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The patriarchal history is continued throughout this Chapter. The pressing claims of hunger compel Jacob, however reluctantly, to send his children again into Egypt for more food: and Benjamin must go with them: their arrival is particularly noticed, and the reception which Joseph gave them: he is apparently much kinder to them than before; they are brought into his house, which though the idea at first alarmed them, yet as Simeon is brought, out to them, and they are told that Joseph means to entertain them at his table, their fears subside, and they begin to be merry. Genesis 43:1
Very sore are bodily wants unsatisfied. But what are these to soul distresses? See Psalms 88:0 .
How sweet is that scripture, John 6:27 ?
If the Reader be taught of GOD the HOLY GHOST to read this spiritually, he wilt perceive that the same is said respecting JESUS. We cannot see the face of GOD except that JESUS be with us. John 14:6 .
I detain the Reader to remark the character here assumed by Judah as a surety, in which he was an eminent type of JESUS. It was JESUS, who from everlasting undertook to answer for his people. And in this great office he hath fulfilled all righteousness, and expired all offences and is new pledged, (as Judah said here), to bring all his people and set them before his father. Sweetly is it said of him that he restored that which he took not away. Psalms 69:4 .
2 Samuel 3:13 .
Observe, though Canaan wanted corn, yet it abounded with honey. Reader! there are many parts of the earth which are blessed with the gifts of common providence: but what are these without the special gifts of grace. Bread is the staff of life. And what bread is to the body such is JESUS to the soul. LORD, evermore give me this bread! John 6:33-35 .
Jacob's first and last, and grand resource was this. He had found the sweet effects of it before: Genesis 32:9-12 with Genesis 33:4 .
Let the Reader, if he be a parent, think what Jacob felt at the departure of his children.
What a change! in their last visit, Joseph spake roughly to them: now they are to dine with him. Ecclesiastes 7:14 .
Is there not a spiritual illustration here! Are not awakened souls alarmed when first brought into JESUS'S house and presence? Read that scripture: Revelation 1:17 .
Do not timid souls flee unto the ministers and stewards of GOD'S mysteries in their distresses, and open their cases to them? James 5:16 .
Observe what an Egyptian may learn by living in an Hebrew's family!
Is not this expected interview between Joseph and his brethren, similar to that which we are looking forward to between GOD and ourselves? But as the presence of Benjamin with them ensured their gracious reception, so if JESUS be with us we have no cause to fear ours.
Here, including their father as Joseph's servant, and all the eleven brethren being present fulfilled the dream: see Genesis 37:9-10 .
The abomination of the Egyptians most probably was, that the Hebrews scrupled not to eat of those things which the Egyptians worshipped. 2 Kings 23:13 .
Jeremiah 31:20 ; Hosea 11:8 .
John 2:10 .
Reader! let you and I turn from the table of Joseph amidst his brethren, while they are thus merry and happy with him, to consider the spiritual interest which we have in these things.
The world which we dwell in, like that of Canaan to the Patriarch's family, is a world of famine in bread for the soul. And if you know what spiritual hunger means, you will know also that this heavenly corn for ourselves and our household, can nowhere else be had but of the lord of the country, even from the LORD JESUS; of whom Joseph was the type. Shall we not arise and go to him? We will not, like Jacob's sons, take a present in our hand, for he is too rich to be benefited by our favors: and his blessings are too great to come within the price of purchase. But like Jacob, let us pray that GOD Almighty may give us mercy before the man, even the GOD-MAN CHRIST JESUS.
Dearest LORD, behold us now before thee! Oh! say to thy stewards the ministers of thy table as Joseph did to his: bring these men home and make ready, for these men shall dine with me at noon. And oh! the wonderful condescension, JESUS indeed receiveth sinners and eateth with them. We see thy face. We behold thy glory. We hear thy voice. We rejoice and are merry like the brethren of Joseph, while our brother JESUS saith, Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. And dearest Redeemer! we would pray do thou make our meeting gracious in drawing nigh to us by thy HOLY SPIRIT, in opening to our minds the Holy Scriptures, and in making thyself known to us in breaking of bread and in prayer. Then shall we fully understand and have our souls refreshed indeed in the experience, that thy flesh is meat indeed, and thy blood drink indeed.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 43". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17