And the famine was sore in the land.
I. JACOB'S ENTREATY.
1. The occasion of it. Continuance of the famine. How dreary the prospect. Barren earth. Languishing cattle. Dry river-beds. The heavens as brass.
2. The character of it. "Buy us a little food."(1) "Buy." They had money. The money that was returned, and a little more. They probably took all they could well spare the first time, not thinking the famine would last so long, and intending to obtain enough to suffice till plenty was restored.
(2) "A little food." It was all they could purchase with what money was left after they had restored the first purchase-money.
(3) "Go again." He does not say a word about Benjamin. Did he think they had forgotten him; or that they would not press the matter? He speaks of food, not of Simeon or Benjamin.
II. JUDAH'S EXPOSTULATION. He at once assures his father that it is of no use except Benjamin goes too; and refuses to go without him, as a useless and perilous experiment.
III. THE BROTHERS' MEETING. They once more set out for Egypt. In due time they stand in the presence of the great lord. Joseph sees and recognizes Benjamin. Commands that a banquet shall be prepared in his own house. This new kindness filled them with new fear. They thought they were being ensnared, and would be sold as bondmen. Yet they had done to Joseph the very thing they feared to receive at his hands. Having had no opportunity of speaking to Joseph, they explain to the steward. He encourages them. Tells them not to fear. Reminds them of God's mercy. Joseph's present is therefore prepared, and they await the issue. In all this see how a guilty conscience destroys enjoyment of happy circumstances. If a man is right within, all will be right without; if he be wrong, all will be wrong. Learn:
I. To be thankful for plenty.
II. To pity the distressed.
III. Sin brings its own punishment.
IV. The brothers' meeting may remind us of our future meeting with our Elder Brother.
(J. G. Gray.)
If thou wilt send our brother. —
Parallel VersesKJV: And the famine was sore in the land.