And Jacob their father said to them, Me have you bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not…
I. A PRINCIPLE OR AFFECTION, WHICH IS IN ITSELF GOOD, WHEN ALLOWED TO OPERATE EITHER EXCESSIVELY OR PARTIALLY, MAY GIVE RISE TO SENTIMENTS AND FEELINGS, AS WELL AS TO WORDS AND ACTIONS, SUCH AS CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED. THE PRINCIPLE TO WHICH I NOW REFER, AS YOU WILL AT ONCE CONJECTURE, IS THAT OF PARENTAL AFFECTION. But in the instance before us, amiable as was the principle in itself, it led the aged patriarch to the feeling and the utterance of what could not be vindicated. For example —
1. His affection for Joseph and Benjamin made him unreasonable to his other sons.
2. Under the predominant influence of his parental solicitudes, Jacob forgot for the time the hand of his God. "Me have YE bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away. All these things are against me." Things may often be set in a more striking light by means of contrast. And Jacob not only overlooked the hand of God; he manifested criminal distrust of the faithfulness and goodness of the God of the covenant; distrust of that word which he had never yet known to fail, and of that ever-watchful care to which heretofore he had been so deeply indebted: "All these things are against me." Many a time had the Lord appeared to Jacob. Many an assurance had He given him of His love and care.
II. THAT THERE IS GREAT DANGER, ON THE PART OF CREATURES, IN FORMING HASTY CONCLUSIONS RESPECTING ANY PARTS OF THE DIVINE ADMINISTRATION. How ignorant and short-sighted was the good old saint! He saw not — and who does? — "what a day was to bring forth." The mission of Benjamin was to be the release of Simeon. Benjamin was to be made happy in the meeting of his own maternal brother. And Jacob himself was to get tidings of his long-lost boy, that would be the renewing of the youth of his aged spirit.
(R. Wardlaw, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.