And Joseph's ten brothers went down to buy corn in Egypt.…
I. THE FAMINE IN CANAAN.
II. THE OFFICE OF CONSCIENCE (ver. 21). Where sin is voluntary wrong-doing, the language of the human heart inevitably connects the penalty with the wrong-doing. In every temptation that comes upon you, think what it will be in the hour of death to be free from the recollection of it. Refrain, refrain, remember the hereafter.
III. OBSERVE THE SEVERITY IN THE LOVE OF JOSEPH (ver. 7). He did not allow his personal feelings to interfere with what seemed to him his duty. Joseph's love to his brethren was a noble love. God's love to us is still nobler, and severity accompanies it. It does not shrink from human suffering, for suffering is necessary for the man's well being.
IV. Lastly, we remark on THE RETURN HOMEWARDS OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN. Jacob expected corn to relieve their necessities; he got the corn, but with it came sorrow upon sorrow. Bereaved of Joseph, he is now bereaved of Simeon also. In Jacob's answers to his sons, in the close of the chapter, we find a depth of querulousness and despondency. Job was tried with sorrows far more severe, and yet they only served and contributed to the purifying of his spirit. In order to understand the cause of Jacob's despondency we must go far back. Jacob was a selfish man; his very religion was selfish; he would become religious only on condition that God would protect and guide him. To that selfish origin may be traced all the evils of his after life. Throughout it seems to have been his principle to receive as much as possible, and to give as little as he could. He who lives in this world for his own personal enjoyment, without God and His Christ, will by degrees find, like Jacob, that he has no rock to rest his soul upon, but that he must go down in sorrow to the grave.
(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.