Psalm 105:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food;

New Living Translation
He called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply.

English Standard Version
When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread,

New American Standard Bible
And He called for a famine upon the land; He broke the whole staff of bread.

King James Bible
Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He called down famine against the land and destroyed the entire food supply.

International Standard Version
He declared a famine on the land; destroying the entire food supply.

NET Bible
He called down a famine upon the earth; he cut off all the food supply.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he called a famine upon the land and he broke all the stalks of their grain.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He brought famine to the land. He took away their food supply.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And He called a famine upon the land; He broke the whole staff of bread.

New American Standard 1977
And He called for a famine upon the land;
            He broke the whole staff of bread.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Moreover he called for a famine upon the land; he broke the whole staff of bread.

King James 2000 Bible
Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he broke every staff of bread.

American King James Version
Moreover he called for a famine on the land: he broke the whole staff of bread.

American Standard Version
And he called for a famine upon the land; He brake the whole staff of bread.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he called a famine upon the land: and he broke in pieces all the support of bread.

Darby Bible Translation
And he called for a famine upon the land; he broke the whole staff of bread.

English Revised Version
And he called for a famine upon the land; he brake the whole staff of bread.

Webster's Bible Translation
Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he broke the whole staff of bread.

World English Bible
He called for a famine on the land. He destroyed the food supplies.

Young's Literal Translation
And He calleth a famine on the land, The whole staff of bread He hath broken.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

105:8-23 Let us remember the Redeemer's marvellous works, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. Though true Christians are few number, strangers and pilgrims upon earth, yet a far better inheritance than Canaan is made sure to them by the covenant of God; and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, none can do us any harm. Afflictions are among our mercies. They prove our faith and love, they humble our pride, they wean us from the world, and quicken our prayers. Bread is the staff which supports life; when that staff is broken, the body fails and sinks to the earth. The word of God is the staff of spiritual life, the food and support of the soul: the sorest judgment is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Such a famine was sore in all lands when Christ appeared in the flesh; whose coming, and the blessed effect of it, are shadowed forth in the history of Joseph. At the appointed time Christ was exalted as Mediator; all the treasures of grace and salvation are at his disposal, perishing sinners come to him, and are relieved by him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - Moreover he called for a famine upon the land. To "call for a famine" is the same thing as to create a famine. What God "calls for" immediately exists (see Genesis 1:3). "The land" intended is the land of Canaan. He brake the whole staff of bread (comp. Leviticus 26:26; Isaiah lit. 1). Bread is called a "staff," as the great support of life. (For the severity of the famine in Canaan, see Genesis 41:1; Genesis 42:5; Genesis 43:1.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Moreover, he called for a famine upon the land,.... On the land of Egypt; or rather on the land of Canaan, where Jacob and his sons sojourned; and which reached to all lands, Genesis 41:56 and calling for it, it came, being a servant at the command of the Lord; see 2 Kings 8:1.

He brake the whole staff of bread; so called, because it is the support of man's life, the principal of his sustenance: as a staff is a support to a feeble person, and which, when broke, ceases to be so. The staff of bread is broken, when either the virtue and efficacy of it for nourishment is taken away or denied; or when there is a scarcity of bread corn; which latter seems to be intended here; see Isaiah 3:1.

The Treasury of David

16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land; he brake the whole staff of bread.

17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:

18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron:

19 Until the time that his word came; the word of the Lord tried him.

20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.

21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:

22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom. 23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

The presence of God having remained with his chosen ones while they sojourned in Canaan, it did not desert them when they were called to go down into Egypt. They did not go there of their own choice, but under divine direction, and hence the Lord prepared their way and prospered them until he saw fit to conduct them again to the land of promise.

Psalm 105:16

"Moreover he called for a famine upon the land." He had only to call for it as a man calls for his servant, and it came at once. How grateful ought we to be that he does not often call in that terrible servant of his, so meagre and gaunt, and grim, so pitiless to the women and the children, so bitter to the strong men, who utterly fail before it. "He brake the whole staff of bread." Man's feeble life cannot stand without its staff - if bread fail him he fails. As a cripple with a broken staff falls to the ground, so does man when bread no longer sustains him. To God it is as easy to make a famine as to break a staff. He could make that famine universal, too, so that all countries should be in like case; then would the race of man fall indeed, and its staff would be broken for ever. There is this sweet comfort in the matter, that the Lord has wise ends to serve even by famine: he meant his people to go down into Egypt, and the scarcity of food was his method of leading them there, for "they heard that there was corn in Egypt."

Psalm 105:17

"He sent a man before them, even Joseph." He was the advance guard and pioneer for the whole clan. His brethren sold him, but God sent him. Where the hand of the wicked is visible God's hand may be invisibly at work, overruling their malice. No one was more of a man, or more fit to lead the van than Joseph, an interpreter of dreams was wanted, and his brethren had said of him, "Behold, this dreamer cometh." "Who was sold for a servant," or rather for a slave. Joseph's journey into Egypt was not so costly as Jonah's voyage when he paid his own fare, his free passage was provided by the Midianites, who also secured his introduction to a great officer of state by handing him over as a slave. His way to a position in which he could feed his family lay through the pit, the slaver's caravan, the slave market and the prison, and who shall deny but what it was the right way, the surest way, the wisest way, and perhaps the shortest way. Yet assuredly it seemed not so. Were we to send a man on such an errand we should furnish him with money - Joseph goes as a pauper; we should clothe him with authority - Joseph goes as a slave; we should leave him at full liberty - Joseph is a bondman: yet money would have been of little use when corn was so dear, authority would have been irritating rather than influential with Pharaoh, and freedom might not have thrown Joseph into connection with Pharaoh's captain and his other servants, and so the knowledge of his skill in interpretation might not have reached the monarch's ear. God's way is the way. Our Lord's path to his mediatorial throne ran by the cross of. Calvary; our road to glory runs by the rivers of grief.

Psalm 105:18

"Whose feet they hurt with letters." From this we learn a little more of Joseph's sufferings than we find in the book of Genesis: inspiration had not ceased, and David was as accurate an historian as Moses, for the same Spirit guided his pen. "He was laid in iron;" or "into iron came his soul." The prayer book version, "the iron entered into his soul," is ungrammatical, but probably expresses much the same truth. His fetters hurt his mind as well as his body, and well did Jacob say, "The archers shot at him, and sorely grieved him." Under the cruelly false accusation, which he could not disprove, his mind was, as it were, belted and bolted around with iron, and had not the Lord been with him he might have sunk under his sufferings. In all this, and a thousand things besides, he was an admirable type of him who in the highest sense is "the Shepherd, the stone of Israel." The iron fetters were preparing him to wear chains of gold, and making his feet ready to stand on high places. It is even so with all the Lord's afflicted ones, they too shall one day step from their prisons to their thrones.


Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. God ordered the famine. God

called for a famine—as if it were a servant, ready to come at God's bidding. Compare the centurion's words, as to disease being God's servant (Mt 8:8, 9).

upon the land—namely, Canaan (Ge 41:54).

staff of bread—what supports life (Le 26:26; Ps 104:15; Isa 3:1).

Psalm 105:16 Additional Commentaries
Tell of His Wonderful Works!
15"Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm." 16And He called for a famine upon the land; He broke the whole staff of bread. 17He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.…
Cross References
Genesis 41:30
but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.

Genesis 41:54
and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.

Leviticus 26:26
When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.

2 Kings 8:1
Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, "Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years."

Isaiah 3:1
See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water,

Ezekiel 4:16
He then said to me: "Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair,
Treasury of Scripture

Moreover he called for a famine on the land: he broke the whole staff of bread.


Genesis 41:25-32,34 And Joseph said to Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God has …

Genesis 42:5,6 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for …

2 Kings 8:1 Then spoke Elisha to the woman, whose son he had restored to life, …

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? …

Amos 7:1-4 Thus has the Lord GOD showed to me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers …

Haggai 1:10,11 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is …

Haggai 2:17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the …

Matthew 8:8,9 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that you should …

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him …


Psalm 104:15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face …

Genesis 47:13,19 And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore…

Leviticus 26:26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake …

Isaiah 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, does take away from Jerusalem …

Ezekiel 4:16 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff …

Acts 7:11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and …

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