Genesis 41,55:

וַתִּרְעַב֙ כָּל-אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיִּצְעַ֥ק הָעָ֛ם אֶל-פַּרְעֹ֖ה לַלָּ֑חֶם וַיֹּ֨אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֤ה לְכָל-מִצְרַ֨יִם֙ לְכ֣וּ אֶל-יוֹסֵ֔ף אֲשֶׁר-יֹאמַ֥ר לָכֶ֖ם תַּֽעֲשֽׂוּ: ‏

And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, Go to Joseph; what he said to you, do.

What did Yosef say to do? Rashi explained that he told the Egyptians to circumcise themselves.

We know why Yosef tells them this. But how does Rashi know this piece of information?


2 Answers 2


Rashi is paraphrasing the (Medrash Tanchuma Mikeitz), so that is his source.

  • 1
    Does the Midrash Tanchuma offer any explanation of its source, or any linguistic oddity which it is noting/resolving?
    – Double AA
    Aug 10, 2016 at 15:41
  • @DoubleAA, No, it does not. It does indicate the conceptual oddity that it is addressing, though.
    – Yishai
    Aug 10, 2016 at 16:00
  • Could you edit that in, then?
    – msh210
    Aug 10, 2016 at 19:56
  • @msh210, isn't that relevant to the other question? I'm not clear on the scope of this question, I guess. I thought it was just looking for the source. Should I go all out and discuss what is bothering Rashi here too? But that would just answer why he brings the Medrash, not where he got the idea from.
    – Yishai
    Aug 10, 2016 at 20:00
  • The other question is why Yosef told them. This one is how we see that in the verses. (I think.) If the midrash indicates what conceptual oddity makes it know Yosef told them, that seems to be an answer here. If the midrash indicates what conceptual oddity made Yosef tell them, that seems to be an answer there. (I didn't check the midrash.)
    – msh210
    Aug 10, 2016 at 20:02

Seemingly Rashi knows this from Midrash Bereishis Rabbah 99:5.

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