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and perhaps foresaw. No doubt Joseph's mind was greatly impressed with these things : perhaps he now began to see the
meaning of his own dreams, and how Providence was grad17 ually working for their accomplishment. And Pharaoh
said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon 18 the bank of the river : And, behold, there came up out
of the river seven kine, fat fleshed and well favoured : 39 and they fed in a meadow : And, behold, seven other kine
came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and lean
fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for bad20 ness: And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the 21 first seven fat kine : And when they had eaten them up,
it could not be known that they had eaten them ; but they
were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in 23 one stalk, full and good : And, behold, seven ears, withered,
thin, [and] blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them : 24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears : and I told
[this] unto the magicians ; but there was] none that could
declare [it] to me. 25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh [is]
one in signification, that is, both dreams signify the same thing : 26 God hath showed Pharaoh what he [is] about to do. The
seven good kine (are] seven years ; and the seven good ears 27 [are] seven years : the dream [is] one. And the seven thin
and ill favoured kine that came up after them (are] seven
years ; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind, 28 shall be seven years of famine. This [is] the thing which I
have spoken unto Pharaoh : What God [is] about to do, he 29 showeth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of 30 great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt : And there
shall arise after them seven years of famine ; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt ; there shall be
no remains of former plenty ; their present misery shall make 31 them forget it ; and the famine shall consume the land ; And
the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that 32 famine following ; for it (shall be] very grievous. And for
that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice ; (it is] because the thing [is] established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass; it is both certain and near. Upon this Jo
seph, under the influence of that Spirit by which he had inter. 33 freted the dream, gives this wise and prudent advice , Now
therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and 34 set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do (this,) and
let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.*
• If it be asked, Why no more than a fifth part? It may be replied. That a tenth was the usual tax of the king; this year it might be double the quantity of former years, because of the great plenty. He might also purchase a fifth part beside the tax ; and all this, in a plentiful year, would be equal to a whole crop in a common season.
35 And let them gather all the foodof those good years that come,
and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, according to Pha36 raoh's appointment, and let them keep food in the cities. And
that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years
of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt ; that the 37 land perish not through the famine. And the thing was
good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. Having truly interfireted the butler's dream, and his interpretation of this being so natural and likely, greatly affected
the king's mind, and the minds of his courtiers, 38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find (such an
one] as this [is,] a man in whom the Spirit of God [is?]
such prudence as God by his Spirit hath bestowed on this man in 39. such a singular manner ? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, given thee this extraordinary gift of foreseeing and foretelling things to come,
and of giving such prudent advice for the future, (there is] 40 none so discreet and wise as thou [art :] Thou shalt be over
my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be 41 ruled : only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And
Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him
in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain, an ensign 43 of honour, about his neck ; And he made him to ride
in the second chariot which he had ; and they cried before him, Bow the knee : the Hebrew word signifies, the king's father or tender father, kind saviour of the people ; or perhaps it was a common phrase, as God save the king,' is with us : and he made him (ruler] over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I [am] Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt ; that is, as sure as I am king, 80 sure without thy ad
vice and authority shall no man do any thing in point of govern. 45 ment. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah;
most commentator 8 say it means a revealer of secrets, but Jerome says, it means the saviour of the country. It is common to this day for eastern kings to give names to their favourites, signifi. cant of some service they have done, or some honour conferred upon them. And he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest, or prince, of On ; a city afterward called Heliopolis, where was a famous temple dedicated to the sun, And Joseph went out over (all] the land of Egypt.t * See De la Valle's Travels to the East.
+ A late infamous writer endeavours to sully the character of Joseph, and to prove him ambitious, tyrannical, and oppressive ; and says, that Pharaoh divested himselt' of all ten gal authority, and put the whole military force of the kingdom into Joseph's hands, and gave him the nomination to all places of power and trust. But these things are evidently false, for Pharaoh says in O. 40, In the throne will I be greater than thou; be rode only in the second chariot. The assertion, that he had the military forces under his command, is founded on a marginal reading, v. 40. At thy word shall all my people be armed: but in
46 And Joseph (was] thirty years old when he stood before
Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the
presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of 47 Egypt. And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought 48 forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the
seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, the fifth part (v. 34.) of all manner of eatable things, and laid up the food
in the cities : the food of the field, which (was] round about 49 every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gathered
corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left number
ing the measures ; for (it was] without number. 50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of
famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah 51 priest, or prince, of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the
name of the firstborn Manasseh, that is, forgetting : For God, (said he,] hath made me forget all my toil, hath expelled all sorrowful remembrance of it by my present comfort and glory,
and all my father's house, that is, all my sufferings there from 52 my brethren. And the name of the second called he Ephra
im; that is, fruitful : For God hath caused me to be fruitful
in the land of my affliction. '53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land 54 of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began
to come, according as Joseph had said : and the dearth was
in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, or pinched
with famine, the people cried to Pharaoh, as to their king and
common father, for bread : and Pharaoh said unto all the 56 Egyptians, Go unto Joseph ; what he saith to you, do. And
the famine was over all the face of the earth : and Joseph
opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians ; 57 and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all
countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy (corn ;] because that the famine was (so] sore in all lands. No doubt this business was managed with great prudence and compassion, corn was sold at a reasonable price, and the people were not oppressed, though the king was enriched.
most other places (some critics say in all) it signifies to kiss, or pay civil respect, as in Psalm ii. 12. kiss the Son, &c. And that he was einpowered to nominate whom he pleased to places of trust, is equally groundless, for he had not power to raise his brethren when they came, or to send for his tather, without Pharaoh's cominand. See chap. xlv. 19.
TUE see here how easily God can trouble and confound
V the spirits of men, even of princes. Pharaoh's dreams troubled him ; so did Nebuchadnezzar's and Belshazzar's, of which we read in the Book of Daniel. How easily can he scare men with dreams and visions on their bed! As we have reason to believe that this extraordinary method of communicating convictions and knowledge is ceased, let us not be anxious about these things, but keep close to God's written word. I do not say, that God never communicates admonitions this way, but we have no reason to expect it. In the multitude of dreams, says Solomon, Eccles. v. 7. there are divers vanities ; but fear thou God.
2. See how easily God can deliver his people, and turn their captivity into triumph and joy. This Joseph little expected, after a delay of two full years. Deliverances are often nearest when least expected ; and, when most unlikely, they are most seasonable and welcome. Behold,' says Bp. Hall, one hour has changed his fetters, into a chain of gold ; his prison garments, into robes of fine linen ; his stocks, into a chariot, and his gaol, into a palace ; Potiphar's slave, to be his master's lord ; and the noise of his chains, into the acclamation of the people, bow the knee.' The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of all their tribulations ; and those who suffer for well doing, and commit the keeping of their souls to him, shall at length be advanced to all the dignity and glory of heavenly beings.
3. See the influence of God on the spirits of men, in Joseph thus interpreting the dreams, and in Pharaoh and his courtiers falling in with his advice. God inclines men to do those things that answer the schemes and purposes of his providence. Let us reverence and adore him, who orders all things according to the purposes of his own will, who is wonderful in council, and ex. cellent in working, or in contrivances.
4. Let us learn, from such interpositions of Providence as, these, to commit our ways to the Lord, and trust in him for deliverance, till the happy time shall come, when he will make us forget all our sorrows. They were significant names which Joseph gave his children.' It is God who sends us such comforts, as make us forget our sorrows, and remember our troubles no more. The afflictions of his people are designed to make them fruitful ; and they should bear with patience, what he lays on them, and wait all the days of their appointed time, till their change comes. God's providence may be working for us, though we cannot perceive it ; and those light afflictions which are but for a moment, may be working out for us a far more exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
CHAP. XLII. Jacob sends his sons into Egypt to buy corn ; their treatment og
their brother there, and return to their father with an account of it. It may appear strange that Jacob never heard of his son's advancement, and that Joseph never sent to his father, or paid him a visit when he went through the land, and was within forty or fifty miles of the place where he lived : but undoubtedly the hand of Providence was in it; and Joseph, who had the gift from God of interpreting dreams, might so far understand his own, as to wail till his brethren bowed themselves before him ; and if Jacob and his family heard of such an extraordinary person in Pharaoh's court, they would not have known his new name.
NTO W when Jacob saw, or heard from some of his neigh.
Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon 2 another ? sit still, and do nothing in this time of distress? And
he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt :
get you down thither, and buy for us from thence ; that we 3 may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went 4 down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's broth
er, Jacob's dearest child by his beloved wife Rachel, Jacob sent
not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mis5 chief befal him : And the sons of Israel came to buy (corn]
among those that came : for the famine was in the land of
Canaan. 6 And Joseph was the governor, or sultan over the land,
[and] he [it was) that, by his officers, sold to all the people of the land: but the names of all the purchasers might be brought to him, especially foreigners, that he might keep a watchful eye over them : and Joseph's brethren came and bowed down them
selves before him [with] their faces to the earth, and thus ful7 filled his dream. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew
them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake rough
ly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? $ And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.* And
Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him, being much
altered in his countenance, stature, and apparel, and speaking 9 10 them by an interpreter. And Joseph remembered the
dreams which he dreamed of them, so as to observe their accomplishment, and said unto them, Ye Care] spies ; this he speaks only by way of trial and discovery, as if he had said, One may well suspect you to be sfies, if you cannot clear your
He deals thus with them, that he might bring them to make a full relation of the present state of their family ; to humble them the better with the remembrance of their former sins; to enhance their joy when the truth of things should be discovered ; and the more fully to manifest the accomplishinent of his dreams, when, being under his power shet should in an humble manner sue to him for their liberty.