וימת יוסף. אב ובנו שתי דורות. והעד שחיה איוב אחרי שבותו מאה וארבעים שנה והוא ראה ד' דורות. וקדמונינו ז"ל אמרו עשרה דורות מאדם ועד נח ומנח ועד אברהם עשרה ואין מספר שנות אלה כאלה: AND JOSEPH DIED AND ALL THAT GENERATION. A father and his son comprise two generations.51In other words, a generation does not refer to a fixed number of years. Proof of this52That a generation does not refer to a fixed number of years. is the fact that after Job’s fortune was changed for the better, he lived a hundred and forty years and saw four generations53The four generations come to 140 years (Weiser). However, elsewhere in Scripture four generations come to more than 140 years. For example, the four generations that the Israelites dwelt in Egypt lasted 210 years. For other interpretations see Netter and Krinsky. (Job 42:16). Furthermore, our sages tell us that there were ten generations from Adam to Noah and ten generations from Noah to Abraham (Abot 5:2, 3). Now the years of each of the aforementioned generations were different one from the other.54The ten generations from Adam to Noah comprised more years than the ten generations from Noah to Abraham, for the antediluvian patriarchs lived much longer than the postdiluvian patriarchs. See chapters 5, 10, and 11 of Genesis. We thus see that a generation does not comprise a fixed number of years.
וטעם וימת יוסף. כי מת בגדולתו גם אחיו לא ראו ימי הרעה: The meaning of And Joseph died is that he died in his greatness.55Joseph’s death is reported before Scripture relates the rise of the new king over Egypt. Hence the implication that Joseph died while still serving in his royal position (Weiser). Similarly, his brothers also did not see the evil days which followed.56Their deaths are also recorded as occurring before the rise of the new king (Weiser).
וטעם וכל הדור ההוא. על המצרים כי יזכיר אשר לא ידע את יוסף: [AND ALL THAT GENERATION.] This refers to the Egyptians. For Scripture goes on to note, Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph (v. 8).