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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Genesis 42

Verses 1-24

Joseph's Brothers Bow Before Him

Jacob heard of the great supply of grain in Egypt. He sent the ten older brothers to buy grain to sustain them. As the grand vizier, Joseph had complete control over the food distribution. His brothers came before him and bowed, which was an exact fulfillment of his earlier dream ( Gen_42:1-6 ; Gen_37:5-8 ). It will be remembered they hated him for the dream, yet it was fulfilled.

Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him. He spoke roughly to them and accused them of being spies. They explained they were ten of twelve brothers born to one man. They said one was at home with their father and the other was no more. Joseph said the only way they could prove they were not spies was if one of them returned home and brought their younger brother to him.

After keeping them in prison three days, Joseph said he would keep only one of them in Egypt while the others returned to get their brother. The brothers felt trouble was coming to them for their mistreatment of Joseph. Joseph turned away so they could not see the tears that came to his eyes as he remembered the painful past. Simeon was taken and bound while the brothers watched ( Gen_42:7-24 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 42". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-42.html. 2014.