Torah Portion: Miketz “at the end,”


Torah Portion 10, Mikeitz (at the end)

Genesis 41:1-44:17


Last Week’s Torah Portion: Vayeshev


  • Joseph’s brothers sold him to Midianites because they were jealous of him
  • Genesis 38 presents a side story about how Judah’s widowed daughter in- law         (Tamar) slept with him securing her place in the family
  • Tamar had twins
  • In Genesis 39 we return to the story of Joseph
  • Joseph is bought by Potiphar and everything Joseph does for his new master is blessed
  • Potiphar’s wife wrongfully accuses Joseph of making advances towards her, Joseph is sent to Jail
  • Joseph is entrusted at the jail, everything he handles becomes blessed.
  • Joseph interpreted the dreams of two prisoners, the baker and the cup bearer. One will live, one will die.
  • He tells the cup bearer to remember him to Pharaoh.

Audio Lecture:

Talking Torah Weekly: Miketz, Posted by Jeff Gilbert on Dec 19, 2014

Great G-dcast Video for Kids and Adults (under 5 minutes):

G-dcast: Parshat Miketz: Joseph interprets dreams:

These Notes are used n conjunction with the readings


First reading — Genesis 41:1–14

V1-7 Pharaoh had a dream about 7 healthy cows eaten by 7 lean cows and a dream of 7 health ears of grain swallowed by 7 thin ears of grain.

V8 Nobody could interpret Pharaoh’s dreams

V9-13 The cup bearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about his ability to interpreter dreams

V14 Joseph was made presentable to Pharaoh

Second reading — Genesis 41:15–38

V15-16 Pharaoh addresses Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams, Joseph gives all credit to G-d

Jacob always gives credit to G-d: Gen 41:25, 28, 32

In everything Joseph advised Pharaoh in, G-d was given the glory. And because Joseph gave God the glory, so did Pharaoh see Gen 41:39

V17-24 Pharaoh tells Joseph his dreams

V25-31 Joseph intercepts the dreams: Egypt will have seven good years followed by seven years of famine

V32 the reason the dream was repeated (cows then ear of grain) was because G-d was ready to execute

V34-37 Pharaoh directs that food will be stored in preparation for the seven years of famine

V33 & 38 Pharaoh desires a wise and godly man to manage this program

V39 Pharaoh chooses Joseph

Third reading — Genesis 41:39–52

V40-41&44 Pharaoh made Joseph the second in charge of Egypt

V42-43 & 45 Pharaoh give Joseph:

  1. Ring
  2. Gold Necklace
  3. Fine clothes
  4. He was given a wife
  5. and had him ride in the chariot of second rank

V45 Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath Pa’neach.  There are many interpretations of this Egyptian name Rashi says it means “He who explains hidden things”

Note: V40-45 With all these things and complete immersion people wouldn’t be able to doubt Joseph’s authority

V46 Joseph was only 30 years’ old

V47 – 49 Joseph had resources gathered and stored over the seven years

V50-52 Joseph had two sons:

  1. Manasseh = “God caused me to forget all my toil and all my father’s                       house.”
  2. Ephraim = “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

Fourth reading — Genesis 41:53–42:18

V53 – 57 The famine starts and people came to Joseph for food

Genesis 42: 1-5 Jacob sends all his son except Benjamin to Egypt to get food.

V6-8 Joseph’s brothers reported to him for food.  They did not know it was Joseph but Joseph knew it was them

V9- Here Joseph remembers his dream of his brothers in Genesis 37:7 & 9.

V9-14 Joseph accused his brothers of being spies.

V16 – 20 Joseph had them imprisoned for three days and demanded their little brother to be brought back to corroborate their story of not being spies

Fifth reading — Genesis 42:19–43:15

V21-24 The brothers talked openly blaming their troubles because they betrayed Joseph.  They did not know that Joseph understood their conversation.  Joseph turned from them and wept.

V24 Joseph imprisoned Simeon until they got back

V25 – 26 They paid for grain and left to go back home.  Joseph took the money they paid and hid it in one of their sacks

V27 – 28 They discovered the money on their return home and became worried.

V29 – 35 The brothers related their story to Jacob

V36 Jacob becomes distressed over his son’s Simeon and Benjamin.  He also reflects of Joseph’s fate.

37 Reuben tells his father to give him Benjamin to bring to Egypt and if he doesn’t bring him back Jacob can take the lives of Ruben’s two sons.

38 Jacob turns down the offer

So why didn’t Jacob allow Benjamin to go to Egypt? His other son Simeon was still captive wouldn’t not going back compromise things?  The best way to look at this thing is a hostage negotiation with terrorist.  If Jacob brought his other son (Benjamin) there was a possibility, he would lose both sons and maybe more.

Genesis 43: 1 – 2 After finishing the food Jacob wanted to go back to Egypt and get more

V3 – 5 Judah reminds his father that they will not be able to get more food unless they bring Benjamin.

V6 Israel (Jacob) asked why they said they had a little brother (Benjamin)

V7 They said they had no idea of knowing that “the man” (Joseph) wanted them to bring their brother Benjamin.

V8-9 Judah guarantees his father Benjamin will be brought back.

V11-12 Jacob tells his sons to bring the following things to the man

  1. double the required money (perhaps the price has risen)
  2. the money they found in their sack (maybe it was a mistake)
  3. balm (gift)
  4. honey (gift)
  5. wax (gift)
  6. lotus (gift)
  7. pistachios (gift)
  8. almonds (gift)

We know it is within Jacob’s nature to approach things diplomatically, look at his and Esau’s meeting

V13-15 Jacob tells his sons he will pray for them

V16 the sons see Joseph and Joseph has a lunch prepared for them.

Sixth reading — Genesis 43:16–29

V18-22 To the man that oversaw Joseph’s house they returned the money that was found in their sack explaining that they didn’t know how it got there.

V23 Joseph’s man except it and returns Simeon to them.

V24 He welcomed them into Joseph’s house giving them water, washing their feet and feeding their donkeys

V26 Joseph returns home and they give him the gifts

V27-28 Joseph asks about their father and they say he is doing well.

V29 Joseph meet Benjamin but not wanting to cry in front of his brothers he went into another room and wept.

Seventh reading — Genesis 43:30–44:17

V30 Joseph then washed his face, returned and had lunch served.

V32 Joseph eat by himself, his brothers eat by themselves and the Egyptians eat by themselves because in Egypt it is an abomination that Egyptians eat with Hebrews.

So why didn’t Joseph eat with the other Egyptians or his brothers?  Because he was not allowed to eat with the other Egyptians and if he eat with his brothers they would have known he wasn’t an Egyptian but eating by himself would give no reason that he was an Egyptian. 

V33 He had his brothers sit in the order of their age, this amazed them.

V34 Joseph gave Benjamin five times his portion.  They all became drunk together.

Genesis 44:1-2 Joseph told his servants to give his brothers as much food as they could carry, return their money in their sacks and put his silver cup in Benjamin sack.

V3 the next morning the brothers left.

V4 Joseph ordered his servants to return his brothers

V5-6 Joseph instructed his servant to accuse his brothers of stealing his cup, the servant did catch them and accused them as instructed.

V7-8 The brothers said they did not steal and if they found any stolen positions that person will die and the others will be his slaves.

V9 – 12 They searched their sacks and found Joseph’s cup in Benjamin sack

V13-16 They returned to Joseph’s house and threw themselves at his mercy.


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