All the old characteristics of Jacob are manifest in this account of his proposed method of dealing with the governor of Egypt with whom his sons had had to do. If things were against him, he did not lose confidence in his own ability to manipulate them to his own advantage. He would send a present and so appease the man.
In this action Jacob unconsciously revealed himself. It was his perpetual method of attempting to deal with other men. Always he seems to have thought that the great end of all men was to gain something, and so he imagined that the Egyptian ruler might be bribed into complacency. It is often so that we reveal ourselves in our estimates of others.
The picture of Joseph here is full of beauty. In the sense of worldly power he was now a great man. His position was one of national and even international power and influence. Notwithstanding this, the springs of true life were not dried up. His emotional nature was still quick and active. This is another evidence that he was living in fellowship with God? In some senses the perils of powerful position are subtler and graver than those of slavery and prison. Too often advancement and the ease and luxurious circumstances attendant on it serve to deaden the finer emotions of the soul. Even in such circumstances, however, a man is safe if Jehovah is with him. The rush of emotion which drove Joseph into secrecy for weeping is as sure an evidence of his true greatness as the statesmanlike qualities which had served him in the administration of the affairs of Egypt.
the Second Week after Epiphany