Genesis 47:25
And they said, You have saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Thou hast saved our lives.—The people were more than satisfied with Joseph’s regulations; and if he had made them dependent upon the Pharaoh, apparently he had broken the yoke of the smaller lords, the hereditary princes of the districts into which Egypt was parcelled out; and they were more likely to be well-treated by the ruler of the whole land than by men of inferior rank. On these hereditary principalities at the period of the twelfth dynasty, see Maspero, Hist. Anc, p. 121.

47:13-26 Care being taken of Jacob and his family, which mercy was especially designed by Providence in Joseph's advancement, an account is given of the saving the kingdom of Egypt from ruin. There was no bread, and the people were ready to die. See how we depend upon God's providence. All our wealth would not keep us from starving, if rain were withheld for two or three years. See how much we are at God's mercy, and let us keep ourselves always in his love. Also see how much we smart by our own want of care. If all the Egyptians had laid up corn for themselves in the seven years of plenty, they had not been in these straits; but they regarded not the warning. Silver and gold would not feed them: they must have corn. All that a man hath will he give for his life. We cannot judge this matter by modern rules. It is plain that the Egyptians regarded Joseph as a public benefactor. The whole is consistent with Joseph's character, acting between Pharaoh and his subjects, in the fear of God. The Egyptians confessed concerning Joseph, Thou hast saved our lives. What multitudes will gratefully say to Jesus, at the last day, Thou hast saved our souls from the most tremendous destruction, and in the season of uttermost distress! The Egyptians parted with all their property, and even their liberty, for the saving of their lives: can it then be too much for us to count all but loss, and part with all, at His command, and for His sake, who will both save our souls, and give us an hundredfold, even here, in this present world? Surely if saved by Christ, we shall be willing to become his servants.I have bought you. - He had bought their lands, and so they might be regarded, in some sort, as the servants of Pharaoh, or the serfs of the soil. "In the increase ye shall give the fifth to Pharaoh." This explains at once the extent of their liability, and the security of their liberty and property. They do not become Pharaoh's bondmen. They own their land under him by a new tenure. They are no longer subject to arbitrary exactions. They have a stated annual rent, bearing a fixed ratio to the amount of their crop. This is an equitable adjustment of their dues, and places them under the protection of a statute law. The people are accordingly well pleased with the enactment of Joseph, which becomes henceforth the law of Egypt.23-28. Joseph said, Behold, &c.—The lands being sold to the government (Ge 47:19, 20), seed would be distributed for the first crop after the famine; and the people would occupy them as tenants-at-will on the payment of a produce rent, almost the same rule as obtains in Egypt in the present day. Without thy care and providence we had all been dead men; and therefore if thou hadst kept us to the first bargain, thou hadst done us more kindness than wrong, much more when thou hast used us with so much equity and clemency. Be thou our friend with Pharaoh in this and upon all other occasions.

We will be Pharaoh’s servants, to manage his land for him upon the terms which thou hast proposed. And they said, thou hast saved our lives,.... Preserved them from death through famine, by laying up stores of corn, which he had sold out to them for their money, cattle, and land, or otherwise they must have perished, they and theirs, and this favour they thankfully acknowledge:

let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants; signifying, that they esteemed it a great favour to be so on the foot of the bargain made with them, and they desired a continuance in it.

And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 25. - And they said, Thou hast saved our lives (literally, thou hast kept us alive): let us find grace in the sight of my lord (i.e. let us have the land on these favorable terms), and we will be Pharaoh's servants. "That a sort of feudal service is here intended - the service of free laborers, not bondmen - we may learn from the relationship of the Israelites to God, which was formed after the plan of this Egyptian model" (Gerlach). When that year had passed (תּתּם, as in Psalm 102:28, to denote the termination of the year), they came again "the second year" (i.e., after the money was gone, not the second of the seven years of famine) and said: "We cannot hide it from my lord (אדוני, a title similar to your majesty), but the money is all gone, and the cattle have come to my lord; we have nothing left to offer to my lord but our bodies and our land." אם כּי is an intensified כּי following a negation ("but," as in Genesis 32:29, etc.), and is to be understood elliptically; lit., "for if," sc., we would speak openly; not "that because," for the causal signification of אם is not established. תּם with אל is constructio praegnans: "completed to my lord," i.e., completely handed over to my lord. לפני נשׁאר is the same: "left before my lord," i.e., for us to lay before, or offer to my lord. "Why should we die before thine eyes, we and our land! Buy us and our land for bread, that we may be, we and our land, servants (subject) to Pharaoh; and give seed, that we may live and not die, and the land become not desolate." In the first clause נמוּת is transferred per zeugma to the land; in the last, the word תּשׁם is used to describe the destruction of the land. The form תּשׁם is the same as תּקל in Genesis 16:4.
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