|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
47:7-12 With the gravity of old age, the piety of a true believer, and the authority of a patriarch and a prophet, Jacob besought the Lord to bestow a blessing upon Pharaoh. He acted as a man not ashamed of his religion; and who would express gratitude to the benefactor of himself and his family. We have here a very uncommon answer given to a very common question. Jacob calls his life a pilgrimage; the sojourning of a stranger in a foreign country, or his journey home to his own country. He was not at home upon earth; his habitation, his inheritance, his treasures were in heaven. He reckons his life by days; even by days life is soon reckoned, and we are not sure of the continuance of it for a day. Let us therefore number our days. His days were few. Though he had now lived one hundred and thirty years, they seemed but a few days, in comparison with the days of eternity, and the eternal state. They were evil; this is true concerning man. He is of few days and full of trouble; since his days are evil, it is well they are few. Jacob's life had been made up of evil days. Old age came sooner upon him than it had done upon some of his fathers. As the young man should not be proud of his strength or beauty, so the old man should not be proud of his age, and his hoary hairs, though others justly reverence them; for those who are accounted very old, attain not to the years of the patriarchs. The hoary head is only a crown of glory, when found in the way of righteousness. Such an answer could not fail to impress the heart of Pharaoh, by reminding him that worldly prosperity and happiness could not last long, and was not enough to satisfy. After a life of vanity and vexation, man goes down into the grave, equally from the throne as the cottage. Nothing can make us happy, but the prospect of an everlasting home in heaven, after our short and weary pilgrimage on earth.
Verse 7. - And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh. It has been thought that Jacob's presentation to the Egyptian king was deferred till after the monarch's interview with his sons because of the public and political character of that interview, relating as it did to the occupation of the land, while Jacob's introduction to the sovereign was of a purely personal and private description. And Jacob - in reply probably to a request from Pharaoh (Tayler Lewis), but more likely sua sponte - blessed Pharaoh. Not simply extended to him the customary salutation accorded to kings (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Alford, and others), like the "May the king live for ever!" of later times (2 Samuel 16:16; 1 Kings 1:25; Daniel 2:4; Daniel 3:9, &c.), but, conscious of his dignity as a prophet of Jehovah, pronounced on him a heavenly benediction (Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary,' and others) - hoe verbo non vulgaris et profana salutatio notatur, sed pia sanctaque servi Dei precatio (Calvin).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Joseph brought in Jacob his father,.... That is, some time after he had introduced his five brethren, and had gotten the grant of Goshen for them, when he sent, for his father from thence, or he came quickly after to Tanis or Memphis, where Pharaoh's court was:
and set him before Pharaoh; presented Jacob to him, and placed his father right before Pharaoh, perhaps in a chair, or on a seat, by Pharaoh's order, because of his age, and in honour to him:
and Jacob blessed Pharaoh; wished him health and happiness, prayed for his welfare, and gave him thanks for all his kindness to him and his; and he blessed him not only in a way of civility, as was usual when men came into the presence of princes, but in an authoritative way, as a prophet and patriarch, a man divinely inspired of God, and who had great power in prayer with him: the Targum of Jonathan gives us his prayer thus,"may it be the pleasure (i.e. of God) that the waters of the Nile may be filled, and that the famine may remove from the world in thy days.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Joseph brought in Jacob his father—There is a pathetic and most affecting interest attending this interview with royalty; and when, with all the simplicity and dignified solemnity of a man of God, Jacob signalized his entrance by imploring the divine blessing on the royal head, it may easily be imagined what a striking impression the scene would produce (compare Heb 7:7).
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