In this Chapter we behold the workings of GOD'S providence concerning Joseph and his household, more plainly opened to our view, and the great events leading to his own welfare, and the preservation of his Father's family, beginning to unfold themselves, as the leading cause, for which the LORD permitted his being sold as a dare, and carried down into Egypt. The ability which Joseph had displayed, in the interpretation of dreams, in the instance of the chief butler and chief baker, raised his reputation in the court of Pharaoh; king of Egypt; and a case soon after occurring, which the LORD in his providence had so ordered that Pharaoh himself should be exercised with a dream, which none of the wise men of his court could interpret: Joseph is sent for; he explains to Pharaoh the dream; the event is found to correspond; and in consequence, Joseph is advanced to the highest dignity in the kingdom, next to Pharaoh: Joseph's marriage, and children, are also noticed in this Chapter, together with the equity and wisdom of his administration under Pharaoh, which endears him to the Egyptians. Genesis 41:1
Observe the HOLY GHOST is particular in remarking the long delay of Joseph's deliverance from the prison. It was two full years after the chief butler's restoration. David observes upon it, Psalms 105:19. And how sweetly doth the apostle reason upon the same subject: Hebrews 10:36-39.
Magicians, so called from being considered wise men. But as the world by wisdom knew not GOD, nor ever will, so worldly wisdom will be always found to lead the heart from GOD rather than to GOD. Hence those magicians pretended to explain hidden things, interpret secrets and the like, by which they imposed upon the credulity of mankind. See Exodus 9:11; Exo_8:18-19; Daniel 2:1.
Sad excuse, but sweet are the fruits of patience to the faithful, Psalms 37:7; Lamentations 3:26.
1 Samuel 21:8; Psalms 105:20. How strange the effect on the mind of Joseph! Such the church experienced, Ps 126. Such every gracious soul experienceth. Zechariah 3:4.
Or, "when thou hearest a dream thou canst interpret it." Eng. Margin.
Reader! do not overlook Joseph's humble frame of mind in this answer. Neither forget that precious scripture, 1 Peter 5:5.
The river Nile waters the country, which supplies the want of rain. See Zechariah 14:18.
The repetition of a thing serves to confirm it. How sweetly do we find it to be so, respecting eternal things. Hebrews 6:17-18.
Reader! do not overlook our great spiritual Joseph through all this. While Pharaoh exclaims, with astonishment, in the view of the Spirit of GOD in Joseph, how ought we to admire and adore Him, who received not the Spirit of GOD by measure, but in whom dwelt all the fulness of the GODHEAD bodily? John 3:34; Colossians 2:9.
See Ecclesiastes 7:14.
How sweet are those words applied to, and spoken of, JESUS? John 15:5.
When the Church is adorned in the robes of the Redeemer's righteousness, then, like Joseph, how differently clad from the former wretchedness! Psalms 45:9-11.
Zaphnath-paaneah, a revealer of secrets. And is not JESUS a revealer of secrets! Is he not at the right hand of GOD, to teach us his FATHER's will, dispensing spiritual life and food to a famished world?
JESUS was about the same age when he entered upon his public ministry. See Luke 3:23.
Sweet thought suggested here, in the view of the perishing Egyptians going unto Joseph; to teach perishing sinners how to go unto JESUS. Hebrews 12:2.
Manasseh means forgetting.
Ephraim means fruitful.
Reader! two or three things in a way of Providence ought to affect your heart in reading this Chapter. See how safe their interests are, however long they may seem to be forgotten, whose concerns are in the divine hands! And how much therefrom, it ought to be the study of the faithful to attend to the workings of the LORD in all events of their life; convinced of this, that they who humbly watch and trust a merciful GOD, for the fulfillment of all his covenant promises, will never want a faithful GOD to watch over and take care of them.
But with those providential views only, let not the Reader close his meditation of this Chapter. A view of grace also is at hand. And if from Joseph's exaltation to the right hand of Pharaoh, our eyes are directed by the SPIRIT of GOD to the LORD JESUS at the right hand of power, into whose Almighty hands the sovereignty of grace is committed; here we shall see indeed, a true Zaphnath-paaneah: a wonderful counsellor! before whom all nations shall bow, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and whose dominion endureth throughout all ages. Oh! thou great provider for all thy people's need, incline our hearts by thy grace to come to thee for food. And forasmuch as there is none but thou who hast the words of eternal life, none so discreet and wise as thou art: be thou our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Thou shalt be our lord and governor, and according unto thy word so let our souls be ruled. Ever would we desire to bow the knee before thee; and may not only ours, but every tongue confess, that thou art JESUS CHRIST the LORD, to the glory of GOD the FATHER.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 41". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany