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A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3526. A. C. 1885. GEN. CH. Xxxvii. TO THE END. little at the shearing feast. Thamar had intelligence of the whole affair than himself, and from that moment took this ; and therefore, putting off her widow's weed, and her home to his house ; but had never any more comdressing herself like a courtezan, she threw a veil over munion with her. her face, and planted herself between two ways, where When the time of her delivery was come, she was she knew her father-in-law, in his way to Timnah was brought to bed of twins, but the manner of their birth obliged to pass.
was somewhat surprising; for though one of them put Judah no sooner saw her, but taking her to be wbat forth his hand, about which the midwife tied à scarlet she appeared, he began to make his addresses to her. thread, to distinguish him for the first-born; yet as he What she insisted on was only a reward for her compli- withdrew it, his brother got before him, and so came first ance, which he readily agreed to, and promised to send into the world ; which occasioned his name to be Pharez, her a kid; but she having a farther design upon him, that is, one breaking forth, as the other with the thread demanded a pledge for the performance of his promise, on his hand was called Zarah.
hich was his signet, his bracelet, and his staff; and so, To return to Joseph. He had not been long in prison, being agreed, they went together, had their enjoyment, before his virtuous and obliging deportment gained him and she proved with child.
the favour of the keeper, insomuch that he was intrusted Judah, according to his promise, sent by his friend with the management of the affairs belonging to the priHirah (for that was his name) a kid to redeem his pledge; son, and with the custody of the prisoners themselves. but when Hirah came to the place, the woman was gone, At this time there were two persons of note, the king's nor could he find, upon his best inquiry, that any such cupbearer, and his chief baker, for some offence or person as he described had ever been there : so that other, committed to the same prison where Joseph was, Judah, when he told him his ill success, thought it the and by the head-keeper, intrusted to his care and attendwisest way to let her go off with the pledges, rather than ance. To this purpose, Joseph coming to their apartment run the hazard of his reputation, by making any farther one morning, and finding them both pensive and melansearch.
choly upon the account of a dream which each of them About three months after this, word was brought him, had had the night before, and under more concern still, that his daughter-in-law had played the harlot, and was because in that place, they could have no person to certainly with child. Judah, though glad perhaps at the interpret for them ; to allay their superstitious humour, news, because her death would free him from the promise in trusting to diviners and soothsayers, he told them, in of giving his son Shelah to her, pretended however to be the first place, that the interpretation of dreams did not highly enraged at her incontinency, and ordering her to depend upon rules of art, but if there were any certainty be brought forth, a condemned her to be burnt according in it, it must proceed from a divine inspiration, and then to the laws of the country. Thamar, instead of being desired to know what it was that they dreamed. surprised at this dreadful sentence pronounced against The cupbearer began, and told him that in bis sleep * her, only sent the pledges to Judah, with this message, he fancied he saw a vine, with three branches, which all That the owner of these things was the person by whom on a sudden budded, then blossomed, and so bore ripe she was with child : whereupon, struck with confusion, grapes; and that he had in his hand the king's cup, into and reflecting on the injury he had done her, in with which having squeezed the juice of the grapes, he gave holding his son, he acknowledged her o less culpable in it to the king, and the king drank it from his hand as
usual. To this Joseph replied, that as the three branches a Among eastern nations, as well as elsewhere, women, who denoted three days, it would not exceed the compass of were guilty of adultery, were more severely punished than the that time, before the king, having made an inquiry into men: whether it was that the injury done the husband was reputed to be more heinous, or that the men, having the power of making laws, took care to enact them in favour of themselves. Thus God than 1:' not more virtuous or chaste, for she knowingly commited is said, • for the hardness of their hearts,' to have indulged the adultery and incest when he desigiedly did neither; but more Jews in the matter of divorcing their wives; but the wives had just, in that he, by withholding Shelah from her, had provoked not the like privilege over their husbands. In many places a man her to lay this trap for him. So that, though Thamar was might have as many wives as he could maintain, but the women wickeder in the sight of God, yet she may be said to be juster were to be content with one husband. And in like manner, here before Judah, or to have done no more in drawing him into this Judah, we find, condemns Thamar, though a widow, for her scrape, than what he justly deserved. -- Poole's Annotations. crime, to be burnt; whilst himself, in the same state of widow- c The expression which Joseph here makes use of concerning hood, thought fornication a very pardonable crime. It is ques the king's cupbearer and baker, * Pharaoh shall lift up thy head,' tioned, however, by what right and authority he could pass this seems somewhat too literally translated, since the words in the sentence upon her: and to answer this, it is supposed, that every original mean no more, than that Pharaoh would have them master was judge and chief magistrate in his own family; and brought forth and examined. The ancients, we are to know, in that therefore Thamar
, though she was a Canaanite, yet being keeping their reckonings or accounts of time, or their list of married into Judah's family, and having brought disgrace upon domestic officers or servants, made use of tables with holes bored it, was properly under his cognizance. His cognizance, however, in them, in which they put a sort of pegs or nails with broad according to the opinion of some, did not extend so far as to have heads, exhibiting the particulars, either number or name, or whather burnt at the stake, as we call it, but only branded in the ever it was. These Dails or pegs the Jews call heads, and the forehead for a whore; though others deny that his authority ex- sockets of the heads they call bases. The meaning therefore of tended even so far: for being in a strange place, it can hardly be Pharaoh's listing up his head' is, that Pharaoh would take out the thought, that the power of life and death, or indeed of any other peg which had the cupbearer's name on the top of it to read it; that penalty, was lodged in him: and therefore they think that the is, would sit in judgment, and make examination into his accounts. words mean no more than this - That she should be brought before For it seems very probable, that both he and the baker, had becu a court of judicature, and sentenced according to the laws of the either suspected or accused of having cheated the king, and that
, country.—Selden de Jure Nat. b.7.c. 5, Le Clerc's and Patrick's when their accounts were examined and cast up, the one was Commentary, Houell's and Universal History.
acquitted, while the other was found guilty.
And though Jo6 The words in the text are, 'She hath been more righteous s.ph uses the same expression in both cases, yet we may observer
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3539. A. C. 1872. GEN. CH. xxxvii, TO THE END. the conduct of his servants, would restore him to his The king his master had, in one night, two very por. favour and his post again. Only he desired, that if his tentous dreams, which gave him the more uneasiness, interpretation proved true, he would, in his prosperity, a because none of the d Egyptian Magi could give him the be pleased to remember him, and to recommend his case least light into their meaning. Seeing the king thereto the king ; since the truth was that he had been fraudu- fore in this perplexity, the cupbearer could not forbear lently taken from his own country and cast into prison telling him, that while he and the chief baker were under without any fault or olence of his.
his majesty's displeasure in prison, each of them, in the Hearing so happy an interpretation of this dream, same night, had a dream, which a young man, an Hebrew, the baker was the readier to propose his, which was to then in prison with them, interpreted exactly, and as the this effect :- That while, as he thought, he had on his event happened ; and that, in his opinion, he had a talent head three wicker baskets, in the uppermost of which that way much superior to any that had hitherto been were several kinds of baked meats for the king's table, consulted. the birds came and ate them out of the basket. To which Pleased with this discovery, and eager to have bis Joseph immediately replied, that the three baskets, even dream explained, the king gave orders immediately for as the three branches had done, signified three days ; but Joseph to be sent for ; who, after he had shaved and that in the space of that time, the king having made dressed himself, was introduced into his presence, where Scrutiny into his behaviour, and found him guilty, he had not been long, before the king related his dream would order him to be banged upon a gibbet, for the to him, namely, " That as he was walking on the banks fowls of the air to devour his flesh. And as Joseph of the river Nile," as he thought," he saw seven fat kine, foretold, so it came to pass : for three days after this, which fed in the meadows. And soon after that, seven the cupbearer was restored and the baker hanged. The others, exceeding lean, and frightful to behold, which cupbearer, however, when himself had got into prospe- came and ate up the fat ones, and yet looked not a bit rity again, thought little of Joseph, till, in about two the better; and that, after this he dreamed again, and years after this, an accident happened which forced him fancied that he saw seven full ears of corn, proceeding in a manner to call him to remembrance.
all from the same stalk, which were in like manner
devoured by seven others, that were blasted and that speaking to the baker, he adds, that . Pharaoh shall lift up
withered." thy head from off thee,' that is, shall order thy name to be struck As soon as the king had ended, Joseph, giving him out of the list of his servants by taking the peg out of the socket. first to understand that it e was by the assistance of God -Bibliotheca Biblica in locum.
alone that he was enabled to be an interpreter of dreams, There is nothing of a distrust of God's goodness, justice, or power, in making use of human means. The release of the king's told him, that the seven kine, and seven ears of corn, enpbearer appeared to Joseph to be a good opportunity, pointed signified the same thing, and the repetition of the dream out by providence, for him to lay hold on, and he would have been wanting to his own preservation, had he not employed it. & The Chaldeans of old were the most famous people in the Theigh therefore it may be thought, that his asking this court- world for divination of all kinds; and therefore it is very probaofficer to represent his case to the king, might be in reward or ble that the word Hhartoumim, which we render magicians, is compensation for his prediction; yet even herein he may be jus- not of Hebrew, but Chaldee origin. The roots, however, from tified by apostolical authority, which in cases of this nature whence it springs (if it be a compound word, as probably it is) instructs, (i Cor. ix. 4. and Gal. vi. 6.,) that temporal advan- are not so visible; and therefore commentators are perplexed to tages may very lawfully be both asked and received. In the know by what method men of this profession proceeded in their cupbearer's not remembering him, however, we may observe inquiry into secret things; whether they pretended to expound something that seems providentially to have turned to his advan- dreams, and descry future events, by natural observations, by the tage, since had he been discharged before Pharaoh's dream, he art of astrology, which came much in request in future ages, by might many ways have missed of that prodigious favour and such rules as are now found in the books of oneirocritics; or by advancement, which by this means he attained. --Bibliotheca certain characters, images, pictures, and figures, which were Billica in locum.
engraved with magical rites and ceremonies. It is not to be & The words in the text are, from the land of the Hebrews,' doubted indeed but that the magicians, whom Pharaoli consulted which some men suppose were added by Joshua, or some other for the interpretation of his dreams, made use of some at least, if writer, after the death of Moses; because in Moses' days, and not all these arts; and the Jewish doctors would make us believe, much less in Joseph's, Canaan was not known by that name. It that after several attempts of divers kinds, they came at last to is not the whole land of Canaan, however, that Joseph here means, this exposition, that Pharaoh's daughters (for they supposed him but only that part of it which lay about Hebron, where Abraham, to have seven) should die, and that he should have seven others Isaac, and Jacob, had for a long while lived; (Gen. xxii. 1, 2. born to him in their stead; but this being not at all satisfactory TIIV. 27. Xxxvii. 14.) It is said, indeed, that they were strangers to their master, put the cupbearer in mind of Joseph's great and sojourners in the country; but then they were strangers of abilities that way.—Le Clerc's and Patrick's Commentary. great note and high renown, who were treated as princes, lived e The words wherein Joseph prefaces his interpretation of by their own laws, and made leagues not only with private men, Pharaoh's dreams, are much of the same kind with what we find but with cities and with kings; (Gen. xxiii. 6. xxi. 22. xxvi. 28. Daniel addressing Nebuchadnezzar upon the like occasion :Ixiv. 6.;) the fame of whose deeds could not but be spread The secret, which the king hath demanded, cannot the wise abroad, both by the victory which Abraham got in a battle over men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto Several kings, and by the sacking of Shechem, which their neigh- the king; but there is a God in heaven, who revealeth secrets bours dust not revenge; all which might very well make that and maketh known unto the king what shall be in the latter part of the country wherein they, for three generations, had days.'—(Dan. ii. 27, 28.) Both these holy men insinuate, that resided, not improperly be called the land of the Hebrews.' – the interests of princes are more especially the care of divine Patrick's Commentary.
providence, and that therefore, for their admonition, he frequently c As flush as the chief baker was with hopes, there is this sends dreams and visions upon them. And this declaration, obvious difference between his and the cupbearer's presage, previous to the exposition, was perfectly proper, and of mighty hamely, that he was fiot an agent, but a sufferer in his dream; force to bespeak the king's attention and regard, at the same for he did not give a cake or a confection to the king as the other time that Joseph was asserting the being and interposition of did the cup, but the fowls of the air descended upon his basket, Almighty God in the guidance of human affairs.- Le Clerc's and fed off with the dainties that were in it.- Patrick's Comment. Commentary, and Bibliotheca Biblica in locum.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3539. A. C. 1872. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. only denoted the certainty of the event; that therefore, /'bow the knee.' Nor was this all : for to attach him as the lean kine seemed to eat up the fat, and the still closer to his service, and make him forget the very withered ears to consume the full and flourishing, so, thoughts of ever returning to his own country, d he after seven years of great plenty, other seven years of changed his name to that of Zaphnah-paaneah, which extreme famine should succeed, which would lay waste signifies a prime minister, and matched him into a all the country, and leave no signs of the former plenty: noble family, to Asenah, the daughter of e Potipherah, and therefore, since it had pleased God thus to inform priest or prince of On; by whom he had two sons, the the king what seasons he intended to bring upon the former of whom he called Manasseh, intimating that God earth, he hoped he would make a right use of the infor- made him forget all his toils; and the other Ephraim, mation, by appointing a wise and prudent man over his because he had made him fruitful in the land of his whole kingdom, who should take care to build granaries, affliction. and appoint officers under him in every province, who In the mean time, Joseph being now about thirty should collect and lay up a a fifth part of each plentiful years old when he was raised to this height of power, year's product against the succeeding years of famine. took a progress through the whole kingdom ; built
• This interpretation, and the good advice given upon granaries, appointed proper officers in every place, and, it, made the king conceive so great an opinion of Joseph's in short, ordered all things with such prudence and wisdom, that he thought no one could be so fit to manage the office of collecting the corn in the years of plenty as years. Thuse who make it a mixture of Hebrew and Syriae, he who had suggested a scheme so very beneficial. He, divide it, in like manner, into two words, and suppose that as therefore, in a short time, made him his deputy over the ab, in the Hebrew, is futher, so rech or rach, in the Syrian land of Egypt, and to that purpose invested him with the tongue, is king, in the same sense that Joseph says of himself
, usual ensigns of that station ; gave him his own signet father unto Pharaoh," (Gen. xlv. 8.) that is, in giving him whole
and perhaps with allusion to this very name, 'God has made me a from off his finger; caused him to be clothed in a robe some counsel, even as a father does his children: but those who of fine linen, and put a golden chain about his neck; contend for its being purely Egyptian, do freely confess, that at ordered him to ride in a chariot next to his own; and this distance of time, and under such obsoleteness of that lanwherever he went, heralds to go before, and, in token guage, it is next to impossible to find out the genuine significathat the viceroy was coming, to proclaim to the people, therefore they observe, that as the Jewish historian makes no
tion of an honorary term, as this very probably was; and
mention of this circumstance in Joseph's story, he might be ina Since there were to be as many years of scarceness as of duced to that omission by reason of his not understanding this plenty, some have made it a question why Joseph advised no word of exotic growth. In this uncertainty of opinions, theremore than a fifth part of the corn, in plentiful years, to be laid fore, we have thought it the best way to follow that translation up: but to this it may be replied, that the greater and richer which some of the best Hebrew interpreters, the Septuagint and sort were used, in time of plenty, to fill their storehouses with Vulgate versions have approved.--Heidegger's Hist. Patriar., provision against a scarcer year, which sometimes happened; vol. 2. Essay 20. that in the times of famine, men were wont to live more frugally d It was an ancient custom among easter princes, upon their and parsimoniously, as the Egyptians at this time, according to promotion of any favourite, to give him a new name. NebliJosephus, were obliged to do by Pharaoh's special command; chadnezzar, we read, (Dan. i. 7.) imposed new names upon that, even in the years of famine, tillage went on, and the harvest Daniel and his companions in Babylon; and it was the custom of might be something, (though not mentioned by reason that the the Mogul never to advance a man, but he gave him a new name, product was comparatively inconsiderable, especially in the lands and that significative of something belonging to him: but here lying near the Nile; and that, as the tenth part was an ordinary the question is, what the meaning of the name which Pharach tribute due to the kings of Egypt, in the years of extraordinary gave Joseph is? In the Hebrew text it is Zaphnah-paaneal, plenty, (when the fifth was no more than the tenth in other but in the Egyptian and Greek Pentateuch it is Pson-thenyears,) Pharaoh might think it proper to double this charge, or, phanech. The oriental versions, however, are pretty unanimous what is rather to be supposed from a good king and a good coun- in rendering it, a revealer of secrets, but there are some reasons sellor, to buy as much more as was his tribute, which he might why this should not be its true interpretation. For the time do at an easy rate, when such a vast plenty made corn extremely when Pharaoh gave the patriarch this name, was when he cheap.- Patrick's Commentary.
advanced him from the condition of an imprisoned slave to that 6 Here we may observe again, that Joseph directs Pharaoh to of a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt;' and, therefore, it look up to God as the author of all these events, and that not in is reasonable to suppose that he gave it in commemoration of an ordinary, but extraordinary manner, since such fertility and such promotion, rather than of his expounding dreams; because such famine did not proceed from mere natural causes, but from to have called him an interpreter of dreams only, had been an overruling providence, which made the river Nile overflow degrading him to the level of magicians. Now if Pharaoh gave its banks so largely for seven years together, and so occasion a him this name in memory of his promotion,
is very likely great plenty; and then, for the next seven years, overflow very that this name was strictly and properly Egyptian, otherwise the little, if at all, and so produce a very sore and long famine. Nor common people could not have understood it, though Moses, can it be objected to Joseph that he was guilty of presumption in his recording it, might endeavour to accommodate it to the or boldness in giving his advice to Pharaoh concerning the pro- Hebrew idiom; and if it was Egyptian, the word in that lanvision that was to be made against the ensuing scarceness, since guage signifies what we call a prime minister; or strictly the he was conscious to himself that he was best able to give such first, or prince of the lords.- Bibliotheca Biblica, Occasional advice, and would have been guilty of the sin of omission, had Annotations, 41. he neglected to do it, in so great and so general a concern.- e The reader must remember not to confound this vame with Patrick's Commentary, and Bibliotheca Biblica in locum. Potiphar, who bought Joseph of the Ishmaelites, because their
c Annotators are much at a loss to determine of what original names in Hebrew are not differently written. The one, hovthe word abrech is, some pretending that it is altogether Hebrew, ever, is called the captain of the guards, the other the prince or while others make it a compound of Hebrew and Syriac, and priest of On; so that the former must have had his residence in others contend, at the same time, that it is purely Egyptian. the capital, to be always about the king; but the latter lived at Those who pretend that it is Hebrew, besides the signification On or Heliopolis, about twenty miles 'distant from Memphis of bowing the knee, which it very well bears, by dividing it into the metropolis of the
kingdom : 'nor can we suppose that Joseph two words, make it import a tender father, and suppose that would ever have married his master's daughter, lest she should Joseph might very properly be called a father in point of his have proved not unlike her mother, for whose incontinence he consummate wisdom, and young or tender in regard to his had so severely smarted.- Universal History, b. 1. c. 7.
A. M. 276. A. C. 1729; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3539. A. C. 1872. GEN. CH. xxxvil. TO THE END. application, that before the seven years of plenty were some one of them should be dispatched to bring him, expired, he had amassed together an immense quantity whilst the rest were kept in custody; otherwise he should of corn, enough to supply both Egypt and the neigh- look upon them (and there he spake with a seeming bouring countries; so that when the years of famine came earnestness) as no other than spies and enemies ; and so on, and the people applied themselves to Pharaoh, he ordered them all to prison, until they should come to a remitted them to Joseph, who, when he saw it fit, opened resolution. his stores, and sold provision to all that came.
After three days' confinement, however, he sent for In the second year of the famine, Jacob, who was not them again, and then, with a milder air, told them that as exempt from the common calamity, hearing that there himself feared God, and was willing to act justly by them, was corn to be bought in Egypt, sent ten of his sons he was loath that their family should want provision, or thither to buy some, who, upon their arrival, were directed that they themselves should suffer, if innocent ; he thereto apply to Joseph for an order, and as soon as they fore propounded this expedient to them :-“ That one saw him, prostrated themselves before him, and begged of them should be confined, as an hostage for the rest, that they might be supplied with corn.
while they returned with corn for the family, and that Joseph, at first sight, knew his brethren, but being when they came again, and brought their youngest minded to terrify them a little, would not, as yet, dis- brother with them, the confined should be released, and cover hiinself to them; and therefore, choosing to speak all of them reputed honest men.” by an interpreter, with a severe look and angry tone, For persons in their circumstances there was no exposhe asked them whence they came, and upon their answer-tulating with one who had them at his mercy; and thereing from the land of Canaan, he charged them with fore they consented to do whatever he required. But in being spies who were come to discover the weakness of the interpreter's absence, they supposing that no one the country. To which they replying, that they came else understood their language, began to bewail their with no other intent, than purely to buy corn for their unrelenting cruelty to poor Joseph, and to condemn numerous family, being all the sons of one man, who themselves severely for it; while Reuben, who was not once indeed had twelve, but that the youngest was left at so culpable in the matter, put them in mind, that all this home, and the next to him dead : he immediately catched mischief might have been prevented, had they listened to at their words, and put their honesty upon this probation : his counsel, and not acted so inhumanly to their innocent - That since, as they said, they had a younger brother, brother, for whose sake, it was no more than what they
might expect, that vengeance at one time or other would a These words, “Ye are spies,' are not to be looked upon as a certainly overtake them. lie, because they are not spoken by way of affirmation, but of pro- Their discourse, in short, was so very dolorous and bation only, in the rnanner that judges speak, when they examine affecting, that Joseph could no longer contain himself, suspected persons, or inquire into a crime, of which men are accused; and have therefore the force of an interrogation, · Are and was therefore forced to withdraw a little to give bis ye not spies?' or I must take you to be such, until you prove the tears vent, and then coming in again, commanded c contrary. This, though it was but a pretensive charge of Joseph, Simeon to be bound and sent to prison : but setting the had yet the better colour, because Egypt was defenceless and rest at liberty, he ordered the officer who distributed the liable to incursions only on that side from whence his brethren came ; for what with the interposition
of large deserts, and shallow corn to supply them with what they wanted, and at the seas, it was pretty well secured on all other quarters. (Le Clerc's same time, as a fresh matter for their surprise, d to put and Patrick's Commentaries in locum.)– To conceive the full force each man's money into the mouth of his sack. His orders and heinousness of this charge, says Dr Hales, it is necessary to state briefly the situation of Egypt at the time. In the reign of were accordingly obeyed ; and therefore, when they came Timaus, or Thamuz, about B. C. 2159, Egypt had been invaded to bait, and to give their beasts provender, e they were and subdued by a tribe of Cushite shepherds, from Arabia, who cruelly enslaved the whole country, under a dynasty of six kings, c It may be supposed, perhaps, that because Reuben was the until
, at length, the native princes, weary of their tyranny, eldest, he, upon this occasion, had been the properest hostage; rebelled, and after a long war of thirty years, shook off the yoke, but Reuben, we may observe, had showed himself averse to those and expelled the shepherds to Palestine, where they became the lengths of wickedness and inhumanity, in which most of the Philistines, (from Pallesthan, “ the shepherd land,” in the San- other brothers were agreed, against Joseph. Reuben, in short, serit, or primitive Syriac,) about B. C. 1899, or twenty-seven resolved to save him; and as Judah was inclined to favour him, years before Joseph's administration. But the memory of their had Simeon joined with them, their authority might have pretyranny was still fresh in the minds of the Egyptians, so that vailed for his deliverance; but Simeon was the person who was any shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians,' Gen. xlvi. most exasperated against him. He was the eldest of those who 34; and they could not endure to eat bread with the Hebrews,' had proposed to murder him, and was therefore a fit proxy for because they were shepherds, and came from the neighbourhood the rest; the man, as the Hebrews say, who put Joseph in the of Palestine. And they were greatly apprehensive, that the pit, and was now very justly to be served in his kind: though Philistines, who were a warlike people, might attempt to regain they who tell us this, have a tradition, that as soon as his broa footing in Egypt, weakened as it had been by so long a war; thers were gone, Joseph had him unbound, and ordered him and when the land of Goshen, which had been their principal what provisions and conveniences he pleased, during his consettlement, the best pasture land in Egypt, was now in a great finement.- Patrick's Commentary, and Bibliotheca Biblica in measure waste. (Hales' Analysis, vol. 2. p. 141, second edition.) locum. This circumstance most probably, at a subsequent period, gave d This Joseph might do, without defrauding Pharaoh: for he rise to the dread of the Hebrews becoming more powerful than might either supply them out of that stock of provisions which them, and again enslaving them.-ED.
belonged properly to himself; or if the provisions were the king's, 6 By this they suggested the impossibility of their being spies, he might pay for them out of his own purse. Nor is there any since no man, in his wits, would send so many, and all his own occasion to conceive, that a person so entirely in favour and consous, upon so dangerous and capital an enterprise ; nor was it fidence with his prince as Joseph was, had his hands tied up probable that one man could have a design upon Egypt, but all from disposing, at his own discretion and pleasure, of so small the great men in Canaan must have joined in it, and then they a boon as this to his friends, for their relief and comfort.would have sent men of different families, and not all of one only. Musculus. -Patrick's Commentary.
e If it should be made a question, why Joseph's brethren made
A. M. 2976. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3639. A. C. 1872. GEN, CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. not a little frightened to find their money returned ; nor their going again, and presses him to consent, with failed they to make all the dismal reflections hereupon this solemn promise, that at the hazard of his own life, that their fears could suggest, concluding that the he would take care and return him safe : "0f my haughty viceroy had done this, that he might have a hand shalt thou require him,' says he ; “if I bring him pretence to make them his slaves at their next coming not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear down.
the blame for ever.' As soon as they were got home, they acquainted their But it was not so much his son's importunity, as the father with all these adventures ; they told him the treat- necessity of affairs, which induced Jacob to comply; and ment they had received from the king's prime minister, therefore, perceiving that there was now no remedy, he and how he suspected them of being spies, of which they delivered up Benjamin ; but before they departed, inhad no way to clear themselves, but by leaving Simeon structed them what to do, namely, to take a double bound in prison, as a pledge, till they should bring quantity of money with them, for fear that there was Benjamin, to show that what they told him of their family some mistake made in the other that was returned, and was true. These were sad tidings, indeed, and what some such presents as the country afforded, and what made their poor afflicted father break out into this they imagined would be most acceptable to the viceroy: melancholy complaint :-" That one way or other, him and so having entreated Heaven for their success, he they had deprived of his children; that Joseph was dead, sent them away, with an aching heart, but a resolved Simeon was left in Egypt, and now they were going to acquiescence in God's good providence, let the event be take Benjamin from him likewise, which were things too what it would. heavy for him to bear."
As soon as they arrived at Egypt, they went directly In vain it was for Reuben, in order to prevail with his to the king's granaries, and presented themselves before father to comply, to offer, as he did, that if he did not Joseph, who seeing their brother Benjamin with them, return him safe, he might take his two sons, and kill them gave orders to his steward to conduct them to his house, if he pleased : the death of a grandson was no compen- where he designed they should dine that day. Here sation for the loss of a child; and therefore, instead of again they began to fear, lest this might be a contrivance assuaging, this did but augment his grief, and make him against them upon account of the money which was absolutely resolve not to trust Benjamin with them: for returned in their sacks; and therefore, before they “his brother is dead," says he, “and he is left alone ; if entered the house, they acquainted the steward with the any mischief should befall him by the way, then will ye whole affair, and to demonstrate their honesty, told him, bring my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave." In such debates as these they spent the time, till the
I Gen, xliii. 9. famine every day increasing, and their stock of provision we will not go down,' Gen. xliii. 4, 5; which, at first view, seem being well nigh gone, necessity put them in the thoughts to have an air of undutifulness in them, but upon a nearer inspecof going down again into Egypt. This their father like- tion, will admit of this apology, namely, that this was not the wise reminded them of, but without taking any notice of with them into Egypt. Reuben had once before offered his two
first proposal made to Jacob by his sons, to have Benjamin go their obligation to the viceroy to bring their younger sons for pledges, and received a repulse. Upon Jacob's renewing brother with them ; which, when Judah suggested to him, his orders therefore for them to go, Judah only had courage to and set before him withal the utter impossibility of their engage in this fresh remonstrance. He reminds his father, first of going into Egypt, without his complying with that con- that without Benjamin, they should not see his face' then be
the solemnity and earnestness with which Joseph had pretended, dition, he began to complain again, that he thought him- ofers to go very willingly in obedience to his father's command, self hardly used in their telling the viceroy any thing of but desires to insist upon the condition of Benjamin's going the state of his family, or that they had another brother; For the words, compared with those of Gen. xliv. 26, do plainly which Judah endeavoured to excuse, by assuring his denote as much, We will not go down,' that is, it is impossible, father, that what was said upon that head, proceeded impracticable, unallowable for us to go. For the future tense
, from the simplicity of their hearts, and in answer to the according to the Hebrew idiom, will bear this signification, and interrogatories which the viceroy put to them, without consequently will acquit Judah from all suspicion of rebellion or ever dreaming that he intended to make such cruel
undutifulness towards his father.- Bibliotheca Billica, on Geti.
Annotation 45. handle of it; and then perceiving his father to waver a 6 The present which Jacob ordered his sons to carry down to little in his resolution, a he reiterates the necessity of Joseph is thus particularized in our translation; "a little balm,
a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts and almonds,' Gen.
xliii. 11. But there is reason to suspect, that some of these are use of their own stocks, and especially in a time of so great not the real things which the original words intend. Balm, scarcity, in a public inn ? the answer is obvious.--That the inns, indeed, which we may suppose was that of Gilead, was of great or resting-places in those parts of the world, neither were, nor price all the world over, and a small quantity of it was a present are as yet, such as we meet with in England, and some other worth acceptance; but unless the honey in Canaan was better parts of Europe. They afforded no accommodation of any kind, than ordinary, there doubtless was no want of it in Egypt : and but barely house-room. The passengers who travelled in those therefore, it is much more likely that this part of the present countries, carried most, if not all of their provisions with them; consisted of dates, since the Hebrew expresses both by the same nor did they make any other use of these public houses, but only name; and in Judea, especially about Jericho, as both Josephus to repose themselves in at the end of their stages. (Musculus.) and Pliny tell us, there was a great plenty of them. The word - The khan or caravansara is seldom more than four bare walls, nekoth, which is rendered spices, should rather signify stores, open at top, and perfectly exposed ; if there are cells, nothing is which is an aromatic gum put into all precious spicy ointments. found but bare walls, dust, and sometimes scorpions, the only And the word loth, which is translated myrrh, would come nearer refreshment being the water generally found in the vicinity; nor the original if it were called laudanum. Botnim, which we read are even these empty mansions always to be met with.
nuts, are what we call pistachios, which were highly esteemed a In the text, the words wherein Judah delivers himself to by the ancients as a delicious food; and with these almonds his father, are these, — If thou wilt send our brother with us, we might not improperly be joined together.—Universal History, will go down and buy thee food; but if thou wilt not send him, I and Patrick's Commentary.