Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.…
1. His wisdom and prudential sagacity in counsel. The interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams was from God. Joseph knew it to be so. He had, therefore, the most assured and unshaken confidence of the correspondence of the coming facts with the Divine pre-intimation; and in this confidence he tenders his advice to the king, in the prospect of what was before him, without hesitation. The word of the God of truth is always sure. The counsel of Joseph was obviously wise and excellent. Like many similar counsels, it commends itself, when suggested, to instant approbation, while yet to many minds it might not at once occur. How very difficult it is, both in public and in private life, to get men to judge and to act with single-eyed simplicity, according to the real merits of measures, when these measures happen not to be their own! If they chance to originate with political opponents — or, in more private life, with those who are not in the number of their friends — how difficult it is to get them treated with fairness! Another important practical lesson is suggested by the counsel of Joseph: the general lesson of providence for the future. This is a duty incumbent on all. It is virtuous prudence; the "prudence which forseeth the evil and hideth itself." The remark has a special bearing on the labouring classes of the community. This laying up for the time of scarcity bore a close resemblance to the principle of friendly societies and provident or savings banks. There is such perpetual alteration and exchange of conditions, that no man can say with certainty to-day what his own circumstances, or those of any other person, may be to-morrow.
1. There may, surely, be providence, without over-anxiety.
2. But surely there may be providence, without covetousness.
3. The duty of providence, then, must not be an excuse for refusing the claims of benevolence.There may be scriptural providence, without cold-hearted and close-handed selfishness.
(R. Wardlaw, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.