And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 12:10; Genesis 26:1.
The fertility of Egypt depends on the rise of the waters of the Nile to a certain point, at which they will reach all the country. If it fall short of that point, there will be a deficiency in the crops proportioned to the deficiency in the rise. The rise of the Nile depends on the tropical rains by which the lake is supplied from which it flows. These rains depend on the clouds wafted by the winds from the basin of the Mediterranean Sea. The amount of these piles of vapor will depend on the access and strength of the solar heat producing evaporation from the surface of that inland sea. The same cause, therefore, may withhold rain from central Africa, and from all the lands that are watered from the Mediterranean. The duration of the extraordinary plenty was indeed wonderful. But such periods of excess are generally followed by corresponding periods of deficiency over the same area. This prepares the way for the arrival of Joseph's kindred in Egypt.
- Joseph and Ten of His Brethren
1. שׁבר sheber, "fragment, crumb, hence, grain." בר bar "pure," "winnowed," hence, "corn" (grain).
6. שׁליט shallı̂yṭ, "ruler, governor, hence," Sultan. Not elsewhere found in the Pentateuch.
25. כלי kelı̂y, "vessel," here any portable article in which grain may be conveyed. שׂק śaq, "sack," the very word which remains in our language to this day. אמתחת 'amtachath "bag."
Twenty years, the period of Joseph's long and anxious waiting, have come to an end. The dreams of his boyhood are now at length to be fulfilled. The famine has reached the chosen family, and they look at one another perplexed and irresolute, not knowing what to do.1708 No text from Poole on this verse. Genesis 41:50; some connect the words, "moreover when" the seven years of plenty were ended, then began, as follows, seven years of famine; these events were fulfilled just as Joseph had predicted. And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 53, 54. - And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began to come, - the most complete parallel to Joseph's famine was that which occurred in A.D. -1071, in the reign of Fatimee Khaleefeh, El-Mustansir-bilh, when the people ate corpses and animals that died of themselves; when a dog was sold for five, a cat for three, and a bushel of wheat for twenty, deenars (vide Smith's 'Bib. Dict.,' art. Famine) - according as Joseph had said (thus confirming Joseph's character as a prophet): and the dearth was in all lands; - i.e. in all the adjoining countries, and notably in Palestine (vide Genesis 42:1, 2) - but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
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