XLIII Here the story of Joseph's brethren is carried on.
I. Their melancholy parting with their father Jacob, in Canaan, ver. 1-14.
II. Their meeting with Joseph in Egypt, ver. 15-34.
Verse 9. Judah's conscience had lately smitten him for what he had done a great while ago against Joseph; and as an evidence of the truth of his repentance, he is ready to undertake, as far as a man could do it, for Benjamin's security. He will not only not wrong him but will do all he can to protect him. This is such restitution as the case will admit: when he knew not how he could retrieve Joseph, he would make some amends for the irreparable injury he had done him, by doubling his care concerning Benjamin.
Verse 11. If it must be so now, take your brother - If no corn can be had but upon those terms, as good expose him to the perils of the journey, as suffer ourselves and families, and Benjamin among the rest, to perish for want of bread: it is no fault, but our wisdom and duty, to alter our resolutions when there is a good reason for so doing: constancy is a virtue, but obstinacy is not: it is God's prerogative to make unchangeable resolves.
Verse 12. Take doublemoney - As much again as they took the time before, upon supposition that the price of corn might be risen, or that, if it should be insisted upon, they might pay a ransom for Simeon. And he sent a present of such things as the land afforded, and were scarce in Egypt, the commodities that Canaan exported.
Verse 14. God almighty give you mercy before the man! - Jacob had formerly turned an angry brother into a kind one with a present and a prayer, and here he betakes himself to the same tried method. Those that would find mercy with men must seek it of God. He concludes all with this, if I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved - If I must part with them thus one after another, I acquiesce and say, The will of the Lord be done.
Verse 23. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks - Hereby he shews that he had no suspicion of dishonesty in them: for what we get by deceit we cannot say God gives it us. He silences their farther enquiry about it: ask not how it came thither, providence brought it you, and let that satisfy you. It appears by what he said, that by his master's instructions he was brought to the knowledge of the true God, the God of the Hebrews. He directs them to look up to God, and acknowledge his providence in the good bargain they had. We must own ourselves indebted to God as our God, and the God of our fathers, (a God in covenant with us and them) for all our successes and advantages, and the kindnesses of our friends; for every creature is that to us, and no more, than God makes it to be.
Verse 26. When they brought him the present, they bowed themselves before him, and again, when they gave him an account of their father's health, they made obeisance, and called him, Thy servant, our father - Thus were Joseph's dreams fulfilled more and more; and even the father, by the sons, bowed before him. Probably Jacob had directed them, if they had occasion to speak of him to the man, the Lord of the land, to call him his servant.
Verse 29. God be gracious unto thee, my son - Joseph's favour, though he was the Lord of the land, would do him little good, unless God were gracious to him.
Verse 33. He placed his brethren according to their seniority, as if he could certainly divine. Some think they placed themselves so according to their custom; but if so, I see not why such particular notice is taken of it, especially as a thing they marvelled at.
Verse 34. They drank and were merry - Their cares and fears were now over, and they eat their bread with joy, concluding they were now upon good terms with the man, the Lord of the land. If God accept our works, our present, we have reason to be chearful.