Genesis 47:18 MEANING

Genesis 47:18
(18) The second year.--Not the second year of the famine, but the year following that in which they had given up their cattle.

Verses 18, 19. - When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year (not the second from the commencement of the dearth, but the second from the consumption of their money), and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that - literally, for if (so we should speak openly), hence equivalent to an intensified but - our money (literally, the silver) is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; - literally, our herds of cattle also (sc. have come) to my lord - there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may (literally, and we shall) live, and not die, that the land be not desolate (literally, and the land shall not be desolate).

47:13-26 Care being taken of Jacob and his family, which mercy was especially designed by Providence in Joseph's advancement, an account is given of the saving the kingdom of Egypt from ruin. There was no bread, and the people were ready to die. See how we depend upon God's providence. All our wealth would not keep us from starving, if rain were withheld for two or three years. See how much we are at God's mercy, and let us keep ourselves always in his love. Also see how much we smart by our own want of care. If all the Egyptians had laid up corn for themselves in the seven years of plenty, they had not been in these straits; but they regarded not the warning. Silver and gold would not feed them: they must have corn. All that a man hath will he give for his life. We cannot judge this matter by modern rules. It is plain that the Egyptians regarded Joseph as a public benefactor. The whole is consistent with Joseph's character, acting between Pharaoh and his subjects, in the fear of God. The Egyptians confessed concerning Joseph, Thou hast saved our lives. What multitudes will gratefully say to Jesus, at the last day, Thou hast saved our souls from the most tremendous destruction, and in the season of uttermost distress! The Egyptians parted with all their property, and even their liberty, for the saving of their lives: can it then be too much for us to count all but loss, and part with all, at His command, and for His sake, who will both save our souls, and give us an hundredfold, even here, in this present world? Surely if saved by Christ, we shall be willing to become his servants.When the year was ended, they came unto him the second year,.... Which seems to be the seventh and last year of the years of famine; not the second year of the famine, as Jarchi, but the second year of their great distress, when having spent all their money they parted with their cattle; for it cannot be thought that they should be drained of their money and cattle too in one year:

and said unto him, we will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; both these were well known to Joseph, and therefore cannot be the things which they say they would not hide: Musculus thinks it should be rendered in the past tense, "we have not hid"; this they told him the last year, that their money was gone, and he knew he had their cattle for their last year's provision: the sense seems to be this, that seeing their money was spent, and their cattle were in the hands of Joseph, they would not, and could not conceal from him what follows:

there is not enough left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies and our lands; and the one were starving and the other desolate.

Courtesy of Open Bible