But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt
Not then growing, or gathering in there, or that was of that year's produce; for the famine was strong in the land of Egypt, as well as in Canaan; but was what had been laid up, and preserved in the seven years of plenty, by the order and care of Joseph; which by some means or another, Jacob had heard of; see ( Genesis 42:1 Genesis 42:2 ) the Jews suggest F21, that it was by divine revelation:
he sent out our fathers first;
the first time, or the first year of the famine; or he sent them first, he laid his commands on them, or they had not gone; these were the ten sons of Jacob, and brethren of Joseph, who were sent the first time, for Benjamin stayed with his father: see ( Genesis 42:3 Genesis 42:13 ) .
F21 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 91. fol. 78. 1, 2.