For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I was stolen.—Joseph here speaks only generally, as his purpose was to arouse the sympathy of the Egyptian by making him know that he was free born, and reduced to slavery by fraud. It would have done harm rather than good to have said that his sale was owing to family feuds; and, moreover, noble-minded men do not willingly reveal that which is to the discredit of their relatives.
Land of the Hebrews.—Jacob and his race had settled possessions in Canaan at Hebron, Shechem, Beer-sheba, &c. The term Hebrew, moreover, was an old one; for in the ancient record of the invasion of Palestine by Chedorlaomer, we saw that Abram was described as “the Hebrew” (Genesis 14:13). But Joseph did not mean that the land of Canaan belonged to them, but that he was stolen from the settlements of these “immigrants,” and from the land wherein they sojourned.I was stolen away, taken away by force and fraud, without my own or father’s consent, out of the land of Canaan, which he might call the land of the Hebrews, either because they now dwelt in it, or by way of protestation of their right and claim to it by God’s gift. Or rather thus, out of that part of Canaan where the Hebrews dwell; for the word land is not only spoken of whole countries, as of the whole land of Canaan, but of any parts or parcels thereof, as Genesis 13:6 22:2 23:15 34:1. Observe, that Joseph doth not accuse either his brethren or his mistress, but only asserts his own innocency, which was necessary for his deliverance.
and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon; since he had been in the land of Egypt, he had not been guilty of any criminal action wherefore he should be put into a prison, and especially into a dungeon, a dark and filthy place under ground, as dungeons usually were, and into which Joseph was put when first in confinement, though since took out of it: he makes no mention of the wickedness of his mistress, and of her false accusation of him, nor of the injustice of his master in putting him into prison without hearing him; only asserts his own innocence, which was necessary to recommend himself to the butler, that he might not think he was some loose fellow that was committed to prison for some capital crime, and so it would have, been a disgrace to him to have spoken for him.For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. stolen away] i.e. “kidnapped”: see Genesis 37:28. According to E Joseph was not sold by his brethren, but stolen by the Midianites.
the land of the Hebrews] For the use of the word “Hebrew,” cf. Genesis 14:13, Genesis 39:14 and Genesis 41:12. It was the designation in use by foreigners for “the dwellers in Palestine.” In Joseph’s mouth the phrase is an anachronism, even if it means the whole region in which the Hebrew races of Israel, Ishmael, Moab, Ammon, and Edom, were establishing themselves. Whether “the Hebrews” are to be identified with the Ḥabiri of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, is a disputed question. But “the land of the Hebrews” is not a Hebrew phrase that would naturally be used of Canaan before it had been conquered and occupied by the tribes of Israel. See Appendix D, ii., iii. on the Ḥabiri and the ‘Apuriu.
and here also … the dungeon] This clause is very probably introduced by the Compiler in order to harmonize the present chapter with the account of Joseph’s position in Genesis 39:20-23. LXX εἰς τὸν λάκκον τοῦτον, Lat. in lacum.
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