Genesis 45:3-11, 15

Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Ordinary C13


JosephA said to his brothers,B “I am Joseph. Is my fatherC still alive?”D

Notes on verse 3a

A “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases” or “let him add.”
B “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.
C “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
D “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.

But his brothers couldE not answerF him, so dismayedG were they at his presence.H

Notes on verse 3b

E “could” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
F “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.
G “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.
H “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.

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closerI, J to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you soldK into Egypt.L 

Notes on verse 4

I “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.
J {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.”
K “sold” = makar. This is to sell – could be commerce/trade, a daughter to be married, someone into slavery. Figuratively, it can mean to surrender.
L “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. 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 Egypt.

And now do not be distressed,M or angryN with yourselves,O because you sold me here;P

Notes on verse 5a

M “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.
N “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.
O “yourselves” = ayin. Literally, “with your eyes.” This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).     
P “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 GodQ sentR me before youS to preserve life.T 6 For the famineU has been inV the landW these two years;X

Notes on verses 5b-6a

Q “God” = Elohim.
R “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
S “you” = paneh. Literally, “before your faces.” Same as “presence” in v3. See note H above.
T “preserve life” = michyah. Related to “alive” in v3. 8x in OT. From chayah (see note D above). This is sustenance, reviving, that which preserves life.
U “famine” = raab. From raeb (to be hungry). This is hunger, death, or hunger from famine.
V “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.
W “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
X “years” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.

and there are fiveY more years in which there will be neither plowingZ nor harvest.AA 

Notes on verse 6b

Y “five” = chamesh. This is five or fifth.
Z “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.
AA “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.

7 God sent me before youBB to preserveCC for you a remnantDD on earth,EE and to keep aliveFF for you manyGG survivors.HH 

Notes on verse 7

BB “before you” = paneh. Literally, “before your faces.” Same as “presence” in v3. See note H above.
CC “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.
DD “remnant” = sheerith. 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.
EE “earth” = erets. Same as “land” in v6. See note W above.
FF “keep alive” = chayah. Related to “alive” in v3 & “preserve life” in v5. See note D above.
GG “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.
HH “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.

8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has madeII me a father to Pharaoh,JJ and lordKK of allLL his houseMM and rulerNN over all the land of Egypt. 

Notes on verse 8

II “made” = sim. Same as “preserve” in v7. See note CC above.
JJ “Pharaoh” = Paroh. From Egyptian pr (palace, pharaoh; literally house + great). This is Pharaoh, a title for Egyptian kings. See
KK “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
LL “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
MM “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
NN “ruler” = mashal. This is to rule, reign, govern, have authority, wield.

HurryOO and go upPP to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your sonQQ Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come downRR to me, do not delay.SS 

Notes on verse 9

OO “hurry” = mahar. This is being liquid, which implies flowing. So, this word implies hurrying forward, whether in a positive or negative sense.
PP “go up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
QQ “son” = ben. Related to “house” in v8. Perhaps from banah (see note MM above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
RR “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.
SS “delay” = 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.

10 You shall settleTT in the land of Goshen,UU and you shall beVV nearWW me, you and your childrenXX and your children’s children, as well as your flocks,YY your herds,ZZ and all that you have. 

Notes on verse 10

TT “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.
UU “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
VV “be” = hayah. This is to be or exist.
WW “near” = qarob. Related to “in” in v6. From qarab (see note V above). This is near whether nearby, related, near in time, or allied.
XX “children” = ben. Same as “son” in v9. See note QQ above.
YY “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
ZZ “herds” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.

11 I will provideAAA for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household,BBB and all that you have, will notCCC come to poverty.’DDD

15 And he kissedEEE all his brothers and weptFFF upon them; and after that his brothers talkedGGG with him.

Notes on verses 11, 15

AAA “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.
BBB “household” = bayit. Same as “house” in v8. See note MM above.
CCC “not” = pen. Related to “presence” in v3. Perhaps from panah (see note H above). This is lest, if, or.
DDD “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.
EEE “kissed” = nashaq. This is to kiss in a literal or figurative sense. It can mean to touch, rule, or equip with weapons.
FFF “wept” = bakah. This is to weep, complain, or lament.
GGG “talked” = 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.

Image credit: “Joseph is Reunited with his Family” by YoMinistry.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply