102. "And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, saying, 'What are you seeking?'" (Beresheet 37:15). It is written earlier: "And Yisrael said to Joseph, 'Do not your brothers feed the flock in Shchem? Come, and I will send you to them'" (Ibid. 13). Why did the perfected Jacob, who loved Joseph better than his other sons and knew that his brothers hated him, send Joseph to them? HE ANSWERS, Because he knew they were righteous, he did not distrust them. The Holy One, blessed be He, caused all this to carry out the decree He made TO ABRAHAM in the Covenant, between the pieces.
103. We have found it stated in ancient books that it was imperative that the sons of Jacob have mastery over Joseph before he descended to Egypt. For if he had gone there before they dominated him, the Egyptians would have ruled over Yisrael in perpetuity, AND YISRAEL WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LEAVE. THEREFORE, it came to pass that HIS BROTHERS were Joseph's masters and sold him as a slave. THUS, when Joseph was later crowned king of Egypt, Yisrael ruled over them all. FOR THEY OBTAINED MASTERY OVER JOSEPH, THEIR KING, BY SELLING HIM TO BE A SLAVE. IT WAS AS IF THEY RULED OVER THE EGYPTIANS THEMSELVES. THIS WEAKENED EGYPTIAN POWER AND ENABLED YISRAEL TO BE FREED FROM IT.
104. Come and behold, Joseph was the Supernal Covenant, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, and as long as the Covenant, JOSEPH, endured, the Shechinah lived within Yisrael in peace. Once Joseph, the Supernal Covenant, was gone from the world AND SOLD AS A SLAVE, the Covenant, the Shechinah, and Yisrael all went into exile. This has been explained in connection with the verse, "Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph" (Shemot 1:8). THIS INDICATES THAT HIS RANK HAD BEEN REVOKED AND HE WENT INTO EXILE. The Holy One, blessed be He, caused all this, and it happened as it had to.
105. "And a certain man found him" refers to Gabriel. It has been explained here that it is written, "And a certain man found him," and elsewhere it is written, "The man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning" (Daniel 9:21). BY ANALOGY, WE LEARN THAT THE MAN IN THE FIRST SENTENCE IS ALSO GABRIEL, and "he was wandering" (Beresheet 37:15) in every way, for trusting his brothers, for seeking fraternity but not obtaining it, and for looking for them without finding them. Therefore, "the man asked him, saying, 'What are you seeking?'"