Genesis 43:19
And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
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(19) At the door of the house.—Alarmed at a thing so unexpected as being taken to the house of the governor, they can see nothing but danger, and will not enter until they receive the assurance of safety from the officer “who was over Joseph’s house.” (See Note on Genesis 43:25.)

43:15-25 Jacob's sons went down the second time into Egypt to buy corn. If we should ever know what a famine of the word means, let us not think it much to travel as far for spiritual food, as they did for bodily food. Joseph's steward had orders from his master to take them to his house. Even this frightened them. Those that are guilty make the worst of every thing. But the steward encouraged them. It appears, from what he said, that by his good master he was brought to the knowledge of the true God, the God of the Hebrews. Religious servants should take all fit occasions to speak of God and his providence, with reverence and seriousness.They are encouraged by the steward of Joseph's house to lay aside their fears, and prepare their present. "Spake to him at the door of the house." This was, of course, before they entered. "When we came to the inn." The relater is prone to lump matters in the narration, for the sake of brevity. They began to "open their bags" at the first lodging-place, and finished the process at the last when they got home. Other silver. This explains the phrase "second silver" in Genesis 43:12. "Peace be to you." Be at rest. All is well. Your God. The steward of Joseph expresses himself as one who fears and trusts God, the God of the Hebrews, who had displayed his omniscience and omnipotence in Egypt. "He brought out unto them Simon." While they still linger at the entrance, the considerate steward bethought himself of bringing out Simon to them, which reassured their hearts, and induced them to enter willingly. He now succeeds therefore, in bringing them in, and then bestows upon them the usual attentions of Eastern hospitality. They now "make ready their present."18. the men were afraid—Their feelings of awe on entering the stately mansion, unaccustomed as they were to houses at all, their anxiety at the reasons of their being taken there, their solicitude about the restored money, their honest simplicity in communicating their distress to the steward and his assurances of having received their money in "full weight," the offering of their fruit present, which would, as usual, be done with some parade, and the Oriental salutations that passed between their host and them—are all described in a graphic and animated manner. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house,.... The same person before called the ruler of his house, under whose direction they were; just before they came to the house, as it seems by what follows, they made up to him as having something to say to him:

and they communed with him at the door of the house; before they went into it, being uneasy and eager to know what should be the meaning of their being brought thither, which was unusual.

And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
19. at the door of the house] Before crossing the threshold they wished to explain their innocence about the money.

According to the old Hebrew law, a thief who failed to make restitution might be seized and sold for a slave (Exodus 22:3).

Verses 19-22. - And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house (literally, the man who was over Joseph's house), and they communed (or spake) with him at the door of the house (i.e. before they entered), and said, O sir, - literally, Pray, my lord; δεόμεθαπύριε (LXX.) - we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: and it came to pass, when we came to the inn, - or halting-place (vide Genesis 42:27) - that we opened our sacks, - this was not strictly accurate, as only one sack had been opened at the wayside khan, while the others were not examined till they had reached home; though, as an explanation of the difficulty, it has been suggested (vide Keil's 'Introduction,' vol. 1. p. 109, note by Prof. Douglas) that all the sacks may have been, and probably were, opened at the inn, but that only one man found his money in his sack's mouth, as the next clause explains - and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, - literally, a man's money in the mouth of his sack, i.e. one of them found his money there, while the others discovered their money, which was not "in the sack's mouth," but "in the sack" (Genesis 42:35), only on emptying their sacks at home - our money in full weight (literally, according to its weight): and we have brought it again in our hand. And other money (i.e. the second silver of ver. 12) have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. Genesis 43:19When the brethren appeared before Joseph, he ordered his steward to take them into the house, and prepare a dinner for them and for him. טבה the original form of the imperative for טבח. But the brethren were alarmed, thinking that they were taken into the house because of the money which returned the first time (השּׁב which came back, they could not imagine how), that he might take them unawares (lit., roll upon them), and fall upon them, and keep them as salves, along with their asses. For the purpose of averting what they dreaded, they approached (Genesis 43:19) the steward and told him, "at the door of the house," before they entered therefore, how, at the first purchase of corn, on opening their sacks, they found the money that had been paid, "every one's money in the mouth of his sack, our money according to its weight," i.e., in full, and had now brought it back, together with some more money to buy corn, and they did not know who had put their money in their sacks (Genesis 43:20-22). The steward, who was initiated into Joseph's plans, replied in a pacifying tone, "Peace be to you (לכם שׁלום is not a form of salutation here, but of encouragement, as in Judges 6:23): fear not; your God and the God of your father has given you a treasure in your sacks; your money came to me;" and at the same time, to banish all their fear, he brought Simeon out to them. He then conducted them into Joseph's house, and received them in Oriental fashion as the guests of his lord. But, previous to Joseph's arrival, they arranged the present which they had brought with them, as they heard that they were to dine with him.
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