Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried: ‘Cause every man to go out from me.’ And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
(ב) לכל הנצבים עליו - בפני כל הנצבים עליו ולא יכול עוד להתאפק.
(2) לכל הנצבים עליו, in the presence of all those surrounding him; he now could no longer restrain his emotions. He called to all his personal servants even to leave the building. This is the plain meaning of the text.
(א) ולא יכל יוסף להתאפק לכל הנצבים לֹא הָיָה יָכוֹל לִסְבּוֹל שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מִצְרִים נִצָּבִים עָלָיו וְשׁוֹמְעִין, שֶׁאֶחָיו מִתְבַּיְּשִׁין בְּהִוָּדְעוֹ לָהֶם:
(1) ולא יכל יוסף להתאפק לכל הנצבים AND JOSEPH COULD NOT REFRAIN HIMSELF BEFORE ALL THEM... — He could not bear that the Egyptians should stand by him witnessing how his brothers would be put to shame when he made himself known to them.
(א) ולא יכל, כיון שהזכיר כמה פעמים רעת אביו שימצאנו נכמרו רחמיו עליו ולא יכול להחזיק עצמו מלבכות, ובעבור כל הנצבים עליו קרא, הוציאו כל איש מעלי, ואותם שקרא להם להוציא יצאו גם כן עם האחרים לפי שאמר להם כל איש:
(1) ולא יכול, the repeated references by Judah to the mental anguish experienced by his aged father proved too much for Joseph to maintain his composure. It kindled his sense of compassion also towards his brothers so that he could not restrain himself from weeping. In order not to make a public spectacle of himself in front of people whom it did not directly concern, he ordered הוציאו כל איש מעלי, “remove everybody from my presence! The ones present not only left themselves but mad sure that no one entered until invited. Joseph had said after all, כל איש, “everybody!”
(82) Bereshit Rabbah 93, 9 commenting on Genesis 45,1 "Joseph could not control himself," has Rabbi Chama bar Chaninah say that Joseph acted carelessly by instructing everybody to leave the room when he wanted to reveal himself to his brothers; had one of them kicked him he would have died. Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachman says that Joseph acted prudently. He was well aware of the righteousness of his brothers and did not suspect them of being or becoming guilty of bloodshed. He was certain that the brothers would not even kill an Egyptian who had framed them (they considered him an Egyptian). He certainly did not suspect them of wanting to kill their own brother who was a צדיק, a pillar of the elitist society of the world! Moreover, Joseph had already heard the brothers express remorse over the way they had treated Joseph (42, 21).
And Joseph said to his brothers: ‘I am Joseph; does my father yet live?’ And his brothers could not answer him; for they recoiled in fear of him.
(א) ולא יכלו אחיו לענות אותו. פי' הרב יוסף קרא מאמינים ואינם מאמינים. מאמינים שהרי הזכיר שמו יוסף ואינם מאמינים לשעבר לעבד נמכר יוסף בכבל ענו רגלו ועכשיו הוא מושל בכל ארץ מצרים:
(1) ולא יכלו אחיו לענות אותו, “and his brothers were unable to answer him;” Rabbi Joseph Karo, explains this line as follows: the brothers on the one hand believed him when he said that his name was Joseph; however they could not believe that he was the Joseph whom they had sold into slavery, and that in the interval he had risen to such an exalted position, ruler over mighty Egypt.
(4) And Joseph said to his brothers: ‘Come near to me, I pray you.’ And they came near. And he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
(א) גשו נא אלי רָאָה אוֹתָם נְסוֹגִים לְאָחוֹר, אָמַר עַכְשָׁיו אַחַי נִכְלָמִים, קָרָא לָהֶם בְּלָשׁוֹן רַכָּה וְתַחֲנוּנִים, וְהֶרְאָה לָהֶם שֶׁהוּא מָהוּל (בראשית רבה):
(1) גשו נא אלי STEP NEAR TO ME, I PRAY YOU — He saw that they recoiled and he said to himself “Now my brothers feel ashamed”. He therefore called to them in mild and gentle language (Genesis Rabbah 97).
(ב) אשר מכרתם ובזה תדעו שאני יוסף בלי ספק שלא ידע איש במכירתי ושאני אחיכם זולתנו כי הקונים לא ידעו שאני אחיכם:
(2) אשר מכרתם, the one whom you have sold! By mentioning this episode you will realise that I can be none other than your brother Joseph, for who else knows about this? The people who bought me as a slave had no idea that I was the sellers’ brother.
(א) גשו נא אלי, כיון שראה אותם נבהלים קרא להם שיגשו אליו ולא יפחדו ממנו. ובדרש שהראה להם ברית מילה למען יאמינו לכל הדברים שדבר אליהם (ב"ר צ"ג):
(1) גשו נא אלי, seeing his brothers in a state of shock, Joseph called to them and encouraged them to come closer and to stop being afraid of him. According to Bereshit Rabbah 93,8 he showed them that he was circumcised in order that they should believe him when he claimed to be their brother. Everything else he told them is quite clear and does not require further explanation.
(א) גשו נא אלי ויגשו. מדרש לפי שאמר למעלה הוציאו כל איש מעלי והמצרים היו עומדים בחוץ ומטין אזניהם מה הם מדברים ולכך כשאמר אני יוסף אחיכם העוד אבי חי לא חשש אם הם שומעין אבל כשרצה לומר אשר מכרתם אותי לא רצה שישמעו לפי שהיה בדעתו להושיב אחיו במצרים ואילו היו שומעין שמכרו אחיהם יאמרו אנשים רעים הם מאד שאפי' לאחיהם מכרו כל שכן שיעשו עמנו רעה אם ישבו אתנו ולכך אמר להם גשו נא אלי ואומר לכם בחשאי. ד"א מתחלה אמר להם יוסף אני יוסף אחיכם העוד אבי חי ולא רצה להזכיר מכירתו מפני בנימין אחיו שלא יתביישו ממנו ושלא יגיד לאביו והפליגן לצד אחר ואמר להם גשו נא אלי הפרידן מבנימין ויאמר אני יוסף אחיכם אשר מכרתם אותי:
(1) גשו נא אלי, ויגשו, “please come physically closer to me; they did so.” Seeing that prior to this Joseph had ordered everybody in the hall with them to leave the hall, (45,1) and the Egyptians outside now trying very hard to listen to what went on inside, Joseph now tried to put more physical distance between them and himself and the brothers. He did not mind them to hear him ask the brothers: “is my father still alive?” He did not want them to hear the words: “you have sold me,” however, in order not to embarrass them publicly, and because he intended to settle Yaakov’s whole family in Egypt. If his employees had heard him refer to this, they would have objected to such wicked people settling in Egypt. They would conclude that if these people had been capable of selling their own brother, how much worse would they deal with Egyptian neighbours that were not related to them by blood? This is why he asked them to step closer so that the balance of the conversation could be conducted in whispers. An alternate interpretation: first Joseph told his brothers that he was their brother; next he asked if his father was still alive; He did not want to raise the subject of their having sold him in the presence of his brother Binyamin who had been unaware of that. He knew that this would greatly embarrass his brothers, and that Binyamin upon hearing of this would surely report it to their father. He therefore motioned the brothers to move over so that he could continue the conversation where Binyamin could not overhear it. [This editor cannot believe that Binyamin was in the same hall, as surely he had been taken into custody after the goblet had been found in his sack. He only released him in verse 13 when he instructed the brothers to return forthwith to the land of Canaan. Ed.]