Genesis 42 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Genesis 42)
42:1 Now when a Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye b look one upon another?

(a) This story shows plainly that all things are governed by God's providence for the profit of his Church.
(b) As men destitute of counsel.

42:7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but c made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

(c) This concealing is not to be followed, nor any actions of the father's not approved by God's word.

42:15 Hereby ye shall be proved: d By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither.

(d) The Egyptians who were idolaters, used to swear by their king's life: but God forbids swearing by anyone but him: yet Joseph dwelling among the wicked was corrupted by them.

42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; [for] I e fear God:

(e) And therefore am true and just.

42:21 And they said one to another, f We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

(f) Affliction makes men acknowledge their faults, which otherwise they would conceal.

42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his g blood is required.

(g) God will take vengeance on us, and measure us with our own measure.

42:24 And he turned himself about from them, and h wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.

(h) Though he acts harshly, yet his brotherly affection remained.

42:28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, [it is] even in my sack: and their heart failed [them], and they were i afraid, saying one to another, What [is] this [that] God hath done unto us?

(i) Because their conscience accused them of their sin, they thought God had brought them trouble through the money.

42:36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved [of my children]: Joseph [is] not, and Simeon [is] not, and ye will take Benjamin [away]: all these things are against k me.

(k) For they did not seem to be concerned or have any love for their brother which increased his sorrow: and partly as it appears he suspected them for Joseph.