Genesis 47:15
And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
47:13-26 Care being taken of Jacob and his family, which mercy was especially designed by Providence in Joseph's advancement, an account is given of the saving the kingdom of Egypt from ruin. There was no bread, and the people were ready to die. See how we depend upon God's providence. All our wealth would not keep us from starving, if rain were withheld for two or three years. See how much we are at God's mercy, and let us keep ourselves always in his love. Also see how much we smart by our own want of care. If all the Egyptians had laid up corn for themselves in the seven years of plenty, they had not been in these straits; but they regarded not the warning. Silver and gold would not feed them: they must have corn. All that a man hath will he give for his life. We cannot judge this matter by modern rules. It is plain that the Egyptians regarded Joseph as a public benefactor. The whole is consistent with Joseph's character, acting between Pharaoh and his subjects, in the fear of God. The Egyptians confessed concerning Joseph, Thou hast saved our lives. What multitudes will gratefully say to Jesus, at the last day, Thou hast saved our souls from the most tremendous destruction, and in the season of uttermost distress! The Egyptians parted with all their property, and even their liberty, for the saving of their lives: can it then be too much for us to count all but loss, and part with all, at His command, and for His sake, who will both save our souls, and give us an hundredfold, even here, in this present world? Surely if saved by Christ, we shall be willing to become his servants.Joseph introduces remarkable changes into the relation of the sovereign and the people of Egypt. "There was no bread in all the land." The private stores of the wealthy were probably exhausted. "And Joseph gathered up all the silver." The old stores of grain and the money, which had flowed into the country during the years of plenty, seem to have lasted for five years. "And Joseph brought the silver into Pharaoh's house." He was merely the steward of Pharaoh in this matter, and made a full return of all the payments that came into his hands. "The silver was spent." The famishing people have no more money; but they must have bread. Joseph is fertile in expedients. He proposes to take their cattle. This was really a relief to the people, as they had no means of providing them with fodder. The value of commodities is wholly altered by a change of circumstances. Pearls will not purchase a cup of water in a vast and dreary wilderness. Cattle become worthless when food becomes scarce, and the means of procuring it are exhausted. For their cattle Joseph supplies them with food during the sixth year.13-15. there was no bread in all the land—This probably refers to the second year of the famine (Ge 45:6) when any little stores of individuals or families were exhausted and when the people had become universally dependent on the government. At first they obtained supplies for payment. Before long money failed. 1702 Why shouldst thou see and suffer us to perish for our want of money, when thou canst relieve us?

And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan,.... It had been all spent in the third, fourth, and fifth years of the famine; for it seems to be at the end of the fifth, or beginning of the sixth year of the famine, that this was the case, since we after read of a second or following year, which was very plainly the last, since seed was given them to sow the land with, which shows the time of drought to be near at an end:

all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, give us bread; freely, for nothing, since they had no money to buy any with: no mention is made of the Canaanites, who could not presume to come and ask for corn on such a footing:

for why should we die in thy presence? before his eyes, he not relieving them when it was in his power to do it; they knew such an argument as this would work upon a mind so humane, tender, and generous as was Joseph's:

for the money faileth; all was gone, they had none left to purchase corn with; or they suggest they should not have desired to have had it at free cost.

And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. And when the money] The inhabitants of Egypt, finding that their money was expended, voluntarily proposed the surrender, firstly, of their cattle, and secondly, in the following year (Genesis 47:18-19), of their persons and their land. There is no mention of murmuring or uprising among the people. Private ownership, except in the case of the priests (Genesis 47:22), was surrendered. The whole people became Pharaoh’s servants, practically serfs, paying him a land tax of 20 per cent. annually (Genesis 47:26).

Verse 15. - And when money failed (literally, and the silver was consumed, or spent) in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all (literally, and all) the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth (literally, and why should we die in thy presence because silver faileth? i.e. seeing that thou art able to support us). Genesis 47:15When the money was exhausted, the Egyptians all came to Joseph with the petition: "Give us bread, why should we die before thee" (i.e., so that thou shouldst see us die, when in reality thou canst support us)? Joseph then offered to accept their cattle in payment; and they brought him near their herds, in return for which he provided them that year with bread. נהל: Piel to lead, with the secondary meaning, to care for (Psalm 23:2; Isaiah 40:11, etc.); hence the signification here, "to maintain."
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