Genesis 37:15
And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seek you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
37:12-22 How readily does Joseph wait his father's orders! Those children who are best beloved by their parents, should be the most ready to obey them. See how deliberate Joseph's brethren were against him. They thought to slay him from malice aforethought, and in cold blood. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, 1Jo 3:15. The sons of Jacob hated their brother because their father loved him. New occasions, as his dreams and the like, drew them on further; but this laid rankling in their hearts, till they resolved on his death. God has all hearts in his hands. Reuben had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the first-born; yet he proves his best friend. God overruled all to serve his own purpose, of making Joseph an instrument to save much people alive. Joseph was a type of Christ; for though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came from heaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him. His own not only received him not, but crucified him. This he submitted to, as a part of his design to redeem and save us.Joseph is sent to Dothan. Shekem belonged to Jacob; part of it by purchase, and the rest by conquest. Joseph is sent to inquire of their welfare (שׁלום shālom "peace," Genesis 37:4). With obedient promptness the youth goes to Shekem, where he learns that they had removed to Dothan, a town about twelve miles due north of Shekem.13-17. Israel said, … Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem?—Anxious to learn how his sons were doing in their distant encampment, Jacob despatched Joseph; and the youth, accepting the mission with alacrity, left the vale of Hebron, sought them at Shechem, heard of them from a man in "the field" (the wide and richly cultivated plain of Esdraelon), and found that they had left that neighborhood for Dothan, probably being compelled by the detestation in which, from the horrid massacre, their name was held. No text from Poole on this verse. And a certain man found him,.... Many of the Jewish writers (l) say, this was an angel, the angel Gabriel, in the likeness of a man; but according to Aben Ezra, it was a traveller he met on the road; but it is more probable, as Schimidt observes, that it was some man at work in the field that came upon him and took notice of him:

and, behold, he was wandering in the field; in some field near Shechem, perhaps the same his father Jacob had purchased, and where he expected to have found his brethren, and was looking out for them, going to and fro in search of them; which the labouring man in the field observed:

and the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou? seeing him walking about, and first looking one way, and then another, concluded he was in search of something, either of some man or of some creature, a sheep or an ox that was lost; and therefore put this question to him, with a view to give him what direction and assistance he could.

(l) Pirke Eliezer, c. 38. Targum Jon. & Jarchi in loc.

And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. a certain man] Evidently Joseph and his brethren were well known, and not unfavourably, in the region of Shechem. The lad’s wandering in uncertainty appeals to the reader’s sympathy. The Targum of Palestine says the “man” was the angel Gabriel.Verses 15, 16. - And a certain man (or simply a man) found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field (obviously seeking some thing or person): and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: - or, more emphatically, My Brethren I (sc. am) seeking - tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks - or, Where (are) they shepherding? This hatred was increased when Joseph told them of two dreams that he had had: viz., that as they were binding sheaves in the field, his sheaf "stood and remained standing," but their sheaves placed themselves round it and bowed down to it; and that the sun (his father), and the moon (his mother, "not Leah, but Rachel, who was neither forgotten nor lost"), and eleven stars (his eleven brethren) bowed down before him. These dreams pointed in an unmistakeable way to the supremacy of Joseph; the first to supremacy over his brethren, the second over the whole house of Israel. The repetition seemed to establish the thing as certain (cf. Genesis 41:32); so that not only did his brethren hate him still more "on account of his dreams and words" (Genesis 37:8), i.e., the substance of the dreams and the open interpretation of them, and become jealous and envious, but his father gave him a sharp reproof for the second, though he preserved the matter, i.e., retained it in his memory (שׁמר lxx διετήρησε, cf. συνετήρει, Luke 2:19). The brothers with their ill-will could not see anything in the creams but the suggestions of his own ambition and pride of heart; and even the father, notwithstanding his partiality, was grieved by the second dream. The dreams are not represented as divine revelations; yet they are not to be regarded as pure flights of fancy from an ambitious heart, but as the presentiments of deep inward feelings, which were not produced without some divine influence being exerted upon Joseph's mind, and therefore were of prophetic significance, though they were not inspired directly by God, inasmuch as the purposes of God were still to remain hidden from the eyes of men for the saving good of all concerned.
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