Genesis 45:7
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
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(7) To preserve you a posterity in the earth.—Heb., To put for you a remnant in the land, that is, to preserve a remainder for you, as the word is translated in 2Samuel 14:7. During the seven years’ famine many races probably dwindled away, and the Hebrews, as mere sojourners in Canaan, would have been in danger of total extinction.

By a great deliverance.—That is, by a signal interference on your behalf. But the word rendered “deliverance,” more exactly signifies that which escapes (see 2Kings 19:31, where, as here, it is joined with the word remnant, and 2Kings 19:30, where it is itself rendered remnant). The two nouns really signify the same thing; but whereas in the first clause the words seem to forebode that only few would escape, in the second there is the assurance of their surviving in such numbers as to be able to grow into a great nation.

45:1-15 Joseph let Judah go on, and heard all he had to say. He found his brethren humbled for their sins, mindful of himself, for Judah had mentioned him twice in his speech, respectful to their father, and very tender of their brother Benjamin. Now they were ripe for the comfort he designed, by making himself known. Joseph ordered all his attendants to withdraw. Thus Christ makes himself and his loving-kindness known to his people, out of the sight and hearing of the world. Joseph shed tears of tenderness and strong affection, and with these threw off that austerity with which he had hitherto behaved toward his brethren. This represents the Divine compassion toward returning penitents. I am Joseph, your brother. This would humble them yet more for their sin in selling him, but would encourage them to hope for kind treatment. Thus, when Christ would convince Paul, he said, I am Jesus; and when he would comfort his disciples, he said, It is I, be not afraid. When Christ manifests himself to his people, he encourages them to draw near to him with a true heart. Joseph does so, and shows them, that whatever they thought to do against him, God had brought good out of it. Sinners must grieve and be angry with themselves for their sins, though God brings good out of it, for that is no thanks to them. The agreement between all this, and the case of a sinner, on Christ's manifesting himself to his soul, is very striking. He does not, on this account, think sin a less, but a greater evil; and yet he is so armed against despair, as even to rejoice in what God hath wrought, while he trembles in thinking of the dangers and destruction from which he has escaped. Joseph promises to take care of his father and all the family. It is the duty of children, if the necessity of their parents at any time require it, to support and supply them to the utmost of their ability; this is showing piety at home, 1Ti 5:4. After Joseph had embraced Benjamin, he caressed them all, and then his brethren talked with him freely of all the affairs of their father's house. After the tokens of true reconciliation with the Lord Jesus, sweet communion with him follows.Joseph now reveals to his brothers the astonishing fact that he himself, their long-lost brother, stands before them. "He could not refrain himself." Judah has painted the scene at home to the life; and Joseph can hold out no longer. "Have every man out from me." Delicacy forbids the presence of strangers at this unrestrained outburst of tender emotion among the brothers. Besides, the workings of conscience, bringing up the recollections of the past, and the errors, to which some reference is now unavoidable, are not to be unveiled to the public eye. "He lifted up his voice in weeping." The expression of the feelings is free and uncontrolled in a simple and primitive state of society. This prevails still in the East. And Mizraim heard. The Egyptians of Joseph's house would hear, and report to others, this unusual utterance of deep feeling. "I am Joseph." The natural voice, the native tongue, the long-remembered features, would, all at once, strike the apprehension of the brothers.

The remembrance of their crime, the absolute power of Joseph, and the justice of revenge, would rush upon their minds. No wonder they were silent and troubled at his presence. "Is my father yet alive?" This question shows where Joseph's thoughts were. He had been repeatedly assured of his father's welfare. But the long absence and the yearning of a fond heart bring the question up again. It was reassuring to the brethren, as it was far away from any thought of their fault or their punishment. "Come near unto me." Joseph sees the trouble of his brothers, and discerns its cause. He addresses them a second time, and plainly refers to the fact of their having sold him. He points out that this was overruled of God to the saving of life; and, hence, that it was not they, but God who had mercifully sent him to Egypt to preserve all their lives. "For these two years." Hence, we perceive that the sons of Jacob obtained a supply, on the first occasion, which was sufficient for a year. "To leave to you a remnant in the land."

This is usually and most naturally referred to a surviving portion of their race. "Father to Pharaoh;" a second author of life to him. Having touched very slightly on their transgression, and endeavored to divert their thoughts to the wonderful providence of God displayed in the whole affair, he lastly preoccupies their minds with the duty and necessity of bringing down their father and all their families to dwell in Egypt. "In the land of Goshen." This was a pasture land on the borders of Egypt and Arabia, perhaps at some distance from the Nile, and watered by the showers of heaven, like their own valleys. He then appeals to their recollections and senses, whether he was not their very brother Joseph. "My mouth that speaketh unto you;" not by an interpreter, but with his own lips, and in their native tongue. Having made this needful and reassuring explanation, he breaks through all distance, and falls upon Benjamin's neck and kisses him, and all his other brothers; after which their hearts are soothed, and they speak freely with him.

6. and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest—"Ear" is an old English word, meaning "to plough" (compare 1Sa 8:12; Isa 30:24). This seems to confirm the view given (Ge 41:57) that the famine was caused by an extraordinary drought, which prevented the annual overflowing of the Nile; and of course made the land unfit to receive the seed of Egypt. That you and your children might be sustained and preserved in this time of famine, and afterwards abundantly multiplied, as God hath promised.

By a great deliverance, or, for a great remnant, or escaping, i.e. that you who are now but a handful, escaping this danger, may grow into a vast multitude. The word evasion, or escaping, is here put for the persons that do escape, as it is 2 Chronicles 30:6 Isaiah 10:20; and as captivity is oft put for the captives, as it is Numbers 21:1 Deu 21:10. And so what was said in the former clause is repeated in this with all emphatical addition. And God sent me before you,.... This he repeats to impress the minds of his brethren with a sense of the good providence of God in bringing him to Egypt before them, to make provision for their future welfare, and to alleviate their grief, and prevent an excessive sorrow for their selling him into Egypt, when by the overruling hand of God it proved so salutary to them:

to preserve you a posterity in the earth; that they and theirs might not perish, which otherwise, in all human probability, must have been the case; and that the promise of the multiplication of Abraham's seed might not be made of none effect, but continue to take place, from whence the Messiah was to spring:

and to save your lives by a great deliverance; from the extreme danger they were exposed unto, through the terrible famine, and in which deliverance were to be observed the great wisdom, goodness, power, and providence of God.

And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
7. to preserve you a remnant] Lit. “to set for you a remnant,” i.e. descendants; cf. Jeremiah 44:7.

by a great deliverance] R.V. marg. to be a great company that escape. The two clauses are very nearly identical. In the first the emphasis is on the fact of survival; in the second, on the act of preservation.The Recognition. - Genesis 45:1. After this appeal, in which Judah, speaking for his brethren, had shown the tenderest affection for the old man who had been bowed down by their sin, and the most devoted fraternal love and fidelity to the only remaining son of his beloved Rachel, and had given a sufficient proof of the change of mind, the true conversion, that had taken place in themselves, Joseph could not restrain himself any longer in relation to all those who stood round him. He was obliged to relinquish the part which he had hitherto acted for the purpose of testing his brothers' hearts, and to give full vent to his feelings. "He called out: Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man (of his Egyptian attendants) with him, while Joseph made himself known to his brethren," quia effusio illa affectuum et στοργῆς erga fratres et parentem tanta fuit, ut non posset ferre alienorum praesentiam et aspectum (Luther).
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