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Genesis 47:19

Genesis 47:19

Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our
&c.] Beholding their miserable condition, and not helping them; die they must unless they had bread to eat, and their land die also if they had not seed to sow; that is, would become desolate, as the Septuagint version renders it; so Ben Melech observes, that land which is desolate is as if it was dead, because it produces neither grass nor fruit, whereas when it does it looks lively and cheerful:

buy us and our land for bread;
they were willing to sell themselves and their land too for bread to support their lives, nothing being dearer to a man than life:

and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh;
both should be his; they would hold their land of him, and be tenants to him:

and give [us] seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land may
not be desolate;
entirely so; some parts of it they could sow a little upon, as on the banks of the Nile, or perhaps that river might begin to overflow, or they had some hopes of it, especially from Joseph's prediction they knew this was the last year of famine, and therefore it was proper to sow the ground some time in this, that they might have a crop for the provision of the next year; and they had no seed to sow, and if they were not furnished with it, the famine must unavoidably continue, notwithstanding the flow of the Nile.