King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 45

Joseph comforts his brethren, and sends for his father. (1-15) Pharaoh confirms Joseph’s invitation, Joseph’s gifts to his brethren. (16-24) Jacob receives the news of Joseph,s being alive. (25-28)

Genesis 45 Audio:

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Joseph comforts his brethren, and sends for his father

1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:

10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:

11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.

12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.

13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.

14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.

15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.

Pharaoh confirms Joseph’s invitation, Joseph’s gifts to his brethren

16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.

17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;

18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.

19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.

20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is your’s.

21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.

22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.

23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.

24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.

Jacob receives the news of Joseph,s being alive

25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,

26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.

27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:

28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Weeping, with a loud cry, being unable to restrain himself. The servants, who were in the adjoining apartments, heard this cry and declaration of Joseph, acknowledging one common father with these men; and they presently conveyed the intelligence to the king. H.

Ver. 4. Nearer; that no one might hear what he was going to say respecting their fault. M. — It is thus we ought to treat those who have injured us. He excuses his brethren as much as possible. H. See C. l. 20.

Ver. 5. Hard. Heb. “Be not indignant in your eyes.” Perhaps he was afraid, lest they should begin to accuse one another, as the authors of the deed, and thus disturb the harmony of this reconciliation. He perfectly understands the conduct of divine Providence, which can draw good out of evil, and cause even the malice of men to co-operate in the execution of his designs. C. — God did not sanction or will this malice, as Calvin, &c. impiously assert. T.

Ver. 6. Reaping, as in common years, thought he places near the Nile might produce some little; (M.) and hence the Egyptians ask Joseph for seed. C. xlvii. 19. C.

Ver. 8. Counsel. Joseph’s brethren had no design of elevating him to so high a dignity; but God’s will directed Pharao to appoint him his counsellor or prime minister. His father. H. — So the Roman emperors styled the prefects of the Prætorium, and the Caliphs their chief minister. C.

Ver. 10. Gessen, to the north-east of Egypt, near me, at Tanis, in the Delta and near the promised land, being a part of Arabia. H. — Heliopolis, where many suppose Joseph resided, is situated in the same canton, and was one of the chief cities after Ramesse, the capital. C. xlvi. 28. This country is often refreshed by showers of rain, (C.) which never falls in most parts of Egypt. It is intersected by many canals, and is very rich and proper for pasturage. H.

Ver. 11. Perish. Hebrew, be reduced to poverty. He fed them like the priests. C. xlvii. 12. 22. C.

Ver. 12. My mouth. You now recognize my features and my speech; particularly you, my dear Benjamin. H. — I speak no longer by an interpreter. M.

Ver. 16. Family, and courtiers. They were all so enraptured with Joseph’s conduct, that they rejoiced in whatever gave him pleasure. M. — They thought, perhaps, that his relations would resemble him, and be of service to Egypt. H.

Ver. 18. Marrow; which is an emphatical expression, to signify the best things of Egypt. Chal. Heb. “the fat, or the cream of the land.” C.

Ver. 20. Leave nothing. Heb. may have another meaning, which Calmet approves, “Let not your eye spare your furniture.” Be not concerned to leave what may be useless, as most of the husbandry utensils would be in Egypt, “for all,” &c.

Ver. 22. Two robes (stolas) hanging down to the feet. These properly belong to women. But they are worn by men in the East. It was customary to make presents of such robes, as it is still among the great men and kings of that country. Lucullus kept 6000 cloaks in his wardrobe. Horat. 1. sat. 2. C. — Of silver, sicles. The Sept. has “of gold,” as also C. xxxvii. 28.

Ver. 23. As much…besides. This is omitted in Heb. or at least is left ambiguous, “He sent in like manner to his father ten,” &c. But the Syr. and Sept. explain it like the Vulgate. — She-asses. Sept. “mules.” — Bread. Hebrew adds, “meat,” or provisions. C. — These presents might convince Jacob that Joseph was still alive. H.

Ver. 24. Angry. A prudent admonition at all times, but particularly now, to Joseph’s brethren; lest reflecting on his excessive kindness, they should each wish to remove from themselves the stigma of cruelty towards him, by throwing it upon others. H. — Heb. may be rendered, “fear not.” C.

Ver. 26. He awaked, &c. His heart was overpowered between hope and distrust. He seemed to himself to be dreaming. Sept. “in an ecstacy.” Such a sudden transition has oftentimes caused death. H.

Ver. 27. Revived; like a lamp, which was just going out, for want of oil, resumes fresh vigour when a new supply is poured in. S. Chrys.