And he said to him, Go, I pray you, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
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Ambrose of Milan
Therefore the patriarch did not refuse to believe in a dream so mighty, for in a twofold prophecy he prophesied both together; that is, he represented and personified the just man and the people, because the Son of God was going to come to earth to be loved by just men and denied by unbelievers. And so Jacob, in sending his son to his brothers to see if it was well with the sheep, foresaw the mysteries of the incarnation that was to come. What sheep was God searching for in the concern manifested even at that time by the patriarch? The very ones of whom the Lord Jesus himself said in the Gospel, “I did not come except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” “And he sent him to Shechem,” which name is interpreted as “shoulder” or “back.” That is, to those who did not turn to the Lord but fled from his face and turned away, an expression properly applied to the sinner, for “Cain went out from the face of the Lord,” and the psalmist says, “You will make them turn their back.” Now the just person does not turn away from the Lord but runs to meet him and says, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord.” And when the Lord said, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah offered himself of his own accord and said, “Behold, here I am.” Simeon also waited to see Christ the Lord; after he saw him, because he had seen the Pardoner of sins and Redeemer of the whole world, he asked to be freed from the use of this flesh, just as he had been relieved of his sin, and said, “Now dismiss your servant, Lord, because my eyes have seen your salvation.” Zacchaeus too first gained the special privilege of having the Lord’s commendation bestowed on him for this, that he climbed a tree to see Christ. Therefore Joseph was sent by his father to his brothers, or rather by that Father “who has not spared his own Son but has delivered him for us all,” by that Father of whom it is written, “God, sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.”