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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 105:17

 

 

He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He sent a man before them - That is, He so ordered it by his providence that a man - Joseph - was sent before the family of Jacob into Egypt, that he might make arrangements for their reception and preservation. The whole matter was as God had sent him, or had commanded him to go. And yet it was brought about as the result of a series of acts of the most wicked character; by the envy and the hatred of his brethren; by their guilt and hardness of heart in proposing at first to put him to death, and then in their arrangements for selling him to hopeless slavery; by their plan so to dispose of him that their father might never hear of him again, and that they might be troubled with him no more. God did not cause these acts. He did not command them; he did not approve of them. And yet, since they did occur, and since Joseph‘s brethren were so wicked, God made use of these things to accomplish his own benevolent purposes, and to carry out his great designs. So he makes use of the passions of wicked people at all times to execute his plans (compare the notes at Isaiah 10:5-7; see also Psalm 76:10; and Genesis 50:20); and so he will do to the end of time. People are free in their wickedness; but God is equally free in frustrating their schemes, and overruling their designs for the accomplishment of his own purposes.

Who was sold for a servant - For a slave; Genesis 37:28, Genesis 37:36; Genesis 39:1.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-105.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He sent a man before them, even Joseph,.... Who, though but a lad of seventeen years of age when he was sold into Egypt, yet was a grown man when he stood before Pharaoh, and interpreted his dreams of plenty and famine to come; and advised him to lay up store in the years of plenty, against the years of famine; by which he appeared to be a wise man, as the Targum here calls him; see Genesis 37:3. Him God sent before into Egypt; before Jacob and his sons went down thither, to make provision for them, to support them in the time of famine, and preserve their lives. God is said to send him, though his brethren sold him out of envy; there being such a plain hand of Providence in this matter; and which is observed by Joseph himself over and over again, Genesis 45:5, in which he was a type of Christ, in whom all provisions are made, and by whom they are communicated unto his people; who all receive out of his fulness, and grace for grace.

Who was sold for a servant: either "to a servant": as to Potiphar, as Aben Ezra, who was a servant of Pharaoh's; or rather to be a servant, as Joseph was in his house: he was sold for twenty pieces of silver, as Christ, his antitype, for thirty; the price of a servant, Genesis 37:28, and who not only appeared in the form of a servant, but did the work of one: and a faithful and righteous servant he was to his Father, and on the behalf of his people.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-105.html. 1999.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

17.He sent a man before them This whole passage graphically teaches us, that whatever befell that people was by the hand and counsel of God. The simple recital would have been to say, that the famine came upon the land, after Joseph had been sold by his brethren, and carried into Egypt. But the prophet speaks emphatically, declaring that Joseph by the divine counsel had been sent before into Egypt, to support his father’s house, that afterwards the famine was called, and that then, by God’s providence, a remedy was presented beyond all hope. This, indeed, is generally true in human affairs; but there is here commemorated a special care which God took in governing and nourishing his Church. Moreover, the prophet mentions that as second in place which was first in the order of time. Accordingly, in regard to the word send, the pluperfect tense would better express the sense, he had sent; implying that before God afflicted the land of Canaan with famine, he had prepared a remedy for his servant Jacob, and for his household, in having sent Joseph before as a steward to provide them with food. Here two contraries as it were are stated, to render the divine superintendence in the whole the more conspicuous. How was Joseph sent of God? It was in this way:- When he was doomed to death, it happened that his brethren preferred selling him to leaving him in his grave. This selling, if considered merely by itself, like a cloud interposed, obscured and concealed the divine providence. When counsel was taken to put Joseph to death, who would have expected that he was to be the sustainer of his father’s house? Afterwards a kind of death was devised for him less cruel; but then he was cast into a well or pit, and in that situation how could he succor others? The last hope was, that at length being sold, he came forth from the pit. But again, he was well nigh rotting all his life long in prison.

Who could think that processes so intricate and circuitous were controlled by divine providence? The prophet therefore meets this difficulty by saying, that in respect of men, he was indeed sold; but that he had nevertheless been previously sent by the divine purpose. The passage is worthy of notice, admirably vindicating, as it does, the providence of God against the perverse stupidity of our corrupt nature. Resting on the second causes which meet the eye, or ascribing to the direction of man whatever is done in this world, or thinking that all things happen by chance, very few trace them to the appointment of God. And yet the selling of Joseph is not here interposed as a veil to hide divine providence; but is rather set forth as a signal instance of it to teach us that whatever men may undertake, the issues are in the hand of God; or rather, that by a secret influence, he bends the hearts of men in whatever direction he pleases, that by their instrumentality, whether they will or no, he may bring to pass what he has determined should be done. Agreeably to this Joseph said to his brethren, “Now, therefore, be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life,” (Genesis 45:5) Farther, God so governs human affairs by his secret controlling influence, and overrules men’s wicked devices to a right end, as that his judgments are notwithstanding uncontaminated by the depravity of men. The brethren of Joseph wickedly conspire his death; they also wrongfully sell him: the fault is in themselves. Contemplate now how God directs and controls all. By the hand of these brethren he provides for the good both of themselves and of their father Jacob, yea for that of the whole Church. This holy purpose contracts no defilement or spot from the malice of those who aimed at an entirely opposite end; even as Joseph testified afterwards,

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive,” (Genesis 1:20)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-105.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

GOD’S PREVISIONS

‘But He had sent a man before them.’

Psalms 105:17. (Prayer Book Version).

I. Israel went down into Egypt to buy food, and found one of themselves at the head of the government; and from that Divine provision flowed in natural order the whole after-Bible story.—A local famine ministered to the scheme of the world’s salvation; out of partial evil came universal good. The Gospel feast was remotely spread through the jealousy of Jacob’s sons, and in the pressure of the great dearth. The presence of evil in God’s world must ever remain an unfathomable mystery. The book of Genesis shows us, indeed, the beginning of evil upon the earth; but it represents evil as already existent, and as being brought into this world by a tempter not of this world. There is thus a chapter before the first chapter of Genesis, which remains unwritten. A lesser mystery than the creation of evil is the sufferance of evil. God, who created it not, permits it, uses it for His own purposes. The darkness which hangs about even the sufferance of evil, both moral and physical, is in a measure lightened by the remembrance that He who permits evil sees at the selfsame moment, not as a future, but as a present, thing, the good which comes out of it. It was so with the history of Joseph. It was so with the scheme of man’s redemption through Christ. And so with the discipline of our daily life. To us the multitude of events which mark the lapse of the years, even in the most uniform lives, appear to come tumbling upon one another, like the waves of the sea. He in whose hand is the soul of every living thing has laid long before the whole train of circumstances by which we are to be tried. The ministering angel was commissioned ere the messenger of Satan was permitted to buffet. Nay more, the increased hope and strength, all those high spiritual graces which are formed in saintly souls by endurance, were present things to the eternal eye, not visions of the future, when He arranged the trial.

II. From this doctrine flow several principles of faith and practice.—(1) In the light of these truths, how strongly comes out to view the supernatural character of the commonest events in which we play our part! (2) A keen recognition of these ‘previsions of God’ leads to spiritual repose in the midst of worldly disquiet. God employs evil for His purposes of good. Man may not do evil that good may come. Three great attributes of God account for the difference: (a) His infinite knowledge; (b) His certain control; (c) His perfect holiness.

—Bishop Woodford.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/psalms-105.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 105:17 He sent a man before them, [even] Joseph, [who] was sold for a servant:

Ver. 17. He sent a man before them] An eminent and eximious man, Cuius vita fuit coelum quoddam lucidissimis virtutum stellis exornatum, to be their friend in the court, and to provide for their livelihood. No danger befalleth the Church but God beforehand provideth and procureth the means & preservation and deliverance, 2 Peter 2:9.

Even Joseph, who was sold] God ordereth the disorders of the world to his own glory and his people’s good.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-105.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 105:17

I. Israel went down into Egypt to buy food, and found one of themselves at the head of the government; and from that Divine provision flowed in natural order the whole after-Bible story. A local famine ministered to the scheme of the world's salvation; out of partial evil came universal good. The Gospel feast was remotely spread through the jealousy of Jacob's sons, and in the pressure of the great dearth. The presence of evil in God's world must ever remain an unfathomable mystery. The book of Genesis shows us, indeed, the beginning of evil upon the earth; but it represents evil as already existent, and as being brought into this world by a tempter not of this world. There is thus a chapter before the first chapter of Genesis, which remains unwritten. A lesser mystery than the creation of evil is the sufferance of evil. God, who created it not, permits it, uses it for His own purposes. The darkness which hangs about even the sufferance of evil, both moral and' physical, is in a measure lightened by the remembrance that He who permits evil sees at the selfsame moment, not as a future, but as a present, thing, the good which comes out of it. It was so with the history of Joseph. It was so with the scheme of man's redemption through Christ. And so with the discipline of our daily life. To us the multitude of events which mark the lapse of the years, even in the most uniform lives, appear to come tumbling upon one another, like the waves of the sea. He in whose hand is the soul of every living thing has laid long before the whole train of circumstances by which we are to be tried. The ministering angel was commissioned ere the messenger of Satan was permitted to buffet. Nay more, the increased hope and strength, all those high spiritual graces which are formed in saintly souls by endurance, were present things to the eternal eye, not visions of the future, when He arranged the trial.

II. From this doctrine flow several principles of faith and practice. (1) In the light of these truths, how strongly comes out to view the supernatural character of the commonest events in which we play our part! (2) A keen recognition of these "previsions of God" leads to spiritual repose in the midst of worldly disquiet. God employs evil for His purposes of good. Man may not do evil that good may come. Three great attributes of God account for the difference: (a) His infinite knowledge; (b) His certain control; (c) His perfect holiness.

Bishop Woodford, Sermons on Subjects from the Old Testament, p. 143.


References: Psalms 105:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1277. Psalms 105:24.—G. S. Barrett, Old Testament Outlines, p. 140. Psalms 106:4, Psalms 106:5.— Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxv., No. 1454; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 235. Psalms 106:8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii., No. 115. Psalms 106:9.—Ibid., vol. ii., No. 72. Psalms 106:13.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 259.




Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-105.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He sent, by the direction of his secret providence.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-105.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. He sent a man before them—The whole story of Joseph and the famine was a link in the chain of providence for bringing the Hebrew family into Egypt, and sustaining them under the shadow of the then mightiest government of the earth till the full time should come for their settlement in Canaan.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-105.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Adiron. With Core, though his children were preserved. (Calmet) --- God presently resented the injury done to his ministers. (Eusebius)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-105.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sent = had sent.

man. Hebrew. "ish.

them = their face.

Even Joseph. Compare Genesis 37:28.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-105.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Repeats Joseph’s own explanation, twice given, of the ways of Providence in his life (Genesis 45:5; Genesis 1:20).


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-105.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
He sent
Genesis 45:5,7,8; 50:20
Joseph
Genesis 37:27,28,36; 39:1; 45:4; Acts 7:9

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 105:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-105.html.

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