Challoner commentary

Genesis 37 : 36

An eunuch

This word sometimes signifies a chamberlain, courtier, or officer of the kingand so it is taken in this place.

Genesis 38 : 29

Phares

That is, a breach or division.

Genesis 39 : 16

A proof therefore of her fidelity

or an argument to gain credit, argumentum fidei.

Genesis 40 : 8

Doth not interpretation belong to God?

When dreams are from God, as these were, the interpretation of them is a gift of God. But the generality of dreams are not of this sort; but either proceed from the natural complexions and dispositions of persons, or the roving of their imaginations in the day on such objects as they are much affected with, or from their mind being disturbed with cares and troubles, and oppressed with bodily infirmitiesor they are suggested by evil spirits, to flatter, or to terrify weak minds, in order to gain belief, and so draw them into error or superstition; or at least to trouble them in their sleep, whom they cannot move when they are awakeso that the general rule, with regard to dreams, is not to observe them, nor to give any credit to them.

Genesis 41 : 45

The saviour of the world

Zaphnah paaneah.

Genesis 41 : 51

Manasses

That is, oblivion, or forgetting.

Genesis 41 : 52

Ephraim

That is, fruitful, or growing.

Genesis 42 : 9

You are spies

This he said by way of examining them, to see what they would answer.

Genesis 42 : 16

Or else by the health of Pharao you are spies

That is, if these things you say be proved false, you are to be held for spies for your lying, and shall be treated as such. Joseph dealt in this manner with his brethren, to bring them by the means of affliction to a sense of their former sin, and a sincere repentance for it.

Genesis 42 : 38

To hell

That is, to that place, where the souls then remained, as above, chapter 37. ver. 35.

Genesis 43 : 11

Balm

Literally rosin, resinae; but here by that name is meant balm.

Genesis 44 : 15

The science of divining

He speaks of himself according to what he was esteemed in that kingdom. And indeed, he being truly a prophet, knew more without comparison than any of the Egyptian sorcerers.

Genesis 44 : 31

His gray hairs

That is, his person, now far advanced in years.--

Genesis 44 : 31

With sorrow unto hell

The Hebrew word for hell is here sheol, the Greek hadesit is not taken for the hell of the damned; but for that place of souls below where the servants of God were kept before the coming of Christ. Which place, both in the Scripture and in the creed, is named hell.

Genesis 46 : 1

The well of the oath

Bersabee.

Genesis 47 : 2

The last

Extremos. Some interpret this word of the chiefest, and most rightlybut Joseph seems rather to have chosen out such as had the meanest appearance, that Pharao might not think of employing them at court, with danger of their morals and religion.

Genesis 47 : 31

To the bed's head

St. Paul, Heb. 11. 21, following the Greek translation of the Septuagint, reads adored the top of his rod. Where note, that the same word in the Hebrew, according to the different pointing of it, signifies both a bed and a rod. And to verify both these sentences, we must understand that Jacob leaning on Joseph's rod adored, turning towards the head of his bedwhich adoration, inasmuch as it was referred to God, was an absolute and sovereign worshipbut inasmuch as it was referred to the rod of Joseph, as a figure of the sceptre, that is, of the royal dignity of Christ, was only an inferior and relative honour.

Genesis 49 : 3

My strength

He calls him his strength, as being born whilst his father was in his full strength and vigourhe calls him the beginning of his sorrow, because cares and sorrows usually come on with the birth of children. Excelling in gifts, etc., because the firstborn had a title to a double portion, and to have the command over his brethren, which Ruben forfeited by his sin; being poured out as water, that is, spilt and lost.

Genesis 49 : 4

Grow thou not

This was not meant by way of a curse or imprecation; but by way of a prophecy foretelling that the tribe of Ruben should not inherit the pre-eminences usually annexed to the first birthright, viz., the double portion, the being prince or lord over the other brethren, and the priesthoodof which the double portion was given to Joseph, the princely office to Juda, and the priesthood to Levi.

Genesis 49 : 6

Slew a man,

viz., Sichem the son of Hemor, with all his people, Gen. 34.; mystically and prophetically it alludes to Christ, whom their posterity, viz., the priests and the scribes, put to death.