|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:33-45 Joseph gave good advice to Pharaoh. Fair warning should always be followed by good counsel. God has in his word told us of a day of trial before us, when we shall need all the grace we can have. Now, therefore, provide accordingly. Pharaoh gave Joseph an honourable testimony. He is a man in whom the spirit of God is; and such men ought to be valued. Pharaoh puts upon Joseph marks of honour. He gave him such a name as spoke the value he had for him, Zaphnath-paaneah, a revealer of secrets. This preferment of Joseph encourages all to trust in God. Some translate Joseph's new name, the saviour of the world. The brightest glories, even of the upper world, are put upon Christ, the highest trust lodged in his hand, and all power given him, both in heaven and earth.
Verses 33-36. - Now therefore (adds Joseph, passing on to suggest measures suitable to meet the extraordinary emergency predicted) let Pharaoh look out a man discreet (נָבון, niph. part. of בִּין, intelligent, discerning), and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers (literally, let him set overseers, פְקִדִים, from פָּקַד, to look after, in hiph. to cause to look after) over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt - literally, let him fifth the land, i.e. levy. a tax upon its produce to that extent (LXX., Vulgate), which was double the annual impost exacted from Egyptian farmers, but which the unprecedented fertility of the soil enabled them to bear without complaint, if, indeed, adequate compensation was not given for the second tenth (Rosenmüller) - in the Seven plenteous years. Diodorus mentions the payment of a fifth in productive years as a primitive custom (vide Havernick, p. 219). And let them (the officers) gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and lot them keep feed in the cities (or, food in the cities, and let them keep it). And that food shall be for store (literally, something deposited) to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine - literally; and the land (i.e. the people of the land) shall not be cut off in, or by, the famine.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise,.... Of good judgment and conduct, of abilities equal to the execution of a scheme hereafter proposed: it can scarcely be thought consistent with the great modesty of Joseph that he meant himself, or that indeed, he ventured to give any advice at all, until it was first asked of him by the king; who being so well satisfied with the interpretation of his dreams, thought him a proper person to consult with what to be done in this case; who, as a true father of his country, as every king should be, was concerned for the good of it, and to provide against the worst for them:
and set him over the land of Egypt; not to be governor of it in general, but with a particular respect to the present case, to take care of provision for it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man—The explanation given, when the key to the dreams was supplied, appears to have been satisfactory to the king and his courtiers; and we may suppose that much and anxious conversation arose, in the course of which Joseph might have been asked whether he had anything further to say. No doubt the providence of God provided the opportunity of his suggesting what was necessary.
Genesis 41:33 Parallel Commentaries
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