And Joseph said to his brothers, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)God will . . . bring you out of this land.—This is, first, a proof of Joseph’s faith, commended in Hebrews 11:22; and, secondly, it is a preparation for the next book (Exodus). Joseph’s faith thus unites the two books together.Genesis 50:24. I die; and God will surely visit you — To this purpose Jacob had spoken to him, Genesis 48:21. Thus must we comfort others with the same comforts wherewith we ourselves have been comforted of God, and encourage them to rest on those promises which have been our support. Joseph was, under God, both the protector and benefactor of his brethren, and what would become of them now he was dying? Why, let this be their comfort, God will surely visit you. God’s gracious visits will serve to make up the loss of our best friends: and bring you out of this land — And therefore they must not hope to settle there, nor look upon it as their rest for ever; they must set their hearts upon the land of promise, and call that their home.Exodus 13:19, and buried his bones in Shekem Joshua 24:32.
The sacred writer here takes leave of the chosen family, and closes the bible of the sons of Israel. It is truly a wonderful book. It lifts the veil of mystery that hangs over the present condition of the human race. It records the origin and fall of man, and thus explains the co-existence of moral evil and a moral sense, and the hereditary memory of God and judgment in the soul of man. It records the cause and mode of the confusion of tongues, and thus explains the concomitance of the unity of the race and the specific diversity of mode or form in human speech. It records the call of Abraham, and thus accounts for the preservation of the knowledge of God and his mercy in one section of the human race, and the corruption or loss of it in all the rest. We need scarcely remark that the six days' creation accounts for the present state of nature. It thus solves the fundamental questions of physics, ethics, philology, and theology for the race of Adam. It notes the primitive relation of man to God, and marks the three great stages of human development that came in with Adam, Noah, and Abraham. It points out the three forms of sin that usher in these stages - the fall of Adam, the intermarriage of the sons of God with the daughters of men, and the building of the tower of Babel. It gradually unfolds the purpose and method of grace to the returning penitent through a Deliverer who is successively announced as the seed of the woman, of Shem, of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. This is the second Adam, who, when the covenant of works was about to fall to the ground through the failure of the first Adam, undertook to uphold it by fulfilling all its conditions on behalf of those who are the objects of the divine grace.
Hence, the Lord establishes his covenant successively with Adam, Noah, and Abraham; with Adam after the fall tacitly, with Noah expressly, and with both generally as the representatives of the race descending from them; with Abraham especially and instrumentally as the channel through which the blessings of salvation might be at length extended to all the families of the earth. So much of this plan of mercy is revealed from time to time to the human race as comports with the progress they have made in the education of the intellectual, moral, and active faculties. This only authentic epitome of primeval history is worthy of the constant study of intelligent and responsible man.God will surely visit you, i.e. deliver you out of this place, where I foresee you will be hardly used after my decease; or, fulfil his promised kindness to you, as that word is used, Genesis 21:1 Exodus 4:31. There is a double visitation oft mentioned in Scripture; the one of grace and mercy, which is here meant; the other of justice and anger, as elsewhere.
and God will surely visit you; not in a way of wrath and vindictive justice, as he sometimes does, but in a way of love, grace, and mercy:
and bring you out of this land; the land of Egypt, in which they then dwelt:And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. will surely visit you] The visitation of God in a gracious and merciful sense, as in Exodus 3:16; Exodus 4:31; cf. Luke 1:68, “He hath visited and redeemed his people.” “Bring you up,” cf. Genesis 15:16, Genesis 28:15, Genesis 46:4.
which he sware, &c.] Cf. Genesis 22:16, Genesis 26:3, Genesis 28:13.
Observe how the patriarchal narrative is closing with the promise of redemption, and with the renewal of the oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.Verses 24, 25. - And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God (Elohim) will surely visit you, - literally, visiting will visit you, according to his promise (Genesis 46:4) - and bring you out of this land unto the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, - as his father had done of him (Genesis 47:31), - saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. The writer to the Hebrews (Genesis 11:22) refers to this as a signal instance of faith on the part of Joseph. Psalm 27:13; and לוּ with the imperfect presupposes a condition, being used "in cases which are not desired, and for the present not real, though perhaps possible" (Ew. 358). The brethren therefore deputed one of their number (possibly Benjamin) to Joseph, and instructed him to appeal to the wish expressed by their father before his death, and to implore forgiveness: "O pardon the misdeed of thy brethren and their sin, that they have done thee evil; and now grant forgiveness to the misdeed of the servants of the God of thy father." The ground of their plea is contained in ועתּה "and now," sc., as we request it by the desire and direction of our father, and in the epithet applied to themselves, "servants of the God of thy father." There is no reason whatever for regarding the appeal to their father's wish as a mere pretence. The fact that no reference was made by Jacob in his blessing to their sin against Joseph, merely proved that he as their father had forgiven the sin of his sons, since the grace of God had made their misdeed the means of Israel's salvation; but it by no means proves that he could not have instructed his sons humbly to beg for forgiveness from Joseph, even though Joseph had hitherto shown them only goodness and love. How far Joseph was from thinking of ultimate retribution and revenge, is evident from the reception which he gave to their request (Genesis 50:17): "Joseph wept at their address to him." viz., at the fact that they could impute anything so bad to him; and when they came themselves, and threw themselves as servants at his feet, he said to them (Genesis 50:19), "Fear not, for am I in the place of God?" i.e., am I in a position to interfere of my own accord with the purposes of God, and not rather bound to submit to them myself? "Ye had indeed evil against me in your mind, but God had it in mind for good (to turn this evil into good), to do (עשׂה like ואה Genesis 48:11), as is now evident (lit., as has occurred this day, cf. Deuteronomy 2:30; Deuteronomy 4:20, etc.), to preserve alive a great nation (cf. Genesis 45:7). And now fear not, I shall provide for you and your families." Thus he quieted them by his affectionate words.
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