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Rashi to Miketz (Bereishit 42:13-14) says that the brothers told Yosef that they came to Egypt to look for their missing brother.

However, in Vayigash (Bereishit 44:20) Yehudah tells Yosef that they had told the viceroy that "his [Binyamin's] brother is dead."

How, then, could Rashi say that they had actually told Yosef that their brother was alive?

  • Nice question. Rashi to 44:20 says "ואחיו מת: מפני היראה היה מוציא דבר שקר מפיו" ...though that doesn't really answer the question, fully. – Shokhet Dec 21 '14 at 17:51
  • @Shokhet It seems like it does. – Scimonster Dec 21 '14 at 19:20
  • @Scimonster That was my first thought, but looking at the rest of the Rashi, it doesn't really solve the problem. – Ypnypn Dec 21 '14 at 19:21
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The Mizrachi (44:20) suggests that they said Yosef was missing when they first met him, but they said, when they next met him (with the gift of fruit), that he'd died.

The Gur Arye (44:20) suggests that by "dead" they meant "missing, presumed dead" (but they still sought him).

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