Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Weeping, with a loud cry, being unable to restrain himself. The servants, who were in the adjoining apartments, heard this cry and declaration of Joseph, acknowledging one common father with these men; and they presently conveyed the intelligence to the king. (Haydock)
Nearer; that no one might hear what he was going to say respecting their fault. (Menochius) --- It is thus we ought to treat those who have injured us. He excuses his brethren as much as possible. (Haydock) See chap. l. 20.
Hard. Hebrew, "Be not indignant in your eyes." Perhaps he was afraid, lest they should begin to accuse one another, as the authors of the deed, and thus disturb the harmony of this reconciliation. He perfectly understands the conduct of divine Providence, which can draw good out of evil, and cause even the malice of men to co-operate in the execution of his designs. (Calmet) --- God did not sanction or will this malice, as Calvin, &c., impiously assert. (Tirinus)
Reaping, as in common years, thought he places near the Nile might produce some little; (Menochius) and hence the Egyptians ask Joseph for seed, chap. xlvii. 19. (Calmet)
Counsel. Joseph's brethren had no design of elevating him to so high a dignity; but God's will directed Pharao to appoint him his counsellor or prime minister. His father. (Haydock) --- So the Roman emperors styled the prefects of the Prætorium, and the Caliphs their chief minister. (Calmet)
Gessen, to the north-east of Egypt, near me, at Tanis, in the Delta and near the promised land, being a part of Arabia. (Haydock) --- Heliopolis, where many suppose Joseph resided, is situated in the same canton, and was one of the chief cities after Ramesse, the capital, chap. xlvi. 28. This country is often refreshed by showers of rain, (Calmet) which never falls in most parts of Egypt. It is intersected by many canals, and is very rich and proper for pasturage. (Haydock)
Perish. Hebrew, be reduced to poverty. He fed them like the priests, chap. xlvii. 12, 22. (Calmet)
My mouth. You now recognize my features and my speech; particularly you, my dear Benjamin. (Haydock) --- I speak no longer by an interpreter. (Menochius)
Family, and courtiers. They were all so enraptured with Joseph's conduct, that they rejoiced in whatever gave him pleasure. (Menochius) --- They thought, perhaps, that his relations would resemble him, and be of service to Egypt. (Haydock)
Marrow; which is an emphatical expression, to signify the best things of Egypt, Chaldean. Hebrew, "the fat, or the cream of the land." (Calmet)
Leave nothing. Hebrew may have another meaning, which Calmet approves, "Let not your eye spare your furniture." Be not concerned to leave what may be useless, as most of the husbandry utensils would be in Egypt, "for all," &c.
Two robes (stolas) hanging down to the feet. These properly belong to women. But they are worn by men in the East. It was customary to make presents of such robes, as it is still among the great men and kings of that country. Lucullus kept 6000 cloaks in his wardrobe. (Horat. 1. sat. 2.) (Calmet) --- Of silver, sicles. The Septuagint has "of gold," as also chap. xxxvii. 28.
As much...besides. This is omitted in Hebrew or at least is left ambiguous, "He sent in like manner to his father ten," &c. But the Syriac and Septuagint explain it like the Vulgate. --- She-asses. Septuagint, "mules." --- Bread. Hebrew adds, "meat," or provisions. (Calmet) --- These presents might convince Jacob that Joseph was still alive. (Haydock)
Angry. A prudent admonition at all times, but particularly now, to Joseph's brethren; lest reflecting on his excessive kindness, they should each wish to remove from themselves the stigma of cruelty towards him, by throwing it upon others. (Haydock) --- Hebrew may be rendered, "fear not." (Calmet)
He awaked, &c. His heart was overpowered between hope and distrust. He seemed to himself to be dreaming. Septuagint, "in an ecstacy." Such a sudden transition has oftentimes caused death. (Haydock)
Revived; like a lamp, which was just going out, for want of oil, resumes fresh vigour when a new supply is poured in. (St. Chrysostom)