Genesis 42:23

Overview - Genesis 42
Jacob sends his ten sons to buy corn in Egypt.
16 They are imprisoned by Joseph for spies.
18 They are set at liberty, on condition to bring Benjamin.
21 They have remorse for Joseph.
24 Simeon is kept for a pledge.
25 They return with corn, and their money.
29 Their relation to Jacob.
36 Jacob refuses to send Benjamin.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Genesis 42:23  (King James Version)
And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

he spake unto them by a interpreter
Hebrew an interpreter was
between them. The {mailitz} does not seem to have been an interpreter in our sense of the term; as we have many evidences in this book that the Egyptians, Hebrews, Canaanites, and Syrians, could understand each other in a general way; and it appears from several passages in this very chapter, (particularly ver. 24,) that Joseph and his brethren understood each others'
language, as his brethren and Joseph's steward also did (ch. 43:19 etc; compare ch 39; 49.) It seems to denote an
officer who is called in Abyssinia, according to Mr. Bruce, {Kal Hatz,} "the voice or word of the king," who always
stands at the side of a lattice window of a balcony, within which the king sits; who is never seen, but who speaks through a hole in the side of it, covered in the inside with a curtain, to this officer, by whom he speaks to the persons present. John 16:13 John 16:14 ; 2 Corinthians 5:20