Genesis Chapter 45 Continued
Genesis 45:17 “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;”
“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph”: Who, it is highly probable, waited upon Pharaoh to acquaint him with the coming of his brethren. For it cannot be imagined that Pharaoh should say what follows upon a bare report, without having a further account of things from Joseph.
Or that he would neglect giving it, but take the first opportunity to inform him, whereupon he gave him the following order.
“Say unto thy brethren, this do ye”: Give them directions and instructions to do as follows.
“Lade your beasts”: With provisions for the present necessity of their father’s household in Canaan, and for their journey back to Egypt.
“And go, get you into the land of Canaan”: With all the haste they could make.
Genesis 45:18 “And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.”
“And take your father, and your households”: Or families, for they were all married persons, and had children, and no doubt servants also: all were to be brought with them.
“And come unto me”: Into his kingdom, to his metropolis, and to his palace, and into his presence.
“And I will give you the good of the land of Egypt”: The best things which it affords, and the best and most fruitful part of it, as he afterwards did, which was the land of Goshen.
“And ye shall eat the fat of the land”: The choicest fruits of the earth, such as were produced in fields and gardens. Meaning that they should have the finest of the wheat for themselves, and the fattest pastures for their flocks.
Joseph was now hurriedly sending his brothers to get his father, Jacob, and all the family. He told them he would take care of their needs.
Isn’t that just what Jesus is telling us? He is building us a mansion. There will be a river of clear water and a tree that gives off fruit each month of the year. Jesus will see to our every need. Can you see the type and shadow here in that Joseph was promising his brethren and what Jesus promises His? The time is urgent for the Christian, as well. Time is running out.
Genesis 45:19 “Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.”
“Now thou art commanded, this do ye”: Had his orders from Pharaoh; had full power and authority to do the above things, and what follows.
The sense Joseph Kimchi gives of this clause is, that Joseph was ordered by Pharaoh not to let any wagons go out of Egypt with corn, lest the Egyptians should want. But now Pharaoh said to him, though thou wert thus ordered, yet bid thy brethren to do as follows.
“Take you wagons out of the land of Egypt”: And lade them with corn, as the same writer observes; the Targum of Jonathan adds, which were drawn by oxen.
“For your little ones, and for your wives”: The wagons were to carry the women and children in when they returned.
“And bring your father, and come”: In one of the carriages or in what way was most agreeable to him in his old age.
Genesis 45:20 “Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt [is] yours.”
“Also regard not your stuff”: Or “your vessels”, utensils and household goods. He would not have them to be concerned if they could not bring all their goods with them.
But were obliged to leave some behind, and which, because of the distance of the way and difficulty of the road, lying through sandy deserts, could not well be brought, since there was enough to be had in the land of Egypt.
Therefore, as it may be rendered, “let not your eye spare”, or “pity”: do not be grieved at it, or say it is a pity to leave these good things behind.
“For the good of all the land of Egypt is yours”: Whatever good things were in it, whether for food or use for themselves, their houses, or their flocks, all were at their service, and they were welcome to them; or the best or most fruitful part of the country was designed for them, and would be given to them, or was at their option.
Here, they were told to carry wagons from Egypt to bring their families back in. He was, also, telling them not to use their material things in Canaan as an excuse to stop them from coming. The things prepared for them in Egypt, a place of refuge, was much better. Just leave all that behind, and begin a new life here.
Genesis 45:21 “And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.”
“And the children of Israel did so”: As Pharaoh commanded, and Joseph from him directed them to do.
“And Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh”: And beasts, either horses or oxen to draw them. And these not empty, though the principal use of them was to fetch his father and his family, and their goods.
“And gave them provision for the way”: Both going and returning, as much as would suffice for both.
This was fully approved by Pharaoh. Jesus will come and get us when God the Father says it is time. Jesus will remain in the clouds in the air, and we must go to him. The shadows of things to come are all throughout this lesson.
Genesis 45:22 “To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred [pieces] of silver, and five changes of raiment.”
“To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment”: Rich apparel, two suits of clothes, to shift and change upon occasion, such as Homer calls, “changeable garments”.
Those he gave to every one of his brethren, partly that they might have something to show to their father and to their wives, which would cause them to give credit to the report they should give of Joseph, and his great prosperity.
And partly that they might, upon their return, be provided with suitable apparel to appear before Pharaoh, and chiefly this was intended to show his great respect and affection for them, and reconciliation to them.
“But to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver”: Or shekels, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, which amounted to between thirty and forty pounds of our money.
“Five changes of raiment”: Because of his greater love and affection for him.
We are told over and over not to show partiality, but throughout the Bible, there were favorites. Joseph showed so much favoritism, because he was his own brother. They had the same mother and the same father. It is extremely difficult not to show partiality to your own flesh and blood.
Jesus said even sinners knew how to give good gifts to their own children. This change of clothes, here, has a shadow, also. When we leave this earth, we will put on our white robes of righteousness, furnished for us by Jesus. Not our righteousness, but His.
Genesis 45:23 “And to his father he sent after this [manner]; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.”
“And to his father he sent after this manner”: Or “according to” this; either in like manner, as he gave his brethren change of raiment, etc., so he sent the like to him.
As Aben Ezra and Ben Melech interpret it, referring it to what goes before; or rather as Jarchi, according to this account or number, even which follows. Namely:
“Ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt”: The best things the land afforded; the Targum of Jonathan says with wine, but that Egypt did not abound with; and so Jarchi, out of the Talmud, observes, that it was old wine that was sent, such as is agreeable to ancient men.
“And ten she asses laden with corn”: For bread, next mentioned, and so distinguished from it.
“And bread”: Readymade and baked.
“And meat for his father by the way”: Food and fruit of various sorts. Aben Ezra reckons many, peas, beans, lentils, millet, fetches, figs, currants, and dates.
Joseph loved his father very much. You can easily see, this, by the things he sent to help his father make this journey.
Genesis 45:24 “So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.”
“So he sent his brethren away, and they departed”: From Egypt to Canaan with the wagons, asses, and rich presents.
“And he said unto them, see that ye fall not out by the way”: The Targum of Jonathan adds, about the affair of selling me. Which he had reason to fear they would, from what they, and particularly Reuben, had said in his presence (Genesis 42:21).
He was concerned this would be the subject of their discourse by the way, and that they would be blaming one another about it, and so fall into contentions and quarrels. That one would say it was owing to the reports of such a one concerning him, that they entertained hatred against him.
That it was such a one that advised to kill him, and such one that stripped him of his clothes, and such one that put him into the pit, and that was the cause of his being sold.
And thus, shifting of things from one to another, and aggravating each other’s concern in this matter, they might stir up and provoke one another to wrath and anger.
As the word used signifies, which might have a bad issue. To prevent which Joseph gives them this kind and good advice. And especially there was the more reason to attend to it, since he was reconciled unto them, and was desirous the whole should be buried in oblivion.
A needed admonition because they would have so much sin to think about as they readied their confession to their father.
Here, he was saying make your path strait. Do not let things of this world make you stray.
Genesis 45:25 “And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,”
“And they went up out of Egypt”: That lying lower than the land of Canaan.
“And came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father”: They found him alive and well.
You can imagine the joy of the father when he saw them coming? His greatest fears had not come to pass. They were home safely. Benjamin and Simeon were both with them unharmed. Even at a glance, he could see all the food stuff they were bringing.
Genesis 45:26 “And told him, saying, Joseph [is] yet alive, and he [is] governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.”
“And told him”: What had happened to them in Egypt.
“Saying, Joseph is yet alive”: Who was thought by him and them to have been dead long ago.
“And he is governor over all the land of Egypt”: Deputy governor, and had such power and authority that nothing was done without his order. The executive power or administration of government was put into his hands, and all the officers of the kingdom were under him, he was next to Pharaoh.
“And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not”: It was too great and too good news to be true; though it was desirable, it was unexpected. It amazed him, he knew not what to think, or say or believe about it. There was such a conflict of the passions in him, that he could not compose himself, or reason with himself about it.
Like his sons (verse 3), Jacob was shocked by the totally unexpected good news. Even though the record is silent on the matter, this was the appropriate occasion for the sons to confess their crime to their father.
And what might serve the more to hinder his belief of it was, that this report of theirs was contrary to what they themselves had before related of his death. And very likely upon the mention of the thing he fell into a swoon, and was not himself for a while. When he came to himself, they went on with their account.
Jacob was shocked at the news that Joseph was not dead. He was alive and had been made governor of all Egypt. Their father could not believe it. It has been twenty two years since he had seen or heard of Joseph. He had thought him dead for many years. How can this be true?
It was almost too much for Jacob. Good news can shock you sometimes, almost as much as bad news. How would the same sons who lied to him before, be able to convince their father that Joseph is alive?
Genesis 45:27 “And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:”
“And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them”: Not concerning their selling of him and his forgiveness of them, and reconciliation to them, which perhaps Jacob never heard of to his dying day, since he makes no mention of it.
Nor hints at it in his dying words to them; but of his great advancement in the court of Pharaoh, and how desirous he was to have his father and family with him, and provide for them, since there were five years of famine yet to come.
“And when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him”: And his son’s wives and children, down to Egypt in; and which were so grand and magnificent, that he was easily persuaded could never have been provided by his sons, if what they had said concerning Joseph was not true.
“The spirit of Jacob their father revived”: Not the Holy Spirit, or spirit of prophecy, as the Targums, which the Jews say departed from him, and had not been with him since the loss of Joseph, but now returned. But his own natural spirit, he became lively and cheerful, giving credit to the report of his sons.
Jacob had been depressed for twenty two years. The younger son, Benjamin, of his precious Rachel, had helped, but Joseph had been his favorite for so many years.
They, also, told him that Joseph felt this had been planned by God Almighty to bring them to Egypt.
They told of Joseph’s stay in Potiphar’s house, how he was cast into the dungeon and brought out when the butler told Pharaoh about Joseph’s interpretations of his dream. They told of Pharaoh’s dreams, and how Joseph interpreted them. He was given the high Office of the governor of Egypt.
Joseph was in charge of the food during the famine. The one thing that finally convinced Jacob was the abundance of food on the wagons. Joseph had to be the one who sent it.
Genesis 45:28 “And Israel said, [It is] enough; Joseph my son [is] yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”
“And Israel said, it is enough, Joseph my son is yet alive”: Or it is “much” or “great”; he had much joy, as the Targums; this was the greatest blessing of all, and more to him than all the glory and splendor that Joseph was in.
That he was alive, that was enough for Jacob, which gave him content and pleasure. Not so much the news of his grandeur in Egypt, as of his being in the land of the living.
“I will go and see him before I die”: Though his age was great, the journey long and difficult, so great was his desire of seeing Joseph that he determines at once upon going, expecting death shortly.
No doubt but this was said in submission to the will of God, and in seeking him by prayer and supplication, and in the exercise of faith, believing that God would grant him his desire, than which nothing in life could be more desirable to him, and he only wished to live to enjoy this favor.
In Joseph’s making himself known unto his brethren, he was a type of Christ, who manifests himself to his people alone, and as he does not unto the world, saying unto them, that he is Jesus the Savior, their friend and brother, and whom they crucified, whose sins were the cause of his sufferings.
And yet encourages them to draw nigh unto him with a humble and holy boldness, giving them abundant reason to believe that he will receive them kindly, seeing that all that were done to him were by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, and for their good, even for their eternal salvation.
And that they might not perish, but have everlasting life; and to whom he now gives change of raiment, riches and honor, yea, durable riches and righteousness. And declares it to be his will, that where he is, they may be also, and behold his glory.
And this is sufficient to engage them to reckon all their worldly enjoyments as mere stuff, contemptible things in comparison of the good and glories of another world they are hastening to. Where there will be fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore; and therefore, should not fall out by the way, as they too often do.
The only thing I can compare this to our day, would be a son missing in action from twenty nine years ago, and suddenly and unexpectedly be found. What a joy. Like Jacob, we would want to see this son before we die.
Genesis Chapter 45 Continued Questions
- Who told Joseph to send for his family?
- Compare Joseph preparing for the needs of his family with Jesus?
- What were they to carry their goods in?
- What did Joseph tell them to do about their material things in Canaan?
- What is Egypt known as, besides the world?
- Who was giving Joseph orders?
- When will Jesus come to get us?
- What did Joseph give each of his brothers?
- What did he give Benjamin?
- What shadow is in this?
- What was sent to Jacob?
- What two things did Joseph mean when he said, “See that ye fall not out by the way”.
- Jacob was very happy when he saw his two sons _______________and ___________.
- What joyous news did these sons bring Jacob?
- What position did Joseph hold in Egypt?
- How many years had it been since Jacob saw Joseph?
- What kind of news can shock equally?
- What lifted the depression from Jacob?
- Who planned all these happenings?
- What really convinced Jacob that the news about Joseph is true?
- When would Jacob go?
- What can we compare this to?