Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me…
"I am Joseph."
1. It is an expression of great humility. The governor of Egypt remembered that he was Joseph, a Hebrew — the son of an old pilgrim who now sojourned in Canaan, and the brother of these plain and vulgar strangers who depended on his goodness and solicited his clemency.
2. Here is soft and gentle reproof. He hints at their crime, but without menaces or reproaches. He alludes to it as if he only aimed to palliate it.
3. Here is the language of forgiveness.
(1) Proceeding not merely from a sudden flow of passion, but from settled goodness of heart.
4. Here is a pious reference of his brethren to the wonderful works of Providence. Your Joseph, whom you had doomed to death or perpetual slavery, is employed of God to preserve you and your families from misery and ruin.
5. This is an expression of filial affection; for mark what immediately follows: "Doth my father yet live?" How tender, how affectionate, how dutiful the question.
6. Here is an expression of general benevolence. "I am Joseph, whom ye sold in Egypt God did send me before you, to preserve life." He considered himself as promoted to power, not for his own sake, but for the public good; and to this end he applied the power which he possessed.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
WEB: Then Joseph couldn't control himself before all those who stood before him, and he cried, "Cause everyone to go out from me!" No one else stood with him, while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.