|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 17. - And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan - Dothaim, "the Two ells," a place twelve miles north of Samaria in the direction of the plain of Esdraelon, situated on the great caravan road from Mount Gilead to Egypt, the scene of one of the greatest miracles of Elisha the prophet (2 Kings 6:13-18), and, though now a deserted ruin, still called by its ancient name. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. "Just beneath Tell Dothan, which still preserves its name, is the little oblong plain, containing the best pasturage in the country, and well chosen by Jacob's sons when they had exhausted for a time the wider plain of Shechem" (Tristram, 'Land of Israel,' p. 132; cf. Thomson, ' Land and Book,' p. 466).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the man said, they are departed hence,.... They had been there, in the field where he and Joseph were, and which was probably the field before mentioned; but for good reasons, perhaps for want of pasture, or in order to find better feeding for their cattle, they were gone from thence, from the fields about Shechem:
for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan; this was, as some say, four miles from Shechem, others eight (m); according to Brochardus (n), it was a plain country between fruitful hills, contiguous to fountains, was pasture ground, and very fit for feeding cattle; and its very name, as Hillerus (o) notes, signifies grassy, or a place of tender grass: here, afterwards, was a city built, not far from Samaria, 2 Kings 6:13; about twelve miles to the north of it, as says Jerom (p); it was in the tribe of Manasseh, about forty four miles from Jerusalem to the north, and six miles from Tiberias to the west (q):
and Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan; which shows that he had a real desire to see them, and know their state and condition, that he might report it to his father; since he might have returned on not finding them at Shechem, that being the place he was sent to, and would have been sufficient to have shown obedience to his father's commands, though perhaps it might not have come up to his full sense and meaning.
(m) Bunting's Travels, p. 79. Ainsworth in loc. (n) Apud Drusium in loc. (o) Onomastic. Sacra, p. 526. (p) Loc. Heb. fol. 90. H. (q) Bunting, ut supra, (m)) p. 80.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan—Hebrew, Dothaim, or "two wells," recently discovered in the modern "Dothan," situated a few hours' distance from Shechem.
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