|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget his misery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, when the famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and important labours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that his father Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of our troubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Let these events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread of life throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bids you, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open his treasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of every age and nation, without money and without price. But those who slight this provision must starve, and his enemies will be destroyed.
Verses 47, 48. - And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls (i.e. abundantly). And he (Joseph, through his subordinates) gathered up all the food (i.e. all the portions levied) of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: - men bringing corn into granaries appear upon the monuments at Beni-hassan (Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptians,' vol. 1. p. 371, ed. 1878) - the food of the field, which was round about every city (literally, the food of the field of the city, which was in its environs), laid he up in the same (literally, in the midst of it).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. Such as the gatherers take up in their hands when reaped, in order to bind up in sheaves: now such was the fruitfulness of the land during the seven years of plenty, that either one stalk produced as many ears as a man could hold in his hand; or one grain produced an handful, as Ben Melech observes; though Onkelos paraphrases the words,"the inhabitants of the earth in the seven years of plenty gathered even into their treasuries:''and this they did by the order and direction of Joseph as he passed through the land; what he bought of them they brought, and put into the granaries, as he directed them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
47. the earth brought forth by handfuls—a singular expression, alluding not only to the luxuriance of the crop, but the practice of the reapers grasping the ears, which alone were cut.
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