They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, 1 and another for the Egyptians who were eating with him. (The Egyptians are not able to eat with Hebrews, for the Egyptians think it is disgusting 2 to do so.) 3
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “them”; the referent (Joseph’s brothers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Or “disgraceful.” The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, “abomination”) describes something that is loathsome or off-limits. For other practices the Egyptians considered disgusting, see Gen 46:34 and Exod 8:22.
3 tn Heb “and they set for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, for the Egyptians are not able to eat food with the Hebrews, for it is an abomination for the Egyptians.” The imperfect verbal form in the explanatory clause is taken as habitual in force, indicating a practice that was still in effect in the narrator’s time.
sn That the Egyptians found eating with foreigners disgusting is well-attested in extra-biblical literature by writers like Herodotus, Diodorus, and Strabo.