Summary of passage: Joseph could no longer keep his emotions in check so he sent all of his attendants out. He made himself known to his brothers and wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him. His brothers were terrified so Joseph beckoned them closer and told them not to be angry at themselves for it was God who had sent him ahead of them in order to save lives and preserve a remnant on earth.
He sends them back to retrieve Jacob and all of his household and items to live in Goshen where Joseph will provide for them. Tell him about everything you have seen, all the honor Joseph has, and bring him here quickly.
He hugged Benjamin and wept and embraced all his brothers and wept and talked with them. Pharaoh agreed to have Joseph’s family come along with all their belongings. He will give them the best of the land. They could leave their belongings because the best of Egypt will be theirs.
He sent the brothers along, giving Benjamin 300 shekels of silver and five sets of new clothes and giving his brothers just new clothes. Joseph reminded them not to quarrel along the way.
Jacob agreed to go to Egypt.
15a) He tells them that it was God who sent him before them in order to save lives and preserve a remnant on earth.
b) Well it’s hard to say. No one in this chapter is singled out except Benjamin who is favored by Joseph as well (ironic in my view). The brothers are always referred to as “they”. That alone should show that they acted together as a cohesive whole and had to love one another.
Possibly when they were frightened they clung to each other. They all embraced each other and cried over Joseph. They talked together. The “sons of Israel” (verse 21–another use of the word Israel shows faith) all went together to collect Jacob. Joseph warned them not to quarrel as brothers do.
16) Personal Question. My answer: Pray to forgive. Pray for God’s power to forgive. Choose to forgive. Give it to God.
Conclusions: The best part of Joseph’s story to me is how God used evil for good. How he took the brothers’ actions and made Joseph prosper beyond his wildest dreams. And how Joseph forgave his brothers and in the end ended up doing good towards those who wronged him. God makes ALL things work together for our good (Romans 8:28) and there is no better example in all of the Bible of this than the story of Joseph.
Note how the last verse calls Jacob Israel. The name Israel is used when Jacob is acting out of faith. The name Jacob is used when Jacob is acting on his own. Interesting.
Scholars say chapters 42-45 takes place over 2 years. It seems as if it’s shorter but it’s not. We must remember how difficult transportation was in ancient times over rough terrain on foot with nothing but donkeys to pack your belongings. Also, we must remember the time between the first journey to Egypt and the second. The brothers only return when they run out of grain. That would take a bit of time to eat that up. So Simeon sat in prison for 2 years!
Both Joseph and Jesus were sent to save God’s people. Both were despised and betrayed by their own people. Yet God’s will to save conquers all.