palace built of well-hewn ashlar masonry and adorned with proto-Aeolic capitals is believed to have served earlier as the residence of Solomon's governor, Baana, son of Ahilud. The city was largely occupied by horses and servants quarters, including three units of five rectangular stables and one unit of two stables, with feeding troughs between pillars. Some archaeologists, however, attribute at least the stables to the time of Ahab, who rallied 2,000 chariots against Shalmaneser III at the Battle of KARKAR. (Here there may be an association with KADKOD, (the crown), which remember defines the location of Megiddo, if the DALET is viewed as a RESH since both letters are often interposed). According to Encyclopedia Judaica, a water installation, built at about the same period during the reign of Ahab, consists of a pit 81 ft. deep, with stairs leading to a horizontal tunnel 224 ft. long and to a spring in the slope of the hill, which was thus connected with the city inside the walls.  Megiddo was a much better fortified palace than either Jezreel or Samaria and Megiddo is located near the center of the Jezreel Valley.

So it is POSSIBLE that the vineyard of NABOTH the Jezreelite was in the Jezreel Valley near the palace of Ahab at MEGIDDO, or another way of stating this … in the valley of 'Armageddon. This would locate the blessing that would "gush forth" on the very tip of the crown atop the head of Joseph.

Verse 17. A FIRSTBORN is his ox-like one -- majesty is his, and his glory will be like the horns of a re'eim; with them shall he gore nations together, to the ends of the Land; they are the myriads of Ephraim, and the thousands of Manasseh:

These horns according to Talmudic literature, relate to a heavenly sign (a "fold") in the star cluster known as the Pleaides located in the constellation of the bull, Taurus. The cluster of stars resembles the head of a bull with two horns, one lower than the other. But when the star representing the lower horn is raised and the star representing the upper horn is lowered (as a bull gores), the star cluster would appear in the sky as a  COCAV DAVID (Star of David), that signals in the Talmud and other ancient Jewish writings, the RETURN OF THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH. The constellation Pleaides is mentioned dozens of times in the Talmud, Tosefta and leading commentaries as having experienced a change at the time of the flood of Noah, two stars being removed from their place. See The Heavenly Sign The World Awaits

Verse 19. The tribes will assemble at the mount, there they will slaughter offerings of righteousness, for by the riches of the sea they will be nourished, and by the treasures concealed in the sand:

The traditional understanding relates to COMMERCE (riches of the sea) and TORAH STUDY (treasures concealed) but the sand part doesn't quite fit.   The geological surveys of this region refer to various SANDS in describing core samples from earlier attempts to drill for oil in the region and regions nearby. While oil has been located, efforts to date have failed to produce a commercially viable producer. The great treasures remain concealed.

Verse 24. Of Asher he said - The most blessed of children is Asher; he shall be pleasing to his brothers, and dip his foot in oil:

In both maps at right, the toes of Asher's foot are delineated as either (A) or (B). In both cases the foot lies south of the Brook Kishon, which defines the ankle joint of the foot in the map to the left. By either interpretation, Asher's foot is adjacent to the Plain of Jezreel. The foot could just as easily dip south into the Plain of Sharon, which is not in the area delineated by the outline of the man of Tzion above. Or it could dip into the Jezreel just above the region defined in the outline of the N'zir known as the KADKOD, which is also where an Orthodox Jew (or Joe) would wear his head t'fillin. We have other evidence that this man of Zion is Orthodox in that he has payess hanging from his ears, which curiously fall in the region of the Shimshon (the stomping ground of  Samson, whose sidelocks (payess) were cut off by Delilah). Today, this is the Latrun Junction, which has figured strategically in every war Israel has fought and must be preserved at all costs.

Verse 25. May your borders be sealed like iron and copper, and like the days of your prime, so may your old age be:

In Joshua 17:16 we find that the Canaanites who dwelt in the Valley of Jezreel had iron chariots, so it is a safe bet that Asher and the children of Joseph, once they had driven out the Canaanites had this same resource of iron. Josh 17:16:

"And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the VALLEY OF JEZREEL."

Isaiah 45:1-4 may also refer to these borders of Asher:

Thus saith Hashem to his anointed, to KORESH, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the TWO-LEAVED gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:  And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, Hashem, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, (Israel)  though thou hast not known me.

This indicates that the brass and bars of iron bordering Asher together with the KADKOD on the head of Joseph, may define an oilfield in Northern Israel concealing the treasures of the DEEP.  The economic boom, would make Israel independent of the help of nations whose affinity for Arab oil has prejidoused their unconditional support of a Jewish … and Joe-ish homeland.  The tying together of the blessing of the oil with verse 4 "for Jacob my servant's sake and Israel mine elect," may indicate the link between the Return of the House of Joseph and the blessing on the head of Joseph.

Finally, just some random thoughts that prefigure the role of Joseph's children in the last days through their father's precedent:

1)                 Joseph's storehouse helped Israel survive before.  It will again in our time.

2)                 The Gog-led Moslem alliance that will come against Israel will target the Jezreel Valley where lies  Megiddo. This is LOGICALLY where the spoil would be located for which the invasion would occur.  Jewish commentators believe this war will break out during the week of Succot since the word GOG means "roof" and those who observe Succot in their succot will be safe.

3)                 The prophecies of Return in the context of the revelation of the blessings of the deep ALL include the Return of the House of Israel (led by Joseph-Ephraim).

4)                 JEZREEL in Hebrew is YIZ-RA'EL.  It means "the seed Hashem (God) will SOW."  Hosea's prophecy about all of this ends with the statement that "Great will be the day of JEZREEL." This is puzzling because it speaks of the UNIFICATION OF BOTH HOUSES in Hosea 2:2 (in a Hebrew bible) but the city of Jerusalem would be better suited for a theme of unification; not a city in the North!  Something apparently happens in the Plain of Jezreel.  It is a great day and Judah and Israel are there gathered together to proclaim it so.

                                             Maggid ben Yoseif



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