Genesis 50:20
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)
(20) 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.50:15-21 Various motives might cause the sons of Jacob to continue in Egypt, notwithstanding the prophetic vision Abraham had of their bondage there. Judging of Joseph from the general temper of human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself on those who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able to resist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him by humbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants of Jacob's God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this complete fulfilment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, but to fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seek the Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness to them. See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.His brethren supplicate Joseph for forgiveness. "They sent unto Joseph," commissioned one of their number to speak to him. now that our common father has given us this command. "And Joseph wept" at the distress and doubt of his brothers. He no doubt summons them before him, when they fall down before him entreating his forgiveness. Joseph removes their fears. "Am I in God's stead?" that I should take the law into my own hands, and take revenge. God has already judged them, and moreover turned their sinful deed into a blessing. He assures them of his brotherly kindness toward them.15-21. When Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, &c.—Joseph was deeply affected by this communication. He gave them the strongest assurances of his forgiveness and thereby gave both a beautiful trait of his own pious character, as well as appeared an eminent type of the Saviour. Ye thought evil against me, therefore I do not excuse your guilt, though I comfort you against despondency. But as for you, ye thought evil against me,.... That must be said and owned, that their intentions were bad; they thought to have contradicted his dreams, and made them of none effect, to have token away his life, or however to have made him a slave all his days:

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). After performing this filial duty, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brethren and all their attendants.
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