Genesis 45:26
And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(26) Jacob’s heart fainted.—Heb., grew cold. This was not the effect of incredulity or suspicion, but of surprise. Jacob, crushed by the loss of the child who had taken the place of his beloved Rachel in his heart, had nothing left to interest him except Benjamin. When, therefore, the news come that Joseph still lives, his mind cannot open itself to receive the joyful tidings, and their first effect is to chill him with a renewed sense of his loss. It is only when he sees the wagons, and other clear proofs of the fact, that life returns to his benumbed faculties, and he becomes capable of joy.

Genesis 45:26. They told him — Probably without any preamble; Joseph is yet alive — The very mention of Joseph’s name revived his sorrow, so that his heart fainted, and it was a good while before he came to himself. He was in such care and fear about the rest of them, that at this time it would have been joy enough to him to hear that Simeon was released, and Benjamin come safe home; for he had been ready to despair concerning them both; but to hear that Joseph was alive was too good news to be true; he faints, for he believes it not.

45:25-28 To hear that Joseph is alive, is too good news to be true; Jacob faints, for he believes it not. We faint, because we do not believe. At length, Jacob is convinced of the truth. Jacob was old, and did not expect to live long. He says, Let my eyes be refreshed with this sight before they are closed, and then I need no more to make me happy in this world. Behold Jesus manifesting himself as a Brother and a Friend to those who once were his despisers, his enemies. He assures them of his love and the riches of his grace. He commands them to lay aside envy, anger, malice, and strife, and to live in peace with each other. He teaches them to give up the world for him and his fulness. He supplies all that is needful to bring them home to himself, that where he is they may be also. And though, when he at last sends for his people, they may for a time feel some doubts and fears, yet the thought of seeing his glory and of being with him, will enable them to say, It is enough, I am willing to die; and I go to see, and to be with the Beloved of my soul.The returning brothers inform their father of the existence and elevation of Joseph in Egypt. The aged patriarch is overcome for the moment, but at length awakens to a full apprehension of the joyful news. His heart fainted; ceased to beat for a time, fluttered, sank within him. The news was too good for him to venture all at once to believe it. But the words of Joseph, which they recite, and the wagons which he had sent, at length lead to the conviction that it must be indeed true. He is satisfied. His only thought is to go and see Joseph before he dies. A sorrow of twenty-two years' standing has now been wiped away.

- Jacob Goes Down to Egypt

9. פלוּא pallû', Pallu, "distinguished." חצרן chetsrôn, Chetsron, of the "court," or "village." כרמי karmı̂y, Karmi, "vine-dresser."

10. ימוּאל yemû'êl, Jemuel, "day of El." ימין yâmı̂yn, Jamin, "right hand." אהד 'ôhad, Ohad, "joining together." יכין yâkı̂yn, Jakin, "he shall establish." צחר tsôchar, Tsochar, "whiteness."

11. גרשׁון gêreshôn, Gereshon, "expelling." קהת qehâth, Qehath, "assembly." מררי merârı̂y, Merari, "flowing, bitter."

12. חמוּל châmûl, Chamul, "pitied, treated with mercy."

13. תולע tôlâ‛, Tola', "worm, scarlet." פוּה pû'âh, Puvvah, "mouth?" יוב yôb, Job, "enemy?" שׂמרן śı̂mrôn, Shimron, "watch."

14. סרד sered, Sered, "fear." אלון 'êlôn, Elon, "oak." יחלאל yachle'êl, Jachleel, "El shall sicken or inspire with hope."

16. צפיון tsı̂phyôn, Tsiphjon, "watcher." חגי chaggı̂y, Chaggi, "festive." שׁוּני shûnı̂y, Shuni, "quiet." אצבון 'etsbôn, Etsbon, "toiling?" ערי ‛êrı̂y, 'Eri, "watcher." ארודי 'ǎrôdı̂y, Arodi, rover? אראלי 'ar'êlı̂y, Areli, "lion of El?"

17. ימנה yı̂mnâh, Jimnah, "prosperity." ישׁוה yı̂shvâh, Jishvah, ישׁוי yı̂shvı̂y, Jishvi, "even, level." בריעה berı̂y‛âh, Beri'ah, "in evil." שׂרח śerach, Serach, "overflow." חבר cheber, Cheber, "fellowship." מלכיאל malkı̂y'êl Malkiel, "king of EL"

21. בלע bela‛, Bela', "devouring." בכר beker, Beker, "a young camel." אשׁבל 'ashbêl Ashbel, "short?" גרא gêrâ', Gerah, "a grain." <נעמן na‛ămân, Na'aman, "pleasant." אחי 'êchı̂y Echi, "brotherly?" ראשׁ rô'sh, Rosh, "head." מפים mûppı̂ym, Muppim, חפים chûppı̂ym, Chuppim, "covering." ארד 'ard, Ard, "fugitive, rover."

23. צשׁים chûshı̂ym, Chushim, "haste."

24. יחצאל yachtse'êl, Jachtseel, "El will divide." גוּני gûnı̂y, Guni, "dyed." יצר yêtser, Jetser, "form." שׂלם śı̂llêm, Shillem, "retribution."

The second dream of Joseph is now to receive its fulfillment. His father is to bow down before him. His mother is dead. It is probable that also Leah is deceased. The figure, by which the dream shadows forth the reality, is fulfilled, when the spirit of it receives its accomplishment.

24. so he sent his brethren away—In dismissing them on their homeward journey, he gave them this particular admonition:

See that ye fall not out by the way—a caution that would be greatly needed; for not only during the journey would they be occupied in recalling the parts they had respectively acted in the events that led to Joseph's being sold into Egypt, but their wickedness would soon have to come to the knowledge of their venerable father.

Jacob’s heart fainted, or, was weakened, or failed, he fell into a swoon, as it is ordinary, because of the greatness and suddenness of the news, and the conflict of contrary and violent passions, raised hereby; grief at the remembrance of his former loss, and excessive joy for Joseph’s recovery and felicity; hope that this might be true, and fear lest it should be but a fiction of theirs: any one of these passions are able to cause a fainting of the spirits, but much more when all meet together, especially in an aged person.

He believed them not; partly because of the greatness, and strangeness, and desirableness of the thing; compare Psalm 126:1; and partly because they were by this very relation convicted of one lie about Joseph, in saying that he was dead, and therefore might easily be thought guilty of another.

And told him,.... What had happened to them in Egypt:

saying, Joseph is yet alive; who was thought by him and them to have been dead long ago:

and he is governor over all the land of Egypt; deputy governor, and had such power and authority that nothing was done without his order; the executive power or administration of government was put into his hands, and all the officers of the kingdom were under him, he was next to Pharaoh:

and Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not; it was too great and too good news to be true; though it was desirable, it was unexpected; it amazed him, he knew not what to think, or say or believe about it; there was such a conflict of the passions in him, that he could not compose himself, or reason with himself about it; and what might serve the more to hinder his belief of it was, that this report of theirs was contrary to what they themselves had before related of his death; and very likely upon the mention of the thing he fell into a swoon, and was not himself for a while; and when he came a little to himself, they went on with their account, as follows.

And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart {h} fainted, for he believed them not.

(h) As one between hope and fear.

26. his heart fainted] Lit. “became numb or cold”; as we should say, “his heart stood still’ at the news. It was too good to be true.

Genesis 45:26When they got back, and brought word to their father, "Joseph is still living, yea (וכי an emphatic assurance, Ewald, 3306) he is ruler in all the land of Egypt, his heart stopped, for he believed them not;" i.e., his heart did not beat at this joyful news, for he put no faith in what they said. It was not till they told him all that Joseph had said, and he saw the carriages that Joseph had sent, that "the spirit of their father Jacob revived; and Israel said: It is enough! Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die." Observe the significant interchange of Jacob and Israel. When once the crushed spirit of the old man was revived by the certainty that his son Joseph was still alive, Jacob was changed into Israel, the "conqueror overcoming his grief at the previous misconduct of his sons" (Fr. v. Meyer).
Genesis 45:26 Interlinear
Genesis 45:26 Parallel Texts

Genesis 45:26 NIV
Genesis 45:26 NLT
Genesis 45:26 ESV
Genesis 45:26 NASB
Genesis 45:26 KJV

Genesis 45:26 Bible Apps
Genesis 45:26 Parallel
Genesis 45:26 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 45:26 Chinese Bible
Genesis 45:26 French Bible
Genesis 45:26 German Bible

Bible Hub

Genesis 45:25
Top of Page
Top of Page