Genesis 46:28 MEANING

Genesis 46:28

(28) To direct his face unto Goshen.--Joseph does not bring his brethren into the narrow and populous Nile Valley which formed Egypt proper, because they could not have maintained there an isolated mode of life. But this was indispensable for them if they were to multiply into a nation fit to be the guardians and depositories of a growing revelation, until the fulness of the time should come, when the world would be ready to receive the perfect knowledge of God's will. As the Egyptians were an agricultural people, and hated sheep and shepherds (Genesis 46:34), the Israelites would run no danger of being absorbed by them so long as they continued to devote themselves to their old pursuits. As Goshen was admirably suited for a pastoral life, they would remain there as distinct and separate from the rest of mankind as they had been in Canaan.

Verse 28. - And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph (the noble qualities displayed by Judah had manifestly secured, as they had Certainly merited, the affectionate admiration and hearty confidence of the aged patriarch), to direct his face unto Goshen; - i.e. that Joseph might supply him with the necessary instructions for conducting the pilgrims to their appointed settlement (Dathius, Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange, Ainsworth, Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'), rather than that Joseph might meet him in Goshen (LXX., Vulgate, Samaritan, Kalisch) - and (having received the necessary directions) they came into the land of Goshen. The LXX. read εἴς γῆν Ῥαμεσσῆ, as in Genesis 47:11.

46:28-34 It was justice to Pharaoh to let him know that such a family was come to settle in his dominions. If others put confidence in us, we must not be so base as to abuse it by imposing upon them. But how shall Joseph dispose of his brethren? Time was, when they were contriving to be rid of him; now he is contriving to settle them to their advantage; this is rendering good for evil. He would have them live by themselves, in the land of Goshen, which lay nearest to Canaan. Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. Yet Joseph would have them not ashamed to own this as their occupation before Pharaoh. He might have procured places for them at court or in the army. But such preferments would have exposed them to the envy of the Egyptians, and might have tempted them to forget Canaan and the promise made unto their fathers. An honest calling is no disgrace, nor ought we to account it so, but rather reckon it a shame to be idle, or to have nothing to do. It is generally best for people to abide in the callings they have been bred to and used to. Whatever employment and condition God in his providence has allotted for us, let us suit ourselves to it, satisfy ourselves with it, and not mind high things. It is better to be the credit of a mean post, than the shame of a high one. If we wish to destroy our souls, or the souls of our children, then let us seek for ourselves, and for them, great things; but if not, it becomes us, having food and raiment, therewith to be content.And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph,.... Who was the more honourable of his sons, and in greater esteem with Jacob than his elder brethren were, Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, who by their conduct had greatly displeased him: moreover, he was a man of a polite address, and had endeared himself to Joseph by his speech to him, in which he discovered so much affection both to his father, and his brother Benjamin, and was upon all accounts the fittest person to be sent to Joseph:

to direct his face unto Goshen; to inform Joseph of his father's coming, that a place might be prepared for him to dwell in, as both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it; and particularly to direct what place in Goshen he would have him come to, and meet him at:

and they came into the land of Goshen; which was the first part of the land of Egypt that lay nearest to Canaan: the Greek version of the whole verse is,"he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to meet him at Heroopolis, or the city of the heroes, in the land of Rameses,''which is confirmed by Josephus (x); See Gill on Genesis 45:10.

(x) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 7. sect. 5.

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