Gen 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
Gen 49:24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
The archers have sorely grieved him. Joseph's enemies were archers. The original has it, "masters of the arrows;" that is, men who were well skilled in the use of the arrows.
Though all weapons are alike approved by the warrior in his thirst for blood, there seems something more cowardly in the attack of the archer than in that of the swordsman.
The swordsman plants himself near you, foot to foot, and lets you defend yourself, and deal your blows against him; but the archer stands at a distance, hides himself in ambuscade, and, without you knowing it, the arrow comes whizzing through the air, and perhaps penetrates your heart.
Just so are the enemies of God's people.
They very seldom come foot to foot with us; they will not show their faces before us; they hate the light, they love darkness; they dare not come and openly accuse us to our face, for then we could reply; but they shoot the bow from a distance, so that we cannot answer them; cowardly and dastardly as they are, they forge their arrow-heads, and aim them, winged with hell-birds feathers, at the hearts of God's people.
The archers sorely grieved poor Joseph. Let us consider who are the archers who so cruelly shot at him.
First, there were the archers of envy; secondly, the archers of temptation; and thirdly, the archers of slander and false accusation.