So when Jacob's sons had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and buy us a little more food."
I. The trial is one of CONSCIENCE. "We are verily guilty concerning our brother. "His blood is required." Face to face with one whom they supposed to be a heathen man, they are reproved. They have to tell facts which smite them with inward reproach.
II. The trial is one of HEART. To leave Simeon behind, to be afraid both for him and for themselves and for Benjamin. To be keenly perplexed and agonized for their old father. To be deeply wounded in the remembrance of their brother Joseph's anguish of soul and helpless cries for pity.
III. The trial is one of FAITH. "What is thin that God hath done unto us?" In the midst of all the roughness, and the fear, and the trouble there is still the feeling that they are being dealt with in some mysterious way by God himself, and there is a mingling of faith with their fear. Reuben again represents the better element in their character, and as they follow him they are led into peace. Joseph's smile is the smile of the loving heart which sometimes dissembles that it may reveal itself the more fully when the opportunity comes. He wept behind their backs. He was hiding the intensest love and the most abundant forgiveness and pitifulness, while he appeared to be a rough enemy. Still there were signs mingled with the harsh treatment that it was not all harsh. The sacks were filled with corn, and the money was returned. A deeper faith would have penetrated the secret. But those that have to be led from the feeble faith to the strong, have to be tried with appearances that seem, as Jacob said, "all against them. How often the believer says, All these things are against me," when he is already close upon that very stream of events which will carry him out of his distress into the midst of plenty, peace, and the joy of a healed heart in its recovered blessedness. Jacob poured out his natural fears and complaints, yet how little they were founded on truth. The son for whom he mourned yet lived and closed his eyes, and his gray hairs went to the grave in peace. - R.
And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him.I. HE LISTENS PATIENTLY TO THE EXPLANATION OF THEIR CONDUCT, OFFERED BY JOSEPH'S BRETHREN.
II. HE TREATS THEM WITH A WISE KINDNESS AND WITH PIETY.
(T. H. Leale.)
2. The house of kindness may sometimes terrify souls as the house of dangers.
3. Innocency itself may be suspicious of wrong charges, to raise up fear.
4. Groundless jealousies pretend dangers where none are (ver. 18).
5. Wisdom suggests unto innocency a fair defence to prevent danger (ver 19).
6. Innocency's plain acknowledgment of its designs is its best apology (ver. 20.)
7. Declaration of events of providence as they are tends to justify the innocent.
8. Where providence orders good, souls may make question of receiving or keeping it (ver. 21).
9. Just souls will deal justly in dealing with others about buying, &c.
10. Innoceney may plead ignorance of the fact of sin plainly, being not guilty (ver. 22).
11. Upright hearts in power will speak peace and encouragement to fearful spirits.
12. Good hearts teach to ascribe all good providences unto God in covenant.
13. Just men will own their acts to discharge the innocent. So the steward.
14. Conditions being performed, hostages must be in justice returned (ver. 23).
15. Good hospitality will labour, to afford room and all convenient refreshings to its guests.
16. Hospitality in truth, provides for beasts as well as men (ver. 24).
17. Prudence will put men upon care to prepare a present for rulers in time of danger.
18. Courtesy from hosts gives opportunity for guests to express their returns.
19. Noon refreshments are suitable to morning's labours.
20. Good rulers are careful first to work and then to eat (ver. 25).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
PeopleBenjamin, Egyptians, Joseph, Simeon
TopicsBuy, Consumed, Corn, Eaten, Eating, Egypt, Finished, Got, Grain, Pass, Turn
Outline1. Jacob is persuaded to send Benjamin.
15. Joseph entertains his brothers.
19. They discover their fears to the steward.
26. Joseph makes them a feast.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 43:1-26
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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