Vayigash or Vaigash (וַיִּגַּשׁ — Hebrew for “and he drew near” or “then he drew near,” the first word of the parashah) is the eleventh weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis 44:18–47:27. The parashah is made up of 5,680 Hebrew letters, 1,480 Hebrew words, and 106 verses, and can occupy about 178 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah). Jews read it the eleventh Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in December or January.
In the parashah, Judah pleads on behalf of his brother Benjamin, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, Jacob comes down to Egypt, and Joseph’s administration of Egypt saves lives but transforms all the Egyptians into bondmen.
- 1 Readings
- 1.1 First reading — Genesis 44:18–30
- 1.2 Second reading — Genesis 44:31–45:7
- 1.3 Third reading — Genesis 45:8–18
- 1.4 Fourth reading — Genesis 45:19–27
- 1.5 Fifth reading — Genesis 45:28–46:27
- 1.6 Sixth reading — Genesis 46:28–47:10
- 1.7 Seventh reading — Genesis 47:11–27
- 1.8 Readings according to the triennial cycle
- 2 In inner-Biblical interpretation
- 3 In early nonrabbinic interpretation
- 4 In classical rabbinic interpretation
- 5 In modern interpretation
- 6 Commandments
- 7 In the liturgy
- 8 Haftarah
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
- 11 Notes
In traditional Sabbath Torah reading, the parashah is divided into seven readings, or עליות, aliyot. In the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Parashah Vayigash has no "open portion" (פתוחה, petuchah) divisions (roughly equivalent to paragraphs, often abbreviated with the Hebrew letter פ (peh)). Parashah Vayigash has a three, lesser "closed portion" (סתומה, setumah) divisions (abbreviated with the Hebrew letter ס (samekh)). The first closed portion (סתומה, setumah) includes the first four readings (עליות, aliyot) and part of the fifth reading (עליה, aliyah). The second closed portion (סתומה, setumah) includes the rest of the fifth reading (עליה, aliyah). And the third closed portion (סתומה, setumah) includes the sixth and seventh readings (עליות, aliyot).
First reading — Genesis 44:18–30
In the first reading (עליה, aliyah), Judah approached Joseph, whom he likened to Pharaoh, and recounted how Joseph had asked the brothers whether they had a father or brother, and they had told him that they had a father who was an old man, and a child of his old age who was a little one, whose brother was dead, who alone was left of his mother, and whose father loved him. Judah recalled how Joseph had told the brothers to bring their younger brother down to Egypt, they had told Joseph that the lad’s leaving would kill his father, but Joseph had insisted. Judah recalled how the brothers had told their father Joseph’s words, and when their father had told them to go again to buy a little food, they had reminded him that they could not go down without their youngest brother. Judah recounted how their father had told them that his wife had born him two sons, one had gone out and was torn in pieces, and if they took the youngest and harm befell him, it would bring down his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. Judah began to explain to Joseph what would happen if Judah were to come to his father without the lad, seeing that his father’s soul was bound up with the lad's. The first reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.
Second reading — Genesis 44:31–45:7
In the second reading (עליה, aliyah), Judah told Joseph that if Judah were to come to his father without the lad, then his father would die in sorrow. And Judah told how he had become surety for the lad, and thus asked Joseph to allow him to remain a bondman to Joseph instead of the lad, for how could he go up to his father if the lad was not with him? Joseph could no longer control his emotions and ordered everyone but his brothers to leave the room. He wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. Joseph told his brothers that he was Joseph, and asked them whether his father was still alive, but his brothers were too frightened to answer him. Joseph asked them to come near, told them that he was Joseph their brother whom they had sold into Egypt, but that they should not be grieved, for God had sent Joseph before them to preserve life. Joseph recounted how for two years there had been famine in the land, but there would be five more years without harvests. But God had sent him before them to save them alive for a great deliverance. The second reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.
Third reading — Genesis 45:8–18
In the third reading (עליה, aliyah), Joseph told his brothers that it was not they who sent him to Egypt, but God, who had made him ruler over all Egypt. Joseph thus directed them to go quickly to his father and convey that God had made him lord of all Egypt and his father should come down to live in the land of Goshen and Joseph would sustain him for the five years of famine. And Joseph and his brother Benjamin wept on each other’s necks, Joseph kissed all his brothers and wept upon them, and after that, his brothers talked with him. The report went through Pharaoh's house that Joseph's brothers had come, and it pleased Pharaoh. Pharaoh directed Joseph to tell his brothers to go to Canaan and bring their father and their households back to Egypt. The third reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.
Fourth reading — Genesis 45:19–27
In the fourth reading (עליה, aliyah), Joseph gave his brothers wagons and provisions for the way, and to each man he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave 300 shekels of silver and five changes of clothes. And Joseph sent his father ten donkeys laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten donkeys laden with food. So Joseph sent his brothers away, enjoining them not to fall out on the way. The brothers went to their father Jacob in Canaan and told him that Joseph was still alive and ruled over Egypt, but he did not believe them. They told him what Joseph had said, and when Jacob saw the wagons that Joseph had sent, Jacob revived. The fourth reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.
Fifth reading — Genesis 45:28–46:27
In the long fifth reading (עליה, aliyah), Jacob said that he would go to see Joseph before he died. Jacob journeyed to Beersheba with all that he had and offered sacrifices to God. God spoke to Jacob in a dream, saying that Jacob should not fear to go to Egypt, for God would go with him, make a great nation of him, and also surely bring him back. Jacob’s sons carried him, their little ones, and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent. They took their cattle and their goods and came to Egypt, Jacob, and his entire family. The first closed portion (סתומה, setumah) ends here.
The continuation of the fifth reading (עליה, aliyah) lists the names of Jacob’s family, 70 men in all, including Joseph and his two children. The long fifth reading (עליה, aliyah) and the second closed portion (סתומה, setumah) end here.
Sixth reading — Genesis 46:28–47:10
In the sixth reading (עליה, aliyah), Jacob sent Judah before him to show the way to Goshen. Joseph went up to Goshen in his chariot to meet Jacob, and fell on his neck and wept. Jacob told Joseph that now he could die, since he had seen Joseph’s face. Joseph told his brothers that he would go tell Pharaoh that his brothers had come, that they kept cattle, and that they had brought their flocks, herds, and all their possessions. Joseph instructed them that when Pharaoh asked them their occupation, they should say that they were keepers of cattle, for shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. Joseph told Pharaoh that his family had arrived in the land of Goshen, and presented five of his brothers to Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked the brothers what their occupation was, and they told Pharaoh that they were shepherds and asked to live in the land of Goshen. Pharaoh told Joseph that his family could live in the best of the land, in Goshen, and if he knew any able men among them, then he could appoint them to watch over Pharaoh’s cattle. Joseph set Jacob before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was, and Jacob answered that he was 130 years old and that few and evil had been the years of his life. Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left. The sixth reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.
Seventh reading — Genesis 47:11–27
In the seventh reading (עליה, aliyah), Joseph placed his father and brothers in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded, and sustained them with bread while the famine became sore in the land. Joseph gathered all the money in Egypt and Canaan selling grain and brought the money into Pharaoh's house. When the Egyptians exhausted their money and asked Joseph for bread, Joseph sold them bread in exchange for all their animals. When they had no more animals, they offered to sell their land to Joseph and become bondmen in exchange for bread. So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh — except for that of the priests, who had a portion from Pharaoh — and in exchange for seed, Joseph made all the Egyptians bondmen. At harvest time, Joseph collected for Pharaoh a fifth part of all the people harvested.
In the maftir (מפטיר) reading that concludes the parashah, it continued as a statute in Egypt that Pharaoh should have a fifth of all produced outside of the priests’ land. And Israel lived in Egypt, in the land of Goshen, accumulated possessions, and was fruitful and multiplied. The seventh reading (עליה, aliyah) and the parashah end here.
Readings according to the triennial cycle
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|2013, 2016, 2019, and 2022||2014, 2017, 2020, and 2023||2015, 2018, 2021, and 2024|
In inner-Biblical interpretation
The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these Biblical sources:
Genesis chapter 44
|The Narator in Genesis 42||Judah in Genesis 44|
|7And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange to them, and spoke roughly with them; and he said to them: “From where do you come?” And they said: “From the land of Canaan to buy food.” 8And Joseph knew his brethren, but they did not know him. 9And Joseph remembered the dreams that he dreamed of them, and said to them: “You are spies; to see the nakedness of the land you are come.” 10And they said to him: “No, my lord, but to buy food are your servants come. 11We are all one man's sons; we are upright men; your servants are no spies.” 12And he said to them: “No, but to see the nakedness of the land you are come.”||19My lord asked his servants, saying: “Have you a father, or a brother?”|
|13And they said: “We your servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.”||20And we said to my lord: “We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.”|
|14And Joseph said to them: “That is it that I spoke to you, saying: You are spies. 15Hereby you shall be proved, as Pharaoh lives, you shall not go there, unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and you shall be bound, that your words may be proved, whether there be truth in you; or else, as Pharaoh lives, surely you are spies.” 17And he put them all together into ward three days. 18And Joseph said to them the third day. “This do, and live; for I fear God: 19if you aree upright men, let one of your brethren be bound in your prison-house; but go, carry corn for the famine of your houses; 20and bring your youngest brother to me; so shall your words be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.||21And you said to your servants: “Bring him down to me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.” 22And we said to my lord: “The lad cannot leave his father; for if he should leave his father, his father would die.” 23And you said to your servants: “Except your youngest brother come down with you, you shall see my face no more.”|
Genesis chapter 45
Joseph’s explanation in Genesis 45:5 that God sent him to Egypt before his brothers to preserve life finds an echo in Genesis 50:20, where Joseph told his brothers that they meant evil against him, but God meant it for good to save the lives of many people. Similarly, Psalm 105:16–17 reports that God called a famine upon the land and sent Joseph before the children of Israel.
Genesis chapter 47
In early nonrabbinic interpretation
The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these early nonrabbinic sources:
Genesis chapter 44
Philo observed that having attained authority and presented with the opportunity to avenge his brothers’ ill-treatment of him, Joseph nonetheless bore what happened with self-restraint and governed himself.
Genesis chapter 47
Philo read Jacob’s words in Genesis 47:9, "The days of the years of my life which I spend here as a sojourner have been few and evil; they have not come up to the days of my fathers which they spent as Sojourners," to support the general proposition that the Torah represents the wise people whom it mentions as sojourners whose souls are sent down from heaven to earth as to a foreign land. Philo taught that wise people see themselves as sojourners in a foreign land — the body perceptible by the senses — and view the virtues appreciable by the intellect as their native land.
In classical rabbinic interpretation
Genesis chapter 44
Rabbi Judah ben Ilai taught that Scripture speaks in praise of Judah. Rabbi Judah noted that on three occasions, Scripture records that Judah spoke before his brethren, and they made him king over them (bowing to his authority): (1) in Genesis 37:26, which reports, “Judah said to his brethren: ‘What profit is it if we slay our brother’”; (2) in Genesis 44:14, which reports, “Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house”; and (3) in Genesis 44:18, which reports, “Then Judah came near” to Joseph to argue for Benjamin.
A Midrash taught that, as reported in the words “Judah came near to him” in Genesis 44:18, Judah did not cease from answering Joseph word for word until he penetrated to his very heart. Rabbi Judah taught that in the words of Genesis 44:18, “Judah came near” for battle, as in 2 Samuel 10:13, where it says: “So Joab and the people that were with him drew near to battle.” Rabbi Nehemiah said that “Judah came near” for conciliation, as in Joshua 14:6, where it says that “the children of Judah drew near to Joshua” to conciliate him. The Rabbis said that coming near implies prayer, as in 1 Kings 18:36, where it says that “Elijah the prophet came near” to pray to God. Rabbi Leazar combined all these views, teaching that “Judah came near to him” ready for battle, conciliation, or prayer. Rabbi Jeremiah ben Shemaiah taught that Judah exclaimed that he would only need to utter one word (dabar) and bring a plague (deber) upon the Egyptians. And Rav Hanan taught that Judah became angry, and the hairs of his chest pierced through his clothes and forced their way out, and he put iron bars into his mouth and ground them to powder.
Rav Judah taught that three things shorten a person's years: (1) to be given a Torah scroll from which to read and to refuse, (2) to be given a cup of benediction over which to say grace and to refuse, and (3) to assume airs of authority. To support the proposition that assuming airs of authority shortens one’s life, the Gemara cited the teaching of Rabbi Hama bar Hanina that Joseph died (as Genesis 50:26 reports, at the age of 110) before his brothers because he assumed airs of authority (when in Genesis 43:28 and 44:24–32 he repeatedly allowed his brothers to describe his father Jacob as “your servant”).
Rav Judah asked in the name of Rav why Joseph referred to himself as “bones” during his lifetime (in Genesis 50:25), and explained that it was because he did not protect his father’s honor when in Genesis 44:31 his brothers called Jacob “your servant our father” and Joseph failed to protest. And Rav Judah also said in the name of Rav (and others say that it was Rabbi Hama bar Hanina who said) that Joseph died before his brothers because he put on superior airs. Similarly, a Midrash taught that Joseph was referred to as “bones” during his lifetime (in Genesis 50:25) because when his brothers referred to his father as “your servant our father” in Genesis 44:24, Joseph kept silent. And thus the Midrash taught that the words of Proverbs 29:23, “A man’s pride shall bring him low,” apply to Joseph, who in this encounter ostentatiously displayed his authority. Similarly, as Exodus 1:6 reports that “Joseph died, and all his brethren,” the Rabbis concluded that Joseph died before his brothers. Rabbi Judah haNasi taught that Joseph died before his brothers because Joseph “commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father” (as Genesis 50:2 reports). But the Rabbis taught that Jacob had directed his sons to embalm him, as Genesis 50:12 reports that “his sons did to him as he commanded them.” According to the Rabbis, Joseph died before his brothers because nearly five times Judah said to Joseph, “Your servant my father, your servant my father” (four times himself in Genesis 44:24, 27, 30, and 31, and once together with his brothers in Genesis 43:48), yet Joseph heard it and kept silent (not correcting Judah to show humility to their father).
Eliezer ben Matiah, Hananiah ben Kinai, Simeon ben Azzai, and Simeon the Yemenite deduced from Judah’s offer to remain instead of Benjamin in Genesis 44:33 that Judah merited the kingship because of his humility.
Genesis chapter 45
Rabbi Hama bar Hanina and Rabbi Samuel ben Nahmani differed about how prudent it was for Joseph to clear the room in Genesis 45:1. Rabbi Hama thought that Joseph acted imprudently, for one of them could have kicked him and killed him on the spot. But Rabbi Samuel said that Joseph acted rightly and prudently, for he knew the righteousness of his brethren and reasoned that it would not be right to suspect that they might commit bloodshed.
Reading Joseph’s reassurance to his brothers in Genesis 45:5, “And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me hither; for God sent me before you to preserve life,” our Sages observed that even the wrongs done by the righteous are of service to the world, and how much more their righteous deeds.
Reading Joseph’s assertion to his brothers in Genesis 45:5, “God sent me before you to preserve life,” the Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer taught that when a person seeks to injure an enemy, the person bars the enemy from getting any cure, but God is not so. God provides the cure before the blow, as it says in Hosea 7:1, “I would heal Israel even as the iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered.” So in the days of Joseph, God did not inflict famine on the Tribal Ancestors until God had sent Joseph before them.
Rabbi Levi used Genesis 37:2, 41:46, and 45:6 to calculate that Joseph’s dreams that his brothers would bow to him took 22 years to come true, and deduced that a person should thus wait for as much as 22 years for a positive dream’s fulfillment. Rav Huna in the name of Rabbi Joshua used Genesis 45:6 as a mnemonic for calculating what year it was in the Sabbatical cycle of seven years. The Gemara used Genesis 45:6 to help calculate (among other things) that Jacob should have been 116 years old when he came to Egypt, but since Genesis 47:8–9 indicated that Jacob was then 130 years old, the Gemara deduced that the text did not count 14 years that Jacob spent studying in the Academy of Eber.
Rabbi Elazar interpreted Joseph’s reference to Benjamin in Genesis 45:12 to mean that just as Joseph bore no malice against his brother Benjamin (who had no part in selling Joseph to Egypt), so Joseph had no malice against his other brothers. And Rabbi Elazar interpreted Joseph’s reference to his mouth in Genesis 45:12 to mean that Joseph’s words reflected what was in his heart. A Midrash interpreted Joseph’s reference to his mouth in Genesis 45:12 to mean that Joseph asked them to note that he spoke in Hebrew.
Rabbi Elazar noted that Genesis 45:14 uses the plural form of the word “necks” and asked how many necks Benjamin had. Rabbi Elazar deduced that Joseph wept on Benjamin’s neck for the two Temples that were destined to be in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin and be destroyed. And Rabbi Elazar deduced that Benjamin wept on Joseph’s neck for the tabernacle of Shiloh that was destined to be in the territory of the tribe of Joseph and be destroyed.
Examining Genesis 45:22, the Gemara asked whether Joseph repeated his father’s mistake of favoring one sibling over the others. Rabbi Benjamin bar Japhet said that Joseph was hinting to Benjamin that one of his descendants, Mordecai, would appear before a king in five royal garments, as Esther 8:15 reports.
Rabbi Benjamin bar Japhet in the name of Rabbi Elazar deduced from Genesis 45:23 that Joseph sent Jacob aged wine, which the Rabbi reported pleases the elderly. But a Midrash taught that the words “the good of the land of Egypt” in Genesis 45:18 referred to split beans (which were highly prized).
A Midrash told that when Joseph was young, he used to study Torah with Jacob. When Joseph’s brothers told Jacob in Genesis 45:26 that Joseph was still alive, Jacob did not believe them, but he recalled the subject that Jacob and Joseph had been studying when they last studied together: the passage on the beheaded heifer (עֶגְלָה עֲרוּפָה, egla arufa) in Deuteronomy 21:1–8. Jacob told the brothers that if Joseph gave them a sign of which subject Joseph and Jacob had last studied together, then Jacob would believe them. Joseph too had remembered what subject they had been studying, so (as Genesis 45:21 reports) he sent Jacob wagons (עֲגָלוֹת, agalot) so that Jacob might know that the gift came from him. The Midrash thus concluded that wherever Joseph went he studied the Torah, just as his forbears did, even though the Torah had not yet been given.
Genesis chapter 46
Rav Nachman taught that when Jacob “took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba” in Genesis 46:1, he went to cut down the cedars that Genesis 21:33 reports his grandfather Abraham had planted there.
A Midrash asked why, in Genesis 46:1, Jacob “offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac,” and not to the God of Abraham and Isaac. Judah ben Pedayah, the nephew of Ben HaKappar, explained that when encounters a teacher and the teacher’s disciple walking on a road, one first greets the disciple and then the teacher. Rabbi Johanan said that the reason was because a person owes more honor to a parent than to a grandparent. Resh Lakish said that Jacob offered sacrifices (in thanksgiving) for the covenant with the ancestors (which Isaac had conveyed to Jacob with his blessing). Bar Kappara discussed the question with Rabbi Jose bar Patros. One of them said that Jacob declared that as Isaac had been eager for his food (for, as Genesis 25:28 reports, Isaac loved Esau because Esau brought Isaac venison), so Jacob was eager for his food (and thus was headed to Egypt to avoid the famine). The other explained that as Isaac had distinguished between his sons (as Genesis 25:28 reports, loving Esau more than Jacob), so Jacob would distinguish among his sons (going to Egypt for Joseph's account alone). But then Jacob noted on reconsideration that Isaac was responsible for only one soul, whereas Jacob was responsible for 70 souls. Rabbi Judan said that Jacob declared that Isaac blessed him with five blessings, and God correspondingly appeared five times to Jacob and blessed him (in Genesis 28:13–15, 31:3, 31:11–13, 35:1, and 35:9–12). Rabbi Judan also said that Jacob wanted to thank God for permitting Jacob to see the fulfillment of those blessings. And the blessing that was fulfilled was that of Genesis 27:29, “Let people serve you, and nations bow down to you,” which was fulfilled with regard to Joseph. (And thus Jacob mentioned Isaac then on going down to witness Joseph's greatness.) Rabbi Berekiah observed that God never unites God’s Name with a living person (to say, for example, “I am the God of Jacob,” while they are alive) except with those who are experiencing suffering. (And thus Jacob referred to the God of Isaac instead of the God of Jacob.) And Rabbi Berekiah also observed that Isaac did indeed experience suffering. The Rabbis said that we look upon Isaac as if his ashes were heaped in a pile on the altar. (And thus Jacob referred to Isaac to invoke the memory of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22 as if it had been carried out).
The Sifra cited Genesis 22:11, Genesis 46:2, Exodus 3:4, and 1 Samuel 3:10 for the proposition that when God called the name of a prophet twice, God expressed affection and sought to provoke a response.
Rabbi Hama bar Hanina cited Genesis 46:4 to prove that one who sees a camel in a dream has been delivered from a death decreed by heaven. In Hebrew, the words in the verse gam aloh resemble the word for camel, gamal.
A Midrash explained Judah’s sons’ death, reported in Genesis 46:12, as the result of Judah’s failure to follow through in saving Joseph. Reading Deuteronomy 30:11–14, "For this commandment that I command you this day . . . is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart," a Midrash interpreted "heart" and "mouth" to symbolize the beginning and end of fulfilling a precept and thus read Deuteronomy 30:11–14 as an exhortation to complete a good deed once started. Thus Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba taught that if one begins a precept and does not complete it, the result will be that he will bury his wife and children. The Midrash cited as support for this proposition the experience of Judah, who began a precept and did not complete it. When Joseph came to his brothers and they sought to kill him, as Joseph's brothers said in Genesis 37:20, "Come now therefore, and let us slay him," Judah did not let them, saying in Genesis 37:26, "What profit is it if we slay our brother?" and they listened to him, for he was their leader. And had Judah called for Joseph's brothers to restore Joseph to their father, they would have listened to him then, as well. Thus because Judah began a precept (the good deed toward Joseph) and did not complete it, he buried his wife and two sons, as Genesis 38:12 reports, "Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died," and Genesis 46:12 further reports, "Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan."
Rabbi Zadok noted that Genesis 46:15 attributed sons to Leah but attributed the daughter Dinah to Jacob, and deduced that the verse thus supported the proposition that if the woman emits her egg first she will bear a son and if the man emits his semen first she will bear a girl.
A Baraita taught that the Serah the daughter of Asher mentioned in both Genesis 46:17 and Numbers 26:46 survived from the time Israel went down to Egypt to the time of the wandering in the Wilderness. The Gemara taught that Moses went to her to ask where the Egyptians had buried Joseph. She told him that the Egyptians had made a metal coffin for Joseph. The Egyptians set the coffin in the Nile so that its waters would be blessed. Moses went to the bank of the Nile and called to Joseph that the time had arrived for God to deliver the Israelites, and the oath that Joseph had imposed upon the children of Israel in Genesis 50:25 had reached its time of fulfillment. Moses called on Joseph to show himself, and Joseph’s coffin immediately rose to the surface of the water.
Rabbi Samuel ben Nahman taught that Benjamin’s son’s names, as listed in Genesis 46:21, reflected Benjamin’s loss of Joseph. The name Bela signified that Benjamin’s brother was swallowed up (nit-bala) from him; Becher signified that he was a firstborn (bechor); Ashbel signified that he was taken away captive (nishbah); Gera signified that he became a stranger (ger) in a strange country; Naaman signified that his actions were seemly (na'im) and pleasant (ne'im-im); Ehi signified that he indeed was “my brother” (ahi); Rosh signified that he was Benjamin’s superior (rosh); Muppim signified that he was exceedingly attractive (yafeh ‘ad me'od) in all matters; and Huppim signified that Benjamin did not see his marriage-canopy (huppah) and he did not see Benjamin’s; and Ard signified that he was like a rose-bloom (ward).
Abaye cited the listing for Dan in Genesis 46:23 to demonstrate that sometimes texts refer to “sons” in the plural when they mean a single son. But Rava suggested perhaps the word “Hushim” in Genesis 46:23 was not a name but, as taught by the Academy of Hezekiah, the word “clusters” or “leaves,” thus signifying that Dan’s sons were as numerous as the leaves of a reed. Rava found, however, support in Numbers 26:8 and 1 Chronicles 2:8 for the proposition that sometimes texts refer to “sons” when they mean a single son.
Abba Halifa of Keruya asked Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba why Genesis 46:27 reported that 70 people from Jacob’s household came to Egypt, while Genesis 46:8–27 enumerated only 69 individuals. Rabbi Hiyya first argued that the Hebrew word et preceding Dinah in Genesis 46:15 indicated that Dinah had a twin sister, and the twin brought the total to 70. But Abba Halifa responded that if that were so, then the parallel language of Genesis 43:29 would indicate that Benjamin also had a twin sister. Rabbi Hiyya then revealed his real explanation, which he called “a precious pearl”: Rabbi Hama bar Hanina taught that the seventieth person was Moses’ mother Jochebed, who was conceived on the way from Canaan to Egypt and born as Jacob’s family passed between the city walls as they entered Egypt, for Numbers 26:59 reported that Jochebed “was born to Levi in Egypt,” implying that her conception was not in Egypt.
Rabbi Nehemiah read the words “to show” in Genesis 46:28 as “to teach,” and thus inferred that Jacob sent Judah to prepare an academy for him in Egypt where he would teach Torah and where the brothers would read Torah.
Genesis chapter 47
Rabbi Jose deduced from Genesis 47:6 that the Egyptians befriended the Israelites only for their own benefit. Rabbi Jose noted, however, that the law of Deuteronomy 23:8 nonetheless rewarded the Egyptians for their hospitality. Rabbi Jose concluded that if Providence thus rewarded one with mixed motives, Providence will reward even more one who selflessly shows hospitality to a scholar.
Rabbi Ahawa the son of Rabbi Ze'ira taught that just as lettuce is sweet at the beginning (in the leaf) and bitter at the end (in the stalk), so were the Egyptians sweet to the Israelites at the beginning and bitter at the end. The Egyptians were sweet at the beginning, as Genesis 47:6 reports that Pharaoh told Joseph, “The land of Egypt is before you; have your father and brethren dwell in the best of the land.” And the Egyptians were bitter at the end, as Exodus 1:14 reports, “And they (the Egyptians) made their (the Israelites’) lives bitter.”
A Midrash read the words of Genesis 47:7 and 47:10, “And Jacob blessed Pharaoh,” to mean that Jacob blessed Pharaoh that the famine should come to an end. Similarly, Rabbi Berekiah the priest taught that when Jacob came to Pharaoh, he did not leave him before blessing him, as Genesis 47:10 says, “And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.” And the blessing that he gave was the wish that the Nile might rise to his feet (to irrigate the land).
A Midrash taught that Mordecai had pity on the unbeliever King of Persia, Ahasuerus. In explanation, Rabbi Judah quoted Psalm 119:100 to say, “From my elders I receive understanding.” Rabbi Judah taught that Mordecai reasoned that Jacob blessed Pharaoh, as Genesis 47:7 says, “And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.” And Joseph revealed his dreams to him, and Daniel revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams to him. So similarly Mordecai could help Ahasuerus, and hence (as Esther 2:22 reports), “he told it to Esther the queen.”
Rav Judah in the name of Samuel deduced from Genesis 47:14 that Joseph gathered in and brought to Egypt all the gold and silver in the world. The Gemara noted that Genesis 47:14 says: “And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan,” and thus spoke about the wealth of only Egypt and Canaan. The Gemara found support for the proposition that Joseph collected the wealth of other countries from Genesis 41:57, which states: “And all the countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy corn.” The Gemara deduced from the words “and they despoiled the Egyptians” in Exodus 12:36 that when the Israelites left Egypt, they carried that wealth away with them. The Gemara then taught that the wealth lay in Israel until the time of King Rehoboam, when King Shishak of Egypt seized it from Rehoboam, as 1 Kings 14:25–26 reports: “And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; and he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house.”
The Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael, the Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon, and the Tanna Devei Eliyahu praised Joseph, as Genesis 47:14 reports that he “brought the money into Pharaoh's house” and did not steal any of it.
Resh Lakish deduced from the words “and as for the [Egyptian] people, he [Joseph] removed them city by city” in Genesis 47:21 that Joseph exiled the Egyptians from their home cities so that they could not later berate the Hebrews for being exiles.
Rabbi Abba ben Kahana taught that Joseph inspired the Egyptians with a longing to be circumcised and convert to Judaism. Rabbi Samuel read the words “You have saved our lives” in Genesis 47:26 to mean that Joseph had given them life both in this world and in the World to Come, through acceptance of Judaism.
A Midrash noted the difference in wording between Genesis 47:27, which says of the Israelites in Goshen that “they got possessions therein,” and Leviticus 14:34, which says of the Israelites in Canaan, “When you come into the land of Canaan, which I gave you for a possession.” The Midrash read Genesis 47:27 to read, “and they were taken in possession by it.” The Midrash thus taught that in the case of Goshen, the land seized the Israelites, so that their bond might be exacted and so as to bring about God's declaration to Abraham in Genesis 15:13 that the Egyptians would afflict the Israelites for 400 years. But the Midrash read Leviticus 14:34 to teach the Israelites that if they were worthy, the Land of Israel would be an eternal possession, but if not, they would be banished from it.
Rabbi Johanan taught that wherever Scripture uses the term “And he abode” (וַיֵּשֶׁב, vayeshev), as it does in Genesis 47:27, it presages trouble. Thus in Numbers 25:1, “And Israel abode in Shittim” is followed by “and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.” In Genesis 37:1, “And Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan,” is followed by Genesis 37:3, “and Joseph brought to his father their evil report.” In Genesis 47:27, “And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen,” is followed by Genesis 47:29, “And the time drew near that Israel must die.” In 1 Kings 5:5, “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree,” is followed by 1 Kings 11:14, “And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was the king’s seed in Edom.”
In modern interpretation
The parashah is discussed in these modern sources:
Genesis chapters 37–50
|At Home||Potiphar’s House||Prison||Pharaoh’s Court|
|Genesis 37:1–36||Genesis 37:3–33||Genesis 39:1–20||Genesis 39:12–41:14||Genesis 39:20–41:14||Genesis 41:14–50:26||Genesis 41:1–50:26|
|Symbols of Position and Transition||Long Sleeved Robe||Cloak||Shaved and Changed Clothes|
|Symbols of Ambiguity and Paradox||Pit||Prison||Egypt|
Reading Genesis 46:4, “and Joseph shall pass his hand over your eyes,” the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch taught that one should close the eyes of a dead person at death. Following the example of Joseph, if a child of the deceased is present, the deceased’s child should do it, giving preference to the firstborn son.
In the liturgy
The Passover Haggadah, in the magid section of the Seder, reports that Israel “went down to Egypt — forced to do so by the word [of God],” and some commentators explain that this statement refers to God’s reassurance to Jacob in Genesis 46:3–4 to “fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt.” Shortly thereafter, the Haggadah quotes Genesis 47:4 for the proposition that Israel did not go down to Egypt to settle, but only to stay temporarily.
God’s word came to Ezekiel, telling him to write on one stick “For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions,” to write on a second stick “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and of all the house of Israel his companions,” and to join the two sticks together into one stick to hold in his hand. When people would ask him what he meant by these sticks, he was to tell them that God said that God would take the stick of Joseph, which was in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions, and put them together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick in God’s hand. Ezekiel was to hold the sticks in his hand for people to see, telling them that God said that God would gather the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they had gone, bring them into their own land, and make them one nation with one king, no longer two nations with two kings. No longer would they defile themselves with idols or transgressions, but God would save them and cleanse them, so that they would be God’s people, and God would be their God. David would be king over them, and they would have one shepherd and observe God’s statutes. They and their children, and their children’s children forever, would dwell in the land that God had given Jacob, where their fathers had dwelt, and David would be their prince forever. God would make an everlasting covenant of peace with them, multiply them, and set God’s sanctuary in the midst of them forever. God’s dwelling-place would be over them, God would be their God, and they would be God’s people. And the nations would know that God sanctified Israel, when God’s sanctuary would be in their midst forever.
Connection to the Parashah
The parashah and the haftarah both tell stories of the reconciliation of Jacob’s progeny. The parashah and the haftarah both tell of the relationship of Judah and Joseph, in the parashah as individuals, and in the haftarah as representatives for the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel.
The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:
- Inscription of Ameni. Egypt. 20th century BCE. (response to famine).
- Ezekiel the Tragedian. Exagōgē. 2nd century BCE. Translated by R.G. Robertson. In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Volume 2: Expansions of the “Old Testament” and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic works. Edited by James H. Charlesworth, page 808. New York: Anchor Bible, 1985. ISBN 0-385-18813-7.
- Philo. Allegorical Interpretation 3:62:177; On the Birth of Abel and the Sacrifices Offered by Him and by His Brother Cain 11:48; 12:51; On the Posterity of Cain and His Exile 9:29; On Husbandry 13:57; On the Confusion of Tongues 17:80; On the Migration of Abraham 5:21–22; 36:199; 37:203–04; Who Is the Heir of Divine Things? 51:251; On the Change of Names 31:171; 32:173–74; On Dreams, That They Are God-Sent 1:17:172; On Joseph 38–43. Alexandria, Egypt, early 1st century CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge, pages 70, 100, 134, 179, 241, 255, 272–73, 298, 355–56, 380, 435–58. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993. ISBN 0-943575-93-1.
- Josephus. Antiquities, 2:6:9–2:7:7. Circa 93–94. Reprinted in, e.g., The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition. Translated by William Whiston, pages 63–65. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1987. ISBN 0-913573-86-8.
- Qur'an 12:80–101. Arabia, 7th century.
- Tosefta Berakhot 4:18; Sotah 10:9. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 27, 877. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
- Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael Beshallah 1–2. Land of Israel, late 4th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, pages 130, 136. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2. And Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Z. Lauterbach, volume 1, pages 122, 128. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1933, reissued 2004. ISBN 0-8276-0678-8.
- Jerusalem Talmud: Megillah 15b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volume 26. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2012.
- Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon Beshallah 20:3, 21:1. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai. Translated by W. David Nelson, pages 83, 87. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006. ISBN 0-8276-0799-7.
- Genesis Rabbah 39:12; 40:6; 55:8; 63:3; 79:1; 80:11; 82:4; 84:20; 89:9; 90:1, 6; 93:1–96. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Genesis. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Leviticus Rabbah 32:5. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Genesis. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Babylonian Talmud: Berakhot 56b, 63b; Pesachim 119a; Beitzah 16a; Megillah 16a–b; Chagigah 4b; Nazir 3a; Baba Kama 92a Baba Batra 120a, 123a, 143b; Avodah Zarah 9b; Chullin 60b; Nidah 31a. Babylonia, 6th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Chaim Malinowitz, and Mordechai Marcus, 72 volumes. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006.
- Esther Rabbah 7:20.
- Song of Songs Rabbah 1:56; 4:25; 6:20.
- Ruth Rabbah 4:1.
- Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:6, 33; 9:12.
- Avot of Rabbi Natan, 41. Circa 700–900 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan. Translated by Judah Goldin, page 172. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1955. ISBN 0-300-00497-4. The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan: An Analytical Translation and Explanation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 256. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986. ISBN 1-55540-073-6.
- Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:13. Land of Israel, 9th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Deuteronomy. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Exodus Rabbah 3:3, 4, 8; 15:16; 18:8; 40:4. 10th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Deuteronomy. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Tanna Devei Eliyahu. Seder Eliyyahu Rabbah 24. 10th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Tanna Debe Eliyyahu: The Lore of the School of Elijah. Translated by William G. Braude and Israel J. Kapstein, page 285. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1981. ISBN 0-8276-0634-6.
- Rashi. Commentary. Genesis 44–47. Troyes, France, late 11th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, volume 1, pages 493–520. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1995. ISBN 0-89906-026-9.
- Numbers Rabbah 3:8; 8:4; 12:2; 13:3, 20; 14:7, 8, 12; 19:3; 22:8. 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Numbers. Translated by Judah J. Slotki. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Zohar 1:93b, 119a, 149b, 153b, 180b, 197a, 205a–211b, 216b, 222a, 226a; 2:4b, 16b, 53a, 85a; 3:206a. Spain, late 13th century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Zohar. Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon. 5 volumes. London: Soncino Press, 1934.
- Thomas Mann. Joseph and His Brothers. Translated by John E. Woods, pages 257, 274–75, 464, 541–42, 547, 568–69, 663, 668, 672, 717–18, 722, 758, 788, 792–94, 796–97, 803–04, 852–53, 859, 878, 881, 886, 923, 1373–447. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as Joseph und seine Brüder. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.
- Anne Frank. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. Edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler; translated by Susan Massotty, page 107. New York: Doubleday, 1995. ISBN 0-385-47378-8. Originally published as Het Achterhuis. The Netherlands, 1947. (“As the Benjamin of the Annex, I got more than I deserved.”)
- George W. Coats. “The Joseph Story and Wisdom: a Reappraisal.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Volume 35 (1973): pages 285–97.
- George W. Coats. “Redactional Unity in Genesis 37–50.” Journal of Biblical Literature. Volume 93 (1974): pages 15–21.
- Donald A. Seybold. “Paradox and Symmetry in the Joseph Narrative.” In Literary Interpretations of Biblical Narratives. Edited by Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, with James S. Ackerman & Thayer S. Warshaw, pages 59–73. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1974. ISBN 0-687-22131-5.
- George W. Coats. From Canaan to Egypt: Structural and Theological Context for the Joseph Story. Washington: Catholic Biblical Association, 1975. ISBN 0-915170-03-5.
- Robert Alter. “Joseph and His Brothers.” Commentary. Volume 70 (number 5) (November 1980): pages 59–69.
- Lawrence M. Wills. Jew in the Court of the Foreign King: Ancient Jewish Court Legends. Fortress Press, 1990. ISBN 0800670809.
- Frederick Buechner. The Son of Laughter, pages 220, 260–74. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. ISBN 0-06-250116-X.
- Aaron Wildavsky. Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-56000-081-3.
- Leon R. Kass. The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis, pages 593–615. New York: Free Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7432-4299-8.
- Suzanne A. Brody. “Intense spotlight.” In Dancing in the White Spaces: The Yearly Torah Cycle and More Poems, page 73. Shelbyville, Kentucky: Wasteland Press, 2007. ISBN 1-60047-112-9.
- Esther Jungreis. Life Is a Test, pages 247–51. Brooklyn: Shaar Press, 2007. ISBN 1-4226-0609-0.
- Naomi Graetz. “From Joseph to Joseph.” The Jerusalem Report. Volume 20 (number 19) (January 4, 2009): page 45.
- Hillel I. Millgram. The Joseph Paradox: A Radical Reading of Genesis 37–50. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2012. ISBN 0786468505.
- Dara Horn. A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. ISBN 0-393-06489-1. (novel retelling the Joseph story).
- "Bereshit Torah Stats". Akhlah Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash: Bereishis/Genesis. Edited by Menachem Davis, pages 274–94. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2006. ISBN 1-4226-0202-8.
- Genesis 44:18–20.
- Genesis 44:21–23.
- Genesis 44:24–26.
- Genesis 44:27–29.
- Genesis 44:30.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 276.
- Genesis 44:31.
- Genesis 44:32–34.
- Genesis 45:1.
- Genesis 45:2.
- Genesis 45:3.
- Genesis 45:4–5.
- Genesis 45:6.
- Genesis 45:7.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 278.
- Genesis 45:8.
- Genesis 45:9–11.
- Genesis 45:14–15.
- Genesis 45:16.
- Genesis 45:17–18.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 280.
- Genesis 45:21–22.
- Genesis 45:23.
- Genesis 45:24.
- Genesis 45:25–26.
- Genesis 45:27.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 282.
- Genesis 45:28.
- Genesis 46:1.
- Genesis 46:2–4.
- Genesis 46:5.
- Genesis 46:6–7.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 284.
- Genesis 46:6–27.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 286.
- Genesis 46:28.
- Genesis 46:29.
- Genesis 46:30.
- Genesis 46:31–32.
- Genesis 46:33–34.
- Genesis 47:1–2.
- Genesis 47:3–4.
- Genesis 47:5–6.
- Genesis 47:7.
- Genesis 47:8–9.
- Genesis 47:10.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, pages 290–91.
- Genesis 47:11–13.
- Genesis 47:14.
- Genesis 47:15–17.
- Genesis 47:18–19.
- Genesis 47:20–23.
- Genesis 47:24–26.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 294.
- Genesis 47:25–26.
- Genesis 47:27.
- See, e.g., "A Complete Triennial Cycle for Reading the Torah". The Jewish Theological Seminary. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- For more on inner-Biblical interpretation, see, e.g., Benjamin D. Sommer. “Inner-biblical Interpretation.” In The Jewish Study Bible. Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, pages 1829–35. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-529751-2.
- Philo. On Joseph 28:166. Alexandria, Egypt, early 1st century CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge, page 449. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993. ISBN 0-943575-93-1.
- Philo. On the Confusion of Tongues 17:77–81. Reprinted in, e.g., The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge, page 241.
- Genesis Rabbah 84:17. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Genesis. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 2, pages 782–83. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Genesis Rabbah 93:4.
- Genesis Rabbah 93:6.
- Genesis Rabbah 93:6.
- Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 55a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Yosef Widroff, Mendy Wachsman, Israel Schneider, and Zev Meisels; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 2, page 55a2. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997. ISBN 1-57819-601-9.
- Babylonian Talmud Sotah 13b.
- Numbers Rabbah 13:3. 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Numbers. Translated by Judah J. Slotki, volume 6, pages 506–08. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Genesis Rabbah 100:3.
- Tosefta Berakhot 4:18.
- Genesis Rabbah 93:9.
- Babylonian Talmud Chagigah 4b. Genesis Rabbah 93:10. See also Midrash Tanhuma Vayigash 5. 6th–7th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Metsudah Midrash Tanchuma. Translated and annotated by Avraham Davis; edited by Yaakov Y.H. Pupko, volume 2, pages 278–79. Monsey, New York: Eastern Book Press, 2006. (attributing to Rabbi Johanan).
- Genesis Rabbah 93:10.
- Midrash HaGadol. Reprinted in Menahem M. Kasher. Torah Sheleimah, 45, 22. Jerusalem, 1927. Reprinted in Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation. Translated by Barry Freedman, volume 6, page 20. New York: American Biblical Encyclopedia Society, 1965.
- Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer. Land of Israel, mid 8th century. Reprinted in Menahem M. Kasher. Torah Sheleimah, 45, 32. Reprinted in Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation. Translated by Barry Freedman, volume 6, page 21.
- Tosefta Sotah 10:9.
- Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 55b.
- Babylonian Talmud Avodah Zarah 9b.
- Babylonian Talmud Megilah 16b–17a.
- Babylonian Talmud Megilah 16b.
- Genesis Rabbah 93:10.
- Babylonian Talmud Megilah 16b. See also Genesis Rabbah 93:10.
- Babylonian Talmud Megilah 16a–b.
- Babylonian Talmud Megilah 16b.
- Babylonian Talmud Megilah 16b.
- Genesis Rabbah 94:2.
- Genesis Rabbah 95:3.
- Genesis Rabbah 94:4.
- Genesis Rabbah 94:5.
- Sifra 1:4.
- Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 56b.
- Deuteronomy Rabbah 8:4. Land of Israel, 9th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Deuteronomy. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 7, pages 150–51. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Babylonian Talmud Nidah 31a.
- Babylonian Talmud Sotah 13a.
- Genesis Rabbah 93:7.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 143b.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 123b–24a. See also 119b–120a.
- Genesis Rabbah 95:3.
- Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 63b.
- Genesis Rabbah 95.
- Numbers Rabbah 8:4. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Numbers. Translated by Judah J. Slotki, volume 5, pages 208, 217.
- Numbers Rabbah 12:2. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Numbers. Translated by Judah J. Slotki, volume 5, page 450.
- Genesis Rabbah 39:12. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Genesis. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 1, pages 322–23.
- Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 119a. See also Avot of Rabbi Natan 41.
- Mekhilta Beshallah 1. Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon Beshallah 20:3. Tanna Devei Eliyahu Seder Eliyyahu Rabbah 24.
- Babylonian Talmud Chullin 60b.
- Genesis Rabbah 90:6.
- Genesis Rabbah 95.
- Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 106a.
- Donald A. Seybold. “Paradox and Symmetry in the Joseph Narrative.” In Literary Interpretations of Biblical Narratives. Edited by Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, with James S. Ackerman and Thayer S. Warshaw, pages 63–64, 68. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1974. ISBN 0-687-22131-5.
- Maimonides. Mishneh Torah. Cairo, Egypt, 1170–1180. Reprinted in Maimonides. The Commandments: Sefer Ha-Mitzvoth of Maimonides. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, 2 volumes. London: Soncino Press, 1967. ISBN 0-900689-71-4. Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, volume 1, page 91. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.
- Shlomo Ganzfried. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch chapter 194, paragraph 7. Hungary, 1864. Reprinted in The Kleinman Edition: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. Edited by Eliyahu Meir Klugman and Yosaif Asher Weiss. Volume 5, pages 364–65. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2008. ISBN 1-4226-0861-1.
- Joseph Tabory. JPS Commentary on the Haggadah: Historical Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, page 90. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8276-0858-0.
- Tabory, page 90. Menachem Davis. The Interlinear Haggadah: The Passover Haggadah, with an Interlinear Translation, Instructions and Comments, page 43. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-57819-064-9.
- Ezekiel 37:15–17.
- Ezekiel 37:18–19.
- Ezekiel 37:20–22.
- Ezekiel 37:23.
- Ezekiel 37:24.
- Ezekiel 37:25.
- Ezekiel 37:26.
- Ezekiel 37:27.
- Ezekiel 37:28.