Darby's Bible Synopsis
Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
The following commentary covers Chapters 42 through 47.
At the same time another scene presents itself. His brethren, who had rejected him, forced by famine, are brought, by the path of repentance and humiliation, to own him at length in glory, whom they had once rejected when connected with themselves. Benjamin, type of the power of the Lord upon earth among the Jews, is united to him who, unknown, had the power of the throne among the Gentiles; that is, Christ unites these two characters. But this brings all the brethren into connection with Joseph. Finally, Jacob and his family are placed, as a people apart, in the most favoured country of all that was under the power of the throne of the great king. Nothing can be more touching than the conduct of Joseph towards his brethren; but I must leave these reflections to the hearts of my readers, placing them as far as my hearty desires can, under the precious influence of the Spirit of God. The rapid survey I have given, gives the type a clearer application than more detail would, and that is what is of the deepest interest here.
Only remark that here the repentance is immediately in connection with the rejection of Joseph; this is brought on the conscience of Joseph's brethren. So in the end will it be with Israel. It is not here in reference to the law that we shall have after Sinai but in typical connection with the Messiah Their consciences are fully convinced, and they go back to all the circumstances of his rejection. It is only gradually that Joseph reveals himself, and with many exercises of heart, which his dealings work in his brethren. In the end Judah is brought into prominence in connection with Benjamin. It is when Judah takes the sorrow of Israel to heart, in connection with Benjamin, and the loss of Joseph, and puts himself into it, that Joseph, in his glory, is revealed to them as their brother it is a lovely scene. The perfect grace of Joseph at the end is a wonderful picture of Christ's revelation of Himself (Genesis 45:4-8, et seq.).
It is touching to remark, when Jacob is presented to Pharaoh, though acknowledging that, compared with those of his fathers, his life had been a sad one, he can bless the monarch of all the country, himself a despised shepherd; and "without contradiction the less is blessed of the greater." The least and most faltering of God's children has the superiority, and is conscious of it, in presence of the most elevated men of the world.
The coming down to Egypt was according to God. so we have here Israel viewed as abiding God's time, even when oppressed, not as cast out and wandering as the effect of disobedience. Both are true. God, remark, appears to him as the God of Isaac his father, not of Abraham: his blessing comes under the risen Christ. What hangs on promises Israel has lost by the rejection of Christ; but God can appear for him in pure grace, in connection with a risen Saviour, and fulfil them according to His own faithfulness [See Note #1]; and so it is in figure here. Therefore is Israel blessed in spite of all, though long oppressed and a stranger. When he is in connection with Joseph, the scene changes; that is, in his connection, in the world, with a glorified Christ revealed to him there, he has the best of the land, which is brought into universal order and subjection as belonging to Pharaoh, whom Joseph represented, and whose authority he exercised over it. Beersheba, the border of Israel from henceforward he was a stranger is the place of this revelation of God. One cannot fail to see in the history of Joseph one of the most remarkable types of the Lord Jesus, and that, in many details of the ways of God in regard to the Jews and Gentiles.
This is the subject of Romans 11:28-33. In Romans 11:31 read "even so have these not now believed in your mercy that they also might be objects of mercy." They had forfeited the promises, and take them now on no higher ground than a Gentile; that is, pure mercy.
And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.
And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.
We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.
And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.
And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies:
Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither.
Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies.
And he put them all together into ward three days.
And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.
Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.
And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.
And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth.
And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?
And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying,
The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.
And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:
We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.
And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone:
And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.
And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.
And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.