67, 68, 69... Wait a Minute!By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
…he resolved to go see Yoseif one last time before he died.
Yaakov’s family packed up and headed for Egypt. En route, they camped in Be’er Sheva, where Yaakov offered sacrifices to G-d. That night, G-d appeared to Yaakov in a vision and told him not to worry about leaving the land of Israel to go to Egypt, since it is there that G-d will turn his family into a nation. He assured Yaakov that He would bring them back to their homeland.
Yaakov’s family left Be’er Sheva and continued toward Egypt. Verses 8-27 name the descendants of Yaakov that descended to Egypt. Rather than go through them all, we’ll just hit a few of the more noteworthy ones:
*Shaul (Saul), the son of Shimon, is called “the son of the Canaanite woman.” There are several ways of understanding this, ranging from the obvious explanation that Shimon married a Canaanite woman, to the possibility that this was the son of Dina from Shechem (a Canaanite), adopted by Shimon.
*Serach, the daughter of Asher, is credited for easing Yaakov into the news that Yoseif was still alive, for which she was granted an incredibly long life. (See our Nach Yomi synopsis on I Chronicles chapter 7.)
*Chushim, the son of Dan, was deaf and is credited with killing Eisav for impeding Yaakov’s funeral (see Talmud Sotah 13a).
The famous question is that verse 27 says that there were seventy blood relatives in Yaakov’s family, but only 69 are listed. Who is the mysterious 70th member? Rashi on verse 15 cites Talmud Baba Basra 123b that it was Yocheved (mother of Moshe), who was born on the journey to Egypt.