Genesis 47:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Joseph said to the people, "Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground.

King James Bible
Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.

Darby Bible Translation
And Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and sow the land.

World English Bible
Then Joseph said to the people, "Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Behold, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

Young's Literal Translation
And Joseph saith unto the people, 'Lo, I have bought you to-day and your ground for Pharaoh; lo, seed for you, and ye have sown the ground,

Genesis 47:23 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh - It fully appears that the kingdom of Egypt was previously to the time of Joseph a very limited monarchy. The king had his estates; the priests had their lands; and the common people their patrimony independently of both. The land of Rameses or Goshen appears to have been the king's land, Genesis 47:11. The priests had their lands, which they did not sell to Joseph, Genesis 47:22, Genesis 47:26; and that the people had lands independent of the crown, is evident from the purchases Joseph made, Genesis 47:19, Genesis 47:20; and we may conclude from those purchases that Pharaoh had no power to levy taxes upon his subjects to increase his own revenue until he had bought the original right which each individual had in his possessions. And when Joseph bought this for the king he raised the crown an ample revenue, though he restored the lands, by obliging each to pay one fifth of the product to the king, Genesis 47:24. And it is worthy of remark that the people of Egypt well understood the distinction between subjects and servants; for when they came to sell their land, they offered to sell themselves also, and said: Buy us and our land, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh, Genesis 47:19.

Diodorus Siculus, lib. i., gives the same account of the ancient constitution of Egypt. "The land," says he, "was divided into three parts:

1. One belonged to the Priests, with which they provided all sacrifices, and maintained all the ministers of religion.

2. A second part was the King's, to support his court and family, and to supply expenses for wars if they should happen. Hence there were no taxes, the king having so ample an estate.

3. The remainder of the land belonged to the Subjects, who appear (from the account of Diodorus) to have been all soldiers, a kind of standing militia, liable, at the king's expense, to serve in all wars for the preservation of the state."

This was a constitution something like the British; the government appears to have been mixed, and the monarchy properly limited, till Joseph, by buying the land of the people, made the king in some sort despotic. But it does net appear that any improper use was made of this, as in much later times we find it still a comparatively limited monarchy.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

bought.

Genesis 47:19 Why shall we die before your eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh...

here is seed.

Genesis 41:27 And the seven thin and ill favored cows that came up after them are seven years...

Genesis 45:6 For these two years has the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years...

Psalm 41:1 Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Psalm 107:36,37 And there he makes the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation...

Psalm 112:5 A good man shows favor, and lends: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Proverbs 11:26 He that withholds corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be on the head of him that sells it.

Proverbs 12:11 He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that follows vain persons is void of understanding.

Proverbs 13:23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand: for you know not whether shall prosper, either this or that...

Isaiah 28:24,25 Does the plowman plow all day to sow? does he open and break the clods of his ground...

Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud...

Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown...

Library
Two Retrospects of one Life
'And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been.'--GENESIS xlvii. 9. 'The God which fed me all my life long unto this day; the Angel which redeemed me from all evil.' --GENESIS xlviii. 15,16. These are two strangely different estimates of the same life to be taken by the same man. In the latter Jacob categorically contradicts everything that he had said in the former. 'Few and evil,' he said before Pharaoh. 'All my life long,' 'the Angel which redeemed me from
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Shortness and Misery of Life.
1 Our days, alas! our mortal days Are short and wretched too; "Evil and few," the patriarch says, [1] And well the patriarch knew. 2 'Tis but at best a narrow bound That heaven allows to men, And pains and sins run thro' the round Of threescore years and ten. 3 Well, if ye must be sad and few, Run on, my days, in haste; Moments of sin, and months of woe, Ye cannot fly too fast. 4 Let heavenly love prepare my soul, And call her to the skies, Where years of long salvation roll, And glory never dies.
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Cross References
Genesis 47:22
However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

Genesis 47:24
But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children."

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