Verse 22. To bind his princes at his pleasure. He who was bound obtains authority to bind. He is no longer kept in prison, but keeps all the prisons, and casts into them the greatest nobles when justice demands it.
And teach his senators wisdom. The heads of the various peoples, the elders of the nations, learned from him the science of government, the art of providing for the people. Joseph was a great instructor in political economy, and we doubt not that he mingled with it the purest morals, the most upright jurisprudence, and something of that divine wisdom without which the most able senators remain in darkness. The king's authority made him absolute both in the executive and in the legislative courts, and the Lord instructed him to use his power with discretion. What responsibilities and honours loaded the man who had been rejected by his brothers, and sold for twenty pieces of silver! What glories crown the head of that greater one who was "separated from his brethren."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 22. -- To bind his Princes. The meaning of wydf dsal signifies to exercise control over the greatest men in the kingdom, which power was conferred on Joseph by Pharaoh: see Genesis 41:40 Genesis 41:43 Genesis 41:44 . The capability of binding is to be regarded as an evidence of authority; a power of compelling obedience; or, in default thereof, of inflicting punishment. --George Phillips. 1846.
Verse 22. -- At his pleasure. Literally, with his soul which some explain as a bold metaphor, describing Joseph's mind or soul as the cord or chain with which he bound the Egyptians, i.e., forced them to perform his will. But see Psalms 17:9 27:12 41:2. -- Joseph Addison Alexander.
Verse 22. -- And teach his senators wisdom. That in that wisdom wherein he had been instructed of God he might also instruct the princes, and teach prudence to those who were much his seniors. Herein some sparks of divine wisdom shine, that he should order even the princes and old men to learn wisdom from one who was a slave and a foreigner, although the Egyptians are always want to boast that Egypt is the native place of wisdom. --Yansenius.