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!" Joseph, and yet more than Joseph. We are not the same twenty years afterwards that we are to-day. The old name — yet may be a new nature. The old identity; yet there may be enlarged capacity, refined sensibilities, diviner tastes, holier tendencies. I am Joseph 1 It is as if the great far-spreading umbrageous oak said, "I am the acorn!" or the great tree said, "I am the little mustard-seed!" Literally it was Joseph; yet in a higher sense it was not Joseph, but Joseph increased, educated, drilled, magnified, put in his right position. You have no right to treat the man of twenty years ago as if twenty years had not elapsed. I don't know men whom I knew twenty years ago! I know their names; but they may be — if I have not seen them during the time, and if they have been reading, thinking, praying, growing-entirely different men. You must not judge them externally, hut according to their intellectual, moral, and spiritual qualities. To treat a man whom you knew twenty years ago as if he were the same man is equal to handing him, in the strength and power of his years, the toys with which he amused his infancy. Let us destroy our identity, in so far as that identity is associated with incompleteness of strength, shallowness of nature, poverty of information, deficiency of wisdom; so that men may talk to us and not know us, and our most familiar acquaintance of twenty years ago may require to be introduced to us to-day as if he had never heard our name. But the point on which I wish to fasten your attention most particularly is this: That there are in human life days of revelation, when people get to know the meaning of what they have been looking at notwithstanding the appearances which were before their eyes. We shall see men as we never saw them before. The child will see his old despised mother some day as he never saw her. And you, young man, who have attained the patriarchal age of nineteen, and who smile at your old father when he quotes some old maxim and wants to read a chapter out of what he calls the Holy Bible, will one day see him as you never saw him. The angel of God that is in him will shine out upon you, and you will see whose counsel you have despised and whose tenderness you have contemned. We only see one another now and then. Sometimes the revelation is quick as a glance, impossible to detain as a flash of lightning. Sometimes the revelation comes in a tone of unusual pathos, and when we hear that tone for the first time we say, "We never knew the man before. Till we heard him express himself in the manner we thought him rough and coarse, wanting in self-control, and delicacy, and pathos; but that one tone I Why, no man could have uttered it but one who has often been closeted with God, and who has drank deeply into Christ's own cup of sorrow."
(J. Parker, 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.