Midrash Vayosha

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The Midrash Vayosha (Hebrew: מדרש ויושע) is an 11th Century CE[1] smaller midrashim, based on Ex. xiv. 30-xv. 18. It is an exposition in the style of the later aggadah and seems to have been intended for "Sabbat Shirah" or for the seventh day of the Passover.


Entire sections of Midrash Vayosha are taken verbatim from the Tanḥuma, such as the passage on Ex. xv. 3 from Tan., Bo, and on xv. 5 from Ḥuḳḳat, beginning. With the story in the exposition of Ex. xiv. 30, concerning Satan, who appeared before Abraham and Isaac as they went to the sacrifice, may be compared the addition in Tan., Wayera, ed. Stettin, No. 24; Yalḳ., Ex. §§ 98-99, end; and Sefer ha-Yashar, end of pericope "Wayera." The midrash on Ex. xv. 2, 7 also contains extracts from the Chronicle of Moses, the passage on Usa, the genius of Egypt, agreeing word for word with the excerpt in Yalḳ., § 241. Here the first edition has merely "Midrash," while other editions give the Midrash Abkir as the source, although it is doubtful whether this aggadah ever occurred in that work.

The sections begin for the most part with the words "ameru ḥakamim," though Rabbi Joshua ben Levi and Rabbi Samuel b. Naḥmani are occasionally given as the authors.


In the exposition of xv. 18 on the sorrows and the redemption in the Messianic time, the terrible figure of King Armilus is described, and it is said that he will slay the Messiah of the race of Joseph, but will himself be slain by the Messiah who is the son of David (comp. Suk. 52a); God will then gather together the scattered remnant of Israel and hold the final judgment; and the wonderful beauty of a new world full of joy and happiness is revealed.


The Midrash Wayosha' was first published at Constantinople in 1519 (Metz, 1849, and elsewhere), and has been reprinted by A. Jellinek (Bet. Ha.Midrash i. 35-57, Jerusalem 1967, 3rd Ed.).


  1. ^ Journal of Jewish art - Volume 10 - Page 8 Universiṭah ha-ʻIvrit bi-Yerushalayim. Merkaz le-omanut Yehudit - 1984 "According to the eleventh-century Midrash Vayosha',19 Pharaoh was taken down by the Archangel Gabriel to the ..."

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.  This article is an evolution of the corresponding article which gives the following Bibliography:

Zunz, G. V. p. 282;
Rab Pe'alim, p. 55;
A. Jellinek, Bet. Ha.Midrasch Band I., IV , Einl. p. xvii. p. 35-57; German Transl. A. Wünsche, I, S.93
Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 299.