Genesis 45

 

 

1 “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and

he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him,

while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.  2 And he wept aloud: and

the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.”  Then (literally, and) Joseph could

not refrain himself (i.e. keep himself from giving way to the impulses of love) before

all them that stood by him (i.e. the Egyptian officials of his household); and he cried

(or made proclamation, issued an instruction), Cause every man to go out from me.

And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his

brethren. It was true delicacy on the part of Joseph which prompted the discovery

of himself to his brethren in private; not simply because he did not wish to pain his

brethren by a public reference to their past wickedness, ne facinus illud detestabile

multis testibus innoteseat (Calvin), but because the unrestrained outburst of emotion

erga fratres et parentem non posset ferre alienorum praesentiam et aspectum (Luther).

And he wept aloud (literally, and he gave forth, or uttered, his voice in weeping):

and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. The meaning is that the Egyptian

officials of Joseph's house, who were standing outside, heard, and reported it to the

house of Pharaoh (Keil, Murphy). It is not necessary to suppose that Joseph's residence

was so close to the palace that his voice was heard by the inmates (Lange).

 

3 “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?

And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.”

And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph. The effect of this announcement

can be better imagined than described. Hitherto he had been known to his brethren

as Zaphnath-paaneah. Now the voice and the appearance of their long-lost brother

would rush upon their minds at the first sound of the familiar name, and fill them

with apprehension. Probably Joseph's discernment of this in their countenances

was the reason why he asked so abruptly after Jacob. Doth my father yet live?

It is not now "the old man of whom ye spake" (ch. 43:27) for whom Joseph

inquires, but his own beloved and revered parent - "my father." "Before it was

a question of courtesy, but now of love" (Alford). And his brethren could not

answer him; for they were troubled (or cast into a trepidation, hence terrified)

at his presence - literally, before his face. Not only did his present greatness

overawe them, but the recollection of their former crimes against him filled

them with alarm.

 

 

The Great Announcement (v. 3)

 

Not a stranger, but a brother. Yet they were slow to receive comfort from

it. The fact beyond all expectation; the suspicion of the unknown ruler

attaching itself to the newly-found brother; the remembrance of their own

former cruelty; the doubt whether indeed the past were forgiven, combined

to make them “troubled at his presence.” Akin to this is the slowness with

which the great revelation of the gospel is received, our adoption as sons

(Galatians 4:5) through our brotherhood with Christ; members of

Christ, and thus children of God. Not the doctrine, for we are familiar with

its terms, but the practical reception of it. The gospel preached is “goodwill

to men;” the foundation on which it rests is the work whereby the

eternal Son became our brother and representative (II Corinthians 5:14).

The means of appropriation, belief that God has indeed done this

thing for us (Matthew 11:28). Yet even to those who are longing for

peace and salvation the message often seems to bring no real comfort. The

truth of the doctrine is admitted, but Jesus is not recognized as a personal,

present Savior. There is a feeling that something not declared lies behind;

that there is some unexplained “if,” some condition to be fulfilled, some

part of the work to be done, ere it can be safe to trust. Conscious of sin,

they do not fully receive the offer as made to them such as they are. The

fact is, men often want to begin at the wrong end; to make some worthy

offering to God ere they have it to give (compare I Chronicles 29:14;

I Corinthians 4:7); want to gather fruit ere the tree is planted; to build a

spiritual house ere the foundation is laid.

 

  • GOD’S OFFER PRECEDES FAITH. The gospel proclaims a fact —

Christ crucified for us, the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:5 – “But He was

wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities:

the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes

we are healed.” Its primary message is not of something to follow our faith,

but of that on which our faith rests. The “foundation” of spiritual life is not

our belief but CHRIST’S WORK (I Corinthians 3:11)! But in practice many

seem to regard the right to trust in Christ’s work as depending on their being

in a fitting state of mind. And thus their mind is turned AWAY FROM

CHRIST to their own state (compare Matthew 14:30). No doubt there

must be a conviction of need ere the Savior can be welcomed (Matthew

9:12). But the evidence of that conviction is not our feelings but laying

our burden upon the Lord.

 

  • GOD’S OFFER MUST BE RECEIVED BY FAITH — that is, it must

be accepted as it is made; not something else put in its place. God’s

message is, TRUST IN CHRIST! To do this is to exercise faith. But the

answer often is, I must first see whether I have faith. It is as if when our

Lord bade the impotent arise, he had answered, I must first feel that I have

the power. Faith depends not on accurate knowledge. The gospel is for the

ignorant; and what it claims is that we receive it according to the measure of

our knowledge, guided by those means of instruction which we possess.

 

  • GOD’S OFFER IS TO MAKE US WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE.

Christ accepted, trusted, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness,

 sanctification, and redemption!  (I Corinthians 1:30).

 

Ø      Faith leads to more communion with Christ.

Ø      The Bible becomes a living voice instead of a dead letter.

Ø      Channels of knowledge are opened, and

Ø      daily increasing powers are given where the will is to be

really Christ’s (John 6:68).

 

4 “And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they

came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 

5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me

hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.  6 For these two years

hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which

there shall neither be earing nor harvest.  7 And God sent me before you to

preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great

deliverance.  8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and

He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler

throughout all the land of Egypt.  9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and

say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt:

come down unto me, tarry not:  10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen,

and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's

children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:  11 And there

will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy

household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.  12  And, behold, your

eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that

speaketh unto you.  13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and

of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.”

 

And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. It is probable

they had instinctively shrunk from his presence on learning the astounding fact

that he was Joseph, but felt reassured by the kindly tone of Joseph's words.

And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into

Egypt. It was impossible to evade allusion to their early wickedness, and this

Joseph does in a spirit not of angry upbraiding, but of elevated piety and tender

charity. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves (literally, let

it not burn in your eyes, as in ch. 31:35), that ye sold me hither (their self-

recriminations and heart upbraidings for their former wickedness Joseph in

all probability saw depicted in their faces): for God (Elohim) did send me

before you to preserve life (literally, for the preservation of life). For these

two years hath the famine been in the land (literally, in the midst of the land):

and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earning nor

harvest - literally, neither ploughing nor reaping, the term ploughing, or earing,

charish (compare ἄροσιςarosis - , aratio, Anglo-Saxon, erian), being derived

from a root signifying to cut. And God (Elohim, the use of which here and in

v. 5 instead of Jehovah is sufficiently explained by remembering that Joseph

simply desires to point out the overruling providence of God in his early

transportation to Egypt) sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the

earth (literally, to keep for you a remnant on the earth, i.e. to preserve the

family from extinction through the famine), and to save your lives by a great

deliverance - literally, to preserve life to you to a great deliverance, i.e. by a

providential rescue (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'),

which is better than to a great nation or posterity, פְלֵיטָה being understood,

as in II Samuel 15:14; II Kings 19:30-31, to mean a remnant escaped from

slaughter (Bohlen), an interpretation which Rosenmüller thinks admissible,

but Kalisch disputes. So now (literally, and now) it was not you that sent me

hither, but God - literally, for the Elohim (sent me). Joseph's brethren sent

him to be a slave; God sent him to be a savior (Hughes). And he hath made

me a father to Pharaoh, - i.e. a wise and confidential friend and counselor

(Keil, Kalisch, 'Speaker's Commentary;' compare I Maccabees 11:32). Murphy

explains the term as signifying "a second author of life," with obvious reference

to the interpretation of his dreams and the measures adopted to provide against

the famine - and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land Egypt

(see ch. 41:40-41). Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus

saith thy son Joseph, God (Elohim) hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down

unto me, tarry not: and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen. Goshen, Γεσὲμ

Αραβίαςgesem Arabias  (Septuagint), was a region on the east of the Pelusiac

branch of the Nile, extending as far as the wilderness of Arabia, a land of pastures

(ch. 46:34), exceedingly fertile (ch. 47:6), styled also the land of Rameses (ch.47:11),

and including the cities Pithon and Rameses (Exodus 1:11), and probably also On,

or Heliopolis (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 2:07, 6; Hengstenberg's 'Egypt and the Books of

Moses,' p. 42; Gesenius, 'Lexicon,' p. 183). And thou shalt be near unto me, thou,

and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and

all that thou hast: and there will I nourish thee (the verb is the Pilpel of כּול, to

hold up, hence to sustain); for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and

thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty - literally, be robbed,

from יָרַשׁ, to take possession (Keil), or fall into slavery, i.e. through poverty

(Knobel, Lange). And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother

Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my

father of (literally, ye shall relate to my father) all my glory (compare ch.31:1)

in Egypt, and of all (literally, all) that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and

bring down my father hither. Calvin thinks that Joseph would not have made

such liberal promises to his brethren without having previously obtained Pharaoh's

consent, nisi regis permissu; but this does not appear from the narrative.

 

 

 

Providence (v. 5)

 

“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves.....for God did

send me before you to preserve life.”

 

  • THE END IS GOODNESS AND MERCY.

 

Ø      To preserve life.

Ø      To set the seed of the better society in the midst of the corruptions

and imperfections of the old.

Ø      To prepare the way for the higher revelations of the future.

 

  • GOD’S METHOD OF INSTRUMENTALITIES HIS GLORY.

 

Ø      The history of His people, their persecutions, their apparent

humiliations, their marvelous victories.

Ø      The transformation of men, whereby enemies are made friends.

Ø      The biographies of distinguished servants of God illustrate His

grace in bestowing fitness for appointed work.

 

  • MYSTERIES LOOKED AT FROM A HIGHER POINT OF VIEW

BECOME REVELATIONS.

 

Ø      Time a great revealer. Wait for the Lord.

Ø      The narrow circle of a family history taken up into the higher sphere

of Divine purposes concerning nations and humanity itself.

Ø      Ultimate vindication of the spiritual men and spiritual principles as

            against the merely earthly and selfish aims of individuals or

            communities.

 

14 “And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin

wept upon his neck.  15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon

them: and after that his brethren talked with him.”  And he (i.e. Joseph)

fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon

his neck. "Benjamin is the central point whence leads out the way to reconciliation"

(Lange). "Here brotherly affection is drawn out by affection, tear answering tear"

(Hughes; compare ch. 33:4). Moreover he kissed all his brethren, - "the seal of

recognition, of reconciliation, and of salutation" (Lange) - and wept upon them.

It has been thought that Benjamin stood when Joseph embraced him, and that

the two wept upon each other's neck, but that the brethren bowed themselves

at Joseph's feet, causing the expression to be, "and he wept upon them" (Lange).

And after that his brethren talked with him - feeling themselves reassured by

such demonstrations of affection.

 

 

Joseph’s Discovery of Himself to His Brethren (1-15)

 

  • THE ANNOUNCEMENT. “I am Joseph, whom ye sold into Egypt.”

 

Ø      How it was made.

 

o        In privacy. “There stood no man with Joseph, while he made himself

known to his brethren.” This was natural. The emotions of the moment

were too strong and deep to be shared in or even witnessed by strangers.

But it was also merciful. Joseph knew that he could not divulge his

secret without a reference to the past, and he would not expose his

brothers’ guilt and shame in the presence of unsympathetic

lookers-on.

 

o       With tears. “Joseph could not refrain himself” even “before all

them that stood before him,” and scarcely had they withdrawn

than “he wept aloud.” From the first Joseph had a Herculean

task to perform in keeping his emotion within bounds. This was

partly the explanation of the rough treatment he gave his brethren.

Had he yielded to the tender feelings which the sight of Reuben

and Judah and the others kindled in his breast, he would at once

have been discovered. Yet it was all that he could do to avoid

detection. Once and again he had to retire from their presence to

relieve his bursting heart by “weeping” (compare ch. 42:24;

43:30). But this time the rising flood of emotion was too strong to

be repressed even long enough to admit of his escape. The pathetic

eloquence of Judah, the earnest, tearful pleading combined with

the sublime and affecting heroism of the man who offered himself

to be a bondman for ever, that his young brother might escape and

that his father’s heart might not be broken, was too much for the

Egyptian viceroy, and he sobbed aloud.

 

o       With forgiveness. Few things are more touching in this wholly

melting story than the considerate tenderness of Joseph in

sparing his brethren’s feelings, and the exquisite delicacy with

which he leads them to understand that he cherishes against

them not the least resentment. Scarcely has he made the startling

disclosure that he was Joseph, than, as if to prevent them from

thinking of their sin, he hurries on to ask about their father.

Then, as he sees them shrinking in alarm from his presence,

expecting doubtless that the hour of recompense for Dothan

had arrived, he kindly asks them not to stand aloof from him,

but to come near. Again, as he understands the impossibility

of their ever shutting their eyes to their deplorable wickedness,

he tries to lead them rather to contemplate the wonderful way

in which the hand of God had overruled his captivity for the

salvation of their entire household. “So now it was not you

that sent me hither, but God.” Beautiful sophistry of love!

I do not know that Joseph’s brethren would believe it: but

it is obvious that in the enthusiasm of his forgiving love

Joseph did.

 

Ø      How it was received.

 

o        With surprise. This was only to be expected. It must have

fallen on Joseph s brethren like a thunderbolt. It manifestly

struck them into  silence. “They could not answer him.” 

(Think of standing at the Judgment before the King of the

Universe – “speechless”see Matthew 22:12 – CY – 2018)

 

o        With alarm. Apprehending vengeance, they were “troubled

at his presence,” and involuntarily shrank from before him.

 

o        With pain. They were grieved and angry with themselves, not

that Joseph was alive, but that ever he had been sold. Many a

time during the past years, and in particular since their first

visit to Egypt, they had mourned over their sin against the

child of Rachel. Now the anguish of their self-reproach

was almost more than they could bear. And this was the

best sign of its sincerity, that it was intensified rather than

diminished by the sight of Joseph (compare Zechariah 12:10).

True penitence, as distinguished from remorse, is sorrow for

sin, irrespective altogether of its consequences.

 

  • THE COMMISSION.

 

Ø      To carry an invitation. “Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto

him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come

down unto me, and tarry not.”

 

Ø      To deliver a promise. “And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen,” and

there will I nourish thee.”

 

Ø      To explain a reason “For yet there are five years of famine; lest thou,

and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.”

 

Ø      To provide an authentication. “And, behold, your eyes see, and the

eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.”

 

Ø      To supply an encouragement. And ye shall tell my father of all my

glory in Egypt.”

 

Ø      To return with an answer. “And ye shall haste and bring down my father

hither.”

 

  • THE RECONCILIATION.

 

Ø      With tears of joy. He fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept;

and Benjamin wept upon his neck.” Over the rest of his brothers also as

they bowed before him “he wept.”

 

Ø      With kisses of love. “Moreover he kissed all his brethren” — not even

forgetting Simeon, who probably had bound him.

 

Ø      With words of cheer. “After that his brethren talked with him.”

 

  • LESSONS:  See in the character of Joseph, as portrayed in this touching

scene, a brilliant constellation of heavenly virtues and holy graces.

 

1. Of fraternal affection in his tender dealing with his brethren.

2. Of filial piety in his considerate regard for his father.

3. Of eminent devotion in recognizing the hand of God in all his past

fortunes.

4. Of exquisite sensibility in being so quickly moved to tears.

 

 

Darkness Turned into Light (vs. 1-15)

 

Joseph’s revelation of himself to his brethren in the atmosphere of the

purest brotherly affection and grateful acknowledgment of Divine

goodness. Only small natures are ashamed of tears. At first the men who

had a great sin upon their consciences were only troubled at the presence

of their injured brother, but soon the free and full manifestation of his love

turns all their fears into rejoicing. Joseph wept for joy at their return to

him, and they were henceforth his brethren indeed. Although for a time we

carry the burden of our sins and feel their weight, even though we believe

that they are forgiven, still as God reveals Himself to us and surrounds us

more and more with the embrace of his love, we lose the constraint of our

painful remembrance, and rejoice with all our hearts in present peace and

future glory.

 

16 “And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's

brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.”

And the fame thereof - literally, the voice, hence rumor (compare Jeremiah 3:9) –

was heard in Pharaoh's house (having been brought thither doubtless by some

of the Court officials), saying, Joseph's brethren - it is probable that they would

style him Zaphnath-paaneah (compare ch. 41:45) are come (i.e. are arrived in Egypt):

and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants - literally, it was good in the eyes of

Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants (compare ch. 41:37). The Septuagint render

ἐχάρη δὲ Φαραὼ - echarae de Pharao ; the Vulgate, gavisus est Pharao, Pharaoh

was glad.

 

17 “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade

your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;  18 And take your father

and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land

of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.”  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,

Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land

of Canaan; and take your father and your households, and come unto me. This may

have been an independent invitation given by the Egyptian king to Joseph's relatives;

but it is more than likely that Joseph had already told him of the proposal he had made

to his brethren, and that he here receives a royal confirmation of the same). And I will

give you the good of the land of Egypt, - i.e. the best part of the land, viz., Goshen

(Rosenmüller, Lange, and others); though the phrase is probably synonymous with

that which follows - and ye shall eat the fat of the land. The fat of the land meant

either the richest and most fertile portion of it (Lunge, Kalisch), or the best and

choicest of its productions (Gesenius, Keil). Compare Deuteronomy 32:14;

Psalm 147:14.

 

19 “Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of

Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 

20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.”

Now thou art commanded, this do ye; - an apostrophe to Joseph, Pharaoh manifestly

regarding the cause of Joseph and his brethren as one (Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange,

and others) - take you wagons out of the land of Egypt - the carriages here referred

to (עַגָּלות, from עָגַּל to roll) were small two-wheeled vehicles suitable for a flat

country like Egypt, or for traversing roadless deserts. They were usually drawn by

cattle, and employed for carrying agricultural produce. Herodotus mentions a

four-wheeled car which was used for transporting the shrine and image of a deity

(2:63; see Rawlinson's edition, and note by Sir G. Wilkinson) for your little ones,

and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Pharaoh meant them to

understand that they had not only Joseph's invitation, but his (Pharaoh's)

commandment, to encourage them to undertake so serious a project as the

removal of their households to Egypt. Also regard not your stuff - literally,

and your eyes shall not (i.e. let them not) grieve for your utensils (i.e. articles

of domestic furniture), although you should require to leave them behind

(Septuagint, Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch, Lange, et alii). The rendering of

the Vulgate, nec dimittatis quicquid de supellectili vestra, conveys a meaning

exactly the opposite of the true one, which is thus correctly expressed by Dathius:

Nec aegre ferrent jacturam supellectilis suet. For the good of all the land of

Egypt is yours - literally, to you it (shall belong).

 

21 “And the children (sons) of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons,

according to the commandment (mouth) of Pharaoh, and gave them provision

for the way.  22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to

Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.”

To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; - literally, alterations of

garments, i.e. changes or suits of dress (Judges 14:12-13; II Kings 5:5); probably

dress clothes for special occasions (Keil, Lange, Murphy); δισσὰς στολὰς

dissas stolaschanges of clothing (Septuagint); binas stolas (Vulgate) - but

(literally, and) to Benjamin he gave - not to make amends for having given

him a fright (Lange), but as a special token of fraternal affection (Murphy) –

three hundred pieces of silver,-literally, three hundred of silver (compare

ch. 43:34) - and five changes of raiment - which renders it probable that the

brothers only received two.

 

23 “And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the

good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and

meat for his father by the way.”  And to his father he sent after this manner;

ten asses (see ch.12:16) laden with (literally, carrying) the good things of Egypt,

and ten she asses laden with (or carrying) corn and bread and meat - probably

prepared meats, some sort of delicacy (Clarke) - for his father by the way.

 

24 “So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them,

See that ye fall not out by the way.”  So (literally, and) he sent his brethren away,

and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way. The

verb רָגַן signifies to be moved or disturbed with any violent emotion, but in particular

with anger (Proverbs 29:9; Isaiah 28:21; compare Sanser. rag, to move oneself, Greek

ὀργή - orgae - anger, Latin frango, Gerregen), and is here generally understood as an

admonition against quarrelling (Septuagint, μὴ οργιζεσθε mae orgizesthe

don’t quarrel; Vulgate, ne irascimini) (Calvin, Dathius, Rosenmüller, Keil, Murphy,

Lange, Alford, et alii), although by others (Tuch, Baumgarten, Michaelis, Gesenius,

Kalisch) it is regarded as a dissuasive against fear of any future plot on the part of

Joseph.

 

25 “And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob

their father,  26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over

all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.

27  And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them:

and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit

of Jacob their father revived:  28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son

is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”  And they went up out of Egypt,

and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, and told him, saying,

Joseph is yet alive, and he (literally, and that he; an emphatic assurance which Keil,

following Ewald, renders by" yea," and Kalisch by "indeed") is governor over all

the land of Egypt. And Jacob's (literally, his, i.e. Jacob's) heart fainted (literally,

A grew chill, the primary idea of the root being that of rigidity through coldness;

compare πηγνύωpaegnuo - to be rigid, and pigeo, rigeo, frigeo, to be chill.

The sense is that Jacob s heart seemed to stop with amazement at the tidings

which his sons brought), for he believed them not. This was scarcely a case of

believing not for joy (Bush), but rather of incredulity arising from suspicion,

both of the messengers and their message, which was only removed by further

explanation, and in particular by the sight of Joseph's splendid presents and

commodious carriages. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had

said unto them: - i.e. about Joseph's invitation and promise (vs. 9-11) - and when

he saw the wagons - probably royal vehicles (Wordsworth) - which Joseph had

sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived (literally, lived; it having

been previously numb and cold, as if dead): and Israel said, - the change of name

here is significant. The sublime theocratic designation, which had dropped into

obscurity during the period of the old man's sorrow for his lost son, revives with

the resuscitation of his dead hope (compare ch. 43:6) - It is enough (one word,

as if expressing his complacent satisfaction); Joseph my son is yet alive (this is

the one thought that fills his aged heart): I will go down - "The old man is young

again in spirit; he is for going immediately; he could leap; yes, fly" (Lange) –

and see him (a sight of Joseph would be ample compensation for all the years

of sorrow he had passed through) before I die. He would then be ready to be

gathered to his fathers.

 

 

 

 

Joseph’s Invitation to Jacob (vs. 16-28)

 

  • AUTHORIZED BY PHARAOH. Though possessed of the li berty to

issue such a commission as he had just entrusted to his brethren, Joseph

felt that it would be right and proper to have his sovereign’s sanction.

Accordingly, on mentioning the matter to the king, the required consent

was:

 

Ø      Immediately obtained. “Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your

beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; and take your father

and your households, and come unto me.” It was also:

 

Ø      Sincerely given, as was attested by the royal order to take Egyptian

curricles (a light and open two-wheeled carriage) in order to convey

the immigrants. “Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you

wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones,

and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.” And,

still further, it was:

 

Ø      Warmly urged, by a handsome promise — “I will give you the good of

the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land” — and an earnest

exhortation“Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land

of Egypt is yours.”

 

  • ATTESTED BY JOSEPH. Had the sincerity of Joseph stood in need

of any demonstration, it would at once have been supplied by:

 

Ø      The splendid carriages he sent from Egypt to convey his father. That

they had such an influence upon the heart of Jacob is apparent from the

narrative. At first the old man could not bring himself to credit the report

which his sons brought; but when he saw the wagons which Joseph had

sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.

 

Ø      The valuable presents he bestowed upon his brethren and sent to his

father: to each of the two “changes of raiment;” to Benjamin 300

pieces of silver and five “changes of raiment;” to his father ten asses

laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with

corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. Gifts such as these

were an index to the love which dwelt in Joseph’s heart.

 

Ø      The good counsel he addressed to his brethren: “See that ye fall not out

by the way.” It was not likely if they disagreed among themselves that

they would execute successfully the great commission Joseph had

entrusted to them. It was a token of his anxiety for their accomplishing

his mission that they should unitedly and lovingly address themselves

to its performance.

 

  • REPORTED BY THE BRETHREN. On arriving at Hebron in the

land of Canaan the sons of Jacob hastened to unburden themselves of their

marvelous intelligence. The invitation of Joseph was detailed:

 

Ø      Faithfully. On the last occasion on which they had returned to Hebron

with tidings concerning Joseph they had lied, and their father believed

them; this time, although the old man believed not, what they said was

true: “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt,”

adding that he wished his venerable parent to go down to Egypt beside

him.

 

Ø      Fully. “They told him all the words of Joseph which he had said unto

them,” not forgetting to deliver him the presents, and point him to the

wagons or royal carriages which his son had sent for his conveyance

thither.

 

  • ACCEPTED BY JACOB. The strange tale to which the old man

listened seemed on its first hearing to be incredible. Such a shock did it

give to his feeble sensibilities that his heart almost stopped its beating.

Apprehending that they were only mocking his already aged and bereaved

spirit, he believed them not. But at length the splendid carriages carried

conviction to his mind, and he believed;

 

Ø      With holy satisfaction. “It is enough.” Since this was true, he had no

desires unsatisfied below.

 

Ø      With paternal love. “Joseph my son” (what tenderness in the words!)

is yet alive.”

 

Ø      With simple confidence. “I will go down and see him before I die.”

 

 

 

The Grace of God to His people (vs. 16-28)

 

We are now dealing no longer with Joseph’s personal history, but brought

out into the larger sphere of “the children of Israel(v. 21). Already it

may be said the Egyptian period in the history of the children of Israel has

commenced. Pharaoh comes upon the scene and his servants. All the

wealth of Egypt is placed at the command of Israel. The men who had been

the transgressors against Joseph are now the mediators of the great change

in the condition and prospects of the Israelitish race. The effect upon the

old man’s heart was great!

 

 

 

The Believer led to His Reward (vs. 25-28)

 

Jacob’s incredulity conquered. His spirit revived. His resolution taken.

 

  • OUR ENJOYMENT OF WHAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR US IS

DEPENDENT UPON OUR CONFIDENT BELIEF AND

EXPECTATION.

 

Ø      Separation from the old for the new life involves a struggle with:

 

o       self,

o       circumstances, and with

o       fellow-men.

 

Ø      The future must be laid hold of. We must believe that the better

place is prepared for us, that the will of God is good.

 

  • WE GAIN THE VICTORY OVER NATURAL FEARS, DOUBTS,

AND DIFFICULTIES WHEN WE SIMPLY LOOK AT THE FACTS AS

GOD HAS SET THEM BEFORE US, BOTH IN HIS WORD AND IN

HIS PROVIDENCE. The men were deceivers. The facts, the wagons, the

good things, the blessings plainly sent of God, earnest of the future, would

not deceive.

 

  • THE TRUE FAITH IS THAT WHICH GRATEFULLY ACCEPTS

THE INVITATION OF DIVINE GRACE, ACTING UPON IT, BOTH

BY THE DECISION OF THE WILL AND BY THE DEVOTION OF

THE LIFE. It is enough, I will go.

 

  • THE REWARD WHICH IS PREPARED FOR THE TRUE

OBEDIENCE IS MUCH GREATER THAN WE CAN ANTICIPATE.

To see Joseph was the patriarch’s anticipation. The purpose of God was much

larger for him. Joseph and Jacob met in the abundance of Egypt. The

earthly pilgrimage leads to the true Goshen. It is enough. We follow the

voice of our God. It hath not entered into our heart TO CONCEIVE

WHAT IS BEFORE US!  (I Corinthians 2:9)

 

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