|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
45:1-15 Joseph let Judah go on, and heard all he had to say. He found his brethren humbled for their sins, mindful of himself, for Judah had mentioned him twice in his speech, respectful to their father, and very tender of their brother Benjamin. Now they were ripe for the comfort he designed, by making himself known. Joseph ordered all his attendants to withdraw. Thus Christ makes himself and his loving-kindness known to his people, out of the sight and hearing of the world. Joseph shed tears of tenderness and strong affection, and with these threw off that austerity with which he had hitherto behaved toward his brethren. This represents the Divine compassion toward returning penitents. I am Joseph, your brother. This would humble them yet more for their sin in selling him, but would encourage them to hope for kind treatment. Thus, when Christ would convince Paul, he said, I am Jesus; and when he would comfort his disciples, he said, It is I, be not afraid. When Christ manifests himself to his people, he encourages them to draw near to him with a true heart. Joseph does so, and shows them, that whatever they thought to do against him, God had brought good out of it. Sinners must grieve and be angry with themselves for their sins, though God brings good out of it, for that is no thanks to them. The agreement between all this, and the case of a sinner, on Christ's manifesting himself to his soul, is very striking. He does not, on this account, think sin a less, but a greater evil; and yet he is so armed against despair, as even to rejoice in what God hath wrought, while he trembles in thinking of the dangers and destruction from which he has escaped. Joseph promises to take care of his father and all the family. It is the duty of children, if the necessity of their parents at any time require it, to support and supply them to the utmost of their ability; this is showing piety at home, 1Ti 5:4. After Joseph had embraced Benjamin, he caressed them all, and then his brethren talked with him freely of all the affairs of their father's house. After the tokens of true reconciliation with the Lord Jesus, sweet communion with him follows.
Verses 14, 15. - And he (i.e. Joseph) fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. "Benjamin is the central point whence leads out the way to reconciliation" (Langs). "Here brotherly affection is drawn out by affection, tear answering tear" (Hughes; cf. Genesis 33:4). Moreover he kissed all his brethren, - "the seal of recognition, of reconciliation, and of salutation" (Lange) - and wept upon them. It has been thought that Benjamin stood when Joseph embraced him, and that the two wept upon each other's neck, but that the brethren bowed themselves at Joseph's feet, causing the expression to be, "and he wept upon them" (Lange). And after that his brethren talked with him - feeling themselves reassured by such demonstrations of affection.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept,.... On his neck first, because he was his own brother by father and mother's side; and he wept over him for joy that he had a sight of him once more: the word for "neck" is in the plural number, and being used, may signify that he fell first on one side of his neck, and then on the other, to show his great affection for him:
and Benjamin wept upon his neck; their love and the tokens of it were reciprocal.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14, 15. And he fell upon … Benjamin's neck—The sudden transition from a condemned criminal to a fondled brother, might have occasioned fainting or even death, had not his tumultuous feelings been relieved by a torrent of tears. But Joseph's attentions were not confined to Benjamin. He affectionately embraced every one of his brothers in succession; and by those actions, his forgiveness was demonstrated more fully than it could be by words.
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