|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
42:1-6 Jacob saw the corn his neighbours had bought in Egypt, and brought home. It is a spur to exertion to see others supplied. Shall others get food for their souls, and shall we starve while it is to be had? Having discovered where help is to be had, we should apply for it without delay, without shrinking from labour, or grudging expense, especially as regards our never-dying souls. There is provision in Christ; but we must come to him, and seek it from him.
Verse 5. - And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came - literally, in the midst of the comers; not as being desirous to lose themselves in the multitudes, as if troubled by an alarming presentiment (Lange), which is forced and unnatural; but either as forming a part of a caravan of Canaanites (Lawson), or simply as arriving among ethers who came from the same necessity (Keil). For the famine was in the land of Canaan. The statements in this verse concerning the descent of Joseph's brethren to Egypt, and the prevalence of the famine in the land of Canaan, both of which have already been sufficiently announced (vide ver. 3; Genesis 41:57; Genesis 42:2), are neither useless repetitions nor proofs of different authorship, but simply the customary recapitulations which mark the commencement of a new paragraph or section of the history, viz., that in which Joseph's first interview with his brethren is described (cf. 'Quarry on Genesis,' pp. 556, 557).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came,.... Either among the Egyptians that came to buy, or among those who came from different countries, or rather particularly among the Canaanites, as the Targum of Jonathan; with these they might join upon the road, and go together in a body where the market for corn was:
for the famine was in the land of Canaan: which obliged the inhabitants of it as well as Jacob's family to seek for corn elsewhere, and confirms the sense of the preceding clause: this, though a very fruitful land, yet when God withheld a blessing from it, it became barren, as it had been before, Genesis 12:10, and was to try the faith of those good men to whom God had given it, and to wean their hearts from being set upon it, and to put them upon seeking a better country, as they did.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. the famine was in the land of Canaan—The tropical rains, which annually falling swell the Nile, are those of Palestine also; and their failure would produce the same disastrous effects in Canaan as in Egypt. Numerous caravans of its people, therefore, poured over the sandy desert of Suez, with their beasts of burden, for the purchase of corn; and among others, "the sons of Israel" were compelled to undertake a journey from which painful associations made them strongly averse.
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