||All his sons and daughters tried to console him, but he refused to be comforted. 'I will go down to the grave mourning for my son,' he said. He wept for [his son] as only a father could.
Vayakumu chol-banav vechol-bnotav lenachamo vayema'en lehitnachem vayomer ki-ered el-beni avel she'olah vayevk oto aviv.
||The Midanites sold [Joseph] in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officers, captain of the guard.
Vehamedanim machru oto el-Mitsrayim le-Fotifar sris Par'oh sar hatabachim.
This is the first mention of Jacob's daughters. These may be previously unmentioned daughters, or alternatively, Jacob's daughters-in-law (Targum Yonathan; Bereshith Rabbah 84; Rashi), or granddaughters (Ibn Ezra).
|as only a father...|
Literally, 'his father wept for him.' Some translate, 'Thus his father wept for him.' According to others, it was Isaac who wept for Jacob (Targum Yonathan; Bereshith Rabbah 84; Rashi; Ibn Ezra). On the basis of the chronology in the Torah, Isaac did not die until Joseph was 29 years old, 12 years after he was sold.
Actually, the Midanites and Midianites were separate tribes (Genesis 25:2). Some say that the Midianites sold Joseph to the Midanites (Bereshith Rabbah 84; see Sefer HaYashar). Others, however, state that the Midanites here are the same as the Midianites (Targum). Moreover, from the context, it seems obvious that the Midianites are the same as the Arabs or Ishmaelites (see Genesis 39:1; Ramban).
This is an Egyptian name, Pa-diu-par, meaning 'giving of the house' in ancient Egyptian, hence denoting a steward. Par is ancient Egyptian for house, as in Par-aoh (Genesis 12:15). It can also be related to the name found in ancient inscriptions. Pa-diu-a-Ra, literally, 'one whom Ra has given,' where Ra is the Egyptian sun god. This is also the meaning of Pot Phera, Genesis 41:45.
|captain of the guard|
Cf. 2 Kings 25:8, Jeremiah 39:9. The royal prison was therefore in his house; Genesis 40:13. Some say that he was the chief executioner (Targum; Saadia; Ramban; cf. Daniel 2:14). Others say that he was the chief butcher (Rashi; cf. Ibn Ezra) or chief cook (Josephus 2:4:1; cf. 1 Samuel 9:23,24). He was the third most powerful man in the kingdom (Tzav'ath Yosef 13:5). Some say that he was the priest of Elev (Yov'loth 34:11), while others identify him with Poti Phera (see Genesis 41:45).