|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.
Verse 22. - To bind his princes at his pleasure. The kings of Egypt were despots, and could imprison any subject. Joseph, as the Pharaoh's alter ego (Genesis 41:40, 44), would, of course, be able to do the same. And teach his senators wisdom. As being wiser than any of them (Genesis 41:38, 39).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To bind his princes at his pleasure,.... Not to lay them in prison, and bind them with fetters, as he had been bound; but to give laws unto them as he pleased, and bind and oblige them to observe them: for, according to his word, all the people of Egypt, high and low, rich and poor, were to be ruled; and, without his leave, no man was to lift up his hand or foot in all the land, Genesis 41:40. All Christ's people are princes, to whom he gives laws at his pleasure, as one having authority, though they are not grievous; and these he binds, obliges, and constrains his people by love to observe, and which they do. Jarchi's note is,
"this is an expression of love like that; and the soul of Jonathan was bound unto the soul of David: when he (Joseph) interpreted the dream, they all loved him.''
The Targum is,
"to bind his nobles as to his soul.''
And teach his senators wisdom; his elders, his privy counsellors: he made him president of his council; where he was a curb upon them, and restrained them from taking wrong or bad measures; so Schultens (i), from the use of the word in the Arabic language, renders it, "to bridle", or restrain his senators; which conveys an idea agreeable to the preceding clause. Nor were these the only persons he taught; he not only instructed the nobles and courtiers in politics, but the priests and men of learning in the arts and sciences; and all, no doubt, in the mysteries of the true religion, as he had an opportunity. And this is the source of the wisdom of the Egyptians, which Moses was afterwards brought up in; and for which that people were so famous, that many of the ancient philosophers, as Pythagoras, Plato, and others, travelled thither to acquire it. This they had from Joseph, and his people that dwelt in their land. Christ's senators are his apostles and ministers, the elders that rule well, and labour in the word and doctrine: these are taught wisdom by him; the knowledge of divine and spiritual things; the words and doctrines of the wise are all from him, that one Shepherd; that they, as undershepherds and pastors, may feed others with knowledge and understanding.
(i) De Defect. Hod. Ling. Heb. s. 215.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. To bind—Not literally bind; but exercise over them absolute control, as the parallel in the second clause shows; also Ge 41:40, 44, in which not literal fettering, but commanding obedience, is spoken of. It refers to Ps 105:18. The soul that was once bound itself now binds others, even princes. The same moral binding is assigned to the saints (Ps 149:8).
teach … senators wisdom—the ground of his exaltation by Pharaoh was his wisdom (Ge 41:39); namely, in state policy, and ordering well a kingdom.
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