Genesis 41:39
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
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41:33-45 Joseph gave good advice to Pharaoh. Fair warning should always be followed by good counsel. God has in his word told us of a day of trial before us, when we shall need all the grace we can have. Now, therefore, provide accordingly. Pharaoh gave Joseph an honourable testimony. He is a man in whom the spirit of God is; and such men ought to be valued. Pharaoh puts upon Joseph marks of honour. He gave him such a name as spoke the value he had for him, Zaphnath-paaneah, a revealer of secrets. This preferment of Joseph encourages all to trust in God. Some translate Joseph's new name, the saviour of the world. The brightest glories, even of the upper world, are put upon Christ, the highest trust lodged in his hand, and all power given him, both in heaven and earth.Pharaoh approves of his counsel, and selects him as "the discreet and wise man" for carrying it into effect. "In whom is the Spirit of God." He acknowledges the gift that is in Joseph to be from God. "All my people behave" - dispose or order their conduct, a special meaning of this word, which usually signifies to kiss. "His ring." His signet-ring gave Joseph the delegated power of the sovereign, and constituted him his prime minister or grand vizier. "Vestures of fine linen." Egypt was celebrated for its flax, and for the fineness of its textures. The priests were arrayed in official robes of linen, and no man was allowed to enter a temple in a woolen garment (Herodotus ii. 37, 81). "A gold chain about his neck." This was a badge of office worn in Egypt by the judge and the prime minister. It had a similar use in Persia and Babylonia Daniel 5:7. "The second chariot." Egypt was noted for chariots, both for peaceful and for warlike purposes (Herodotus ii. 108). The second in the public procession was assigned to Joseph. "Bow the knee." The various explications of this proclamation agree in denoting a form of obeisance, with which Joseph was to be honored. I am Pharaoh, the king Genesis 12:15. "Without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot." Thou art next to me, and without thee no man shall act or move. "Zaphenath-paneah." Pharaoh designates him the preserver of life, as the interpreter of the dream and the proposer of the plan by which the country was saved from famine. He thus naturalizes him so far as to render his civil status compatible with his official rank. "Asenath." The priests were the highest and most privileged class in Egypt. Intermarriage with this caste at once determined the social position of the wonderous foreigner. His father-in-law was priest of On, a city dedicated to the worship of the sun.

With our Western and modern habit we may at the first glance be surprised to find a stranger of a despised race suddenly elevated to the second place in the kingdom. But in ancient and Eastern governments, which were of a despotic character, such changes, depending on the will of the sovereign, were by no means unusual. Secondly, the conviction that "the Spirit of God was in" the mysterious stranger, was sufficient to overbear all opposing feelings or customs. And, lastly, it was assumed and acted on, as a self-evident fact, that the illustrious stranger could have no possible objection to be incorporated into the most ancient of nations, and allied with its noblest families. We may imagine that Joseph would find an insuperable difficulty in becoming a citizen of Egypt or a son-in-law of the priest of the sun. But we should not forget that the world was yet too young to have arrived at the rigid and sharplydefined systems of polytheism or allotheism to which we are accustomed. Some gray streaks of a pure monotheism, of the knowledge of the one true God, still gleamed across the sky of human memory. Some faint traces of one common brotherhood among mankind still lingered in the recollections of the past. The Pharaoh of Abraham's day feels the power of him whose name is Yahweh Genesis 12:17. Abimelek acknowledges the God of Abraham and Isaac Genesis 20:3-7; Genesis 21:22-23; Genesis 26:28-29. And while Joseph is frank and faithful in acknowledging the true God before the king of Egypt, Pharaoh himself is not slow to recognize the man in whom the Spirit of God is. Having experienced the omniscience and omnipotence of Joseph's God, he was prepared, no doubt, not only himself to offer him such adoration as he was accustomed to pay to his national gods, but also to allow Joseph full liberty to worship the God of his fathers, and to bring up his family in that faith.

Joseph was now in his thirtieth year, and had consequently been thirteen years in Egypt, most part of which interval he had probably spent in prison. This was the age for manly service Numbers 4:3. He immediately enters upon his office.

38. Pharaoh said unto his servants—The kings of ancient Egypt were assisted in the management of state affairs by the advice of the most distinguished members of the priestly order; and, accordingly, before admitting Joseph to the new and extraordinary office that was to be created, those ministers were consulted as to the expediency and propriety of the appointment.

a man in whom the Spirit of God is—An acknowledgment of the being and power of the true God, though faint and feeble, continued to linger amongst the higher classes long after idolatry had come to prevail.

God hath showed thee all this, i.e. hath given thee this extraordinary gift of foreseeing and foretelling things to come, and of giving such sage advice for the future.

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,.... After his servants had agreed to his being the man: at least Pharaoh had declared his mind that he should be the person; which if any of them disliked, as probably might be the case of some through envy, and as desirous of the post themselves, yet durst not make any opposition to it:

forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this; the interpretation of his dreams, what would be hereafter for fourteen years to come, what was advisable to be done for the good of the nation, and had proposed a plan so well contrived and formed:

there is none so discreet and wise as thou art; and consequently none so fit for this business, since he was so divinely qualified; and Justin, the Heathen writer (r), observes that he had such knowledge and experience of things, that his answers seemed to be given not from men, but from God.

(r) E. Trogo, l. 36. c. 32.

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
39. Forasmuch as] Lit. “after that.”

Verses 39, 40. - And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as (literally, after) God (Elohim) hath showed thee (literally, hath caused thee to know) all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled - literally, according to thy mouth shall all my people dispose themselves, i.e. they shall render obedience to thy commands (LXX., Vulgate, Onkelos, Saadias, Pererius, Dathius, Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch, Lange, Murphy, and others); though by many competent authorities (Calvin, Schultens, Knobel, Ainsworth, Gesenius, Furst, Wordsworth, et alii) the rendering is preferred, "upon thy mouth shall all my people kiss," against which, however, is the fact that not even then were governors accustomed to be kissed on the lips by their subjects in token of allegiance. The suggestion that the verb should be taken in the sense of "arm themselves," as in 2 Chronicles 17:17 (Aben Ezra), does not meet with general acceptance. Only in the throne (or, more accurately, only as to the throne) will I be greater than thou. Genesis 41:39Joseph's Promotion. - This counsel pleased Pharaoh and all his servants, so that he said to them, "Shall we find a man like this one, in whom the Spirit of God is?" "The Spirit of Elohim," i.e., the spirit of supernatural insight and wisdom. He then placed Joseph over his house, and over all Egypt; in other words, he chose him as hid grand vizier, saying to him, "After God hath showed thee all this, there is none discreet and wise as thou." ישּׁק על־פּיך, "according to thy mouth (i.e., command, Genesis 45:21) shall my whole people arrange itself." נשׁק does not mean to kiss (Rabb., Ges., etc.), for על נשׁק is not Hebrew, and kissing the mouth was not customary as an act of homage, but "to dispose, arrange one's self" (ordine disposuit). "Only in the throne will I be greater than thou."
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