At the end of Genesis, Yosef dies at the age of 110 years. 50:22–26:

וַיֵּשֶׁב יוֹסֵף בְּמִצְרַיִם הוּא וּבֵית אָבִיו וַיְחִי יוֹסֵף מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים. וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף לְאֶפְרַיִם בְּנֵי שִׁלֵּשִׁים גַּם בְּנֵי מָכִיר בֶּן מְנַשֶּׁה יֻלְּדוּ עַל בִּרְכֵּי יוֹסֵף. וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל אֶחָיו אָנֹכִי מֵת וֵאלֹהִים פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֶתְכֶם וְהֶעֱלָה אֶתְכֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב. וַיַּשְׁבַּע יוֹסֵף אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶתְכֶם וְהַעֲלִתֶם אֶת עַצְמֹתַי מִזֶּה. וַיָּמָת יוֹסֵף בֶּן מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וַיַּחַנְטוּ אֹתוֹ וַיִּישֶׂם בָּאָרוֹן בְּמִצְרָיִם.‏

In Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's translation:

Joseph remained in Egypt along with his father's family. He lived to be 110 years old. Joseph saw Ephraim's grandchildren, and the children of Manasseh's son Makhir were also born on Joseph's lap. Joseph said to his close family, 'I am dying. God is sure to grant you special providence and bring you out of this land, to the land that he swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' Joseph then bound the Israelites by an oath: 'When God grants you [this] special providence, you must bring my remains out of this place.' Joseph died at the age of 110 years. He was embalmed and placed in a sarcophagus in Egypt.

Why does it give his age twice in succession? We don't see this by (IIRC) any other death in Genesis.


2 Answers 2


The Lubavitcher Rabbi in the Sicha of Shabbos Balak 14 Tamuz 5750 explains that there are disputing Midrashim as to whether Yosef had Arichus Yamim (an extended life) or a shortened life. Midrash Mishlai 16 says בא ולמד מיוסף הצדיק, שמתוך שעמד ונתחזק בכבוד אביו במצרים זכה לעטרת שיבה, however Pirkai D'Rav Eliezer 39 says נתקצרו מחייו של יוסף י' שנים בגלל י' פעמים אמרו בני יעקב ליוסף עבדך אבינו ושמע יוסף את הדבר ושתק. The Lubavitcher rabbi explains that the two Midrashim are consistent with each other. In comparison to his brothers he lived a short life, however in comparison to most other people he lived a long life. He goes on to say there is a difference between Braishis 50:22 where it says ויחי יוסף and Yosef lived 110 years to Braishis 50:26 where it says וימת יוסף and Yosef died at 110 years. The first Posuk where it says Yosef lived 110 years is indicating Yosef's long life compared to most others. Therefore immediately afterwards it says that he saw even Efraim's great grandchildren and Menashe's grandchildren. The second Posuk where it says Yosef died at 110 years is comparing him to his father and his brothers where he died younger than all of them.

  • +1, very nice, thank you. A third midrash, about the brevity of his life, mentions him as an example of someone whose life was shorter than (IIRC) his brothers because he was a ruler. I don't know where it is; I think it may be cited by Rashi somewhere on Chumash.
    – msh210
    Dec 30, 2012 at 21:05

Lekutei Anshei Chain (Mikroes Gedolos Rav Peninim) says the repeat of his name is to make known that Yosef died with a shem tov, with the name Yosef even though he was king for 80 years, his Hebrew name did not leave him or become removed from him and he didn't want to be known by the name Pharoah gave him, Tzofnas Panei'ach. As chazal learn in parshas Bolok, that the zechus of 4 things the Yidden were redeemed from Mitzraim, one of which was that they didn't lose their Hebrew names.

  • 1
    +1, very nice, thank you. Do you have more bibliographic information on this work, please? I've never heard of it AFAIR.
    – msh210
    Dec 30, 2012 at 22:19

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