Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack…
I. THE RETURN. Affairs in Egypt strangely settled, they set out on their return. They have been treated with a perplexing mixture of kindness and harshness. They have provision for their journey; but they remember the prison, and the hostage they have left behind. What shall they say to their father? Once they returned without Joseph. He scarcely recovered from that blow. Now they are without Simeon, and must demand Benjamin. How great their perplexity! They thought of Joseph when in the presence of the lord of Egypt; do they think of him now? By the very road they were travelling they saw him borne away years before. They were enveloped in mystery. The old man at home among his hungry household, and their own children awaiting their return. Simeon's children, too, to meet; and no father brought back to them.
II. THE DISCOVERY. Thus perplexed, and anxiously anticipating the result, they arrive at one of the inns, or khans, at which the caravans stopped to rest. An ass needs provender. A sack is opened. The money is discovered. Consternation. What can it all mean? Did they reflect on the money for which they had once sold a brother? Probably Joseph's purchasers once lodged with their newly bought slave in that very inn, and talked of the sum they had given, as these men were now talking of the money they had found. This money boded no good. An unheard-of thing, that a seller should return the money. Joseph very likely returned the money to ensure their return; lest they might need food and not have money to buy it. A new thing to tell their father.
III. THE FAMILY CONSTERNATION. They arrive at home. The first greetings over, inquiries are made. Where is Simeon? They relate the history of their adventures and Simeon's detention. While they relate this strange history they open their sacks. A new discovery. All the money returned! Fear seizes the whole family. It is a new thing in the story of trade. May have been regarded by them as a pretext for the Egyptians coming and carrying them all away into captivity. Jacob especially filled with dread. He has now lost two sons, and sees in the returned money a new occasion of alarm. "All these things are against me." But they were all for him, because a son was in it all. "All things shall work together for the good of them who love God," because another Son — Jesus Christ — is concerned in our welfare. Learn:
I. Past sins cast their shadow on the present, and overcast the future.
II. The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth.
III. Conscience converts things strange into things ominous.
IV. Our ignorance of Divine plans causes us to charge God foolishly.
V. No money needed to procure the bread of life. "In my hand no price I bring." Jesus Christ is an "unspeakable GIFT."
(J. C. Gray.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.