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7:22 AM

A child of his Old Age

Posted by Scholar

This verse is taken from Bereishis 37:3 and speaks about Yaakov and his sons and then mentions that Yosef was born to Yaakov in his old age.

  • On this verse Rashi says the Yosef was born in Yaakovs old age. 
  • Targum Onkelos differs and says the meaning of this verse is "he was a wise son", because everything that Yaakov had learned from Shem and Ever(they started the first yeshiva) he gave over to Yosef(unlike the other sons).
  •  A third explanation which is brought down in Bereishis Rabba(Midrash) was because Yosef's appearance resembled Yaakov.
  • Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra says this verse means that Yaakov fathered him at an old age, 91.
The Ramban goes on to argue. All of Yakov's children were born in his old age. Yissacher and Zevulun were no more then a year or two older than Yosef!
The Ramban provides his own opinion to this and adds that he thinks old men used to have a custom to take one of their younger sons to attend to them, he depends on them and never departs from them. That is why he is called son of his old age as he tends to his father at his old age. Yaakov gave this task to Yosef as we can see that Yosef never went with his brothers when the herds went to far off places(as he had to stay with his father)


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