And the famine was sore in the land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
THE SECOND VISIT TO EGYPT.
(7) The man asked us straitly.—In Genesis 42:13 they appear rather as volunteering a statement of their family relations than as having it wrung from them by cross-examination. But really this history must be taken as explaining and supplementing the former. Accused of being spies, they would naturally give an account of themselves, and Joseph, anxious to know about his father and brother, would certainly put numerous questions to them concerning their home and family. And they would answer them fully and frankly, little suspecting who was the questioner, and what was his real reason for exacting Benjamin’s presence in proof of their trustworthiness:
Of our state and of our kindred.—Heb., concerning ourselves and our birthplace (see Genesis 12:1; Genesis 24:4; Genesis 24:7; Genesis 31:3), that is, our home. Questions about ourselves would be such as those given: “Is your father yet alive? Have ye a brother?” And besides these, Joseph would interrogate them closely concerning the place whence they came, and the state of things there.
Ge 43:1-14. Preparations for a Second Journey to Egypt.The famine continuing, and their provision being spent, Jacob commands them to go again to Egypt, Genesis 43:1,2. They prevail with their father to send Benjamin: Judah undertakes for him, Genesis 43:3-10. He gives them presents, double money, and his blessing, Genesis 43:11-14. They go to Egypt; stand before Joseph, Genesis 43:15. He seeing Benjamin with them, causeth them to be brought to his house, and entertained, Genesis 43:16,17; whereat they are afraid, and make an apology to the steward about their money, Genesis 43:18-22. He bids them good cheer, useth them courteously, brings Simeon to them, Genesis 43:23,24. They prepare to bring their presents to Joseph, who speaks kindly to them, (and asks them of their father,) especially to Benjamin, with whom he is so moved that he must retire to weep, Genesis 43:25-30. He feasts them, but Benjamin in an especial manner, Genesis 43:31-34.
(a) This was a great temptation to Jacob to suffer such a great famine in the land where God had promised to bless him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Go again] That Jacob seems to forget about Simeon, is due to the change from the E to the J narrative.Verses 1, 2. - And the famine was sore (literally, was heavy) in the land (sc. of Canaan). And it came to pass (how long after the return of Joseph's brethren cannot be determined, as the quantity of grain they brought or the number that partook of it cannot possibly be estimated; but it may be reasonably inferred that several months had elapsed since their arrival at Hebron), when they had eaten up - literally, had finished to eat up, i.e. not nearly (Mercerus, Bush), but entirely consumed - the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, - it is probable that only Jacob's family partook of the Egyptian corn, the slaves supporting themselves on roots, vegetables, and milk (Calvin, Rosenmüller, Gerlach) - their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food. What they could buy would be little in proportion to their needs.
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