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.
Read Chapter 37
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 j...
Now all this happened so that Joseph’s regard for his brothers might be demonstrated and their murderous intent might come to light. On the other hand it happened also as a type of things to come, the outlines of truth being sketched out ahead of time in shadow. As Joseph went off to his brothers to visit them, to those who had no respect for brotherhood or for the reason of his coming and who first intended to do away with him and then sold him to foreigners, so too our Lord in fidelity to his characteristic love came to visit the human race. Taking flesh of the same source as ours and deigning to become our brother, he thus arrived among us. Paul too cries out in these words, “It is not the condition of angels he takes to himself but descent from Abraham. Hence the need for him to become like his brothers in everything.”