Genesis 47:22

Genesis 47:22

Only the land of the priests bought he not
Not from any special affection for them, or any superstitious veneration of them, which can never be thought of so good a man, but for a reason following, which shows they had no need to sell them:

for the priests had a portion [assigned them], by Pharaoh, and did eat
their portion which Pharaoh gave them;
they had a certain allowance by the day of provision granted them, on which they lived; so Herodotus says F9 of the priests of Egypt, that they spend nothing of their own, but sacred food is provided for them, and great plenty of the flesh of geese and oxen is given daily to everyone of them. And this was a delicate affair, which Joseph could not intermeddle with, but in prudence must leave it as he found it, and do as had been used to be done; this depending on the will and pleasure of Pharaoh, if not upon the constitution of the land, as it seems to be from Diodorus Siculus {k}, who divides Egypt into three parts; and the first part he assigns to the priests, who, according to him, were maintained out of their own revenues. Some understand this of "princes" F12, the word sometimes being used of them, and interpret it of the officers and courtiers of Pharaoh, his nobles, that dwelt in his palace, and had their portion of food from him; but the former sense seems best:

wherefore they sold not their lands;
they were not obliged to it, having provision from the king's table, or by his appointment.


F9 Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 37.
F11 Ut supra, (Bibliothec. l. 1.) p. 66.
F12 (Mynhkh tmda) "agros praesidum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.