Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
The well of the oath. Bersabee.
Fear not. He might be apprehensive, lest his children should be depraved, living among idolaters, or prefer Egypt before the promised land. He was also afraid to undertake this journey without consulting God. (Menochius)
Thence; in thy posterity. Septuagint add at last, or after a long time. Jacob's bones were brought back and buried in Chanaan. (Calmet) --- Eyes, as he is the most dear to thee. Parents closed the eyes of their children in death. The Romans opened them again when the corpse was upon the funeral pire; thinking it a mark of disrespect for the eyes to be shut to heaven; "ut neque ab homine supremum eos spectari fas sit, & cœlo non ostendi, nefas." (Pliny, xi. 37.)
Daughters. Dina, and grand-daughter Sara, (ver. 17,) and his sons' wives, &c. (Calmet) --- We may observe, that all here mentioned were not born at the time when Jacob went down into Egypt, but they were before he or Joseph died; that is, during the space of 17 or 71 years. See St. Augustine, q. 151, 173. (Menochius) --- The names of the Hebrew and Septuagint vary some little from the Vulgate, which may be attributed to the difference of pronunciation, or to the same person having many names. The number is also different in the Septuagint as the authors of that version have, perhaps, inserted some names taken from other parts of Scripture, to remove any apparent contradiction. The genealogies of Juda, Joseph, and Benjamin, are carried farther than the rest, as those families were of greater consequence.
Hesron and Charmi were probably born in Egypt, as Ruben had only two sons, chap. xlii. 37. (Philo.)
Jamuel. Numbers xxvi. 12, he is called Namuel. --- Jachin is Jarid, 1 Paralipomenon iv. 24. (Calmet)
Were born, afterwards. (Menochius)
Syria. This must be restrained to her seven children. --- Thirty-three, comprising Lia, or Jacob; but without Her and Onan, who were dead. (Calmet)
Ephraim. The Septuagint take in here the children of both, Numbers xxvi. 29, 35.
Benjamin. Ten in number; though the Septuagint have only nine, and suppose that some of them were his grandchildren. He was 33 (or 24, Menochius) years old. (Calmet) --- Grotius thinks three names have been made out of two; Echi, Ros, and mophim, out of Ahiram and Supham, as we read, Numbers xxvi. 38.
Sons. The Arabic has son. Husim is Suham, (Numbers xxvi. 42,) by change and transposition of letters. (Kennicott)
Sixty-six; not including Jacob, Joseph, and his two children, who make up 70, ver. 27. (Deuteronomy x. 22.) The Septuagint taking in Joseph's grandchildren, read 75; in which they are followed by St. Stephen, Acts. vii. 14. See St. Jerome q. Heb. (Calmet) --- St. Augustine cannot account for these grand-children and great grand-children of Joseph being mentioned as coming with Jacob into Egypt, since some of them were not born during his life-time. He suspects some hidden mystery. (Worthington) See ver. 7. --- Some think St. Stephen excludes Jacob, Joseph, and his sons; and included the 64 men, with 11 wives. (Du Hamel)
Abomination. See chap. xliii. 32. The source of this hatred against foreign shepherds, was probably because, about 100 years before Abraham, the shepherd-kings, Hycussos, had got possession of a great part of Egypt, and were at last expelled by the kings of Thebais. See Manetho ap. Eusebius, Præp. x. 13. Another reason why they hated foreigners was, because they slew and eat sheep, &c., which they themselves adored. The Egyptians kept sheep for this purpose, and for the benefits to be derived from their wool, &c., chap. xlvii. 17. (Calmet) --- Joseph took advantage of this disposition of the inhabitants, to keep his brethren at a distance from them, that they might not be perverted. He does not introduce them at court, that no jealousy might be excited. He shews that he is not ashamed of his extraction. (Menochius)