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B'reishis Rabba (90:6) indicates that Yosef's decree was designed to provide the Egyptians not only with life in this world, via physical sustenance, but with life in the World to Come which they could merit via circumcision. The Y'fei To'ar commentary (ad loc. and on 91:5) explains this by saying that the Egyptians were steeped in sexual immorality, of ...


One explanation, given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, paraphrased here, is that he thought his position as viceroy made them in a subservient position and obligated in circumcision just like all Jewish slaves. Another explanation that I saw once (don't remember where) is that he wanted to lessen the animosity towards his family (he was preparing the situation ...

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