Genesis 41:46
Now Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph left Pharaoh's presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.
Joseph Advanced to PowerT. H. Leale.Genesis 41:46-52
Joseph's Stewardship in EgyptJ. Jones.Genesis 41:46-52
OutgoingAmerican Sunday School TimesGenesis 41:46-52
The In-GatheringThornley Smith.Genesis 41:46-52
The Tried ManR.A. Redford Genesis 41

Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. Sudden elevations are often the precursors of sudden falls. It was not so with Joseph. He filled satisfactorily his position, retaining it to the end of life. He made himself indispensable to Pharaoh and to the country. He was a man of decision. Seeing what had to be done, he hesitated not in commencing it. Going from the presence of Pharaoh, he passed throughout the land, arranging for granaries and appointing officers to grapple with the seven years of famine which were imminent. Doubtless he felt the weight of responsibility resting upon him, and would have many restless nights in calculating how by means of the money then in the treasury and by forced loans to meet the expenditure for granaries, grain, and official salaries. He superintended everything. By method he mastered detail.

I. CONSIDER THE POLICY OF THIS EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER. Many things we admire in Joseph, but we must not be blind to the fact that he thought more of binding the people to the throne than of benefiting the people themselves. He was the first statesman of that day. His policy determined in great measure what should be the standard of internal prosperity, and what position the country should hold in the eyes of other nations. He sought to make Pharaoh's rule absolute. He gave no benefit without payment, no supplies without sacrifice. He took all the money first (Genesis 47:14), then the cattle (ibid. ver. 16), then the lands and their persons (ibid. ver. 23). He thus reduced the people of Egypt to the position of slaves. He made all the land crown lands. Thus the monarch was pleased, and the priests, being exempt, were flattered. It is possible that in this Joseph laid the foundation of that system of mismanagement, which has made the most flourishing spot in the world the basest of kingdoms. He seems also to have striven to give some sort of preeminence to his brethren, and to advance them. Exempt from the burdens pressing on others, they gained power, and would have become eventually the dominant race in Egypt, but that another Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph, i.e. who, although he knew of his having lived and served the nation, yet recognized not his policy. The state to which Joseph reduced the Egyptians was that to which afterwards his own descendants were reduced. Thus our plans are overthrown. Time tries success, and by removing dimness from our vision enables us to test it better.

II. CONSIDER THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THIS EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER, He was soon led to conform to the spirit and practice of an ungodly nation. He used a divining cup (Genesis 44:15, 16), took his meals apart (Genesis 43:32), recognizing and sustaining class distinctions. He learned the mode of speech common among the Egyptians, swore by the life of Pharaoh (Genesis 42:15), and was affianced to an idolatress, probably a priestess (Genesis 41:45). He made no effort to return to his own land, or to the pastoral life of his fathers. It was in his power also for nine years to have sent to make search for his father, who was sorrowing for him as dead, but he sent not. Not until trouble, by an apparent chance, drove his brethren to him did he appear to think of them, or of home and Jacob. When they came he was very slow to make known himself, as though he feared it might compromise him in the eyes of the Egyptians to be known to have relatives who were shepherds, an occupation which was abominable to the Egyptians (Genesis 46:34). When he revealed himself to them, it was without the knowledge or presence of the Egyptians. He removed his brethren also to a distant part of Egypt: that they might not constantly, by their presence, remind him and others of his origin. We fancy that Joseph had weaknesses and imperfections such as other men had. He had dwelt in Egypt and caught its spirit. In the names he gave to his children there seems some indication of regret at his forgetfulness and wonder at his fruitfulness. Amid views that might depress there is some brightness. His forgiveness of his brethren was noble. His affection for his father returned. His faith in God was pure at last. Dying, he "gave commandment concerning his bones." He showed that though outwardly an Egyptian, he was inwardly an Israelite. - H.

And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
I. THE RIPENESS OF HIS AGE AND EXPERIENCE. Providence, which prepares events, also prepares men for them.

II. THE PRACTICAL CHARACTER OF HIS MIND. Not puffed up by pride. At once betakes himself to business.


1. He desires to forget all that is evil in the past.

2. He is thankful for present mercies.

(T. H. Leale.)

American Sunday School Times.
1. "Joseph went out over the land of Egypt."

(1)The man;

(2)The land;

(3)The outgoing. Went out —
(a) To survey the field;
(b) To organize the work;
(c) To initiate his gatherings.

2. The earth brought forth by handfuls."

(1)To fulfil Joseph's interpretation;

(2)To fill Joseph's granaries;

(3)To feed Joseph's dependants.

(4)To honour Joseph's God.

3. "Laid up the food in the cities."

(1)Food abundant;

(2)Food gathered;

(3)Food garnered;

(4)Food convenient.

(American Sunday School Times.)


1. In his superintending the work personally.

2. In his sparing no trouble in the execution of the work.

3. In the regard he paid to justice.


1. Inasmuch as he commenced it without delay.

2. Inasmuch as he persevered to the end.

3. Inasmuch as his arrangements answered the best purpose.


1. It conferred incalculable benefits on his fellow-creatures.

2. He gained the approbation of the king.

(J. Jones.)

What a busy scene must the valley of the Nile have presented at the time of harvest! Multitudes would be engaged, in the very first year of plenty, under Joseph's direction, in gathering in the abundant crops, and in storing such of the produce of the country as was not required for immediate consumption. The process of cutting the corn, and depositing it in granaries, is exhibited on the monuments. "Wheat," says Wilkinson, "was cut in five, barley in four months. The wheat, as at the present day, was bearded, and the same varieties, doubtless, existed in ancient as in modern times; among which may be mentioned the seven-eared quality mentioned in Pharaoh's dream. It was cropped a little below the ear with a toothed sickle, and carried to the threshing floor in wicker baskets upon asses, or in rope nets, the gleaners following to collect the fallen ears in hand baskets." It was threshed out by oxen, the peasants who superintended them relieving their toil by singing songs, one of which Champollion found in a tomb at Eilethya, written in hieroglyphics, to the following effect:

"Thresh for yourselves,

Thresh for yourselves;

O oxen, thresh for yourselves,

O oxen, thresh for yourselves;

Measure for yourselves,

Measure for your masters."

The granaries are likewise frequently represented on the monuments. They appear to have been public buildings, usually of vast extent, and divided into vaults, some of which had arched roofs. Immediately at the entrance was a room in which the corn was deposited when brought from the threshing floor, h flight of Steps led to the vault, whither it was carried, in baskets, on men's shoulders.

(Thornley Smith.)

Asenath, Egyptians, Joseph, Manasseh, Pharaoh, Potipherah, Zaphnathpaaneah
Egypt, Nile River, On
Egypt, Entered, Face, Joseph, Passed, Passeth, Pharaoh, Pharaoh's, Presence, Service, Standing, Stood, Thirty, Throughout, Traveled
1. Pharaoh has two dreams.
9. Joseph interprets them.
33. He gives Pharaoh counsel, and is highly advanced, and married.
46. The seven years of plenty.
50. He begets children.
53. The famine begins.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 41:46

     1654   numbers, 11-99
     5590   travel
     5716   middle age

Genesis 41:1-49

     8131   guidance, results

Genesis 41:41-49

     5542   society, positive

Genesis 41:46-49

     5894   intelligence

The Covenant of Works
Q-12: I proceed to the next question, WHAT SPECIAL ACT OF PROVIDENCE DID GOD EXERCISE TOWARDS MAN IN THE ESTATE WHEREIN HE WAS CREATED? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death. For this, consult with Gen 2:16, 17: And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Earliest Chapters in Divine Revelation
[Sidenote: The nature of inspiration] Since the days of the Greek philosophers the subject of inspiration and revelation has been fertile theme for discussion and dispute among scholars and theologians. Many different theories have been advanced, and ultimately abandoned as untenable. In its simplest meaning and use, inspiration describes the personal influence of one individual upon the mind and spirit of another. Thus we often say, "That man inspired me." What we are or do under the influence
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Man's Chief End
Q-I: WHAT IS THE CHIEF END OF MAN? A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. Here are two ends of life specified. 1: The glorifying of God. 2: The enjoying of God. I. The glorifying of God, I Pet 4:4: That God in all things may be glorified.' The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions. I Cor 10:01. Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' Everything works to some end in things natural and artificial;
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Syria: the part played by it in the ancient world--Babylon and the first Chaldaean empire--The dominion of the Hyksos: Ahmosis. Some countries seem destined from their origin to become the battle-fields of the contending nations which environ them. Into such regions, and to their cost, neighbouring peoples come from century to century to settle their quarrels and bring to an issue the questions of supremacy which disturb their little corner of the world. The nations around are eager for the possession
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 4

Second Great Group of Parables.
(Probably in Peræa.) Subdivision F. Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. ^C Luke XVI. 19-31. [The parable we are about to study is a direct advance upon the thoughts in the previous section. We may say generally that if the parable of the unjust steward teaches how riches are to be used, this parable sets forth the terrible consequences of a failure to so use them. Each point of the previous discourse is covered in detail, as will be shown by the references in the discussion of the parable.]
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Roman Pilgrimage: the Miracles which were Wrought in It.
[Sidenote: 1139] 33. (20). It seemed to him, however, that one could not go on doing these things with sufficient security without the authority of the Apostolic See; and for that reason he determined to set out for Rome, and most of all because the metropolitan see still lacked, and from the beginning had lacked, the use of the pall, which is the fullness of honour.[507] And it seemed good in his eyes[508] that the church for which he had laboured so much[509] should acquire, by his zeal and labour,
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

Appendix 2 Extracts from the Babylon Talmud
Massecheth Berachoth, or Tractate on Benedictions [76] Mishnah--From what time is the "Shema" said in the evening? From the hour that the priests entered to eat of their therumah [77] until the end of the first night watch. [78] These are the words of Rabbi Eliezer. But the sages say: Till midnight. Rabban Gamaliel says: Until the column of the morning (the dawn) rises. It happened, that his sons came back from a banquet. They said to him: "We have not said the Shema.'" He said to them, "If the column
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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