1 “And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with
food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his
corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.”
And he (i.e. Joseph) commanded the steward of his house, - literally, him that was
over his house (ch. 43:15) - saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they
can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth (as before, but not this
time as a test). And put my cup, - גָּבִיעַ, from an unused root, גָּבַע, conveying the sense
of elevation or roundness; hence a goblet or bowl, commonly of a large size (Jeremiah
35:5), as distinguished from the כּוס, or mailer cup, into which, from the gabia, wine
or other liquid was poured (compare ch. 40:11) - the silver cup, - τὸ κόνδυ τὸ ἀργυροῶν
- to konou to arguroon (Septuagint). Bohlen mentions that the religious drinking utensil
of the Indian priests is called kundi - in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn
money - literally, the silver of his grain, or of his purchase. And he (i.e. the steward)
did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.
3 “As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.
4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto
his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say
unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 5 Is not this it in which
my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.”
As soon as the morning was light (literally, the morning became bright), the men
(literally, and the men) were sent away, they and their asses. That Joseph did not
make himself known to his brothers at the repast was not due to unnatural
callousness which caused his heart to remain cold and steeled (Kalisch), or to
a fear lest he should thereby destroy the character of his mission which made
him the medium of retribution for his brothers (Kalisch), but to the fact that in
his judgment either his brothers had not been sufficiently tested, or the time did
not appear convenient for the disclosure of his secret. And when they were gone
out of the city (literally, they went forth out of the city), and not yet far off
(literally, they had not gone far), Joseph (literally, and Joseph) said unto his steward
(or man over his house), Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake
them, say unto them (literally, and overtake them, and say to them), Wherefore
have ye rewarded evil for good? The interpolation at this point of the words,
"Why did you steal my silver goblet?" (Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac) is superfluous.
Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? - literally,
and divining he divineth, or maketh trial, in it, the verb נָחַשׁ (from which is derived
nachash, a serpent: see Genesis 3:1) originally signifying to hiss or whisper, and
hence to mutter incantations, to practice ophiomancy (divination by observing the
movement of snakes) , and generally to divine. The special form of divination
here referred to (κυλικομαντεία – kulikomanteia - divining out of cups) was
practiced by the ancient Egyptians
p. 39). "Small pieces of gold or silver, together with precious stones, marked with
strange figures and signs, were thrown into the vessel; after which certain
incantations were pronounced, and the evil demon was invoked; the latter was
then supposed to give the answer either by intelligible words, or by pointing to
some of the characters on the precious stones, or in some other more mysterious
manner. Sometimes the goblet was filled with pure water, upon which the sun
was allowed to play; and the figures which were thus formed, or which a lively
imagination fancied it saw, were interpreted as the desired omen" (Kalisch).
Traces of this ancient practice of soothsaying have been detected by some writers
in the magnificent vase of turquoise belonging to Jam-sheed, the Solomon of
"It vertue had to show in perfect sight
Whatever thing was in the world contained
Betwixt the lowest earth and heven's hight,
So that it to the looker appertaynd."
A similar account is given by Homer of the cup of Nestor; and Alexander the Great
is reported to have possessed a mystic goblet of a like kind. It is said that in the
storming of Seringapatam the unfortunate Tippeo Saib retired to gaze on his
divining cup, and that after standing awhile absorbed in it he returned to the fight
and fell (see Kitto's 'Cyclopedia,' art. Divination). Ye have done evil in so doing.
Probation (v. 5)
Divination by cups was practiced by the ancient Egyptians. But no reason
to suppose that Joseph actually used this art. It would have been
inconsistent with his habitual faithfulness to God, and with the ascription to
him alone of the power to reveal secrets (ch. 40:7-41:16). He was
now acting a part. He spoke in the character of an Egyptian ruler, to whom
the nation ascribed supernatural wisdom. We need not now inquire how far
he was right in this. But his object was to try his brethren, whether, and
how much, they loved their father and their young brother. He contrived
that Benjamin should appear to have incurred the penalty of servitude.
What would the rest do? Would they, as they had done to him, leave their
brother in slavery? Would they go home and deceive their father by a false
story of his death? Could they bear to renew his grief? Had they learned
that God marked their actions, and ordained the things that happened to
them? The cup hidden in Benjamin’s sack was indeed that whereby he was
divining their secret thoughts. They Stood the test. They acknowledged
God’s hand, and refused to purchase their own safety at the price of their
brother’s freedom (contrast ch. 37:26-27, with vs.30, 34, here). Forthwith the
clouds passed away. In him whom they feared they found a brother.
The events of our lives are ordered so as to bring this about
(Deuteronomy 8:2). They are to us as Joseph’s cup. Daily work, family
life, professional duties, the common intercourse of society, raise questions
which are answered according as God or self rules the heart and guides the
actions. Hence no part of our life is unimportant in a spiritual point of
view. Things, in themselves of small account, test the character and
motives of the life, as floating straws show the current; and this all the
more because their spiritual bearing is not apparent. Kindness, truth,
unselfishness, in little matters, reveal the man more truly than on greater
and more conspicuous occasions (compare I Corinthians 13:3).
(James 1:12). Through their operation the Christian life is matured
(Romans 5:3-5). Every grace must be exercised in order to grow, and
trial is the opportunity of exercise. Without trial there could be no real
victory over evil, no real submission of the will to God. We pray to be kept
from temptation. To run into it is to court a fall. But where God sends trial
grace is provided (1 Corinthians 10:13), answering every need; help for
the falling or fallen as well as strength for the steadfast.
to the Churches (Revelation 2., 3.) trial is implied now of persecution, now
of false doctrine, now of indolent spiritual ease. And the blessing is “to him
that overcometh.” How? “By the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11),
i.e. by faith in it. Not merely belief in the doctrine, but realizing
what the work of Christ has won for us, and the love of the Father from
which it proceeds, and the claim which the mercies of God make upon us
(Romans 12:1). The first step is receiving with an undoubting spirit the
love of God; not letting in unbelief in the garb of humility. The next is
keeping that truth present in the mind in the midst of daily work, that the
love of Christ may constrain the direction of our life.
6 “And he (i.e. the steward) overtook them, and he spake unto them these same
words.” 7 “And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God
forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: 8 Behold, the money,
which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land
9 With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also
will be my lord's bondmen. 10 And he said, Now also let it be according unto
your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be
blameless.” And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words?
God forbid that thy servants should do (literally, for be thy seesaws from doing)
according to this thing: behold, the money (literally, the silver), which we found
sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the
(this was an irrefragable proof of their honesty): how then should we steal out
of my lord's house silver or gold? They were even so confident of their innocence
that they ventured on a rash proposition. With whomsoever of thy servants it be
found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen - literally, for
servants to my lord. And he (the steward) said, Now also let it be according to
your words. So the Septuagint, Vulgate, and commentators generally; but Kalisch
reads it as an interrogation, "Is it right according to your words?" meaning that strict
justice demanded only the punishment of the thief, as he explained. He with whom
it is found shall be my servant; and ye (i.e. the others of you) shall be blameless.
11 “Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened
every man his sack. 12 And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the
youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13 Then they rent their
clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.” Then they
speedily took down (literally, and they hasted and took down) every man his sack
(from off his ass) to the ground, and opened every man his sack. Thus as it were
delivering them up for examination. And he (the steward) searched, and began at
the eldest, and left at the youngest (in order thereby to mask the deception): and the
cup was found (where the steward himself had put it) in Benjamin's sack. Then
(literally, and) they rent their clothes (on the simlah see ch. 9:23), and laded every
man his ass (by putting on the sack which had been taken down), and returned to
14 “And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there:
and they fell before him on the ground. 15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed
is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?
how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants:
behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is
found. 17 And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose
hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace
unto your father.” And Judah - who is recognized as the leader in this second
yet there: - "awaiting, no doubt, the result which he anticipated" (Murphy) - and
they fell before him on the ground. The expression indicates a complete prostration
of the body. It was a token of their penitence, and a sign that they craved his
forgiveness. And Joseph said unto them, - in a speech not of "cruel and haughty
irony" (Kalisch – I notice that Kalisch seems to often put Joseph in a bad light –
CY – 2018), but simply of assumed resentment - What deed is this that ye have done!
wot ye not (or, did you not know?) that such a man as I can certainly divine? - literally,
divining can divine (see on v. 5). Though Joseph uses this language, and is represented
by his steward as possessing a divining cup, there is no reason to suppose that he was
in the habit of practicing this
heathen superstition. And
this scene as the spokesman of his brethren), What shall we say unto my lord? What
shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? (i.e. justify ourselves, or purge
ourselves from suspicion). God (literally, the Elohim) hath found out the iniquity
of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants (literally, servants to my lord),
both we, and he also with whom the cup is found. And he (i.e. Joseph) said, God
forbid that I should do so (see v. 9): but the man in whose hand the cup is found,
he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.
Thus they were once more tested as to whether they could, as before, callously
deliver up their father's favorite, and so bring down the gray hairs of their father
to the grave, or would heroically and self-sacrificingly offer their own lives and
liberties for his protection (Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange, Murphy, and others).
How nobly they stood the test
I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against
thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying,
Have ye a father, or a brother? 20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father,
an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and
he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. 21 And thou saidst unto
thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.
22 And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should
leave his father, his father would die. 23 And thou saidst unto thy servants,
Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.
24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him
the words of my lord. 25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.
26 And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then
will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother
be with us. 27 And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife
bare me two sons: 28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is
torn in pieces; and I saw him not since: 29 And if ye take this also from me, and
mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with
us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; 31 It shall come to pass, when
he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring
down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring
him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. 33 Now
therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman
to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. 34 For how shall I go up to
my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall
come on my father.”
brother Benjamin has been fittingly characterized as "one of the master. pieces of
Hebrew composition" (Kalisch), "one of the grandest and fairest to be found in the
Old Testament" (Lange), "a more moving oration than ever orator pronounced"
(Lawson), "one of the finest specimens of natural eloquence in the world" (Inglis).
Without being distinguished by either brilliant imagination or highly poetic diction,
"its inimitable charm and excellence consist in the power of psychological truth,
easy simplicity, and affecting pathos" (Kalisch) - Oh my lord (the interjection Oh
is the same as that used by
speak a word in my lord's ears (probably pressing towards him in his eagerness),
and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh
(i.e. one invested with the authority of Pharaoh, and therefore able, like Pharaoh,
either to pardon or condemn). My lord asked his servants, saying, Have yea father,
or a brother! And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child
f his old age (see ch. 37:3), a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left
of his mother, and his father loveth him. Substantially this is the account which the
brethren gave of themselves from
the first (ch. 42:13); only
tact as well as resistless pathos dwells on the threefold circumstance that the little one
whose life was at stake was inexpressibly dear to his father for his dead brother's
sake as well as for his departed mother's and his own. And thou saidst unto thy
servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. This last
clause is also a rhetorical enlargement of Joseph's words, ἐπιμελοῦμαι αὐτοῦ -
epimeloumai autou – set eyes on him (Septuagint); the phrase, to set one's eyes on
any one, being commonly used in a good sense, signifying to regard any one with
kindness, to look to his good (compare Ezra 5:5; Job 24:23; Jeremiah 39:12; 40:4).
And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave
his father, his father would die.
conversation, although the remark is not recorded in the first account. And thou saidst
unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see
my face no more (compare ch. 43:3-5). And it came to pass (literally, it was) when
we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. The effect
upon Jacob of their sad
on to the period of the commencement of the second journey. And our father laid
(i.e. after the consumption of the corn supply), Go again, and buy us a little food
(see ch. 43:2). And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with
us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest
brother be with us. And thy servant my father said unto us (at this point Judah
with increased tenderness alludes to the touching lamentation of the stricken
patriarch as he first listens to the unwelcome proposition to take Benjamin from
his side), Ye know that my wife - Rachel was all through her life the wife of his
affections (compare ch. 46:19) - bare me two sons: - Joseph and Benjamin
(ch. 30:22, 24; 35:18) - and the one (Joseph) went out from me (and returned not,
thus indirectly alluding to his death), and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and
I saw him not since. Jacob means that had Joseph been alive, he would certainly
have returned; but that as since
that fatal day of his departure from
never beheld him, he could only conclude that his inference was correct, and that
Joseph was devoured by some beast of prey. And if ye take this also from me
(in the sense which the next clause explains), and mischief befall him, ye shall
bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave - Sheol (see ch. 37:35).
Now therefore (literally, and now) when I come (or go) to thy servant my father,
and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life (or soul) is bound up in the lad's life
(or soul); it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he
will die: and thy servants shall bring down the grey hairs of thy servant our
father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto
my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my
father for ever (see ch. 43:9). Now therefore (literally, and now), I pray thee, let thy
servant abide instead of the lad a bondman (or servant) to my lord; and let the lad
go up with his brethren.
"There was no duty that imperiously prohibited
taking the place of his unfortunate brother. His children, and even his wife, if he had
been in the married state, might
have been sent to
own liberty that he could warrantably put himself in Benjamin's room, if the governor
gave his consent" (Lawson). For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not
with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on (literally, shall find)
my father. The sublime heroism of this noble act of self-sacrifice on the part of
preferred to a higher place in his father's affection than himself, he was willing
to renounce his liberty rather than see his aged parent die of a broken heart.
The self-forgetful magnanimity of such an action has never been eclipsed, and
seldom rivaled. After words so exquisitely beautiful and profoundly pathetic it
was impossible for Joseph to doubt that a complete change had passed upon his
brethren, and in particular upon
urged, and they had wickedly consented, to sell their brother
Everything was now ready for the denouement in this domestic drama. The story
of Joseph's discovery of himself to his astonished brethren is related in the
A Surety (v. 32)
“For thy servant became surety for the lad unto his father.” The brethren of
Joseph had been surprised on their second visit to
their reception. They started homewards with well-laden sacks and
trembling gladness. They had not gone far when they were overtaken, their
sacks searched, and the cup found. With depressed spirits and dreary
forebodings they were brought back to the city, and into the presence of
Joseph. Joseph had several motives in his strange treatment of his brethren.
He may have desired in some way to punish them for their sin against
himself by letting them taste some of the bitterness he had experienced
when, ruthlessly torn from his home, he was sent a shrinking slave into a
distant land. Human nature was strong in Joseph as in others. His brethren
had to learn the nature of their own sin by suffering. They have also to
learn that their lives were forfeited by sin to justice. He wished also to
bring them to a state of humility, so that they should afterwards behave
rightly to each other. He may have had doubts as to the safety of his own
brother Benjamin with them. He tests thus their interest in their half-brother,
for they could have left with some sort of excuse Benjamin as a
how they would look upon himself when he should reveal himself to them.
they are all placed. Joseph proposes to keep only Benjamin as a slave, but
pleads with Joseph. Consider:
Judah and not Reuben who pleads now for the life of a brother. Age has
early years what he will be later on.
evidence was against Benjamin. Judah and the rest cannot tell what
to think of the act. He admitted it. We must admit our sin.
o Confessed that it was right that Benjamin and they should suffer.
Some blame others for their circumstances and sins. To all
appearance here Benjamin was alone to blame.
o He throws himself on the righteousness and compassion of Joseph.
This is all we can do before God. He pleads the pain which it will
cause to his father. His appeal is most pathetic. Read it, and the
fount of tears must be touched. In all the volumes of literature ever
written there is nothing to surpass the tenderness and pathos of this
Ø We learn from this position and pleading
approach God. We have sinned and can only throw ourselves on His mercy.
We see also how Christ pleads for us. His pleading is real and earnest. He
prayed on earth for His disciples. The present is a dispensation of mediation.
Hence Christ still pleads as our surety in heaven. (Hebrews 7:25; Romans
thing to talk, another to act. He had promised his father to bring Benjamin
again (ch. 43:9), and he wishes to keep his word. He became surety, a guarantee,
as one who is bound by signing a paper. He was answerable to his father. He is
ready to give his service for Benjamin, his life for his brother. His faithfulness
was thus proved. Christ is our surety. He makes himself one with us (Hebrews
2:11). He sprang from
temptation, and was accepted as our substitute, was bound, abused, and
crucified. He bore the curse for us (Galatians 3:13). He sacrificed himself for us.
Christ died for us who were below Him. We may see in the success of
needed no entreaty to be merciful to Benjamin. He was nearer of kin to
wished to see the brethren in a fit state to be forgiven. They were entirely
forgiven (vs. 5-15). He forgave freely, and wished them to forgive themselves.
He knew very well that if they began to blame themselves too much, or to
upbraid each other, they would never be happy. Forgiveness should produce
Ø Let us see ourselves in those suppliant brothers of Joseph.
Let us see in
Certainly he excelled in his appeal, in wisdom, boldness, eloquence,
tenderness, and self-sacrifice. How much more should we not praise
Jesus for His power, His life, His love, sufferings, death, and present
Ø Let us then trust Him. What would have been thought of the others if
they should have said to
him,” or” You are not of sufficient standing, not above us, so as to speak
in the name of the rest”? And is not Christ equal to the work of securing
our salvation? If He can do it (“by Himself” – Hebrews 1:3 – CY –
2018), shall we attempt to mar by our meddling? Full atonement is
made, as well as powerful intercession offered. What we have to
do is to trust Christ’s work. Let us give up hope of preparing
ourselves. He is not like some who are sureties, and are unwilling to pay.
HE HAS PAIID! The law and justice have nothing to demand. Should
either present a claim, point to the cross, for that answers all demands.
Oh the mystery of redeeming love! Oh the simplicity and yet the depth
of meaning contained in that work of Christ! It is a stumbling-block to
the high-minded, but a salvation to the humble.
Joseph’s Artifice to Detain Benjamin (vs. 1-34)
Ø The formation of the plot (vs. 1-5).
o The singular nature of the plot. This was, after filling the men’s sacks
with corn, and putting each man’s money in his sack’s mouth as before,
that the steward should secretly deposit in the amtachath of Benjamin
the silver goblet from which Joseph was accustomed to fill his wine-cup
when he drank.
o The immediate object of the plot. It was designed that the company
should be pursued under suspicion of theft, and that, on examination
made, Benjamin should be arrested as a criminal.
o The ultimate purpose of the plot. Not simply to detain Benjamin, whom
Joseph longed to have beside him, but chiefly to try the others as to
whether they could witness unmoved Benjamin’s consignment to exile
and probable imprisonment, as formerly with callous hearts they had
his (Joseph’s) sale and departure as a bondman into
Ø The execution of the plot (vs. 6-12).
o The cup was put into the sack of Benjamin, as arranged, and the men
allowed to depart with the first streak of dawn in happy unconsciousness
of what had been devised against them.
o Overtaken by the steward, and abruptly charged with having stolen his
master’s divining cup, they indignantly deny the charge, and somewhat
rashly suggest that their sacks should be searched on the spot, at the
same time offering, so conscious were they of innocence, to deliver
up the culprit to death, and themselves to a voluntary captivity.
o Taking them at their word, and modifying their proposal to the extent
that he would take the guilty one only as a servant, the sacks were
opened and, as the steward of course expected, the missing vase was
found where he himself had placed it, in the amtachath of Benjamin.
Ø The result of the plot (vs. 13-16).
o Utter consternation of mind: “they rent their clothes” to give
expression to the anguish of their souls.
o Instantaneous retracing of their steps: “they laded every man his
ass, and returned to the city.”
o Abject acknowledgment of their offence: “What shall we say unto
my lord? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants.”
o Faithful fulfillment of their contract: “Behold, we are my lord’s
servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.”
Ø Exceedingly severe. He became a bondman. Remark upon the sadness of
slavery, even when most mitigated.
Ø Circumstantially justified. Appearances were against him. But the
evidence of circumstances is sometimes fallacious.
Ø Absolutely undeserved. In every sense of the expression Benjamin was
Ø Wisely designed. It was meant to assay the characters of both Benjamin
and his brethren.
Ø Deferential humility (v. 18). It is difficult to imagine language more
respectful and deferential than that of
framed as to convey a sense of Joseph’s lofty station, superior dignity,
and just cause of indignation against the speaker.
Ø Artless simplicity (vs. 19-26). Infinitely more powerful than either
verbose rhetoric or closely-compacted argument is the plain and
unsophisticated logic of truth. Without the most distant approach to
sophistry, or even an attempt at persuasion,
bare recital of the facts of the case which were already well known to
Ø Inimitable pathos (vs. 28-32). Depicting his father’s love for Benjamin
for his dead mother’s and his lost brother’s sakes, he tells how he himself
had become surety for the lad to his aged parent, and that if he should fail
to take him back again in safety he would bring down his father’s gray
hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Ø Heroic self-sacrifice (vs. 33-34). Rather than that Benjamin should
not go home again to
lord the governor for ever. Nay, he explicitly makes offer that he should
take the young man’s place, as he would rather die than see the sorrow
which his absence would bring down upon his venerable sire. Noble
Character Built on Faith (vs. 1-34)
This chapter continues the same thread of Joseph’s policy, and the same
lessons are in it.
strong man. With a deep knowledge of the human heart, Joseph felt quite
sure that the only way to move Jacob from
safeguard in the world’s hardening and perverting influences. Joseph did
apparent violence to his brethren’s and his father s feelings that he might
afterwards fill them with joy. There was a great deal of genuine family
affection at the bottom of the scheme. He could not bear to part with
Benjamin. He at first meant to maintain the dissembling till the old man was
brought, but nature burst through the restraint. The whole a testimony to
the real purity and simplicity of Joseph’s heart, and therefore, in such
circumstances of temptation as his, to his real religion.
THE WORLD’S. Great rulers and statesmen are not wont thus to cultivate
the emotions. The tendency of high position is to:
Ø harden the heart,
Ø change nature into policy, and
Ø the real into the artificial.
Yet such instances as Joseph show the possibility of uniting the two
Ø the secular and
Ø the spiritual, and
BEING GREAT IN BOTH.
The Conversion of
Ø The unexpected confession of guilt which he makes. “God hath found
out the iniquity of thy servants.”
Ø The sensitive appreciation of the terrible blow which Benjamin’s loss
would be to Jacob. “When he seeth the lad is not with us he will die.”
Ø The noble sacrifice he proposes to make for Benjamin. “Let thy servant
abide instead of the lad, a bondman to my lord.”
Ø The memory of his old sin, which appears to have haunted his
Ø The arrestment of Divine Providence, which in his Egyptian experience
Ø The inward operation of God’s grace upon his heart.
1. That no living sinner is beyond the reach of conversion.
2. That for the most part the work of conversion is gradually
3. That when once it is completed it appears in a change of character
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