And when the days of his mourning were past
The forty days before mentioned, in which both the Egyptians and Jacob's family mourned for him. An Arabic writer F7 says, the Egyptians mourned for Jacob forty days, which was the time of embalming; but the text is express for sventy days: Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh;
to the court of Pharaoh, the principal men there; so the Targum of Jonathan and the Septuagint version, to the great men or princes of the house of Pharaoh: it may seem strange that Joseph, being next to Pharaoh in the administration of the government, should make use of any to speak for him to Pharaoh on the following account. It may be, that Joseph was not in so high an office, and in so much power and authority, as in the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine; and it is certain that that branch of his office, respecting the corn, must have ceased; or this might have been a piece of policy in Joseph to make these men his friends by such obliging treatment, and by this means prevent their making objections to his suit, or plotting against him in his absence; or if it was the custom in Egypt, as it afterwards was in Persia, that no man might appear before the king in a mourning habit, ( Esther 4:2 ) this might be the reason of his not making application in person: moreover, it might not seem so decent for him to come to court, and leave the dead, and his father's family, in such circumstances as they were: besides, he might speak to them not in person, but by a messenger, since it is highly probable he was now in Goshen, at a distance from Pharaoh's court; unless it can be supposed that these were some of Pharaoh's courtiers who were come to him in Goshen, to condole his father's death: saying, if now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in
the ears of Pharaoh;
however, as these men had the ear of Pharaoh, and an interest in him, Joseph entreats the favour of them to move it to him: saying,
as follows, in his name.
F7 Elmacinus, p. 43. apud Hottinger. Smegma, c. 8. p. 380.