Shemot Chapter 1
May HASHEM continue to enlighten us with the Light of His Torah

 

Hebrew Torah  - Transliterated & Translated - Verse by Verse & with Commentary

 

Linear translation - Every Hebrew & Hebrew Tranliterated line has a precise, idiomatically correct, English translation beside it. Commentary found at bottom of page for highlighted text..

 

Shemot Chapter 1

 

א וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּאִים מִצְרָיְמָה: אֵת יַעֲקֹב אִישׁ וּבֵיתוֹ בָּאוּ

 

 

Ve'eleh shemot benei Yisra'el haba'im Mitzraymah et Ya'akov ish uveito ba'u.

 

 

1. These are the names of the children of Yisrael coming to Egypt with Yaakov (each man came with his household).

 

 

ב רְאוּבֵן שִׁמְעוֹן לֵוִי וִיהוּדָה

 

 

Re'uven Shim'on Levi viYehudah.

 

 

2. Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Yehudah.

 

 

ג יִשָּׂשכָר זְבוּלֻן וּבִנְיָמִן

 

 

Yissachar Zvulun uVinyamin.

 

 

3. Yissachar, Zevulun, Binyamin.

 

 

ד דָּן וְנַפְתָּלִי גָּד וְאָשֵׁר

 

 

Dan veNaftali Gad ve'Asher.

 

 

4. Dan, Naftali, Gad and Asher.

 

 

ה וַיְהִי כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ יֹצְאֵי יֶרֶךְ-יַעֲקֹב--שִׁבְעִים נָפֶשׁ וְיוֹסֵף הָיָה בְמִצְרָיִם

 

 

Vayehi kol-nefesh yotz'ei yerech-Ya'akov shiv'im nafesh veYosef hayah veMitzrayim.

 

 

5. The number of souls emanating from Yaakov's loin was seventy - and Yosef was in Egypt.

 

 

ו וַיָּמָת יוֹסֵף וְכָל-אֶחָיו וְכֹל הַדּוֹר הַהוּא

 

 

Vayamot Yosef vechol-echav vechol hador hahu.

 

 

6. Yosef, his brothers, and all that generation died.

 

 

ז וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל פָּרוּ וַיִּשְׁרְצוּ וַיִּרְבּוּ וַיַּעַצְמוּ--בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ אֹתָם

 

 

Uvenei Yisra'el paru vayishretzu vayirbu vaya'atzmu bime'od me'od vatimale ha'aretz otam.

 

 

7. The children of Yisrael were fertile, and their population increased. They became very, very numerous, and the land was filled with them.

 

 

ח וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ-חָדָשׁ עַל-מִצְרָיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַע אֶת-יוֹסֵף

 

 

Vayakom melech-chadash al-Mitzrayim asher lo-yada et-Yosef.

 

 

8. A new king, who did not know Yosef, came into power over Egypt.

 

 

ט וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל-עַמּוֹ: הִנֵּה עַם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--רַב וְעָצוּם מִמֶּנּוּ

 

 

Vayomer el-amo hineh am benei Yisra'el rav ve'atzum mimenu

 

 

9. He said to his people, "She here, the Children of Yisrael are becoming too many and too strong for us.

 

 

י הָבָה נִתְחַכְּמָה לוֹ: פֶּן-יִרְבֶּה וְהָיָה כִּי-תִקְרֶאנָה מִלְחָמָה וְנוֹסַף גַּם-הוּא עַל-שֹׂנְאֵינוּ וְנִלְחַם-בָּנוּ וְעָלָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ

 

 

Havah nitchakemah lo pen-yirbeh vehayah ki-tikrenah milchamah venosaf gam-hu al-sonenu venilcham-banu ve'alah min-ha'aretz.

 

 

10. Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise they might increase so much that if there is war, they might join our enemies, fight against us, and 'up from the land.'"

 

 

יא וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּים לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מִסְכְּנוֹת לְפַרְעֹה--אֶת-פִּתֹם וְאֶת-רַעַמְסֵס

 

 

Vayasimu alav sarei misim lema'an anoto besivlotam vayiven arei miskenot le-Far'oh et-Pitom ve'et-Ra'amses.

 

 

11. The Egyptians appointed slave drives over them to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Benei Yisrael] built Pitom and Raamses as storage cities for Pharaoh.

 

 

יב וְכַאֲשֶׁר יְעַנּוּ אֹתוֹ כֵּן יִרְבֶּה וְכֵן יִפְרֹץ וַיָּקֻצוּ מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

 

 

Vecha'asher ye'anu oto ken yirbeh vechen yifrotz vayakutzu mipenei Benei Yisra'el

 

 

12. The more [the Egyptians] oppressed [the Benei Yisrael], the more they increased in number and the more they spread. [The Egyptians] dreaded the Children of Yisrael.

 

 

יג וַיַּעֲבִדוּ מִצְרַיִם אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּפָרֶךְ

 

 

Vaya'avidu Mitzrayim et-Benei Yisra'el befarech.

 

 

13. The Egyptians made the Children of Yisrael do backbreaking work.

 

 

יד וַיְמָרְרוּ אֶת-חַיֵּיהֶם בַּעֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה בְּחֹמֶר וּבִלְבֵנִים וּבְכָל-עֲבֹדָה בַּשָּׂדֶה--אֵת כָּל-עֲבֹדָתָם אֲשֶׁר-עָבְדוּ בָהֶם בְּפָרֶךְ

 

 

Vayemareru et-chayeihem ba'avodah kashah bechomer uvilvenim uvechol-avodah basadeh et kol-avodatam asher-avdu vahem befarech.

 

 

14. [The Egyptians] made the lives [of the Benei Yisrael] bitter through harsh labor with mortar and bricks, and all kinds of work in the field. All the work they made them do was backbreaking.

 

 

טו וַיֹּאמֶר מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם לַמְיַלְּדֹת הָעִבְרִיֹּת אֲשֶׁר שֵׁם הָאַחַת שִׁפְרָה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית פּוּעָה

 

 

Vayomer melech Mitzrayim lameyaldot ha'Ivriot asher shem ha'achat Shifrah veshem hashenit Puah.

 

 

15. The king of Egypt spoke t the Hebrew midwives (the name of one was Shifra, and the name of the other was Puah).

 

 

טז וַיֹּאמֶר בְּיַלֶּדְכֶן אֶת-הָעִבְרִיּוֹת וּרְאִיתֶן עַל-הָאָבְנָיִם: אִם-בֵּן הוּא וַהֲמִתֶּן אֹתוֹ וְאִם-בַּת הִוא וָחָיָה

 

 

Vayomer beyaledchen et-ha'Ivriot ur'iten al-ha'ovnayim im-ben hu vahamiten oto ve'im-bat hi vachayah.

 

 

16. He said, "When you help the Hebrew women give birth and look upon the twin stones, if it is a son, put it to death, but if it is a daughter, it shall live."

 

 

יז וַתִּירֶאןָ הַמְיַלְּדֹת אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים וְלֹא עָשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵיהֶן מֶלֶךְ מִצְרָיִם וַתְּחַיֶּיןָ אֶת-הַיְלָדִים

 

 

Vatir'ena hameyaldot et-ha'Elokim velo asu ka'asher diber aleihen melech Mitzrayim vatechayeina et-hayeladim.

 

 

17. The midwives feared G-d, and did not do as the king of Egypt had instructed them. They allowed the infant boys to live.

 

 

יח וַיִּקְרָא מֶלֶךְ-מִצְרַיִם לַמְיַלְּדֹת וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶן מַדּוּעַ עֲשִׂיתֶן הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַתְּחַיֶּיןָ אֶת-הַיְלָדִים

 

 

Vayikra melech-Mitzrayim lameyaldot vayomer lahen madua asiten hadavar hazeh vatchayeina et-hayeladim.

 

 

18. The king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this, and allowed the infant boys to live?"

 

 

יט וַתֹּאמַרְןָ הַמְיַלְּדֹת אֶל-פַּרְעֹה כִּי לֹא כַנָּשִׁים הַמִּצְרִיֹּת הָעִבְרִיֹּת: כִּי-חָיוֹת הֵנָּה בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא אֲלֵהֶן הַמְיַלֶּדֶת וְיָלָדוּ

 

 

Vatomarna hameyaldot el-Par'oh ki lo chanashim haMitzriot ha'Ivriot ki chayot henah beterem tavo alehen hameyaledet veyaladu.

 

 

19. The midwives replied to Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women. They know how to deliver, and give birth before a midwife can even get to them."

 

 

כ וַיֵּיטֶב אֱלֹהִים לַמְיַלְּדֹת וַיִּרֶב הָעָם וַיַּעַצְמוּ מְאֹד

 

 

Vayeytev Elokim lameyaleot vayirev ha'am vaya'atzmu me'od.

 

 

20. G-d was good to the midwives. The people grew in number and became very numerous.

 

 

כא וַיְהִי כִּי-יָרְאוּ הַמְיַלְּדֹת אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם בָּתִּים

 

 

Vayehi ki yar'u hameyaldot et-ha'Elokim vaya'as lahem batim.

 

 

21. Since the midwives feared G-d, He made houses for them.

 

 

כב וַיְצַו פַּרְעֹה לְכָל-עַמּוֹ לֵאמֹר: כָּל-הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד הַיְאֹרָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ וְכָל-הַבַּת תְּחַיּוּן

 

 

Vayetzav Par'oh lechol-amo lemor kol-haben hayilod haYe'orah tashlichuhu vechol-habat techayun.

 

 

22. Pharaoh gave orders to all his people: "Every son that is born, you shall cast into the Nile, and every daughter you shall allow to live."

 

 

NOTES

 

Zohar on 1:1 Earlier (Shemot 1:1), when the seventy offspring who emigated with Yaakov are enumerated, the Torah also begins with the word Ve'eleh ("and these...") All seventy were tzaddikim, just like their fathers. The Torah threrefore informs us that there were precisely seventy, paralleling the seventy nations. Since they were perfect like tzaddikim, each one was as significant as a complete nation.

Zohar II:94b: coming... rather than "who came" [in the past tense], because G‑d "forms the spirit of man within him" (Zachayiah 12:2), meaning that the more a person continues to mature [spiritually], the more his soul enters [and manifests] within him. It is thus stated there (1Shmuel 2:2): "There is none holy as G‑d…" [meaning that] even though Yisrael are holy, they are not intrinsically holy. Rather, G‑d sanctifies them. This is the meaning of [the continuation of this verse:] "…for there is none other than You," [meaning:] His holiness is not derived from others, but is intrinsic, while Yisrael's holiness is [not intrinsic, but rather] derived from none other than Him.

RASHI on 1:5: and Yosef was in Eygpt. Now were not he and his sons included in the seventy? What then does this teach us? Did we not know that he was in Egypt? But [this clause comes] to inform you of Yosef righteousness. He, the Yosef who tended his father's flocks, is the same Yosef who was in Egypt and became a king, and he retained his righteousness. Egypt is likened to a womb from which the collective Jewish Soul emerged on its path to maturity. The Hebrew word for "Egypt", "Mitzrayim", literally means "straits" or "confinements". It is therefore an allegory for the confinement of the soul as it leaves its native milieu in heaven and descends into the confinements of physicality, constrained to experience reality within the parameters of time and space. The phrase "in between the straits" is paraphrased from Eichah 1:3.

Zohar: Yosef, his brothers, and all that generation died.

  • Reuven lived 125 years - died in 2318
  • Shimon lived 120 years - died in 2314
  • Levi lived 137 years - died in 2331
  • Yehudah lived 119 years - died in 2315
  • Dan lived 125 years - died in 2321
  • Naftali lived133 years - died in 2323
  • Asher lived 123 years - died in 2322
  • Yissachar lived 122 years - died in 2320
  • Zevulun lived 114 years - died in 2314
  • Yosef lived 110 years - died in 2309
  • Binyamin lived 115 years - died in 2323

*The Yalkut states that Binyamin lived 115 years. However, Bachya has hat he lived 109 years, Midrash Tadshe has 111 years, and Sefer HaYashar has 117 years.

Zohar: A new king,this refers to the evil inclination, who is the "old and foolish king". (Kohelet 4:13; Kohelet Rabbah 4:9). The verse from Kohelet reads: "A poor and wise child is better than an old and foolish king." The Midrash expounds: "The 'poor and wise child' is the Yetzer Tov (Good Inclination). Why is it called 'a child'? Because it only pairs up with a person from the age of thirteen on. And why is it called 'poor'? Because not everyone listens to it. And why is it called 'wise?' Because it teaches people the upright path [in life]. The 'old and foolish king' is the Yetzer Ra (Evil Inclination). Why is it called 'a king?' Because everyone listens to it. And why is it called 'old'? Because it pairs up with a person from birth until his old age. And why is it called 'foolish'? Because it teaches a person the evil path, until he no longer knows how to be careful, and he doesn't know how much pain and suffering come upon him [for following it]." Thus, relative to an individual's experience of them, the Good Inclination is "younger" than the Evil Inclination.