Genesis 46:29
And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
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(29) He fell on his neck.—Most of the versions and commentators understand this of Joseph throwing himself on Jacob’s neck, but Maimonides says that a son would not take so great a liberty with his father. The Authorised Version seems to understand it of Jacob, and this gives the best and most natural sense. The preceding words literally are, and he appeared unto him: that is, came into his presence; whereupon Jacob fell on his neck, and wept there “again and again.”

46:28-34 It was justice to Pharaoh to let him know that such a family was come to settle in his dominions. If others put confidence in us, we must not be so base as to abuse it by imposing upon them. But how shall Joseph dispose of his brethren? Time was, when they were contriving to be rid of him; now he is contriving to settle them to their advantage; this is rendering good for evil. He would have them live by themselves, in the land of Goshen, which lay nearest to Canaan. Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. Yet Joseph would have them not ashamed to own this as their occupation before Pharaoh. He might have procured places for them at court or in the army. But such preferments would have exposed them to the envy of the Egyptians, and might have tempted them to forget Canaan and the promise made unto their fathers. An honest calling is no disgrace, nor ought we to account it so, but rather reckon it a shame to be idle, or to have nothing to do. It is generally best for people to abide in the callings they have been bred to and used to. Whatever employment and condition God in his providence has allotted for us, let us suit ourselves to it, satisfy ourselves with it, and not mind high things. It is better to be the credit of a mean post, than the shame of a high one. If we wish to destroy our souls, or the souls of our children, then let us seek for ourselves, and for them, great things; but if not, it becomes us, having food and raiment, therewith to be content.The settlement in Goshen is now narrated. "Judah he sent before him." We have already seen why the three older sons of Jacob were disqualified for taking the lead in important matters relating to the family. "To lead the way before him into Goshen" - to get the requisite directions from Joseph, and then conduct the immigrants to their destined resting-place. "And went up." Egypt was the valley of the Nile, and therefore, a low country. Goshen was comparatively high, and therefore, at some distance from the Nile and the sea. "And he appeared unto him." A phrase usually applied to the appearance of God to men, and intended to intimate the unexpectedness of the sight, which now came before the eyes of Jacob. "I will go up." In a courtly sense, to approach the residence of the sovereign is to go up. Joseph intends to make the "occupation" of his kindred a prominent part of his communication to Pharaoh, in order to secure their settlement in Goshen. This he considers desirable, on two grounds: first, because Goshen was best suited for pasture; and secondly, because the chosen family would thus be comparatively isolated from Egyptian society.

The two nations were in some important respects mutually repulsive. The idolatrous and superstitious customs of the Egyptians were abhorrent to a worshipper of the true God; and "every shepherd was the abomination of Egypt." The expression here employed is very strong, and rises even to a religious aversion. Herodotus makes the cowherds the third of the seven classes into which the Egyptians were divided (Herodotus ii. 164). Others include them in the lowest class of the community. This, however, is not sufficient to account for the national antipathy. About seventeen or eighteen centuries before the Christian era it is probable that the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, were masters of the southern part of the country, while a native dynasty still prevailed in lower Egypt. The religion of these shepherd intruders was different from that of the Egyptians which they treated with disrespect. They were addicted to the barbarities which are usually incident to a foreign rule. It is not surprising, therefore, that the shepherd became the abomination of Egypt.

- Jacob in Goshen

11. רעמסס ra‛mesês, Ra'meses "son of the sun."

31. מטה mı̂ṭṭāh, "bed." מטה maṭṭeh "staff."

Arrangements are now made for the settlement of Israel in Goshen. The administration of Joseph during the remaining years of the famine is then recorded. For the whole of this period his father and brothers are subject to him, as their political superior, according to the reading of his early dreams. We then approach to the death-bed of Jacob, and hear him binding Joseph by an oath to bury him in the grave of his fathers.

29, 30. Joseph made ready his chariot—The difference between chariot and wagon was not only in the lighter and more elegant construction of the former, but in the one being drawn by horses and the other by oxen. Being a public man in Egypt, Joseph was required to appear everywhere in an equipage suitable to his dignity; and, therefore, it was not owing either to pride or ostentatious parade that he drove his carriage, while his father's family were accommodated only in rude and humble wagons.

presented himself unto him—in an attitude of filial reverence (compare Ex 22:17). The interview was a most affecting one—the happiness of the delighted father was now at its height; and life having no higher charms, he could, in the very spirit of the aged Simeon, have departed in peace [Lu 2:25, 29].

Doubtless Joseph fell down before him with all that reverence which children owe to their parents, and in this posture Jacob falls upon his neck, &c. Of which posture see Genesis 33:4 45:14 Luke 15:20 Acts 20:37.

And Joseph made ready his chariot,.... Or "bound" (y) it, fastened the horses to it, harnessed them, and put them to; this he did not himself, as Jarchi thinks, for the honour of his father; but rather, as Aben Ezra, by ordering his servants to do it:

and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen; that being higher than the other part of Egypt, as it must be, if it was in Thebes, or upper Egypt, as some Jewish writers say (z); and Fium, supposed to be the place the Israelites dwelt in, see Genesis 47:11, stood very high (a):

and presented himself unto him; alighted from his chariot, and came up to his father, and stood before him, and showed himself to him, declaring who he was:

and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while: either Jacob fell on the neck of Joseph, and wept over him a good while before he could speak to him, as the father of the prodigal son fell on his neck and kissed him, Luke 15:20; or, as Jarchi, Joseph fell on his father's neck, as he had done upon his brethren before, but wept over him longer; their embraces were no doubt mutual and extremely affectionate, that for a while they were not able to speak a word to each other.

(y) "et ligavit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "tum alligavit", Schmidt. (z) Hieron. Quaestion. in Genesim, fol. 72. M. tom. 3.((a) Leo. African. Descriptio Africae, l. 8. p. 722.

And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
29. wept] The description of the meeting between Joseph and Jacob is in accord with the general representation of Joseph’s warm and emotional nature. Cf. Genesis 45:1; Genesis 45:14. “A good while,” i.e. at first neither of them can speak.

Verse 29. - And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; - literally, he (i.e. Joseph) appeared (the niph. form of the verb, which is commonly used of the appearance of God or his angels, being here employed to indicate the glory in which Joseph came to meet his father: Keil) unto him, vie., Jacob - and he fell on his neck, - i.e. Joseph fell upon Jacob s neck (LXX., Vulgate, Calvin, Dathe, Keil, and commentators generally), though Maimonides regards Jacob as the subject of the verb fell - and wept on his neck a good while - in undoubted transports of joy, feeling his soul by those delicious moments abundantly recompensed for all the tears he had shed since he parted from his father in Hebron, upwards of twenty years before. Genesis 46:29As soon as they had arrived, Joseph had his chariot made ready to go up to Goshen and meet his father (ויּעל applied to a journey from the interior to the desert or Canaan), and "showed himself to him there (lit., he appeared to him; נראה, which is generally used only of the appearance of God, is selected here to indicate the glory in which Joseph came to meet his father); and fell upon his neck, continuing (עוד) upon his neck (i.e., in his embrace) weeping."
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