49:22מ״ט:כ״ב
1 א

בן פרת. בֶּן חֵן, וְהוּא לְשׁוֹן אֲרַמִּי, אַפִּרְיָן נַמְטְיֵהּ לְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן, בְּסוֹף בָּבָא מְצִיעָא (דף קי"ט):

בן פרת means a graceful son. It is an expression used in Aramaic: אפרין נמטיה “Let us treat gracefully (literally, let us make a triumphal procession for) R. Simeon”, and may be found at the end of Bava Metzia 119a.

2 ב

בן פרת עלי עין. חִנּוֹ נָטוּי עַל הָעַיִן הָרוֹאָה אוֹתוֹ:

בן פרת עלי עין means his gracefulness attacks the eye that looks at him.

3 ג

בנת צעדה עלי שור. בְּנוֹת מִצְרַיִם הָיוּ צוֹעֲדוֹת (עַל הַחוֹמָה) לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בְּיָפְיוֹ, בָּנוֹת הַרְבֵּה, צָעֲדָה כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת, בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁתּוּכַל לִרְאוֹתוֹ מִשָּׁם:

בנות צעדה עלי שור DAUGHTERS TREAD ON THE WALL — The daughters of Egypt used to climb up to gaze at his beauty בנות is plural — many daughters, whilst צעדה is singular, but the words should be translated thus: many daughters climbed, each of them to any place from which she could best obtain a glimpse of him.

4 ד

עלי שור. עַל רְאִיָּתוֹ, כְּמוֹ אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְלֹא קָרוֹב (במדבר כ"ד), וּמִ"אַ יֵשׁ רַבִּים, וְזֶה נוֹטֶה לְיִשּׁוּב הַמִּקְרָא. פֹּרָת תָּי"ו שֶׁבּוֹ הוּא תִּקּוּן הַלָּשׁוֹן, כְּמוֹ עַל דִּבְרַת בְּנֵי הָאָדָם (קהלת ג'):

עלי שור means for the purpose of looking at him, similar to (Numbers 24:17) I behold him (אשורנו) but not nigh”. There are many Midrashic explanations but this inclines nearest to the literal sense of the verse פרת — The ת in this word is added for elegance of style (i.e. it is not a sign of the feminine), as the ת in דברת which is instead of דבר in (Ecclesiastes 3:18) “It is because of (על דברת) the sons of men”.

5 ה

שור. כְּמוֹ לָשׁוּר:

שור is an infinitive the same as לשור, to look.

6 ו

עלי שור. בִּשְׁבִיל לָשׁוּר, וְתַרְגּוּם שֶׁל אֻנְקְלוֹס, בָּנוֹת צָעֲדָה עֲלֵי שׁוּר תְּרֵין שִׁבְטִין יִפְּקוּן מִבְּנוֹהִי וְכוּ' וְכָתַב בָּנוֹת עַל שֵׁם בְּנוֹת מְנַשֶּׁה, בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד, שֶׁנָּטְלוּ חֵלֶק בִּשְׁנֵי עֶבְרֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן, בְּרִי דְּיִסְגֵּי יוֹסֵף, פֹּרָת לְשׁוֹן פִּרְיָה וּרְבִיָּה; וְיֵשׁ מִ"אַ בּוֹ הַמִּתְיַשְּׁבִים עַל הַלָּשׁוֹן, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבָּא עֵשָׂו לִקְרַאת יַעֲקֹב, בְּכֻלָּן קָדְמוּ הָאִמָּהוֹת לָלֶכֶת לִפְנֵי בְּנֵיהֶם לְהִשְׁתַּחֲווֹת, וּבְרָחֵל כְּתִיב נִגַּשׁ יוֹסֵף וְרָחֵל וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ, אָמַר יוֹסֵף רָשָׁע הַזֶּה עֵינוֹ רָמָה, שֶׁמָּא יִתֵּן עֵינָיו בְּאִמִּי, יָצָא לְפָנֶיהָ וְשִׁרְבֵּב קוֹמָתוֹ לְכַסּוֹתָהּ, וְהוּא שֶׁבֵּרְכוֹ אָבִיו בֵּן פֹּרָת – הִגְדַּלְתָּ עַצְמְךָ יוֹסֵף עֲלֵי עַיִן שֶׁל עֵשָׂו, לְפִיכָךְ זָכִיתָ לִגְדֻלָּה:

עלי שור consequently means in order to look (i.e. עלי, a poetical form of על, means “for the purpose of”). The translation of Onkelos of בנות צעדה עלי שור is: two tribes will come out of his sons etc., and according to this Scripture writes בנות (though one would expect בנים) with reference to the women of Manasseh — the daughters of Zelophehad — who received a portion of land on both sides of the Jordan (Midrash Tanchuma, Pinchas 9). And in accordance with this paraphrase the Targum translated the preceding words בן פרת by ברי דיסגי יוסף, Joseph is a son who shall increase and become, two tribes connecting פרת with the expression [פריה [ורביה “fruitfulness and increase”. There are Midrashim (Genesis Rabbah 78:9) that fit in with the text: When Esau came to meet Jacob all the other matriarchs walked in front of their children to prostrate themselves but of Rachel it states (33:7) “[and afterwards] came Joseph near and Rachel (i.e. Joseph before Rachel) and they bowed down”. Joseph said, “This wicked man has a haughty look (is bold and impudent) he may set his fancy upon my mother”. He therefore stepped in front of her, drawing himself up to his full height, in order to hide her from Esau’s eyes. It was in reference to this that his father when blessing him called him a בן פורת, a son who grew in size: You, Joseph, stretched yourself to a great height to protect your mother against Esau’s glance, therefore you deserved to become great. (This has reference to the distinguished position he attained in Egypt.).

7 ז

בנות צעדה עלי שור. לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בְּךָ בְּצֵאתְךָ עַל מִצְרַיִם, וְעוֹד דְּרָשׁוּהוּ לְעִנְיָן שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁלֹט בְּזַרְעוֹ עַיִן הָרָע; וְאַף כְּשֶׁבֵּרֵךְ מְנַשֶּׁה וְאֶפְרַיִם בֵּרְכָם כַּדָּגִים, שֶׁאֵין עַיִן הָרָע שׁוֹלֶטֶת בָּהֶם:

In accordance with this Midrash the words בנות צעדה עלי שור mean they climbed up to get a good view of you when you went forth in the procession as Viceroy over Egypt. They (the Rabbis) gave a further interpretation of it, taking עלי עין as עוּלֵי עין ,“raised above the eye”, in the sense that the Evil Eye would have no effect on his children (Berakhot 20a). So, too, when he blessed Manasseh and Ephraim he blessed them, praying that they should become as fishes on which the Evil Eye has no effect.