Contents Calendar Find Reference
Torah 
Navigating the Bible
Genesis VaYechi
Genesis
  Bereshit
  Noach
  Lech Lecha
  VaYera
  Chayey Sarah
  Toledot
  VaYetse
  VaYishlach
  VaYeshev
  MiKets
  VaYigash
  VaYechi
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
First Reading, Second Reading, Third Reading, Fourth Reading, Fifth Reading, Sixth Reading, Seventh Reading, Last Reading

VaYechi

  
BackForward
 49:20
 49:21
 49:22
 49:23
49:22 'Joseph is a fruitful son, [like] a fruitful vine by the fountain, with branches running over the wall.
Ben porat Yosef ben porat aley-ayin banot tsa'adah aley-shur.
49:23 '[People] made his life bitter and attacked him; masters of strife made him their target.
Vayemararuhu varobu vayistemuhu ba'aley chitsim.



Commentary:

fruitful son
  Although in Hebrew the phrase ben porath is used twice, the first time it is translated as 'fruitful son,' and the second time, 'a fruitful vine' (Targum; Saadia Gaon; Sh'muel ben Chofni). Others see it as a repetition (Rashbam; Ibn Ezra).

fruitful vine
  Or 'branch' or 'bough' (Targum; Saadia Gaon; Ibn Ezra; Ramban; Sforno; cf. Psalms 80:16). Or, 'a handsome son' (Rashi); 'a noble, distinguished son' (Hirsch); 'a vine sending forth shoots' (Ibn Ezra); 'a young bull' (Bereshith Rabbah 98; cf. Deuteronomy 33:17); 'a son of cows' (referring to Pharaoh's dream; Genesis 41:2; Bereshith Rabbah 98); 'a young interpreter [of dreams]' (Aggadath Bereshith 73; Midrash Aggadah); 'a son suffering from treachery' (Bereshith Rabbah 78); or, 'a royal son' (Tzeror HaMor). In ancient Egyptian, porath or pereth is grain.

fountain
  Or 'well' or 'spring' (Targum). Or 'like a fountain' (Lekach Tov); 'to the eye' (Rashi); 'away from the eye' (Berakhoth 20a)

branches
  (Ibn Ezra). Or 'daughters' (see note on Genesis 49:22, 'running' ).

running
  Literally, 'striding' or 'strutting.' Some translate the two words as 'running branches' (Ibn Ezra). On the basis of Semitic cognates, some translate these two words as 'a wild colt,' but there is no traditional basis for this.

wall
  (Rashi). Or, 'to see' (Rashi).

The verse can thus be rendered, 'Joseph is a handsome son, a son handsome to the eye; girls strode out to see him' (Bereshith Rabbah 98; Rashi); or 'young girls strode out on the wall [to see him]' (Targum Yonathan; Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 39). Or, '[Your] daughters will walk the boundaries [of their own lands]' (Tanchuma, Pinchas 9; BaMidbar Rabbah 14:7, 21:12; alluding to the fact that among Joseph's descendants, women will be the first to inherit land; see Numbers 27:1, Joshua 17:6).

made his life bitter
  (Rashi). Or, 'made him their target' (Ibn Ezra); or 'were treacherous to him' (Bereshith Rabbah 98).

attacked
  Or 'quarreled' (Targum; Rashi). Or, 'shot at him' (Sekhel Tov; Ibn Ezra).

masters of strife
  (Targum; Rashi; cf. Rashbam). Cf. Jeremiah 9:7, Proverbs 26:18,19. Or, 'expert bowmen' or 'masters of arrows' (Ibn Ezra).

made him their target
  (Hirsch). Or 'attacked him' or 'were furious at him' (cf. Genesis 27:41). The verse can also be translated, 'Master bowmen hated him, they made him their target and shot at him' (Ibn Ezra); or 'Archers bitterly attacked him, they shot him and harassed him.'





Copyright © 2000 World ORT
Notice: This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.