Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he to them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To fill their sacks.—Heb., their vessels. The word includes all their means of transport, and probably they had come with materials sufficient for the removal of a large quantity of corn. They had sacks as well. So in Genesis 42:19, Joseph had commanded them to “carry corn for the famine of their houses.” And as their households were numerous, what would nine sacks of corn avail for their maintenance?
To restore every man’s money into his sack.—It is evident that each one had made his own separate purchase for his own household. The restoration of the money frightened Joseph’s brethren, as they saw in it a pretext for their detention on their next visit. But Joseph could not have meant thus to alarm them, as their fear would act as an obstacle to their coming again accompanied by Benjamin. It is more likely that he intended it as an encouragement, and sign of secret good will.Genesis 41:38-39. But it intimates to the brothers the astonishing and hopeful fact that the grand vizier serves the same great Being whom they and their fathers have known and worshipped; and gives them a plain hint that they will be dealt with according to the just law of heaven.
"Carry grain for your houses." The governor then is touched with some feeling for their famishing households. The brothers, though honoring their aged father as the patriarch of their race, had now their separate establishments. Twelve households had to be supplied with bread. The journey to Egypt was not to be undertaken more than once a year if possible, as the distance from Hebron was upwards of two hundred miles. Hence, the ten brothers had with them all their available beasts of burden, with the needful retinue of servants. We need not be surprised that these are not especially enumerated, as it is the manner of Scripture to leave the secondary matters to the intelligence and experience of the reader, unless, as in the case of Abraham's three hundred and eighteen trained servants, they happen to be of essential moment in the process of events. "Your youngest brother." Joseph longs to see his full brother alive, whom he left at home a child of four summers. "Verily guilty are we concerning our brother."
Their affliction is beginning to bear the fruit of repentance. "Because we saw the distress of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear." How vividly is the scene of Joseph's sale here brought before us. It now appears that he besought them to spare him, and they would not hear! "This distress." Retribution has come at last. "His blood is required." Reuben justly upbraids them with their hardness of heart. Their brother's blood is required; for murder was intended, and when he was sold his death was pretended. "The interpreter was betwixt them." The dragoman was employed in holding conversation with them. But Joseph heard the spontaneous expressions of remorse, coming unprompted from their lips. The fountain of affection is deeply stirred. He cannot repress the rising tear. He has to retire for a time to recover his composure. He now takes, not Reuben, who was not to blame, but Simon, the next oldest, and binds him before them: a speaking act. He then gives orders to supply them with corn (grain), deposit their money in their sacks without their knowledge, and furnish them with provision for the way. Joseph feels, perhaps, that he cannot take money from his father. He will pay for the corn out of his own funds. But he cannot openly return the money to his brothers without more explanation than he wishes at present to give.
and to restore every man's money into his sack; the money paid by each for his quantity of corn delivered to him, not into the person's hands, but to be put into his sack privately, and unknown to him:
and to give them provision for the way; sufficient both for themselves and for their cattle, that they might carry the whole of what corn they bought to their families:Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 25. - Then (literally, and) Joseph commanded to fill - literally, commanded, and they (i.e. Joseph's men) filled - their sacks (rather, vessels or receptacles, כְּלִי) with corn, and to restore every man's money (literally, the. dr pieces of silver, each) into his sack, - שַׂק, saccus, σάκος, σάκκος, sack (vide Genesis 37:34). Joseph "feels it impossible to bargain, with his father and his brethren for bread" (Baumgarten) - and to give them prevision for the way: and thus did he (literally, it was done) unto them. Genesis 9:5); i.e., not merely the sin of casting him into the pit and then selling him, but his death also, of which we have been guilty through that sale. Thus they accused themselves in Joseph's presence, not knowing that he could understand; "for the interpreter was between them." Joseph had conversed with them through an interpreter, as an Egyptian who was ignorant of their language. "The interpreter," viz., the one appointed for that purpose; בּינות like Genesis 26:28. But Joseph understood their words, and "turned away and wept" (Genesis 42:24), with inward emotion at the wonderful leadings of divine grace, and at the change in his brothers' feelings. He then turned to them again, and, continuing the conversation with them, had Simeon bound before their eyes, to be detained as a hostage (not Reuben, who had dissuaded them from killing Joseph, and had taken no part in the sale, but Simeon, the next in age). He then ordered his men to fill their sacks with corn, to give every one (אישׁ as in Genesis 15:10) his money back in his sack, and to provide them with food for the journey.
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