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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 43

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



The famine continuing, and their provision being spent, Jacob commands them to go again to Egypt, Genesis 43:1-2.

They prevail with their father to send Benjamin: Judah undertakes for him, Genesis 43:3-10.

He gives them presents, double money, and his blessing, Genesis 43:11-14.

They go to Egypt; stand before Joseph, Genesis 43:15.

He seeing Benjamin with them, causeth them to be brought to his house, and entertained, Genesis 43:16-17; whereat they are afraid, and make an apology to the steward about their money, Genesis 43:18-22.

He bids them good cheer, useth them courteously, brings Simeon to them, Genesis 43:23-24.

They prepare to bring their presents to Joseph, who speaks kindly to them, (and asks them of their father,) especially to Benjamin, with whom he is so moved that he must retire to weep, Genesis 43:25-30.

He feasts them, but Benjamin in an especial manner, Genesis 43:31-34.

Verse 2

He saith a

little, either to show that he took no thought to satisfy his or their curiosity or luxury, but only their necessity, for which a little would suffice, and that they must all moderate their appetites, especially in a time of such scarcity; or to encourage them to the journey, by suggesting to them that they needed not bring great stores, but only what was sufficient for that year, and that God would provide better for them hereafter, so as they should not need to go so far for corn any more.

Verse 3

Ye shall not see my face. See the same expression, 2 Samuel 14:24,2 Samuel 14:32; Acts 20:25,Acts 20:38. Ye shall not be admitted into my presence, nor to the purchasing of any corn here.

Verse 5

We will not go down, because we shall both lose the end of our journey, viz. the getting of corn, and run the utmost hazard of all our lives.

Verse 7

We told him according to the tenor of these words; we gave answers suitable to his questions, or such as his words required.

Verse 8

Judah, for his age and prudence, and penitent carriage for his youthful follies, was most beloved and regarded by his father.

The lad; so he calls him, because he was the youngest of all, though he was now thirty years old, and a father of divers children. See Genesis 30:22; Genesis 35:18; Genesis 41:46; Genesis 46:21.

Verse 11

Of all which see Genesis 37:25. The

nuts were of that kind which we call pistaches, as some Hebrew and other expositors render the word; for that was both an excellent fruit, and peculiar to Judea and Syria, and well agreeing with the

almonds which here follow.

Verse 14

An expression whereby he submits himself and children to God’s will and providence, whatever the issue shall be. Compare Esther 4:16. Or thus, As I have been already

bereaved of some of my dearest children, so I shall be bereaved of the rest, and I shall be left solitary; and if this be my portion, God’s will be done.

Verse 16

The usual time for the more solemn meal in the east countries, as the evening was the time, and the supper the great meal, among the Romans.

Verse 18

Take us for bondmen, the proper punishment for thieves.

Verse 23

Peace be to you; no harm shall come to you for that matter.

Your God, and the God of your father: thus he speaks, because Joseph had instructed him, as well as others of his family, in the true religion.

Hath given you treasure, by his power and providence secretly putting it there.

Verse 28

Thy servant; by which expression delivered in Jacob’s name, and by his order, Jacob himself made obeisance to him, as was foretold, Genesis 37:9.

Verse 29

Saw his brother, i.e. more narrowly observed him, having now more leisure than he seems to have had when he saw him first, Genesis 43:16.

My son; so he calls him, not from special affection, which he intended not yet to discover; but because this compellation is commonly used when a man speaks to another who is his inferior in age or dignity.

Verse 30

His bowels did yearn; his heart and inward parts were vehemently moved, as they commonly are upon occasion of any excessive passion, of love, pity, grief, or joy, &c.

Verse 32

They set on for him by himself; partly because the dignity of his place, and the custom of princes, required this state; and partly for the reason here following.

That is an abomination unto the Egyptians; not so much from their pride and disdain of other people, as from their superstition and idolatry; partly because they worshipped the creatures which the Hebrews and others did commonly eat; and partly because of some peculiar rites and customs which they had in the dressing and ordering of their diet. Whence Herodotus affirms, that the Egyptians would not use the pots nor knives of the Grecians about their food. Compare Genesis 46:34. See there, Exodus 8:26.

Verse 33

The youngest according to his youth; being so placed either by Joseph’s appointment; or rather by their own choice, and according to their custom; by which the elder, though the handmaidens’ children, took place of the younger, who by that order were taught what veneration they owe to the aged, and how great a sin it is, though very customary, in young men to despise those whom they should reverence.

The men, not the Egyptians, but the Hebrews, the men last spoken of,

marvelled; either at the matter and manner of the feasts and entertainments of the Egyptians; or rather, at the singular honour which Joseph did to them above all others, the reason whereof they could not conceive, and therefore marvelled at it.

Verse 34

It was the ancient custom of Egypt and other countries in their feasts, that either all the meat, or at least some eminent parts and parcels of it, were not promiscuously set before all the guests, but peculiarly distributed by the master of the feast to the several guests, and that differently, according to his respect and affection to them, or to their several qualities. See 1 Samuel 1:5; 1 Samuel 9:22-24.

Five times so much as any of theirs; partly, because of his nearer relation and dearer affection to him; and partly, to observe whether this would raise that envy in them towards him, which was the occasion of their malicious enterprise against himself, that he might accordingly provide for his security.

Were merry: the Hebrew word oft signifies to be drunk, but ofttimes it is only to drink liberally, though not to drunkenness, as may appear from Song of Solomon 5:1; Haggai 1:6; John 2:10.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 43". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/genesis-43.html. 1685.
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