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Genesis 47:23

    Genesis 47:23 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: see, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then Joseph said to the people, I have made you and your land this day the property of Pharaoh; here is seed for you to put in your fields.

    Webster's Revision

    Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.

    World English Bible

    Then Joseph said to the people, "Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Behold, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 47:23

    I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh - It fully appears that the kingdom of Egypt was previously to the time of Joseph a very limited monarchy. The king had his estates; the priests had their lands; and the common people their patrimony independently of both. The land of Rameses or Goshen appears to have been the king's land, Genesis 47:11. The priests had their lands, which they did not sell to Joseph, Genesis 47:22, Genesis 47:26; and that the people had lands independent of the crown, is evident from the purchases Joseph made, Genesis 47:19, Genesis 47:20; and we may conclude from those purchases that Pharaoh had no power to levy taxes upon his subjects to increase his own revenue until he had bought the original right which each individual had in his possessions. And when Joseph bought this for the king he raised the crown an ample revenue, though he restored the lands, by obliging each to pay one fifth of the product to the king, Genesis 47:24. And it is worthy of remark that the people of Egypt well understood the distinction between subjects and servants; for when they came to sell their land, they offered to sell themselves also, and said: Buy us and our land, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh, Genesis 47:19.

    Diodorus Siculus, lib. i., gives the same account of the ancient constitution of Egypt. "The land," says he, "was divided into three parts:

    1. One belonged to the Priests, with which they provided all sacrifices, and maintained all the ministers of religion.

    2. A second part was the King's, to support his court and family, and to supply expenses for wars if they should happen. Hence there were no taxes, the king having so ample an estate.

    3. The remainder of the land belonged to the Subjects, who appear (from the account of Diodorus) to have been all soldiers, a kind of standing militia, liable, at the king's expense, to serve in all wars for the preservation of the state."

    This was a constitution something like the British; the government appears to have been mixed, and the monarchy properly limited, till Joseph, by buying the land of the people, made the king in some sort despotic. But it does net appear that any improper use was made of this, as in much later times we find it still a comparatively limited monarchy.

    Barnes' Notes on Genesis 47:23

    I have bought you. - He had bought their lands, and so they might be regarded, in some sort, as the servants of Pharaoh, or the serfs of the soil. "In the increase ye shall give the fifth to Pharaoh." This explains at once the extent of their liability, and the security of their liberty and property. They do not become Pharaoh's bondmen. They own their land under him by a new tenure. They are no longer subject to arbitrary exactions. They have a stated annual rent, bearing a fixed ratio to the amount of their crop. This is an equitable adjustment of their dues, and places them under the protection of a statute law. The people are accordingly well pleased with the enactment of Joseph, which becomes henceforth the law of Egypt.