Genesis 41:46
And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Genesis 41:46. Joseph was thirty years old — So that his life had been a life of humiliation and suffering for about thirteen years. But the season of peculiar and great affliction, whereby his faith and patience, and all his graces, had been tried to the uttermost, had prepared him for his subsequent exaltation, which was of much longer duration, even for the space of eighty years. His age may also, perhaps, be mentioned here, to signify that his great wisdom, when he stood before Pharaoh, was not the fruit of long and large experience, but was the singular gift of God.41:46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget his misery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, when the famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and important labours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that his father Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of our troubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Let these events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread of life throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bids you, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open his treasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of every age and nation, without money and without price. But those who slight this provision must starve, and his enemies will be destroyed.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.

46. Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh—seventeen when brought into Egypt, probably three in prison, and thirteen in the service of Potiphar.

went out … all the land—made an immediate survey to determine the site and size of the storehouses required for the different quarters of the country.

Joseph’s age is here noted to teach us,

1. That Joseph’s short affliction was recompensed with a much longer prosperity, even for eighty years.

2. That Joseph’s excellent wisdom did not proceed from his large and long experience, but from the singular gift of God.

He stood before Pharaoh, as his chief minister: to stand before another is the posture and designation of a servant, as 1 Samuel 16:21 Daniel 1:19.

Went throughout all the land, to provide places for his stores, and to constitute officers for the management of them. And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt,.... Interpreting his dreams, and had such honour conferred upon him as to be made his prime minister; from whence it appears that Joseph had now been thirteen years in Egypt, partly in Potiphar's house, and partly in prison, since he was seventeen years of age when he was sold thither, see Genesis 37:2,

and Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh; from standing before him, and ministering to him as his counsellor and chief statesman, or he went out from his court and palace for a while:

and went throughout all the land of Egypt: this seems to be a second tour; before he went to survey the land, and pitch upon the most proper places for granaries to lay up store of corn in; and now he went through it, to gather in and give directions about it, and see it performed, for the years of plenty were now begun.

And Joseph was {n} thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

(n) His age is mentioned both to show that his authority came from God, and also that he endured imprisonment and exile for twelve years or more.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
46. thirty years old] This verse probably contains the brief record of P; according to which Joseph had spent thirteen years in Egypt before his elevation, and was aged seventeen when he was brought into Egypt, Genesis 37:2. There elapsed seven years of plenty and two of the years of famine, before his brothers came down to Egypt (Genesis 45:11). Accordingly, Joseph must have been in Egypt over twenty years before they came. Benjamin had been born some time before Joseph disappeared (Genesis 35:18). Hence, so far from Benjamin being “a little one” (Genesis 44:20), he must have been well over twenty, when Joseph saw his brethren. The computation illustrates the impossibility of harmonizing discrepancies, if the existence of independent narratives, or parallel versions of tradition, be rejected. When the separate character of the P record is recognized, the difficulties disappear.Verse 46. - And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt - literally, a son of thirty years in his standing before Pharaoh. If, therefore, he had been three years in prison (Genesis 40:4; Genesis 41:1), he must have served for ten years in the house of Potiphar. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh (in the performance of his official duties), and went throughout all the land of Egypt - super-intending the district overseers. Joseph'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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