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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 50

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 50

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 50

1. Joseph fell on his father's face, and he wept over him and kissed him.   א. וַיִּפֹּל יוֹסֵף עַל פְּנֵי אָבִיו וַיֵּבְךְּ עָלָיו וַיִּשַּׁק לוֹ:
2. And Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel.   ב. וַיְצַו יוֹסֵף אֶת עֲבָדָיו אֶת הָרֹפְאִים לַחֲנֹט אֶת אָבִיו וַיַּחַנְטוּ הָרֹפְאִים אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל:
to embalm his father: This involves compounding aromatic spices. — [From Targum Jonathan and Targum Yerushalmi]   לחנט את אביו: ענין מרקחת בשמים הוא:
3. And forty days were completed for him for so are the days of embalming completed and the Egyptians wept over him for seventy days.   ג. וַיִּמְלְאוּ לוֹ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם כִּי כֵּן יִמְלְאוּ יְמֵי הַחֲנֻטִים וַיִּבְכּוּ אֹתוֹ מִצְרַיִם שִׁבְעִים יוֹם:
And forty days were completed for him: They completed for him the days of his embalming, when forty days were completed for him.   וימלאו לו: השלימו לו ימי חניטתו עד שמלאו לו ארבעים יום:
and the Egyptians wept over him for seventy days: Forty [days] for embalming and thirty for weeping, because a blessing had come to them when he arrived-the famine ended and the waters of the Nile increased. — [From Bereshith Rabbathi , Targum Jonathan]   ויבכו אתו מצרים שבעים יום: ארבעים לחניטה, ושלשים לבכיה, לפי שבאה להם ברכה לרגלו, שכלה הרעב, והיו מי נילוס מתברכין:
4. When the days of his weeping had passed, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh's household, saying, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak now in Pharaoh's ears, saying,   ד. וַיַּעַבְרוּ יְמֵי בְכִיתוֹ וַיְדַבֵּר יוֹסֵף אֶל בֵּית פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֵיכֶם דַּבְּרוּ נָא בְּאָזְנֵי פַרְעֹה לֵאמֹר:
5. 'My father adjured me, saying, "Behold, I am going to die. In my grave, which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me." So now, please let me go up and bury my father and return.' "   ה. אָבִי הִשְׁבִּיעַנִי לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵת בְּקִבְרִי אֲשֶׁר כָּרִיתִי לִי בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן שָׁמָּה תִּקְבְּרֵנִי וְעַתָּה אֶעֱלֶה נָּא וְאֶקְבְּרָה אֶת אָבִי וְאָשׁוּבָה:
which I dug for myself: Heb. כָּרִיתִי. According to its simple meaning, it (כָּרִיתִי) is similar to“If a man digs (יִכְרֶה)” (Exod. 21:33) (Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel). Its midrashic interpretation also fits the language [of the text here] [viz., that it is] like קָנִיתִי, I bought. Rabbi Akiva said,“When I went to [some] cities by the sea, they called selling (מְכִירָה) כִּירָה ” (Rosh Hashanah 26a). [Similarly, it may have been used for“buying.”] Another midrashic interpretation is that it is a term derived from כְּרִי, a stack, [meaning] that Jacob took all the silver and gold that he had brought from Laban’s house and made it into a stack. He said to Esau, “Take this for your share in the cave” (Tanchuma Buber, Vayishlach 11; Gen. Rabbah 100:5). See Rashi on 46: 6.   אשר כריתי לי: כפשוטו כמו (שמות כא לג) כי יכרה איש. ומדרשו עוד מתיישב על הלשון, כמו אשר קניתי. אמר רבי עקיבא כשהלכתי לכרכי הים היו קורין למכירה כירה, ועוד מדרשו לשון כרי, דגור, שנטל יעקב כל כסף וזהב שהביא מבית לבן ועשה אותו כרי, ואמר לעשו טול זה בשביל חלקך במערה:
6. And Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father as he adjured you."   ו. וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה עֲלֵה וּקְבֹר אֶת אָבִיךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבִּיעֶךָ:
as he adjured you: But were it not for the oath, I would not permit you [to go]. He (Pharaoh) was afraid to tell him (Joseph) to transgress the oath, however, lest he say, “If so, I will transgress the oath that I swore to you that I would not reveal that I understand the holy tongue (Hebrew) in addition to seventy languages of the nations of the world, but you do not understand it (Hebrew),” as is found in Tractate Sotah (36b).   כאשר השביעך: ואם לא בשביל השבועה לא הייתי מניחך, אבל ירא לומר עבור על השבועה, שלא יאמר אם כן עבור על השבועה שנשבעתי לך שלא אגלה על לשון הקודש שאני מכיר עודף על שבעים לשון ואתה אינך מכיר בו, כדאיתא במסכת סוטה (דף לו ב): 
7. So Joseph went up to bury his father, and all Pharaoh's servants, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt went up with him,   ז. וַיַּעַל יוֹסֵף לִקְבֹּר אֶת אָבִיו וַיַּעֲלוּ אִתּוֹ כָּל עַבְדֵי פַרְעֹה זִקְנֵי בֵיתוֹ וְכֹל זִקְנֵי אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:
8. and Joseph's entire household and his brothers and his father's household; only their young children and their flocks and cattle did they leave in the land of Goshen.   ח. וְכֹל בֵּית יוֹסֵף וְאֶחָיו וּבֵית אָבִיו רַק טַפָּם וְצֹאנָם וּבְקָרָם עָזְבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ גּשֶׁן:
9. And chariots and horsemen also went up with him, and the camp was very numerous.   ט. וַיַּעַל עִמּוֹ גַּם רֶכֶב גַּם פָּרָשִׁים וַיְהִי הַמַּחֲנֶה כָּבֵד מְאֹד:
10. And they came to the threshing floor of the thornbushes, which is on the other side of the Jordan, and there they conducted a very great and impressive eulogy, and he made for his father a mourning of seven days.   י. וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד גֹּרֶן הָאָטָד אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיִּסְפְּדוּ שָׁם מִסְפֵּד גָּדוֹל וְכָבֵד מְאֹד וַיַּעַשׂ לְאָבִיו אֵבֶל שִׁבְעַת יָמִים:
the threshing floor of the thornbushes: It was surrounded by thornbushes. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it [that it was called the threshing floor of the thornbushes] to commemorate the event, when all the people of Canaan and the princes of Ishmael came to [fight a] war. When they saw Joseph’s crown hanging on Jacob’s coffin, they all stood up and hung their own crowns on it and surrounded it with crowns, like a threshing floor surrounded by a fence of thorns. — [From Sotah 13a]   גרן האטד: מוקף אטדין היה. ורבותינו דרשו על שם המאורע שבאו כל מלכי כנען ונשיאי ישמעאל למלחמה, וכיון שראו כתרו של יוסף תלוי בארונו של יעקב, עמדו כולן ותלו בו כתריהם, והקיפוהו כתרים כגורן המוקף סייג של קוצים:
11. The Canaanite[s], the inhabitant[s] of the land, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of the thornbushes, and they said, "This is an intense mourning for the Egyptians." Therefore, they named it Abel Mizraim (Egypt mourns), which is on the other side of the Jordan.   יא. וַיַּרְא יוֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי אֶת הָאֵבֶל בְּגֹרֶן הָאָטָד וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵבֶל כָּבֵד זֶה לְמִצְרָיִם עַל כֵּן קָרָא שְׁמָהּ אָבֵל מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן:
12. And his sons did to him just as he had commanded them.   יב. וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בָנָיו לוֹ כֵּן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּם:
as he had commanded them: What was it that he had commanded them?- [What the Torah elaborates in the following verse.]   כאשר צום: מהו אשר צום:
13. And his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and they buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which field Abraham had bought for burial property from Ephron the Hittite before Mamre.   יג. וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֹתוֹ בָנָיו אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ בִּמְעָרַת שְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה לַאֲחֻזַּת קֶבֶר מֵאֵת עֶפְרֹן הַחִתִּי עַל פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא:
And his sons carried him: But not his grandsons, for so he had commanded them: “Neither shall any Egyptian carry my coffin nor any of your sons, for they are born of the daughters of Canaan, but you [alone].” He designated a position for them [by his coffin], [so that] three [of them would carry] on the east, and so on for [all] four directions. [This was] similar to their arrangement in the traveling of the camp [in the desert] of the groupings [of the tribes as] they were designated here. [He also ordered,] “Levi shall not carry it because he (i.e., his tribe) is destined to carry the Ark. Joseph shall not carry it because he is a king. Manasseh and Ephraim shall carry it instead of them.” That is the meaning of “Each one according to his group with signs” (Num. 2:2), according to the sign that their father gave them to carry his coffin. — [From Tanchuma Bamidbar 12]   וישאו אתו בניו: ולא בני בניו, שכך צום אל ישאו מטתי, לא איש מצרי, ולא אחד מבניכם שהם מבנות כנען, אלא אתם, וקבע להם מקום, שלשה למזרח וכן לארבע רוחות, וכסדרן למסע מחנה של דגלים נקבעו כאן. לוי לא ישא שהוא עתיד לשאת את הארון, ויוסף לא ישא שהוא מלך, מנשה ואפרים יהיו תחתיהם, וזהו (במדבר ב ב) איש על דגלו באותות, באות שמסר להם אביהם לישא מטתו:
14. And Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.   יד. וַיָּשָׁב יוֹסֵף מִצְרַיְמָה הוּא וְאֶחָיו וְכָל הָעֹלִים אִתּוֹ לִקְבֹּר אֶת אָבִיו אַחֲרֵי קָבְרוֹ אֶת אָבִיו:
he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him: Here, when they returned, [Scripture] places his brothers before the Egyptians who had gone up with him, whereas when they left, [Scripture] places the Egyptians before his brothers, as it is said: “and all Pharaoh’s servants…went up with him” (verse 7), and afterwards, “And Joseph’s entire household and his brothers” (verse 8). But because they (the Egyptians) saw the honor that the kings of Canaan had bestowed, (i.e.,) that they hung their crowns on Jacob’s coffin, they treated them (Joseph’s brothers) with respect. — [From Sotah 13b]   הוא ואחיו וכל העלים אתו: בחזרתן כאן הקדים אחיו למצרים העולים אתו, ובהליכתן הקדים מצרים לאחיו, שנאמר (לעיל פסוק ז) ויעלו אתו כל עבדי פרעה וגו' ואחר כך (שם ח) כל בית יוסף ואחיו, אלא לפי שראו הכבוד שעשו מלכי כנען שתלו כתריהם בארונו של יעקב נהגו בהם כבוד:
15. Now Joseph's brothers saw that their father had died, and they said, "Perhaps Joseph will hate us and return to us all the evil that we did to him."   טו. וַיִּרְאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף כִּי מֵת אֲבִיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוּ יִשְׂטְמֵנוּ יוֹסֵף וְהָשֵׁב יָשִׁיב לָנוּ אֵת כָּל הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר גָּמַלְנוּ אֹתוֹ:
Now Joseph’s brothers saw that their father had died: What does it mean that they saw? They recognized his (Jacob’s) death in Joseph, for they were accustomed to dine at Joseph’s table, and he was friendly toward them out of respect for his father, but as soon as Jacob died, he was no longer friendly toward them. — [From Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel; Tanchuma Buber, Shemoth 2]   ויראו אחי יוסף כי מת אביהם: מהו ויראו, הכירו במיתתו אצל יוסף, שהיו רגילים לסעוד עמו על שולחנו של יוסף והיה מקרבן בשביל כבוד אביו, ומשמת יעקב לא קרבן:
Perhaps Joseph will hate us: Heb. לוּ [The word] לוּ has many different meanings. לוּ is used as an expression of request or to denote “if only,” [as in these examples:]“If only (לוּ) it would be as you say” (Gen. 30:34);“If only (לוּ) you would listen to me” (ibid. 23:13);“If only (לוּ) we had been content” (Josh. 7:7);“If only (לוּ) we had died” (Num. 14:2). לוּ sometimes means“if” (אִם) or“perhaps” (אוּלַי) , e.g.,“If (לוּ) they had been wise” (Deut. 32:29);“Had (לוּא) you hearkened to My commandments” (Isa. 48: 18);“And even if (וְלוּ) I should weigh on my palms” (II Sam. 18:12). לוּ sometimes serves as an expression of “perhaps,” [as in]“Perhaps (לוּ) will hate us” (Gen. 50:15). And there is no similar use [of this word] in Scriptures. It is [used as] an expression of“perhaps” (אוּלַי) , like“Perhaps (אוּלַי) the woman will not follow me” (Gen. 24:39), which denotes“perhaps.” There is also an example of אוּלַי [used as] an expression of a request, e. g.,“If only (אוּלַי) the Lord will see [the tears of] my eye” (II Sam. 16:12);“If only (אוּלַי) the Lord will be with me” (Josh. 14:12). This is similar to“If only (לוּ) it would be as you say” (Gen. 30:34). Sometimes אוּלַי is an expression of “if” :“If (אוּלַי) there are fifty righteous men” (Gen. 18:24). - [From Targum Onkelos]   לו ישטמנו: שמא ישטמנו. לו מתחלק לענינים הרבה, יש לו משמש בלשון בקשה ולשון הלואי, כגון (לעיל ל לד) לו יהי כדבריך, (שם כג יג) לו שמעני, (יהושע ז ז) ולו הואלנו, (במדבר יד ב) לו מתנו. ויש לו משמש בלשון אם ואולי, כגון (דברים לב כט) לו חכמו, (ישעיה מח יח) לו הקשבת למצותי, (שמואל ב' יח יב) ולו אנכי שוקל על כפי. ויש לו משמש בלשון שמא לו ישטמנו, ואין לו עוד דומה במקרא, והוא לשון אולי, כמו (לעיל כד לט) אולי לא תלך האשה אחרי לשון שמא הוא, ויש אולי לשון בקשה כגון (שמואל ב' טז יב) אולי יראה ה' בעניי, (יהושע יד יב) אולי ישיב ה' אותי, הרי הוא כמו, (לעיל ל לד) לו יהי כדבריך, ויש אולי לשון אם, (לעיל יח כד) אולי יש חמשים צדיקים:
16. So they commanded [messengers to go] to Joseph, to say, "Your father commanded [us] before his death, saying,   טז. וַיְצַוּוּ אֶל יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹר אָבִיךָ צִוָּה לִפְנֵי מוֹתוֹ לֵאמֹר:
they commanded [messengers to go] to Joseph: Like “and He commanded them to the children of Israel” (Exod. 6:13). [That is,] he commanded Moses and Aaron to be messengers to the children of Israel. In this case, too, they (the brothers) commanded their messenger to be a messenger to Joseph to say this to him. Whom did they command? Bilhah’s sons who were frequently with him, as it is said:“and he was a lad [and was] with the sons of Bilhah” (Gen. 37:2). - [From Targum Yerushalmi as quoted by Chizkuni]   ויצוו אל יוסף: כמו (שמות ו יג) ויצום אל בני ישראל, צוה למשה ולאהרן להיות שלוחים אל בני ישראל, אף זה ויצוו אל שלוחם להיות שליח אל יוסף לומר לו כן. ואת מי צוו, את בני בלהה שהיו רגילין אצלו, שנאמר (לעיל לז ב) והוא נער את בני בלהה:
Your father commanded: They altered the facts for the sake of peace. — [From Yeb. 65b, Tanchuma Toledoth 1].   אביך צוה: שינו בדבר מפני השלום, כי לא צוה יעקב כן שלא נחשד יוסף בעיניו:
17. 'So shall you say to Joseph, "Please, forgive now your brothers' transgression and their sin, for they did evil to you. Now please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." ' " Joseph wept when they spoke to him.   יז. כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ לְיוֹסֵף אָנָּא שָׂא נָא פֶּשַׁע אַחֶיךָ וְחַטָּאתָם כִּי רָעָה גְמָלוּךָ וְעַתָּה שָׂא נָא לְפֶשַׁע עַבְדֵי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ וַיֵּבְךְּ יוֹסֵף בְּדַבְּרָם אֵלָיו:
please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father: Although your father is dead, his God is alive, and they are His servants. — [From Tanchuma Buber, Shemoth 2]   שא נא לפשע עבדי אלהי אביך: אם אביך מת אלהיו קיים, והם עבדיו:
18. His brothers also went and fell before him, and they said, "Behold, we are your slaves."   יח. וַיֵּלְכוּ גַּם אֶחָיו וַיִּפְּלוּ לְפָנָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ הִנֶּנּוּ לְךָ לַעֲבָדִים:
His brothers also went: in addition to sending messengers.   וילכו גם אחיו: מוסף על השליחות:
19. But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid, for am I instead of God?   יט. וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יוֹסֵף אַל תִּירָאוּ כִּי הֲתַחַת אֱלֹהִים אָנִי:
for am I instead of God?: Heb. הִתַחַת. Am I perhaps in His place? [The prefixed “hey” denotes] wonder. If I wanted to harm you, would I be able? Did not all of you plan evil against me? The Holy One, blessed be He, however, designed it for good. So how can I alone harm you?   כי התחת א-להים אני: שמא במקומו אני, בתמיה, אם הייתי רוצה להרע לכם, כלום אני יכול, והלא אתם כולכם חשבתם עלי רעה והקב"ה חשבה לטובה, והיאך אני לבדי יכול להרע לכם:
20. Indeed, you intended evil against me, [but] God designed it for good, in order to bring about what is at present to keep a great populace alive.   כ. וְאַתֶּם חֲשַׁבְתֶּם עָלַי רָעָה אֱלֹהִים חֲשָׁבָהּ לְטֹבָה לְמַעַן עֲשׂה כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה לְהַחֲיֹת עַם רָב:
21. So now do not fear. I will sustain you and your small children." And he comforted them and spoke to their hearts.   כא. וְעַתָּה אַל תִּירָאוּ אָנֹכִי אֲכַלְכֵּל אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת טַפְּכֶם וַיְנַחֵם אוֹתָם וַיְדַבֵּר עַל לִבָּם:
and spoke to their hearts: Convincing words. Before you came down here, they (the Egyptians) were spreading rumors about me that I was a slave. Through you, it became known that I am a free man. Now if I kill you, what will people say?“He (Joseph) saw a group of young men and glorified himself through them by saying, ‘They are my brothers’ and at the end he killed them. Is there such a thing as a brother who kills his brothers” (Gen. Rabbah 100:9)? Another explanation: If ten candles could not extinguish one candle, [how can one candle extinguish ten candles?] (Meg. 16b).   וידבר על לבם: דברים המתקבלים על הלב, עד שלא ירדתם לכאן היו מרננים עלי שאני עבד, ועל ידיכם נודע שאני בן חורין, ואם אני הורג אתכם מה הבריות אומרות כת של בחורים ראה ונשתבח בהן, ואמר אחי הם, ולבסוף הרג אותם, יש לך אח שהורג את אחיו. דבר אחר עשרה נרות לא יכלו לכבות נר אחד וכו':
22. So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years.   כב. וַיֵּשֶׁב יוֹסֵף בְּמִצְרַיִם הוּא וּבֵית אָבִיו וַיְחִי יוֹסֵף מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים:
23. Joseph saw children of a third generation [born] to Ephraim; also the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh were born on Joseph's knees.   כג. וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף לְאֶפְרַיִם בְּנֵי שִׁלֵּשִׁים גַּם בְּנֵי מָכִיר בֶּן מְנַשֶּׁה יֻלְּדוּ עַל בִּרְכֵּי יוֹסֵף:
on Joseph’s knees: As the Targum renders: [were born and Joseph raised them, i.e.,] he raised them between his knees.   על ברכי יוסף: כתרגומו, גדלן בין ברכיו:  
 
24. Joseph said to his brothers, "I am going to die; God will surely remember you and take you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."   כד. וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל אֶחָיו אָנֹכִי מֵת וֵאלֹהִים פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֶתְכֶם וְהֶעֱלָה אֶתְכֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב:
25. And Joseph adjured the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely remember you, and you shall take up my bones out of here."   כה. וַיַּשְׁבַּע יוֹסֵף אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶתְכֶם וְהַעֲלִתֶם אֶת עַצְמֹתַי מִזֶּה:
26. And Joseph died at the age of one hundred ten years, and they embalmed him and he was placed into the coffin in Egypt.   כו. וַיָּמָת יוֹסֵף בֶּן מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וַיַּחַנְטוּ אֹתוֹ וַיִּישֶׂם בָּאָרוֹן בְּמִצְרָיִם:
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