Verse 21. He made him lord of his house. Reserving no power, but saying "only in the throne will I be greater than thou." The servitor of slaves becomes lord over nobles. How soon the Lord lifteth his chosen from the dunghill to set them among princes.
And ruler of all his substance. He empowered him to manage the storing of the seven plenteous harvests, and to dispense the provisions in the coming days of scarcity. All the treasures of Egypt were under his lock and key, yea, the granaries of the world were sealed or opened at his bidding. Thus was he in the best conceivable position for preserving alive the house of Israel with whom the covenant was made. As our Lord was himself secured in Egypt from Herod's enmity, so, ages before, the redeemed race found an equally available shelter, in the hour of need. God has always a refuge for his saints, and if the whole earth could not afford them sanctuary, the Lord himself would be their dwelling place, and take them up to lie in his own bosom. We are always sure to be fed if all the world should starve. It is delightful to think of our greater Joseph ruling the nations for the good of his own household, and it becomes us to abide in quiet confidence in every political disaster, since Jesus is on the throne of providence, King of kings and Lord of lords, and will be so till this dispensation ends.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 21. -- Ruler of all his substance, or "possession." Herein also he was a type of Jesus Christ, who, as God, is possessor of heaven and earth, being the creator of them. -- John Gill.
Verse 21 -- He was received into the Royal Society of the right honourable the king's privy councillors, and was constituted as Chairman of the council table, which, though Moses doth not express, yet David intimates in Psalms 105:21 Psalms 105:22 . All the privy councillors, as well as the private people were bound (possibly by oath) to obey him in all things, and, as out of the chair, he magisterially taught these senators wisdom. Thus the Hebrew reading runs: He bound the princes to his soul (or according to his will) and made wise his elders; teaching them not only civil and moral, but also divine wisdom, for which cause God sent Joseph (saith he) into Egypt, that some sound of the redemption of fallen mankind might be heard in that kingdom, at that time the most flourishing in the world: neither is Moses altogether silent herein, for he calls him a master of wisdom, or father to Pharaoh (Ge 45:8). Much more to his councillors, and he says that no hand or foot shall move (to wit, in affairs of state, at home, or, in foreign embassies, abroad) without Joseph's order; he was the king's plenipotentiary, Genesis 41:44 . --Christopher Ness.