What prompted Pharaoh to ask Ya'akov's age?


Ramban, Hadar Zekenim and Rashbam: Because he looked way beyond his hundred and thirty years. 1


Moshav Zekenim #1: Yakov said that if Paro will let him return to his origin after the famine ends, fine. If not, I will return [now] and buy from Yosef. Paro asked, at your age, do you expect to live so long - how old are you?


Moshav Zekenim (10) #2: In Paro's youth, he went to Avimelech to learn Derech Eretz, and saw Yitzchak. He now thought that Yakov is Yitzchak, and was astounded that he is still alive.


In the days of the Avos, the life-span had already been cut short and, except for Tzadikim, people died at the age of seventy or eighty (See Ramban, 5:4), like it says in Tefilah l'Moshe (Tehilim 90:10).

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