Joseph having entertained his brethren, dismissed them: but here we have them brought back in a greater fright than any they had been in yet.Observe.
- What method he took, both to humble them farther, and to try their affections to his brother Benjamin, by which he would be able to judge the sincerity of their repentance for what they had done against him. This he contrived to do by bringing Benjamin into distress, ver. 1 - 17.
- The good success of the experiment: he found them all heartily concerned, and Judah particularly, both for the safety of Benjamin, and for the comfort of their aged father, ver. 18 - 34.
|44:5||Is not this it in which my lord drinketh? And for which he would search thoroughly - So it may be rendered.|
|44:16||God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants - Referring to the injury they had formerly done to Joseph, for which they thought God was now reckoning with them. Even in those afflictions wherein we apprehend ourselves wronged by men, yet we must own that God is righteous, and finds out our iniquity. We cannot judge what men are, by what they have been formerly, not what they will do, by what they have done. Age and experience may make men wiser and better, They that had sold Joseph, yet would not abandon Benjamin.|
|44:18||And Judah said - We have here a most pathetic speech which Judah made to Joseph on Benjamin's behalf. Either Judah was a better friend to Benjamin than the rest, and more solicitous to bring him off; or he thought himself under greater obligations to endeavour it than the rest, because he had passed his word to his father for his safe return. His address, as it is here recorded, is so very natural, and so expressive of his present passion, that we cannot but suppose Moses, who wrote it so long after, to have written it under the special direction of him that made man's mouth. A great deal of unaffected art, and unstudied rhetoric there is in this speech.|
Now, had Joseph been, as Judah supposed, an utter stranger to thefamily, yet even common humanity could not but be wrought upon by such powerful reasonings as these; for nothing could be said more moving, more tender; it was enough to melt a heart of stone: but to Joseph, who was nearer a - kin to Benjamin than Judah himself, and who, at this time, felt a greater passion for him and his aged father, than Judah did, nothing could be more pleasingly nor more happily said. Neither Jacob nor Benjamin needed an intercessor with Joseph, for he himself loved them. Upon the whole, let us take notice,