Genesis 44:1 Commentaries: Then he commanded his house steward, saying, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack.
Genesis 44:1
And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
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44:1-17 Joseph tried how his brethren felt towards Benjamin. Had they envied and hated the other son of Rachel as they had hated him, and if they had the same want of feeling towards their father Jacob as heretofore, they would now have shown it. When the cup was found upon Benjamin, they would have a pretext for leaving him to be a slave. But we cannot judge what men are now, by what they have been formerly; nor what they will do, by what they have done. The steward charged them with being ungrateful, rewarding evil for good; with folly, in taking away the cup of daily use, which would soon be missed, and diligent search made for it; for so it may be read, Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, as having a particular fondness for it, and for which he would search thoroughly? Or, By which, leaving it carelessly at your table, he would make trial whether you were honest men or not? They throw themselves upon Joseph's mercy, and acknowledge the righteousness of God, perhaps thinking of the injury they had formerly done to Joseph, for which they thought God was now reckoning with them. Even in afflictions wherein we believe ourselves wronged by men, we must own that God is righteous, and finds out our sin.And my cup. - Besides returning each man's money as before, a silver cup of Joseph's is put in Benjamin's bag, after which, when daylight comes, they are dismissed. They are scarcely out of the town when Joseph's steward is ordered to overtake them, and charge them with stealing the cup. "And whereby indeed he divineth." Divining by cups, we learn from this, was a common custom in Egypt (Herodotus ii. 83). It is here mentioned to enhance the value of the cup. Whether Joseph really practised any sort of divination cannot be determined from this passage.CHAPTER 44

Ge 44:1-34. Policy to Stay His Brethren.

1. And Joseph commanded the steward—The design of putting the cup into the sack of Benjamin was obviously to bring that young man into a situation of difficulty or danger, in order thereby to discover how far the brotherly feelings of the rest would be roused to sympathize with his distress and stimulate their exertions in procuring his deliverance. But for what purpose was the money restored? It was done, in the first instance, from kindly feelings to his father; but another and further design seems to have been the prevention of any injurious impressions as to the character of Benjamin. The discovery of the cup in his possession, if there had been nothing else to judge by, might have fastened a painful suspicion of guilt on the youngest brother; but the sight of the money in each man's sack would lead all to the same conclusion, that Benjamin was just as innocent as themselves, although the additional circumstance of the cup being found in his sack would bring him into greater trouble and danger.Joseph commands his steward to fill their sacks, restore every man’s money, and put his silver cup into Benjamin’s sack; sends them away, Genesis 44:1-3; thereby contriving to bring them back again: they are pursued, and charged with theft, Genesis 44:4-6; whereat, being greatly perplexed, they ignorantly make themselves liable to punishment, Genesis 44:7-10. The cup is found in Benjamin’s sack; they return to Joseph, submitting to his censure, Genesis 44:11-14. Joseph pretends the gift of prophecy, Genesis 44:15. Judah speaks much and earnestly on Benjamin’s behalf, offering to remain in his stead, Genesis 44:16-34.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And he commanded the steward of his house,.... Whom the Targum of Jonathan again calls Manasseh, the eldest son of Joseph:

saying, fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry; this he ordered out of his great affection for them, and that his father and his family might have sufficient supply in this time of famine:

and put every man's money in his sack's mouth; not that which had been put into their sacks the first time, for the steward acknowledged his receipt of it, but what they had paid for their present corn, they were about to carry away.

And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
1–17. The Divining Cup

1. with food, as much as they can carry] The “food” means corn; and by special favour the corn is not given them by price, but on a more generous scale; as much as they could carry.

every man’s money] This detail is not again referred to. It is over-shadowed by the incident of the cup.Verses 1, 2. - And he (i.e. Joseph) commanded the steward of his house, - literally, him that was over his hoarse (Genesis 43:15) - saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth (as before, but not this time as a test). And put my cup, - גָּבִיעַ, from an unused root, גָּבַע, conveying the sense of elevation or roundness; hence a goblet or bowl, commonly of a large size (Jeremiah 35:5), as distinguished from the כּוס, or mailer cup, into which, from the gabia, wine or other liquid was poured (cf. Genesis 40:11) - the silver cup, - τὸ κόνδυ τὸ ἀργυροῶν (LXX.). Bohlen mentions that the religious drinking utensil of the Indian priests is called kundi - in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money - literally, the silver of his grain, or of his purchase. And he (i.e. the steward) did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. Joseph first of all inquired after their own and their father's health (שׁלום first as substantive, then as adjective equals שׁלם Genesis 33:18), whether he was still living; which they answered with thanks in the affirmative, making the deepest bow. His eyes then fell upon Benjamin, the brother by his own mother, and he asked whether this was their youngest brother; but without waiting for their reply, he exclaimed, "God be gracious to thee, my son!" יחנך for יחנך as in Isaiah 30:19 (cf. Ewald, 251d). He addressed him as "my son," in tender and, as it were, paternal affection, and with special regard to his youth. Benjamin was 16 years younger than Joseph, and was quite an infant when Joseph was sold.
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