And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them
Whom he knew, though he had not seen him twenty two years, and though he must be very much altered, being but about ten years of age when Joseph was said into Egypt, yet being with the rest of his brethren, whom he knew very well, concluded it must be him: he said to the ruler of his house;
his steward, as be is after called, not his son Manasseh, as the Targum of Jonathan: bring [these] men home;
to his own house, for Joseph was now at or near the place where were the granaries of corn, and where that was said and distributed: and slay, and make ready;
or "slay a slaughter" F20, that is, of beasts for food; a sheep, or a lamb, or a calf, very probably, and order it to be dressed, boiled or roasted, or both, that it might be fit for food: wherefore Aben Ezra must be mistaken when ( Genesis 46:34 ) ; he says, that the Egyptians in those times did not eat flesh, nor might any kill a sheep; for it cannot be thought that Joseph could order a dinner for his brethren, to whom as yet he did not choose to make himself known, in direct violation of the customs and laws of Egypt, and who, it is plain by what follows, dined as an Egyptian, and with the Egyptians, and not as an Hebrew, and with his brethren as Hebrews; besides, for what purpose did Pharaoh get and possess such herds and flocks of cattle, if not for food as well as other uses? see ( Genesis 47:6 Genesis 47:16 Genesis 47:17 ) ; though in later times they abstained from eating various animals, as Porphyry F21 from Chaeremon relates, and particularly from sheep and goats, according to Juvenal F24: for [these] men shall dine with me at noon;
which was the usual time of dining with the eastern people, as it is now with us, though with the Romans at evening.
F20 (xbj xbj) "macta mactationem", Drusius, Schmidt; "macta animalia", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F21 De abstinentia, l. 4. sect. 6, 7.
F24 "-----lanatis animalibus abstinet omnis Mensa, nefas illic foetus jugulare capellae." Satyr 15. ver. 11, 12.