Genesis 45

Genesis 45


Then JosephI couldII no longer controlIII himself before all those who stoodIV by him, and he cried out,V

Notes on verse 1a

I “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases” or “let him add.”
II “could” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
III “control” = aphaq. 7x in OT. This is to be strong, force, control, hold. It can also be to abstain or force oneself.
IV “stood” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.
V “cried out” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.

“SendVI everyoneVII away from me.” So no oneVIII stayedIX with him when Joseph made himself knownX to his brothers.XI 

Notes on verse 1b

VI “send” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
VII “everyone” = kol + ish. Literally “every man.” Ish is perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
VIII “one” = ish. Same as “everyone” in v1. See note VII above.
IX “stayed” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
X “made…known” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
XI “brothers” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

And he wept so loudlyXII that the EgyptiansXIII heardXIV it, and the householdXV of PharaohXVI heard it. 

Notes on verse 2

XII “wept so loudly” = natan + et + qol + beki. Literally “gave voice of weeping.” Natan is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively. Qol is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on. Beki is from bakah (to weep, complain, lament). This is ongoing weeping, overflowing. By analogy, this can also mean dripping.
XIII “Egyptians” = Mitsri. From the same as mitsrayim (Egypt); perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egyptian.
XIV “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
XV “household” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
XVI “Pharaoh” = Paroh. From Egyptian pr (palace, pharaoh; literally house + great). This is Pharaoh, a title for Egyptian kings. See

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my fatherXVII still alive?”XVIII But his brothers could not answerXIX him, so dismayedXX were they at his presence.XXI

Notes on verse 3

XVII “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
XVIII “alive” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
XIX “answer” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
XX “dismayed” = bahal. To be afraid or dismayed or amazed. This is deep trembling within. So, figuratively, it refers to being suddenly agitated. This implies moving or acting quickly/anxiously.
XXI “presence” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closerXXII, XXIII to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you soldXXIV into Egypt.XXV 

Notes on verse 4

XXII “come closer” = nagash. This is to draw, bring, or come near. It is approaching for any reason – as an attack on an enemy, in order to worship, to make an argument. It can also be used as a euphemism for sex.
XXIII {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
XXIV “sold” = makar. This is to sell – could be commerce/trade, a daughter to be married, someone into slavery. Figuratively, it can mean to surrender.
XXV “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Related to “Egyptians” in v2. See note XIII above.

5 And now do not be distressed,XXVI or angryXXVII with yourselves,XXVIII because you sold me here;XXIX

Notes on verse 5a

XXVI “distressed” = atsab. 17x in OT– 4x of humanity grieving God including Genesis 6:6 prior to the Flood. This is properly to carve. So it can mean to create or fashion. Figuratively, it means to hurt, grieve, worry, anger, or displease.
XXVII “angry” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.
XXVIII “yourselves” = ayin. Literally “your eyes.” This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
XXIX “here” = hennah. Perhaps from hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is here in a location or here in a time, i.e. now.

for GodXXX sentXXXI me beforeXXXII you to preserve life.XXXIII 

Notes on verse 5b

XXX “God” = Elohim.
XXXI “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
XXXII “before” = paneh. Literally “before your faces.” Same as “presence” in v3. See note XXI above.
XXXIII “preserve life” = michyah. Related to “alive” in v3. 8x in OT. From chayah (see note XVIII above). This is sustenance, reviving, that which preserves life.

For the famineXXXIV has been inXXXV the landXXXVI these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowingXXXVII nor harvest.XXXVIII 

Notes on verse 6

XXXIV “famine” = raab. From raeb (to be hungry). This is hunger, death, or hunger from famine.
XXXV “in” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
XXXVI “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XXXVII “plowing” = charish. 3x in OT. From charash (to scratch, which implies etching or plowing; to manufacture regardless of materials used; figuratively, to devise or conceal; a sense of secrecy so being silent or left alone or speechless). This is plowing or the season in which one plows. It can also refer to the ground.
XXXVIII “harvest” = qatsiyr. From qatsar (to cut down, be short, reap, curtail; used especially for harvesting grass or grain; figuratively, to be discouraged or grieve). This is branch, harvest, one who harvests. Properly, this means severed, reaped. It is the crop being harvested, the time of harvest or the one who harvests. It can also be a bough.

God sent me beforeXXXIX you to preserveXL for you a remnantXLI on earth,XLII

Notes on verse 7a

XXXIX “before” = paneh. Literally “before your faces.” Same as “presence” in v3. See note XXI above.
XL “preserve” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
XLI “remnant” = sheerit. From shaar (properly, swelling up i.e. being left over; a remnant, remaining, being redundant). This is a remainder, residue, or survivor. It can also refer to posterity.
XLII “earth” = erets. Same as “land” in v6. See note XXXVI above.

and to keep aliveXLIII for you manyXLIV survivors.XLV So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has madeXLVI me a father to Pharaoh, and lordXLVII of all his house and rulerXLVIII over all the land of Egypt. 

Notes on verses 7b-8

XLIII “keep alive” = chayah. Related to “alive” in v3 & “preserve life” in v5. See note XVIII above.
XLIV “many” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
XLV “survivors” = peletah. From paliyt (fugitive, refugee, or one who escaped); from palat (to escape, slip out, deliver, calve). This is deliverance or escape. It is the remnant that got away.
XLVI “made” = sim. Same as “preserve” in v7. See note XL above.
XLVII “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
XLVIII “ruler” = mashal. This is to rule, reign, govern, have authority, wield.

HurryXLIX and go upL to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your sonLI Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come downLII to me, do not delay.LIII 

Notes on verse 9

XLIX “hurry” = mahar. This is being liquid, which implies flowing. So, this word implies hurrying forward, whether in a positive or negative sense.
L “go up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
LI “son” = ben. Related to “household” in v2. Perhaps from banah (see note XV above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
LII “come down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
LIII “delay” = amad. Same as “stayed” in v1. See note IX above.

10 You shall settleLIV in the land of Goshen,LV and you shall beLVI nearLVII me,

Notes on verse 10a

LIV “settle” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
LV “Goshen” = Goshen. 15x in OT. Similar to Arabic j-sh-m (to labor) OR may be related to Egyptian qas (“inundated land”) OR Egyptian pa-qas (“pouring forth”) OR from Gasmu (“rulers of Bedouin Qedarites who occupied the eastern Delta from the 7th century BC”). This is Goshen. See
LVI “be” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
LVII “near” = qarob. Related to “in” in v6. From qarab (see note XXXV above). This is near whether nearby, related, near in time, or allied.

you and your childrenLVIII and your children’s children, as well as your flocks,LIX your herds,LX and all that you have. 11 I will provideLXI for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’LXII 

Notes on verses 10b-11

LVIII “children” = ben. Same as “son” in v9. See note LI above.
LIX “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
LX “herds” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
LXI “provide” = kul. This is to hold in. So, it can be to contain, measure, guide, or feed. It can also mean to be able to or sustain.
LXII “come to poverty” = yarash. This is inheriting or dispossessing. It refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them. By implication, it can mean to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish.

12 And nowLXIII your eyesLXIV and the eyes of my brother BenjaminLXV seeLXVI that it is my own mouthLXVII that speaksLXVIII to you. 

Notes on verse 12

LXIII “now” = hinneh. Related to “here” in v5. From hen (see note XXIX above). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXIV “eyes” = ayin. Same as “yourselves” in v5. See note XXVIII above.
LXV “Benjamin” = Binyamin. Related to “household” in v2 & “son” in v9. From ben (see note LI above) + yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south); {perhaps yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm)}. This is Benjamin, meaning “son of the right hand.” It could refer to Benjamin himself, his offspring, their tribe, or their territory.
LXVI “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
LXVII “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
LXVIII “speaks” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.

13 You must tellLXIX my father how greatlyLXX I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father downLXXI here.” 

Notes on verse 13

LXIX “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
LXX “how greatly” = kol + kabol. Literally “of all my glory.” Kabod is from kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
LXXI “bring…down” = yarad. Same as “come down” in v9. See note LII above.

14 Then he fellLXXII upon his brother Benjamin’s neckLXXIII and wept,LXXIV while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissedLXXV all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

Notes on verses 14-15

LXXII “fell” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
LXXIII “neck” = tsavvar. Related to “Egyptians” in v2 & “Egypt” in v4. Perhaps from tsur (see note XIII above). This is the neck or the back of the neck.
LXXIV “wept” = bakah. Related to “wept so loudly” in v2. See note XII above.
LXXV “kissed” = nashaq. This is to kiss in a literal or figurative sense. It can mean to touch, rule, or equip with weapons.

16 When the reportLXXVI was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,”LXXVII Pharaoh and his servantsLXXVIII were pleased.LXXIX 

Notes on verse 16

LXXVI “report” = qol. Literally “voice.” Same as “wept so loudly” in v2. See note XII above.
LXXVII “come” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
LXXVIII “Pharaoh and his servants” = ayin + paroh + ayin + ebed. Literally “the eyes of Pharaoh and the eyes of his servants” Ayin is the same as “yourselves” in v5. See note XXVIII above. Paroh is the same as “Pharaoh” in v2. See note XVI above. Ebed is from abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
LXXIX “pleased” = yatab. This is to be good or pleasing, joyful. It can also mean doing good in an ethical sense or be beautiful, happy, successful, or right.

17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘DoLXXX this: loadLXXXI your animalsLXXXII and go backLXXXIII to the land of Canaan.LXXXIV 

Notes on verse 17

LXXX “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXXXI “load” = taan. 1x in OT. This is to load – used specifically for pack animals.
LXXXII “animals” = beir. 6x in OT. From baar (to consume, feed, kindle, be brutish). This is cattle specifically or an animal more generally.
LXXXIII “go back” = halak + bo. Halak is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc. Bo is the same as “come” in v16. See note LXXVII above.
LXXXIV “Canaan” = Kna’an. From kana’ (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled. This could mean lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt. See

18 TakeLXXXV your father and your households and come to me, so that I may giveLXXXVI you the bestLXXXVII of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoyLXXXVIII the fatLXXXIX of the land.’ 

Notes on verse 18

LXXXV “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
LXXXVI “give” = natan. Same as “wept so loudly” in v2. See note XII above.
LXXXVII “best” = tub. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is goodness, gladness, something that is good. It can also be beauty, welfare, or joy.
LXXXVIII “enjoy” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXIX “fat” = cheleb. This is fat, finest, marrow. It is fat in a literal or figurative sense. It refers to the richest or best part.

19 You are further chargedXC to say, ‘Do this: take wagonsXCI from the land of Egypt for your little onesXCII

Notes on verse 19a

XC “charged” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
XCI “wagons” = agalah. From the same as egel (male calf as one that frisks about; often one that is almost grown up); may be from the same as agol (round, circular – root meaning revolve). This is something that turns like a cart or chariot – a vehicle with wheels.
XCII “little ones” = taph. From taphaph (walking along with small, tripping steps like children do). This is little ones, children, families.

and for your wives,XCIII and bringXCIV your father, and come. 20 Give no thought toXCV your possessions,XCVI for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

Notes on verses 19b-20

XCIII “wives” = ishshah. Related to “everyone” in v1. From ish (see note VII above.). This is woman, wife, or female.
XCIV “bring” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
XCV “give not though to” = ayin + al + chus. Literally “do not let the eye look upon.” Ayin is the same as “yourselves” in v5. See note XXVIII above. Chus is perhaps from the same as chum (dark brown or black; root may indicate heat or warmth; one with a sunburn or otherwise darkened). This is properly to cover. In a figurative sense it means looking with compassion, pitying, regarding, or sparing someone.
XCVI “possessions” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.

21 The sons of IsraelXCVII did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instructionXCVIII of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisionsXCIX for the journey.C 

Notes on verse 21

XCVII “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “God” in v5. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note XXX above). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
XCVIII “instruction” = peh. Same as “mouth” in v12. See note LXVII above.
XCIX “provisions” = tsedah. 11x in OT. From the same as tsayid (food or provision). This is food, meat, or other provisions.
C “journey” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.

22 To each oneCI of them he gave a setCII of garments;CIII but to Benjamin he gave threeCIV hundred pieces of silverCV and five sets of garments. 

Notes on verse 22

CI “one” = enosh. Related to “everyone” in v1 & “wives” in v19. See note VII above.
CII “set” = chaliphah. 12x in OT. From chalaph (to slide by or rush like a flood; to pass through, change, sprout, renew, break a promise, pierce, or violate). This is a change, alternation, release, shift, change of clothing.
CIII “garments” = simlah. Perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is mantle, clothes, wrapper.
CIV “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
CV “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.

23 To his father he sent the following: ten donkeysCVI loadedCVII with the good thingsCVIII of Egypt,

Notes on verse 23a

CVI “donkeys” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
CVII “loaded” = nasa. Same as “bring” in v19. See note XCIV above.
CVIII “good things” = tub. Same as “best” in v18. See note LXXXVII above.

and ten female donkeysCIX loaded with grain,CX bread,CXI and provisionCXII for his father on the journey. 

Notes on verse 23b

CIX “female donkeys” = athon. Perhaps from the same as eythan (continual, mighty, strong, ever-flowing, permanence). This is a female donkey as an animal that is patient and gentle.
CX “grain” = bar. 14x in OT. From barar (to select, polish, cleanse, brighten, purify). This is something that is winnowed so any kind of grain, whether in the field or harvested. It can be corn, wheat, or other grains. This can also refer to a field or the open country.
CXI “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CXII “provision” = mazon. 2x in OT. From zun (to feed, be plump). This is food, meat.

24 Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leavingCXIII he said to them, “Do not quarrelCXIV along the way.”CXV

Notes on verse 24

CXIII “leaving” = halak. Same as “go back” in v17. See note LXXXIII above.
CXIV “quarrel” = ragaz. This is shaking from any strong emotion, particularly anger or fear. It can be agitated, excited, perturbed, afraid, quaking, quivering.
CXV “way” = derek. Same as “journey” in v21. See note C above.

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father JacobCXVI in the land of Canaan. 26 And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned;CXVII he could not believeCXVIII them. 

Notes on verses 25-26

CXVI “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
CXVII “stunned” = pug + leb. Pug is 4x in OT. This is to be faint, sluggish, grow numb, be spent. Leb may be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
CXVIII “believe” = aman. This is to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful. It is to put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid. This is where the word “amen” comes from.

27 But when they told him all the wordsCXIX of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carryCXX him, the spiritCXXI of their father Jacob revived.CXXII 

28 Israel said, “Enough!CXXIII My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”CXXIV

Notes on verses 27-28

CXIX “words” = dabar. Related to “speaks” in v12. From dabar (see note LXVIII above). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
CXX “carry” = nasa. Same as “bring” in v19. See note XCIV above.
CXXI “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
CXXII “revived” = chayah. Same as “keep alive” in v7. See note XLIII above.
CXXIII “enough” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
CXXIV “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

Image credit: “And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Genesis, C. XLV. V. 14” from “The History of Joseph and His Brethren” (Day & Son, 1869), Illustration by Owen Jones.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply