But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it to good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ye thought . . . God meant.—The verb in the Heb. is the same, and contrasts man’s purpose with God’s purpose. In Genesis 45:7 Joseph had already pointed out that the Divine providence had overruled the evil intentions of his brethren for good. At the end of the verse “much people,” or a great people, means the Egyptians.Genesis 50:20-21. Ye thought evil, but God meant it unto good — In order to the making Joseph a greater blessing to his family than otherwise he could have been. Fear not, I will nourish you — See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He did not tell them they were upon their good behaviour, and he would be kind to them, if he saw them carry themselves well: no, he would not thus hold them in suspense, nor seem jealous of them, though they had been suspicious of him. He comforted them — And, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Those we love and forgive we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.Ye thought evil against me, therefore I do not excuse your guilt, though I comfort you against despondency.
but God meant it unto good; he designed good should come by it, and he brought good out of it: this shows that this action, which was sinful in itself, fell under the decree of God, or was the object of it, and that there was a concourse of providence in it; not that God was the author of sin, which neither his decree about it, nor the concourse of providence with the action as such supposes; he leaving the sinner wholly to his own will in it, and having no concern in the ataxy or disorder of it, but in the issue, through his infinite wisdom, causes it to work for good, as follows:
to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive; the nation of the Egyptians and the neighbouring nations, as the Canaanites and others, and particularly his father's family: thus the sin of the Jews in crucifying Christ, which, notwithstanding the determinate counsel of God, they most freely performed, was what wrought about the greatest good, the salvation of men.But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. meant] i.e. devised or purposed. Joseph here, as in Genesis 45:7, points to the Divine purpose behind the petty schemes and wrong-doings of men.
as it is this day] According to P’s chronology (Genesis 47:28) the famine was long past. Here, however, in E’s narrative, it is evidently still raging; as is shewn also, in the next verse, by the words “I will nourish you.” The E narrative, therefore, must have recorded Jacob’s death as occurring not long after his arrival in Egypt.Verse 20. - But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good (literally, and ye were thinking or meditating evil against me; Elohim was thinking or meditating for good, i.e. that what you did should be for good), to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive (vide Genesis 45:5).
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