We are all one man's sons; we are true men, your servants are no spies.…
The whole treatment of his brothers by Joseph was meant to prove their characters, and see whether they had or had not repented of their sin against him, and whether they had or had not changed their disposition and mode of life. They did not know that he was thus experimenting on them, but the result satisfied him, and led to his revelation of himself to them. Now it is often similar with men and their fellows. When Gideon led his army to the brook, and saw his soldiers drink, they had no idea that he was picking out his three hundred for his midnight attack on the Midianitish camp. But so it was; for those who did not care luxuriously to go down on hands and knees to put their mouths to the stream, but who simply lapped the water up with their hands as a dog laps up with his tongue, showed thereby that they had the qualities of rapidity, dash, and hardihood which were specially needed for the service on which he was bent, and therefore they were selected for it. Even so men have been watched by others when they were not thinking of anything of the kind, and the diligence, energy, integrity, and amiability which they have shown has commended them to those interested for some situation of trust, honour, and emolument. Young man, your employer is testing yon when you do not know it, therefore see that you are faithful and obliging even in that which is least, that you may approve yourself worthy of something greater. Many incidents might here be narrated to prove that men have risen from comparative obscurity to eminence simply because they had been tested, unwittingly to themselves, by others who were on the outlook for the agents that would most effectually serve their purpose. When they rose, envious people prated about "luck," but they who knew best spoke about character manifested by faithfulness in that which was least, and saw in their promotion the earthly miniature of the doing of the last Judge, who shall say to him whom He approves, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.