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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Genesis 45

 

 

Verse 1

GENESIS CHAPTER 45

Joseph no longer able to refrain, discovers himself to his brethren, and weeps; asks concerning his father: they are troubled at his presence, Genesis 45:1-3. He forbids their grief for their sin, and comforts them with God’s gracious design and providence in it, Genesis 45:4-8. He hastens them to go and acquaint their father, and bring him to Egypt; his message to his father, Genesis 45:9-13. His kindness to Benjamin and his brethren, Genesis 45:14,15. Pharaoh is glad, and invites them down to Egypt, Genesis 45:16-20. Joseph dismisses them with gifts and presents to his father; exhorting them not to fall out by the way, Genesis 45:21-24. Coming home they relate all to their father, who at last believes them, rejoicing that he should see his son before he died, Genesis 45:25-28.

Cause every man to go out from me; remove all the Egyptians out of my presence and chamber. Which he did, partly that he might maintain the honour of his place, and not make himself cheap and contemptible to the Egyptians, by his excessive tears and passions, and by his free, and familiar, and affectionate converse with his brethren; and partly to preserve the reputation of his brethren, by concealing their fault from the Egyptians.


Verse 2

His tears and voice which had been hitherto kept in by main force, now breaking forth with greater violence.

The Egyptians, and the house of Pharaoh; some who were near, with their own ears, and others by report.


Verse 3

He repeats his former question, Genesis 43:27, either because he questioned the truth of their former relation, or would be further satisfied in it, it being usual with men to ask over and over again what they long to know; or because he now desired a more particular relation of his father’s condition, and how he did bear up under all his calamities.

They were troubled at his presence, from a sudden and deep sense of their horrid guilt, and their just fear of some dreadful punishment.


Verse 4

Come near to me; be not afraid of me, but come nearer to me with cheerfulness and confidence, that you may be assured that I am he, and that we may more freely and privately discourse together, so as none others may hear. It is probable that Joseph sat in state, and that they hitherto kept a due distance from him.

Sold into Egypt, i.e. sold unto them that brought me into Egypt, and sold me there: see Genesis 37:28 39:1. So they sold him into Egypt occasionally and eventually.


Verse 5

1706 Be not grieved, to wit, immoderately, and for the injury which you did to me, or for the danger which you have brought upon yourselves. Otherwise he doth not dissuade them from a godly sorrow for their offence against God, for the procurement of which he dcsigned and used that strange and rough carriage towards them.

Nor angry with yourselves; neither excessively torment yourselves with the remembrance of the fact, neither break forth into contentions and wrath, and upbraidings of one another; for God by his wise, powerful, and gracious providence overruled your evil intentions to a happy end,

to preserve life; not only your lives, for the expression is here indefinite and general, but the lives of all the people in this and the neighbouring countries; which though it doth not lessen your sin, yet ought to qualify your sorrow.


Verse 6

Neither sowing nor reaping, except in a few places near Nilus, because the people could not spare seed-corn, and would not lose it; understanding from Joseph that their cost and labour would be lost, and that the famine would be of long continuance.


Verse 7

That you and your children might be sustained and preserved in this time of famine, and afterwards abundantly multiplied, as God hath promised.

By a great deliverance, or, for a great remnant, or escaping, i.e. that you who are now but a handful, escaping this danger, may grow into a vast multitude. The word evasion, or escaping, is here put for the persons that do escape, as it is 2 Chronicles 30:6 Isaiah 10:20; and as captivity is oft put for the captives, as it is Numbers 21:1 Deuteronomy 21:10. And so what was said in the former clause is repeated in this with all emphatical addition.


Verse 8

That I came to this place, and pitch of honour and power, is not to be imputed to your design, which was of another nature, but to God’s overruling providence, which ordered the circumstances of your action, so as I should be brought to this place and state. Compare Genesis 50:20.

A father to Pharaoh; to advise him, and to provide for him, as fathers do for their children, and to have the authority, respect, and power of a father with him.


Verse 10

Goshen, a part of Egypt bordering upon Canaan, well watered and fit for cattle, and therefore most proper for the Israelites, not only for present use, and to keep them at some distance from the inward parts of Egypt, and from the court, but also that they might have Canaan always in their eye and mind, and in God’s time might with least disadvantage march thither. Joseph promiseth this place, either because it was least inhabited, being in the borders of the land, or because he justly presumed upon the king’s favour, and knew that the growing famine would give him opportunity to dispose of the people as he pleased.


Verse 12

Because I speak to you not by an interpreter, as hitherto I have done, but immediately, and in the Hebrew language.


Verse 15

To wit, freely and familiarly, being encouraged by his kindness.


Verse 16

Because they all owed their lives unto Joseph, and his favour was now fresh and present, and therefore he had more influence upon them, and they more kindness for him.


Verse 18

The choicest fruits of the land.

Fat oft is put for the best of my sort, as Numbers 18:12,29 Deu 32:14 Psalms 63:5 147:14.


Verse 19

Besides that absolute power which I have given thee to dispose of all things as thou pleasest, I do particularly and especially command thee to do this thing.


Verse 20

Regard not your stuff; Heb. let not your eye pity or spare any part of your stuff, as loth to leave it behind you, or afraid to lose it. Sparing or pitying is an act of the mind, but it is ascribed to the eye here, as also Ezekiel 7:4,9 16:5; partly, because there it discovers itself by tears, or otherwise; and partly, because the sight of the eye doth oft affect the heart, and move pity.


Verse 22

Changes of raiment; new and handsome garments, which upon their coming into Pharaoh’s presence, and on other occasions, they might wear instead of those more old and homely ones, which they brought with them from Canaan. Compare Jude 14:12,19 2 Kings 5:5.


Verse 23

After this manner; Heb. according to this. What? Either what went before, changes of raiment, or what follows, ten asses, & c.

Or, contend, one with another, each vindicating himself, and laying the blame upon his brother.


Verse 24

Or contend one with another, each vindicating himself, and laying the blame upon his brother.


Verse 26

Jacob’s heart fainted, or, was weakened, or failed, he fell into a swoon, as it is ordinary, because of the greatness and suddenness of the news, and the conflict of contrary and violent passions, raised hereby; grief at the remembrance of his former loss, and excessive joy for Joseph’s recovery and felicity; hope that this might be true, and fear lest it should be but a fiction of theirs: any one of these passions are able to cause a fainting of the spirits, but much more when all meet together, especially in an aged person.

He believed them not; partly because of the greatness, and strangeness, and desirableness of the thing; compare Psalms 126:1; and partly because they were by this very relation convicted of one lie about Joseph, in saying that he was dead, and therefore might easily be thought guilty of another.


Verse 28

I desire no more, no greater happiness in this world, than to see him; which when I have done, I am willing to die.

 


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 45:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/genesis-45.html. 1685.

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