For Further Iyun
A. There are several instances in Sefer Breishit where korbanot are offered, most notably the "olot" offered by Noach (8:20) and Avraham (at the Akeydah - see 22:13). We also find many examples of the building of a mizbayach and calling out in God's Name. Yet, we never find "zevachim." Note that in 31:54, "zevach" refers to a joint feast between Yaakov and Lavan, not to a sacrifice to God.
The final "hitgalut" to Yaakov in Sefer Breishit begins as follows:
"Then God spoke to Yisrael in a vision by night saying: Yaakov Yaakov, and he answered 'Hi'nay'ni' ('Here I am') ... Fear not to go down to Egypt..." (see 46:2-3)The unique style of God's opening statement to Yaakov creates a linguistic parallel pointing us both (A) backward - to the Akeydah, and (B) forward - to Moshe at the burning bush.
(A) Hi'nay'ni - Back to the Akeydah
God's response is reminiscent of His opening statement at the Akeyda:
"And God tested Avraham, and called out 'Avraham,' and he answered 'Hi'nay'ni'" (see 22:1)Besides symbolizing the ultimate devotion to God, the Akeyda narrative also concludes with a Divine oath naming Yitzchak as heir to the earlier covenants and promises God had made with Avraham Avinu (see 22:15-18). This may explain why in God's reply to Yaakov's korbanot to the 'God of Yitzchak,' He affirms the deeper purpose for Yaakov's descent to Egypt - the fulfillment of that earlier oath to Avraham Avinu.
(B) Hi'nay'ni - Forward to the Burning Bush
Just as we find a linguistic parallel to God's call to Avraham answered by "hi'nay'ni" at the Akeydah, we find a similar parallel to God's call to Moshe Rabeinu at the burning bush:
"And God called him from the bush saying: 'Moshe, Moshe,' and he answered "Hi'nay'ni'" (Shmot 3:4)However, the significance of God's "hitgalut" to Moshe at the burning bush extends beyond this linguistic parallel. It is God's first revelation to man since the time of Yaakov's departure from Eretz Canaan! In other words, prophecy 'picks up right where it left off!'
See Board #3 and note the comparison between these two revelations, clearly suggesting a conceptual relationship between them. [It is recommended that you compare these psukim in the original Hebrew. See Breishit 46:2-4 and Shmot 3:4-8.]
Just as the linguistic parallel is obvious, so too is the thematic parallel. At God's "hitgalut" to Moshe (at the burning bush), He instructs Moshe to inform Bnei Yisrael that God has come to fulfill the covenant of Brit Bein Ha'Btarim: to bring them out of bondage, establish them as a sovereign Nation and bring them to the Promised Land.
C. The emotional confrontation between Yehuda and Yosef at the beginning of this week's Parsha is symbolic of future struggles between shevet Yehuda and shevet Yosef.