And he took and sent portions unto them from before him: but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
Read Chapter 43
George Leo Haydock
Of him. Joseph, the master of the feast, sends a portion to each of his guests, according to the ancient custom. (Plutarch, Sympos. ii.)
Five parts: in order to distinguish Benjamin the more. So Hector reproaches Diomed for fleeing before him, though he was placed in the highest place at table among the Greeks, and had the largest portion both of meat and drink.
Merry. Inebriati sunt, sometimes means intoxicated: but it is not at all probably that Joseph's brethren would indulge in any such excess, while they knew him not, (Calmet) and were under the impressions of fear and wonder. They took what was sufficient, and even decently abundant, with thankfulness for so unexpected an honour. (Haydock)
The word is often taken in this sense, as at the feast of Cana, where Jesus would never have furnished such an abundance of wine for people already drunk. (John ii. 10; Proverbs xi. 24.) Homer's feasts consist in every man taking what he pleased. (Calmet) ...
Joseph, as I was saying, was a holy man who conquered cruelty with true piety; who was sold into Egypt not by chance but that he might supply Egypt with food and his own brothers too, who had sold him. That Joseph invited his brothers to dine. But just listen to what happened: “And he drank, and became merry at noon.” Is that true, and is it literally possible that a holy man became drunk? Noah also was inebriated but had been really inebriated. Joseph had been intoxicated; Noah also was intoxicated in his own house. See, there is a mystery. First, let us review the mystery itself, and when we have done that, let us fathom its meaning. After the deluge, Noah drank and became drunk in his own house, and his thighs were uncovered, and he was exposed in his nakedness. The elder brother came along and laughed; the younger, however, covered him up. All this is said in type of the Savior, for on the cross he had drunk of the passion: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me...