And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when you do overtake them, say to them, Why have you rewarded evil for good?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ezekiel 30:14, margin:
Joseph said unto his steward, up, follow after the men; who no doubt was ready provided with men and horses, to go out and pursue when Joseph should give the orders, he being privy to Joseph's intentions, and with whom the scheme was concerted, and the secret was. Joseph appears to have been up very early this morning, and had observed the exact time of his brethren's departure, and guessed whereabouts they might be when he sent his steward, and others after them; for it can hardly be thought he was sent alone after eleven men, and to charge them with a theft, and bring them back again:
and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? in taking away the silver cup, when they had been so kindly and bountifully entertained. This he was to represent as base ingratitude, as it would have appeared, had it been fact. In much such manner was Esop used by the inhabitants of Delphos; they, being displeased with him, put a sacred cup or vial into his bags, which he, being ignorant of, went on his way towards Phocis; and they ran after him, and seized him, and charged him with sacrilege (h).And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. the city] The name of the city is most unfortunately not given. Memphis would be suitable: cf. Genesis 45:10. The moment of the men’s arrest is well timed. Everything had gone off well. They had got their corn; they had been acquitted of any complicity in the return of the money; they had been hospitably treated by the “lord”; they were well on their way homeward.
Wherefore have ye rewarded] The guilt of Joseph’s brethren is presented in an ascending scale of enormity: (1) it was theft; (2) by guests from their host’s table; (3) of an article of special sanctity. The LXX, in order to supply the connexion between Genesis 44:4-5, inserts at the end of Genesis 44:4, Ἵνα τί ἐκλέψατέ μου τὸ κόνδυ τὸ ἀργυροῦν; = “Wherefore have ye stolen my silver cup?”Deuteronomy 12:17; Deuteronomy 16:5; Deuteronomy 17:15). For this was an abomination to the Egyptians." The Hebrews and others, for example, slaughtered and ate animals, even female animals, which were regarded by the Egyptians as sacred; so that, according to Herod. ii. 41, no Egyptian would use the knife, or fork, or saucepan of a Greek, nor would any eat of the flesh of a clean animal which had been cut up with a Grecian knife (cf. Exodus 8:22).
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