|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
43:1-14 Jacob urges his sons to go and buy a little food; now, in time of dearth, a little must suffice. Judah urges that Benjamin should go with them. It is not against the honour and duty children owe their parents, humbly to advise them, and when needful, to reason with them. Jacob saw the necessity of the case, and yielded. His prudence and justice appeared in three things. 1. He sent back the money they had found in the sack. Honesty obliges us to restore not only that which comes to us by our own fault, but that which comes to us by the mistakes of others. Though we get it by oversight, if we keep it when the oversight is discovered, it is kept by deceit. 2. He sent as much again as they took the time before; the price of corn might be risen, or they might have to pay a ransom for Simeon. 3. He sent a present of such things as the land afforded, and as were scarce in Egypt, balm, and honey, &c. Providence dispenses not its gifts to all alike. But honey and spice will never make up the want of bread-corn. The famine was sore in Canaan, yet they had balm and myrrh, &c. We may live well enough upon plain food, without dainties; but we cannot live upon dainties without plain food. Let us thank God that what is most needful and useful, generally is most cheap and common. Though men value very highly their gold and silver, and the luxuries which are counted the best fruits of every land, yet in a time of famine they willingly barter them for bread. And how little will earthly good things stand us in stead in the day of wrath! How ready should we be to renounce them all, as loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ! Our way to prevail with man is by first prevailing with the Lord in fervent prayer. But, Thy will be done, should close every petition for the mercies of this life, or against the afflictions of this life.
Verse 12. - And take double money (literally, money of a second, i.e. of the same, amount; not twice as much as the first time, but simply as much as the first time) in your hand; and the money that was brought again (or returned) in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight (literally, a something caused to wander, a mistake, from a root signifying to go astray).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And take double money in your hand,.... Than what they carried before, either to buy as much more as they then did; or rather because of the greater scarcity of corn, as Jarchi observes, which made it doubly dearer; for this seems to be different from the money they are also bid to take in return for that found in their sacks, which was a third parcel, as follows:
and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; that it might be ready to pay upon demand, should they be charged with nonpayment for the corn they had before:
peradventure it was an oversight; a mistake of the governors, or of those that were under him, concerned in the sale of the corn, and receiving money for it, or of Jacob's sons; he could not tell how it was, but some way or other he supposed a mistake was made.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. take double money—the first sum to be returned, and another sum for a new supply. The restored money in the sacks' mouth was a perplexing circumstance. But it might have been done inadvertently by one of the servants—so Jacob persuaded himself—and happy it was for his own peace and the encouragement of the travellers that he took this view. Besides the duty of restoring it, honesty in their case was clearly the best, the safest policy.
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