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Joseph's cup is put
into Benjamin's sack. at the same time with so much discernment of their 1. The scarcity-in Canaan was not absolute; though respective ages.
they had no corn, they had honey, nuts, almonds, &c. Verse 34. Benjamin's mess was five times so much In the midst of judgment, God remembers mercy... If as any of theirs.] Sir John Chardin observes that there was scarcity in Canaan, there was plenty in “ in Persia, Arabia, and the Indies, there are several | Egypt; and though his providence had denied one houses where they place several plates in large salvers, country corn, and accumulated it in the other, his and set one of these before each person, or before two bounty had placed in the former 'money enough to or three, according to the magnificence of each house. procure it from the latter. How true is the saying, This is the method among the Hindoos; the dishes. It is never ill with any but it might be worse!” are not placed on the table, but messes are sent to Let us be deeply thankful to God that we have any each individual by the master of the feast or by his thing, seeing we deserve no good at his hands. substitute. The great men of the state are always . 2. If we examine our circumstances closely, and served by themselves, in the feasts that are made for call to remembrance the dealings of God's providence them; and with greater profusion, their part of each towards us, we shall find that we can sing much both kind of provision being always DOURLE, TREBLE, or a of mercy and of judgment. For one day of absolute LARGER proportion of each kind of meat.” The cir- unavoidable want, we shall find we had three hundred cumstance of Benjamin's having a mess five times as and sixty-four, if not of fulness, yet of a competency. large as any of his brethren, shows the peculiar honour Famines, though rarely happening, are everywhere which Joseph designed to confer. upon him. Sec recorded; innumerable years of abundance are scarcely several useful observations on this subject in Harmer's ever registered! Such is the perverseness and inObserv., vol. ii., p. 101, &c., Edit. 1808.
gratitude of man!
Joseph commands his steward to put his cup secretly into Benjamin's sack, 1, 2. The sons of Jacob depart
with the corn they had purchased, 3. Joseph commands his steward to pursue them, and charge them with having stolen his cup, 4-6. The brethren excuse themselves, protest their innocence, and offer to submit to be slaves should the cup be found with any of them, 7–9. Search is made, and the cup is found in Benjamin's sack, 10–12. They are brought back and submit themselves to Joseph, 13-16. He determines that Benjamin alone, with whom the cup is found, shall remain in captivity, 17. Judah, in a most
affecting speech, pleads for Benjamin's enlargement, and offers himself to be a bondman in his stead, 18–34. 6. M: 2207 AND he commanded the steward 4 And when they were gone out A. M. 2297
B. C. 1707. of his house, saying, Fill, the of the city, and not yet far off, men's sacks with food, as much as they can Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after carry, and put every man's money in his the men : and when thou dost overtake them, sack's mouth;
say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded ? And put my cup, the silver cup, in the evil for good ? sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn 5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, money. And he did 'according to the word and whereby indeed he bdivineth? ye have that Joseph had spoken.
done evil in so doing. 3 As soon as the morning was light, the men 6 And he overtook them, and he spake unto were sent away, they and their asses. them these same words. a Heb. him that was over his house.
Or, maketh trial.
Joseph from the impeachment of sorcery and divinaVerse 2. Put my cup-in the sack's mouth of the tion.
I take the word wri) nachash here in its geneyoungest! The stratagem of the cup seems to have ral acceptation of to view attentively, to inquire. Now been designed to bring Joseph's brethren into the there has been in the east a tradition, the commencehighest stale of perplexity and distress, that their de- ment of which is lost in immemorial time, that there liverance by the discovery that Joseph was their bro- was a cup, which had passed successively into the ther might have its highest effect.
hands of different potentates, which possessed the Verse 5. Whereby-he divineth ?] Divination by strange property of representing in it the whole world, cups has been from time immemorial prevalent among
and all the things which were then doing in il. The the Asiatics; and for want of knowing this, com- cúp is called skins jami Jemsheed, the cup of mentators have spent a profusion of learned labour Jemsheed, a very ancient king of Persia, whom late upon these words, in order to reduce them to that historians and poets have confounded with Bacchus, kind of meaning which would at once be consistent Solomon, Alexander the Great, fc. This cup, filled with the scope and design of the history, and save / with the elixir of immortality, they say was discovered
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The embarrassed situation
of Joseph's brethren. A. M. 2297. ng And they said unto him, Where- 13 Then they rent their clothes, A. M. 2297
fore saith my lord these words ? and laded every man his ass, and God forbid that thy servants should do accord- returned to the city. ing to this thing :
14 And Judah and his brethren came to 8 Behold, the money, which we found in Joseph's house ; for he was yet there : and our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee they fell before him on the ground. out of the land of Canaan : how then should '15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold ? is this that ye have done? wot ye not that · 9 With whomsoever of thy servants it, be such a man as I can certainly & divine ? found, d both let him die, and we also will be i 16 And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord's bondmen.
my lord ? what shall we speak ? or how shall 10 And he said, Now also let it be accord- we clear ourselves? God hath found out the ing unto your words : he, with whom it is iniquity of thy servants: behold, - we are my found, shall be my servant; and ye shall be lord's servants, both we, and he also with blameless.
whom the çup is found. 11. Then they speedily took down every 17 And he said, i God forbid that I should man his sack to the ground, and opened every do so : but the man in whose hand the cup man his sack.
is found, he shall be my servant; and, as for 12 And he searched, and began at the eldest, you, get you up in peace unto your father, and left at the youngest; and the cup was 18 Then Judah came near unto him, and found in Benjamin's sack.
said, 0, my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, < Chap. xlii. 21. Chap. xxxi. 32. Chap. xxxvii. 29, 34; Chap. xxxvii. 7.- - 5 Or, make trial; verse 5.- Verse 9. Num. xiv. 6; 2 Sam. i. 11.
i Prov. xvii. 15. when digging to lay the foundations of Persepolis. The Joseph says, ver. 15: Wot ye not--did ye not know, Persian poets are full of allusions to this cup, which, that such a person as I (having such a cup) would from its property of representing the whole world and accurately and attentively look into it? As I consider its transactions, is styled by them okspl> jam this to be the true meaning, I shall not trouble the
reader with other modes of interpretation, jehan nima, “the cup showing the universe;" and to
Verse 16. What shall we say, fc.]. No words can the intelligence received by means of it they attribute the great prosperity of their ancient monarchs, as by it They, no doubt, all thought that Benjamin had actually
more strongly mark confusion and perturbation of mind. they understood all events, past, present, and to come. stolen the cup; and the probability of this guilt might Many of the Mohammedan princes and governors affect be heightened by the circumstance of his having that still to have information of futurity by means of a cup. very cup to drink out of at dinner; for as he had the When Mr. Norden was at Derri in the farthest part most honourable mess, so it is likely he had the most of Egypt, in a very dangerous situation, an ill-natured honourable cup to drink out of at the entertainment. and powerful Arab, in a threatening way, told one of
Verse 18. Thou art even as Pharaoh.] As wise, their people whom they sent to him that “ he knew
as powerful, and as much to be dreaded as he. In what sort of people they were, for he had consulted the Asiatic countries, the reigning monarch is always his cup, and found by it that they were those of whom considered to be the pattern of all perfection; and the one of their prophets had said, that Franks (Europeans) highest honour that can be conferred on any person, is would come in disguise ; and, passing everywhere, to resemble him to the monarch ; as the monarch himexamine the state of the country; and afterwards self is likened, in the same complimentary way, to an bring over a great number of other Franks, conquer angel of God. See 2 Sam. xiv. 17, 18. Judah is the the country, and exterminate all.” . By this we see chief speaker here, because it was in consequence of his that the tradition of the divining cup still exists, and becoming surety for Benjamin that Jacob permitted him in the very same country too in which Joseph formerly to accompany them to Egypt. See chap. xliii. 9. ruled. Now though it is not at all likely that Joseph practised any kind of divination, yet probably, according to the superstition of those times, (for I suppose “Every man who reads," says Dr. Dodd, a to the the tradition to be even older than the time of Joseph,) close of this chapter, must confess that Judah acts here supernatural influence might be attributed to his cup; the part both of the affectionate brother and of the duo' and as the whole transaction related here was merely tiful son, who, rather than behold his father's misery intended to deceive his brethren for a short time, he in case of Benjamin's being left behind, submits to bemight as well affect divination by his cup, as he affected come a bondman in his stead : and indeed there is such to believe they had stolen it. The steward therefore an air of candour and generosity running through the uses the word und nachash in its proper meaning: / whole strain of this speech, the sentiments are so tender Is not this it out of which my lord drinketh, and in and affecting, the expressions so passionate, and now so which he inspecteth accuralely? ver. 5. And hence much from artless nature, that it is no wonder if they
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Judah's affecting speech
in behalf of Benjamin A. M. 2297. speak a word in my lord's ears, 27 And thy servánt my 'father A. M. 2297.
and let not thine anger · burn said unto us, Ye know that p my against thy servant : for thou art even as wife bare me two sons : Pharaoh.
28 And the one went out from me, and I 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have said, Surely he is torn in pieces : and I saw ye a father, or a brother?
him not since : -20 And we said unto my lord, We have a 29 And if ye * take this also from me, and father, an old man, and 'a child of his old age, mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my à little one; and his brother is dead, and he gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth 30 Now therefore, when I come to thy serhim.
vant my father, and the lad be not with us ; 21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, m Bring (seeing that s his life is bound up in the lad's him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes life ;)
31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth 22 And we said unto my lord, The lad that the lad is not with us, that he will die; cannot leave his father : for if he should leave and thy servants shall bring down the gray his father, his father would die.
hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to -23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Ex- the grave. cept your youngest brother come down with 32 For thy servant became suréty for the you, ye shall see my face no more.
lad unto my father, saying, "If I bring him 24 And it came to pass when we came up not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to unto thy servant my father, we told him the my father for ever. words of my lord.
33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy 25 And our father said, Go again, and buy servant abide instead of the lad, a bondman us a little food.
to my lord; and let the lad go up with his 26 And we said, We cannot go down : if brethren. our youngest brother be with us, then will we 34 For how shall I go up to my father, and go down : for we may not see the man's face, the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I except our youngest brother be with us. see the evil that shall
come on my father.
Chap. xviii. 30, 32; Exod. xxxii. 22. Chap. xxxvii. 3. Chap. xlii. 15, 20.- on Chapter xliii. 3, 5.- Chap. xliii. 2. + Chap. xlvi. 19. - Chap. xxxvii. 33.
Chap. xli. 36, 38. - 1 Sam. xviii. 1. - Chap. xliii. 9. "Exod. xxxii. 32. —Heb. find my father ; Exod. xvii. 8; Job xxxi. 29; Psa, cxvi. 3; cxix. 143.
came home to Joseph's heart, and forced him to throw To two such able and accurate testimonies I may be off the mask.” “When one sees,” says Dr. Jackson, permitted to add my own. No paraphrase can heighten
such.passages related by men who affect no art, and the effect of Judah's address to Joseph. To add would who lived long after the parties who first uttered them, be to diminish its excellence ; to attempt to explain we cannot conceive how all particulars could be so would be to obscure its beauties; to clothe the ideas naturally and fully recorded, unless they had been sug- in other language than that of Judah, and his translagested by His Spirit who gives mouths and speech unto tors in our Bible, would ruin its energy, and destroy men; who, being alike present to all successions, is its influence. . It is perhaps one of the most tender, able to communicate the secret thoughts of forefathers affecting pieces of natural oratory ever spoken or to their children, and put the very words of the de- penned; and we need not wonder to find that when ceased, never registered before, into the mouths or pens Joseph heard it, he could not refrain himself, but wept of their successors born many ages after; and that as aloud. His soul must have been insensible beyond exactly and distinctly as if they had been caught, in what is common to human nature, had he not imme. characters of steel or brass, as they issued out of their diately yielded to a speech so delicately tender, and so mouths. For it is plain that every circumstance is powerfully impressive. We cannot bat deplore the here related with such natural specifications, as if Moses unnatural and unscientific division of the narrative in had heard them talk; and therefore could not have our common Bibles, which obliges us to have rebeen thus represented to us, unless they had been writ- course to another chapter in order to witness the ten by His direction who knows all things, fore-past, effects which this speech produced on the heart of present, or to come.”
Joseph, deeply affected, makes
himself known to his brethren.
CHAPTER XLV. Joseph, deeply affected with the speech of Judah, could no longer conceal himself, but discovers himself to his
brethren, 1-4. · Excuses their conduct towards him, and attributes the whole to the providence of God, 5–8. Orders them to hasten to Canaan, and bring up their father and their own families, cattle, $c., because there were five years of the famine yet to come, 9-13. He embraces and converses with all his brethren, 14, 15. Pharaoh, hearing that Joseph's brethren were come to Egypt, and that Joseph had desired them to return to Canaan and bring back their families, not only confirms the order, but promises them the best part of the land of Egypt to dwell in"; and provides them carriages to transport themselves and their households, 16-20. Joseph provides them with wagons according to the commandment of Pharaoh; and having given them various presents, sends them away with suitable advice, 21–24. They depart, arrive in Canaan, and announce the glad tidings to their father, who for a time believes not, but being assured of
the truth of their relation, is greatly comforted, and resolves to visit Egypt, 25-28. B. X. 1207. THEN. Joseph could not refrain | brethren could not answer him; A. M. 2297
himself before all them that for they were troubled at his stood by him; and he cried, Cause every presence. man to go out from me. And there stood 4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come no man with him, while Joseph made himself near to me, I pray you. And they came near. known unto his brethren.
And he said, I am Joseph your brother, 2 And he * wept aloud : and the Egyptians whom ye sold into Egypt. and the house of Pharaoh heard.
5 Now therefore e be not grieved, 'nor angry 3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am with yourselves, that ye sold me hither : & for Joseph ; doth my father yet live? And his God did send me before you to preserve
* Heb. gave forth his voice in weeping ; Num. xiv. I. -- Acts e Isa. xl. 2; 2 Cor. ij. 7.—Heb. neither let there be anger in vi. 13. Or, terrified ; Job iv. 5 ; xxiii. 15; Matt. xiv. 26; your eyes. Chap. 1. 20; Psa. Cv. 16, 17; see 2 Sam. xvi.10, Mark vi. 50. — Chap. xxxvii. 28.
ll; Acts iv. 24.
NOTES ON CHAP. XLV.
they cease all at once, and then begin as suddenly, Verse 1..Joseph could not refrain himself] The with a greater shrillness and loudness than one could word porno hithappek is very emphatic;*it signifies to easily imagine.” This circumstance Sir John brings force one's self, to do something against nature, to do to illustrate the verse in question. See Harmer, vol. violence to one's self. Joseph could no longer constrain iii. p. 17. But the house of Pharaoh máy certainly himself to act a feigned part—all the brother and the signify Pharaoh's servants, or any of the members of son rose up in him at once, and overpowered all his his household, sueh as those whom Joseph had desired resolutions; he felt for his father, he realized his dis- to withdraw, and who might still be within hearing of appointment and agony; and he felt for his brethren, his voice. After all, the words may only mean that the “ now at his feet submissive in distress;" and, that he report was brought to Pharaoh's house. See ver. 16. might give free and full scope to his feelings, and the Verse 3. I am Joseph] Mr. Pope supposed that most ample play to the workings of his affectionate the discovery of Ulysses to his son Telemachus bears heart, he ordered all his attendants to go out, while he some resemblance to Joseph's discovery of himself to made himself known to his brethren. “ The beauties his brethren. The passage may be seen in Homer, of this chapter,” says Dr. Dodd, “ are so striking, that Odyss. I. xvi., ver. 186–218, it would be an indignity to the reader's judgment to A few lines from Cowper's translation will show point them out; all who can read and feel must be sen- much of the spirit of the original, and also a consider sible of them, as there is perhaps nothing in sacred or able analogy between the two scenes :profane history more highly wrought up, more interesting or affecting.”
“I am thy father, for whose sake thou lead'st Verse 2. The Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh
A life of wo by violence oppress’d. heard.) : It seems strange that Joseph should have
So saying, he kiss'd his son ; while from his cheeks wept so loud that his cries should be heard at some
Tears trickled, tears till then perforce restrain'de
Then threw Telemachus considerable distance, as we may suppose his dwelling was not very nigh to the palace! “But this,” says
His arms around his father's neck, and wept. Sir John Chardin, " is exactly the genius of the people
Pangs of soft sorrow, not to be suppress'd, of Asia—their sentiments of joy or grief are properly
Seized both. transports, and their transports are ungoverned, exces
So they, their cheeks with big round drops of wo. sive, and truly outrageous. When any one returns
Bedewing, stood." from a' long journey, or dies, his family burst into cries Verse 5. Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves] that may be heard twenty doors off; and this is re- This discovers a truly noble mind; he not only fornewed at different times, and continues many days, gives and forgets, but he wishes even those who had according to the vigour of the passion. Sometimes I wronged him to forget the injury they had done, that
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Joseph directs his brethren
to bring their father to him. A. M. 2297. 6 For these two years hath the Goshen, and thou shalt be near A. M. 2297. B. C. 1707.
famine been in the land ; and yet unto me, thou, and thy children, there are five years, in the which there shall and thy children's children, and thy flocks, neither be earing nor harvest.
and thy herds, and all that thou hast : 7 And God sent me before you - to preserve, 11 And there will I nourish thee ; (for yet you a posterity in the earth, and to save your there are five years of famine ;) lest thou, lives by a great deliverance.
and thy household, and all that thou hast, 8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, come to poverty. but God : and he hath made me i a father to 12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler of my brother Benjamin, that it is? throughout all the land of Egypt..
that speaketh unto you. 9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and 13 And ye shall tell mý father of all my say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down and ye shall haste and m bring down my faunto me, tarry not.
ther hither.. 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of 14 · And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's b Heb. to put for you a remnant. Ch. xli. 43; Judg. xvii. 10; | Job xxix. 16. Ch. xlvii. l. - Ch. xlii. 23. - m Ačts vii. 14. they might not suffer distress on the account; and with with me, and be unto me a PATHER and a priest. And deep piety he attributes the whole to the providence Diodorus Siculus remarks that the teachers and counof God; for, says he, God did send me before you to sellors of the kings of Egypt were chosen out of the preserve life. On every word here a strong emphasis priesthood: may be laid. It is not you, but God; it is not you Verse 10. Thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshenj that sold me, but God who sent me ; Egypt and Ca- Probably this district had been allotted to Joseph by naan must both have perished, had not a merciful pro- the king of Egypt, else we can scarcely think he could vision been made; you were to come down hither, and have promised it. so positively, without first obtaining God sent me before you.; death must have been the Pharaoh's consent. Goshen was the most easterly consequence of this famine, had not God sent me here province of Lower Egypt; not far from the Arabian to preserve life.
Gulf, lying next to Canaan, (for Jacob went directly Verse 6. There shall neither be earing nor harvest.], thither' when he came into Egypt,) from whence it is EAŘING has been supposed to mean collecting the ears supposed to have been about fourscore miles distant, of corn, which would confound it with harvest : the though Hebron was distant from the Egyptian capital word, however, means ploughing or seed-time, from the about three hundred miles. At Goshen Jacob stayed Anglo-Saxon erian erian, probably borrowed from the till Joseph visited bim, chap. xlvi. 28. It is also called Latin aro, to plough, and plainly means that there should the land of Rameses, chap. xlvii. 11, from a city of be no seed-time, and consequently no harvest; and why? that name, which was the metropolis of the country. Because there should be a total want of rain in other Josephus, Antiq., l ü., c. 4, makes Heliopolis, the city countries, and the Nile should not rise above twelve of Joseph's father-in-law, the place of the Israelites cubits in Egypt; see on chap. xli. 31. But the ex- residence. As dwa geshem signifies rain in Hebrew, pressions here must be qualified a little, as we find from St. Jerome and some others have supposed that jua chap. xlvii. 19, that the Egyptians came to Joseph to Goshen comes from the same root, and that the land buy seed; and it is probable that even during this in question was called thus because it had rain, which famine they sowed some of the ground, particularly on was not the case with Egypt in general; and as it was the borders of the river, from which a crop, though on the confines of the Arabian Gulf, it is very probable not an abundant one, might be produced. The passage, that it was watered from heaven, and it might be ow. however, in the above chapter may refer to the last ing to this circumstance that it was peculiarly fertile, year of thể famine, when they came to procure seed for it is stated to be the best of the land of Egypt. for the ensuing year.
See chap. xlvii. 6, 11. See also. Calmet and Dodd. • Verse 8. He hath made me a father to Pharaoh] It Verse 12. That it is my mouth that speaketh unlo has already been conjectured that futher was a name you.) The Targum of Jonathan len Uzziel renders of office in Egypt, and that father of Pharaoh might the place thus : " Your eyes see, and the eyes of my among them signify the same as prime minister or the brother Benjamin, that it is my own mouth that speaketh king's minister does among us. Calmet has remarked with yoa, in the language of the house of the sancthat among the Phænicians, Persians, Arabians, and tuary.” Undoubtedly Joseph laid considerable stress Romans, the title of father was given to certain officers on his speaking with them in the Hebrew tongue, withof state. The Roman emperors gave the name of out the assistance of an interpreter, as in the case father to the prefects of the Prætorium, as appears by mentioned chap. xlii. 23. the letters of Constantine to Ablavius. The caliphs Verse 14. He fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck] gave the same name to their prime ministers. In Among the Asiatics kissing the beard, the neck, and Judgęs xvü. 10, Micah says to the young Levite, Dwelll the shoulders, is in use to the present day; and probably