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They return to Jacob, and give CHAP. XLII.
an account of their journey. A. M. 2297 25 Then Joseph commanded to 32 We be twelve brethren, sons B. C. 1707.
fill their sacks with corn, and to of our father; one is not, and the restore every man's money into his sack, and youngest is this day with our father in the to give them provision for the way: and “ thus land of Canaan, did he unto them.
33 And the man, the lord of the country, 26. And they laded their asses with the corn, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye and departed thence.
are true men ; leave, one of your brethren 27 And as one of them opened his sack to here with me, and take food for the famine give his ass provender in the inn, he espied of your households, and be gone : his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's 34 And bring your youngest brother unto mouth.
me : then shall I know that ye are no spies, 28 And he said unto his brethren, My mo- but that ye
are true men : so will I deliver ney is restored ; and, lo, it is even in my you your brother, and ye shall z traffic in the sack : and their heart w failed them, and they land. were afraid, saying one to another, What is 35 And it came to pass as they emptied this that God hath done unto ys?
their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle 29 And they came unto Jacob their father of money was in his sack : and when both unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that they and their father saw the bundles of mobefell unto them ; saying,
ney, they were afraid. 30 The man, who is the lord of the land, 36 And Jacob their father said unto them, spake : roughly to us, and took us for spies Me have ye b.bereaved of my children: Joseph of the country.
is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take 31 And we said unto him, We are true men; Benjamin away: all these things are against we are no spies : a Matt. v. 44; Rom. xii. 17, 20, 21.- See chap. xliii. 21. * Heb. with us hard things. - Ver. 15, 19, 20,
i Ch. xxxiv. w Heb. went forth.
10. See chap. xliii. 21. Chap. xliii. 14.
into the pit. A recollection of this circumstance must In the inn] 1932 bammalon, from 15 lan, to lodge, exceedingly deepen the sense he had of his guilt. stay, remain, gc. The place at which they stopped
Verse 25. Commanded to fill their sacks] bibo to bait or rest themselves and their asses. Our word keleyhem, their vessels ; probably large woollen bags, inn gives us a false idea here ; there were no such or baskets lined with leather, which, as Sir John Char- places of entertainment at that time in the desert over din says, are still in use through all Așia, and are called which they had to pass, nor are there any to the pretambellet; they are covered with leather, the better to sent day. Travellers generally endeavour to reach a resist the wet, and to prevent dirt and sand from mix. well, where they fill their girbahs, or leathern bottles, ing with the grain. . These vessels, of whatever sort, with fresh water, and having clogged their camels, must have been different from those called po sak in asses, &c., permit them to crop any little verdure there the twenty-seventh and following verses, which was may be in the place, keeping watch over them by turns. probably oņly a small sack or bag, in which each had This is all we are to understand by the malon or inn reserved a sufficiency of corn for his ass during the in the text, for even caravanseries were not then in journey ; the larger vessels or bags serving to hold the use, which are generally no more than four walls perwheat or rice they had brought, and their own packages. fectly exposed, the place being open at the top. The reader will at once see that the English word sack Verse 28. Their heart failed them] dah xx' vaiis plainly derived from the Hebrew.
yetse libbam, their heart went out. This refers to that Verse 26. They laded their asses] Amounting, no spasmodic affection which is felt in the breast at any doubt, to several scores, if not hundreds, else they sudden alarm or fright. Among the common people could not have brought a sufficiency of corn for the in our own country we find an expression exactly simsupport of so large a family as that of Jacob. ilar, “ My heart was ready to leap out at my mouth,”
Verse 27. One of them. opened his sack] From used on similar oecasions. ver. 35 we learn that each of the ten brethren on What is this that God hath done unto us?] Their emptying his sack when he returned found his money guilty consciences, now thoroughly awakened, were in in it; can we suppose that this was not discovered by continual alarms; they felt that they deserved God's them all before? It seems not; and the reason was curse, and every occurrence served to confirm and inprobably this : the money was put in the mouth of the crease their suspicions. sack of one only, in the sacks of the others it was Verse 35. As they emptied their sacks] See on placed at or near to the bottom ; hence only one dis- ver. 27. covered it on the road, the rest found it when they Verse 36. All these things are against me.) 977 by came to empty their sacks at their father's house. 3ba alai hayu cullanah ; literally, All these things are
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Reuben offers his two sons as
GENESIS pledges for Benjamin's safety. 37 And Reuben - spake unto his with 'you; for o his brother is dead, A. M. 2297
father, saying, Slay my two sons, and he is left alone : d if mischief if I bring him not to thee : deliver him into befall him by the way in the which ye go, my hand, and I will bring him to thee again, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with 38 And he said, My son shall not go down sorrow to the grave.
• Ver. 13; chap. xxxvii. 33; xliv. 28.
d Ver. 4; chap. xliv. 29. Chap. xxxvii, 35; xliv. 31.
upon me. Not badly translated by the Vulgate, In me injured, if it lie in the compass of his power.
If he hæc omnia mala reciderunt, “ All these evils fall back do not, God will take care to exact it in the course of upon me.” They lie upon me as heavy loads, hasten- his providence. Such respect has he for the dictates ing my death ; they are more than I can bear! - of infinite justice that nothing of this kind shall pass
Verse 37. Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to unnoticed. Several instances of this have already octhee) What a strange proposal made by a son to his curred in this history, and we shall see several more. father, concerning his grandchildren! But they show No man should expect mercy at the hand of God who, the honesty and affection of Reuben's heart; he felt having wronged his neighbour, refuses, when he has it deeply for his father's distress, and was determined to in his power, to make restilution. Were he to weep risk and hazard every thing in order to relieve and tears of blood, both the justice and mercy of God would comfort him. There is scarcely a transaction in which shut out his prayer, if he made not his neiglibour Reuben is concerned that does not serve to set his amends for the injury he may have done him. The character in an amiable point of view, except the single mercy of God, through the blood of the cross, can instance mentioned chap. xxxv. 22, and which for the alone pardon his guilt; but no dishonest man can exsake of decency and piety we should wish to understand pect this; and be is a dishonest man who illegally holds as the Targumists have explained it. See the notes. the property of another in his hand. The unnatural
Verse 38. He is left alone] That is, Benjamin is brethren who sold their brother are now about to be the only remaining son of Rachel ; for he supposed captivated themselves; and the binder himself is bound Joseph, who was the other son, to be dead.
in his turn: and though a kind Providence permits not Shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow) the evil to fall upon them, yet, while apprehending it, Here he keeps up the idea of the oppressive burden they feel all its reality, conscience supplying the lack mentioned ver. 36, to which every occurrence was of prison, jailer, and bonds. adding an additional weight, so that he felt it impos- 2. The ways of Providence are often to us dark and sible to support it any longer.
perplexed, so that we are ready to imagine that good The following observations of Dr. Dodd on this can never result from what appears to us to be directly verse are very appropriate and judicious : “Nothing contrary to our interest; and we are often tempted to can be more tender and picturesque than the words of think that those very providential dealings of God, the venerable patriarch. Full of affection for his be- which have for their object our present and eternal loved Rachel, he cannot think of parting with Benja- welfare, are rather proofs of his displeasure, or evimin, the only remaining pledge of that love, now Jo- dences of his vindictive judgment. All these things seph, as he supposes, is no more. We seem to behold are against me, said poor desponding Jacob; whereas, the gray-headed, venerable father pleading with his instead of being against him, all these things were for Bons, the beloved Benjámin standing by his side, im- him; and by all these means was the merciful God patient sorrow in their countenances, and in his all the working for the preservation of himself and his family, bleeding anxiety of paternal love. It will be difficult and the fulfilment of his ancient promise, that the posto find in any author, ancient or modern, a more exqui- terity of Abraham should be as the stars of heaven for site picture.”
multitude. How strange is it that our faith, after so
many evidences of his goodness, should still be so weak; 1. There is one doctrine relative to the economy and that our opinion of him should be so imperfect, of Divine Providence little heeded among men; I mean that we can never trust in him but while he is under the doctrine of restitution. When a man has done our own eye! If we see him producing good, we can wrong to his neighbour, though, on his repentance, believe that he is doing so, and this is all. If we beand faith in our Lord Jesus, God forgives him his sin, lieve. not, he abides faithful ; but our unbelief must yet he requires him to make restitution to the person I make our own way extremely perplexing and difficult.
CHAPTER XLIII. . The famine continuing, Jacob desires his sons to go again to Egypt and buy some food, 1, 2. Judah shows
the necessity of Benjamin's accompanying them, without whom it would be useless to return to Egypt, 3–5. Jacob expostulates with him, 6. Judah replies, and offers to become surety for Benjamin, 7–10. Jacob at last consents, and desires them to take a present with them for the governor of Egypt; and double money, that which they had brought back in their sacks' mouth, and the price of the load they were now to bring; and, having prayed for them, sends them away, 11-15. They arrive in Egypt, and are brought
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Judah shows the necessity of
CHAP. XLIII. going immediately to Egypt. to Joseph's house to dine with him, at whuh they are greatly alarmed, 16–18. • They speak to the steward of Joseph's house concerning the money returned in their sacks, 19-22. He gives them encouragement, 23, 24.. Having made ready the present, they bring it to Joseph when he came home to dine, 25, 26. He speaks kindly to them, and inquires concerning their health, and that of their father, 27, 28. Joseph is greatly affected at seeing his brother Benjamin, 29-31. They dinė with him, and are distinguished according to their seniority; but Benjamin receives marks of peculiar favour, 32–34.
ND the famine was sore in your father yet alive ? have ye A. M. 2297. the land.
añother brother ? and we told him 2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten according to the tenor of these words : f could up the corn which they had brought out of we certainly know that he would say, Bring Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, your brother down? buy us a little food.
8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, 3. And Tudah spake unto him, saying, The Send the lad with me, and we will arise and man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, go; that we may live, and not die, both we, Ye shall not see my face, except your bro- and thou, and also our little ones. ther be with you.
9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt 4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we thou require him : * if I bring him not unto will go down and buy thee food :
thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear 5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not the blame for ever: go down : for the man said unto us, Ye shall 10 For except we had lingered, surely now not see my face, except your brother be with we had returned.h this second time. you,
11 And their father Israel said unto them, 6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill If it must be so now, do this ; take of the with me, as to tell the man whether ye had best fruits in the land in your vessels, and yet a brother?
down the man a present, a little & balm, 7 And they said, The man d asked us straitly, and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and of our state, and of our kindred, saying, is almonds :
a Chap. xli. 54, 57.- - Heb. protesting protested... Chap. 6. Chap. xliv. 32; Philem. 18, 19.
Jer. viii. 22.
Or, twice by this. k Chap. xxxvi. 25;
NOTES ON CHAP. XLIII.
what was the present brought to Joseph on this occaVerse 8. Send the lad with me) As the original sion? After all the labour of commentators, we are is not abo yeled, from which we have derived our word obliged to be contented with probabilities and conjeclad, but w naar, it would have been better had our ture. According to our translation, the gifts were translators rendered it by some other term, such as balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds. the youth, or the young man, and thus the distinction Balm] '98 tsori is supposed to signify resin in in the Hebrew would have been better kept up. Ben- general, or some kind of gum issuing from trees. jamin was at this time at least twenty-four years of Honey] vin debash has been supposed to be the age, some think thirty, and had a family of his own. same as the rob of grapes, called in Egypt dibs. See chap. xlvi. 21.
Others think that honey, in the common sense of the That we may live, and not die) An argument drawn term, is to be understood here: we know that honey from self-preservation, what some have termed the first was plentiful in Palestine. law of nalure.' By your keeping Benjamin we are pre- Spices] nxji nechoth is supposed to mean gum vented from going to Egypt; if we go not to Egypt storax, which might be very valuable on account of. we shall get no corn; if we get no corn we shall all its qualities as a perfume. perish by famine; and Benjamin himself, who other- · Myrrh] ob lot, supposed by some to mean štacte; wise might live, must, with thee and the whole family, by others to signify an ointment made of myrrh. infallibly die.
Nuts] Dijua botnim, by some rendered pistachio Verse 9. Let me bear the blame for ever] insoni nuts, those produced in Syria being the finest in the D'nin 50 75 vechatathi lecha col haiyamim, then shall world; by others, dates ; others, walnuts'; others, pine I sin against thee all my days, and consequently be apples; others, the nuts of the terebinth tree. liable to punishment for violating my faith.
Almonds] o'ype shekedim, correctly enough transVerse 11. Carry down the man å present) From lated, and perhaps the only article in the collection of the very earliest times presents were used as means of which we know any thing with certainty: It is geneintroduction to great men. This is particularly noticed rally allowed that the land of Canaan produces the by Solomon: A man's gift maketh room for him, and best almonds in the east ; and on this account they bringeth him before great men, Prov. xviii. 16. But might be deemed a very acceptable present to the VOL. I. ( 17 )
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his brethren to Egypt. 12 And take double money in in our sacks at the first time, are
your hand; and the money that we brought in : that he may ' seek was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, occasion against. us, and fall upon us, and carry it again in your hand; peradventure it take us for bondmen, and our asses. wus an oversight :
19 And they came near to the steward of 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go Joseph's house, and they communed with him again unto the man :
at the door of the house, 14 And God Almighty give you mercy before 20 And said, O sir, 8 we came indeed down the man, that he may send away your other at the first time to buy food : brother, and Benjamin. m If n I be bereaved 21 'And u it came to pass, when we came of my children, I am bereaved.
to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, 15 And the men took that present, and they behold, every man's money was in the mouth took double money in their hand, and Benja- of his sack, our money in full weight': and min; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, we have brought it again in our hand. and stood before Joseph.
22 And other money have we brought down :16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin within our hands to buy food : we cannot tell who hem, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring put our money in our sacks.. these men home, and P slay, and make ready; 23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: for these men shall 9 dine with me at noon. your God, and the God of your father, hath
17 And the man did as Joseph bade ; and given you treasure in your sacks : "I had your the man brought the men into Joseph's house. money. And he brought Simeon out unto
18 And the men were afraid, because they them. were brought into Joseph's house ; and they 24 And the man brought the men into şaid, Because of the money that was returned Joseph's house, and w gave them water, and
Chap. xlii. 25, 35. um Esth. iv. 16. un Or, and I, as I have Heb. roll himself upon us ; Job xxx. 14.- Ch. xli. 3, 10. been, &c. Chap. xxiv. 2 ; xxxix. 4; xliv. 1. -P Heb. kill a Heb. coming down we came down. -9 Chap. xlii. 27, 35. killing; 1 Sam. xxv. 11. Heb. cat.
Heb. your money came to me. Chap. xvii. 4 ; xxiv. 32.
governor of Egypt. Those who wish to see this sab- number with them; and which, if captured, would have ject exhausted must have recourse to the Physica Sa- been a great loss to the family of Jacob, as such cattle cra of Scheuchzer.
must have constituted a principal part of its riches. Verse 12. Double money) What was returned in Verse 20. O sir, we came indeed-to buy food) their sacks, and what was farther necessary to bụy There is a frankness now in the conduct of. Joseph's another load.
brethren that did not exist before; they simply and Verse 14. This verse- may be literally translated honestly relate the whole circumstance of the money thus : “ And God, the all-sufficient, shall give you being found in their sacks on their return from their tender mercies before the max, and send to you your last journey. Afflictions from the hand of God, and other brother, and Benjamin; and I, as I shall be child- under his direction, have a wonderful tendency to humless, so I shall be childless.” That is, I will submit ble the soul. Did men know how gracious his designs to this privation, till God shall restore my children. are in sending such, no murmur would ever be heard It appears that this verse is spoken prophetically ; and against the dispensations of Diviné. Providence. that God at this time gave Jacob a supernatural evi- Verse 23. And he said] The address of the steward dence that his children should be restored.
in this versę plainly proves that the knowledge of the Verse 16. Slay, and make ready) nao nao teboach, true God was in Egypt. It is probable that the stewtebach, slay a.slaying, or make a great slaughter-ard himself was a Hebrew, and that Joseph had given let preparations be made for a great feast or entertain- him intimation of the whole affair ; and though he was ment. See a similar form of speech, Prov. ix. 2 ; not at liberty to reveal it, yet he gives them assu1 Sam. xxv. 11; and Gen. xxxi. 54,
rances that the whole business would issue happily." Verse 18. And the men were afraid] A guilly con- I had your money.) X3 Dodd caspechem ba science needs no accuser. Every thing alarms them; elai, your money comes to me. As I am the steward, they now feel that God is exacting retribution, and the cash for the corn belongs to me. Ye have no reathey know not what the degrees shall be, nor where son to be apprehensive of any evil; the whole trans
action is between myself and you receive therefore Fall upon 'us] why shann hithgolel alainu, roll, the money as a present from the God of your father, himself upon us.
A metaphor taken from wrestlers ; no matter whose hands he makes use of to convey it. when a man has overthrown his antagonist, he rolls The conduct of the steward, as well as his words, had himself upon him, in order to keep him down. a great tendency to relieve their burdened minds.. And our asses.] Which they probably had in great Verse 24. Brought the men into Joseph's house, &c.] 242
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with his brethren. A. M. 2297. they washed their feet; and he gave 30 And Joseph made haste; for A. M. 2297. their asses provender.
e his bowels did yearn upon his 25 And they made ready the present against brother: and he sought where to weep; Joseph came at noon : for they heard that and he entered into his chamber, and f wept they should eat bread there.
there. 26 And when Joseph came home, they 31 And he washed his face, and went out, brought him the present which was in their and refrained himself, and said, Set on 8 bread. hand into the house, and " bowed themselves 32 And they set on for him by himself, and to him to the earth.
for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians 27 And he asked them of their y welfare, which did eat with him, by themselves : beand said, ? Is your father well, the old man cause the Egyptians might not eat bread with of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? the Hebrews; for that is ļ an abomination
28 And they answered, Thy servant our unto the Egyptians. father is in good health, he is yet alive.
. 33. And they sat before him, the first-born • And they bowed down their heads, and made according to his birthright, and the youngest obeisance.
according to his youth: and the men marvelled 29
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his one at another. brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, 34 And he took and sent messes unto them Is this your younger brother, 4 of whom ye from before him : but Benjamin's mess was spake unto me?' And he said, God be
And he said, God be gra- i five times so much as any of theirs. And cious unto thee, my son!
they drank and k were merry with him.
* Chap. xxxvii. 7, 10.- - Heb. peace; chap. xxxvii, 14. 4 Chap. xlii. 13.-1 Kings iii. 26. Chap. xlii. 24. Heb. Is there peace to your father ? - Chap. xlii. 11, 13. : Ver. 25.—Chap. xlvi. 34; Exod. viii. 26. Chap. xlv. 22. Chap. xxxvii. 7, 10. Chap. xxxv. 17, 18.
* Heb. drank largely ; see Hag. i. 6; John ü. 10.
This is exactly the way in which a Hindoo receives a brews] There might have been some political reason guest. As soon as he enters, one of the first civilities for this, with which we are unacquainted; but indeis the presenting of water to wash his feet. So indis- pendently of this, two may be assigned. 1. The He. pensable is this, that water to wash the feet makes a brews were shepherds; and Egypt had been almost part of the offerings to an image.
ruined by hordes of lawless wandering banditti, under Verse 27. And he asked them of their welfare] This the name of Hycsos, or King-shepherds, who had but verse may be thus translated : “And he asked them a short time before this been expelled from the land concerning their prosperity ; , and he said, Is your by Amasis, after they had held it in subjection for father prosperous, the old man who ye told me was 259 years, according to Manetho, committing the most alive? And they said, Thy servant our father pros- wanton cruelties. 2. The Hebrews sacrificed those pers; he is yet alive.”
animals which the Egyptians held sacred, and fed on Verse 29. He lifted up his eyes, and saw his bro- their fesh. The Egyptians were in general very su- ther Benjamin). They were probably introduced to perstitious, and would have no social intercourse with him successively; and as Benjamin was the youngest, people of any other nation; hence we are informed he would of course be introduced last.
that they would not even use the knife of a Greek, God be gracious, unto thee, my son!] A usual because they might have reason to suspect it had. cut salutation in the east from the-aged and superiors to the flesh of some of those animals which they held sathe younger and inferiors, which, though very em-creă. Among the Hindoos different -castes will not phatic and expressive in ancient times, in the present eat food cooked in the same vessel. If a person of day means no more than “I am your humble servant,” | another caste touch a cooking vessel, it is thrown or “I am exceedingly glad to see you ;" words which away. Some are of opinion that the Egyptian idolaamong us mean-just nothing. Even in David's time try, especially their worship of Apis under the figure they seem to have been, not only devoid of meaning, of an ox, was posterior to the time of Joseph; ancient but to be used as a cloak for the basest and most monuments are rather against this opinion, but it is treacherous designs : They bless with their mouths, impossible to decide either way. The clause in the. but they curse inwardly. Hence Joab salutes Amasa, Alexandrian Septuagint stands thus, Bdeavypa 'yap kisses him with apparent afection, and stabs him in) εστιν τοις Αιγυπτιοις [πας ποιμην προβατων,] the same motnent! The case of Judas, betraying the [every shepherd) is an abomination to the Egyptians ;" Son of man with a kiss, will not be forgotten. but this clause is probably borrowed from chap. xlvi.
Verse 32. They set on for him by himself, fc.] 34, where it stands in the Hebrew as well as in the From the text it appears evident that there were ihree Greek. See the note on chap. xlvi. 34, tables, one for Joseph, one for the Egyptians, and one Verse 33. The first-born according to his birthfor the eleven brethren.
right] This must greatly astonish these brethren, to The Eygptians might, not eat bread with the He-/ find themselves treated with so much ceremony, and