ימים רבים. כ"ב שָׁנָה, מִשֶּׁפֵּרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד שֶׁיָּרַד יַעֲקֹב לְמִצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר יוֹסֵף בֶּן שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וְגוֹ', וּבֶן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה הָיָה בְּעָמְדוֹ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה, וְשֶׁבַע שְׁנֵי הַשָּׂבָע, וּשְׁנָתַיִם הָרָעָב כְּשֶׁבָּא יַעֲקֹב לְמִצְרַיִם, הֲרֵי כ"ב שָׁנָה, כְּנֶגֶד כ"ב שָׁנָה שֶׁלֹּא קִיֵּם יַעֲקֹב כִּבּוּד אָב וָאֵם (מגילה ט"ז) – כ' שָׁנָה שֶׁהָיָה בְּבֵית לָבָן, וּב' שָׁנָה בַדֶּרֶךְ בְּשׁוּבוֹ מִבֵּית לָבָן, שָׁנָה וָחֵצִי בְסֻכּוֹת וְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים בְּבֵית אֵל – וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר לְלָבָן זֶה לִּי עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה בְּבֵיתֶךָ, לִי הֵן, עָלַי, וְסוֹפִי לִלְקוֹת כְּנֶגְדָּן:
ימים רבים MANY DAYS — twenty-two years (Genesis Rabbah 84:20) — from the time he left him until Jacob went down to Egypt. For it is said, (v. 2) “Joseph was seventeen years old” (when all these events happened), and he was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh; seven years of plenty and two years of famine had passed by the time Jacob came to Egypt — making in all 22 years. These correspond to the 22 years during which Jacob had not practised the duty of honouring his parents (that is, the period during which he did not reside with them and attend to their needs) (Megillah 17a): viz., the twenty years he stayed in Laban’s house and the two years on the journey when he was returning from Laban’s house — one and a half year at Succoth and six months at Bethel. This is what he meant when he said to Laban (31:41) “These twenty years that I have been in thy house are לי” — they are for me — the responsibility for them lies upon me (לי being taken as עלי) and at sometimes I shall be punished for a period equal to them.