|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:12-22 How readily does Joseph wait his father's orders! Those children who are best beloved by their parents, should be the most ready to obey them. See how deliberate Joseph's brethren were against him. They thought to slay him from malice aforethought, and in cold blood. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, 1Jo 3:15. The sons of Jacob hated their brother because their father loved him. New occasions, as his dreams and the like, drew them on further; but this laid rankling in their hearts, till they resolved on his death. God has all hearts in his hands. Reuben had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the first-born; yet he proves his best friend. God overruled all to serve his own purpose, of making Joseph an instrument to save much people alive. Joseph was a type of Christ; for though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came from heaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him. His own not only received him not, but crucified him. This he submitted to, as a part of his design to redeem and save us.
Verse 12. - And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem - i.e. the modern Nablous, in the plain of Muknah, which belonged to Jacob partly by purchase and partly by conquest (vide Genesis 33:19; 34:27). Shechem was at a considerable distance from the vale of Hebron, where the patriarchal family at this time resided.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. Very probably some considerable time after the telling of the above dreams; it was usual to remove flocks from place to place for the sake of pasturage; and sometimes at a great distance, as Shechem was from Hebron, where Jacob now dwelt, said (i) to be about sixty miles; but this is not so much to be marvelled at as the place itself, whither they went, for though Jacob had bought a parcel of a field in this place, Genesis 33:19; which might be a reason for their going thither to feed their father's flocks in his own field; yet it was the place where they had committed a most outrageous action in destroying all, the males there, and therefore might fear the inhabitants of the neighbouring cities would rise upon them and cut them off.
(i) Bunting's Travels, p. 79. Ainsworth in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem—The vale of Shechem was, from the earliest mention of Canaan, blest with extraordinary abundance of water. Therefore did the sons of Jacob go from Hebron to this place, though it must have cost them near twenty hours' travelling—that is, at the shepherd rate, a little more than fifty miles. But the herbage there was so rich and nutritious that they thought it well worth the pains of so long a journey, to the neglect of the grazing district of Hebron [Van De Velde].
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