Joseph is recorded as crying 7 times in the Bible (Genesis 42:24; 43:30; 45:2; 45:14-15; 46:29; 50:1; 50:17).
Joseph weeps when:
He sees his brothers for the first time again in Egypt
Joseph sees Benjamin
When Joseph makes himself known to his brothers
When he reveals himself to his brothers
When Joseph sees Jacob again
When Joseph learns Jacob died
All of Egypt cries with Joseph
Again at Jacob’s death
Joseph does not weep when:
He’s thrown in the pit by his brothers
When he is sold as a slave
When he becomes a slave to Potiphar
When he’s framed by Potiphar’s wife and thrown back in prison
When he’s forgotten by Pharaoh’s cupbearer
He’s afraid, angry, or uncertain
When he is stressed
Note that Joseph cries only in personal matters that involve his family that mean the most to him. He is unashamed when he cries. He is resilient. His greatest fear may have been to never see his family again. God made sure that didn’t happen. God can make sure none of your fears come true, too.
Judah pleads for Benjamin’s life, in the end offering to take his place because he cannot face Jacob and tell him that Benjamin has been taken from him like they did when they sold Joseph into slavery. Judah explains to Joseph that Benjamin is the only son left of his mother and Jacob loves him deeply. He recounts the whole conversation with Jacob of taking Benjamin so that he (Joseph) would sell them grain. He says that Jacob will die if they return without Benjamin.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34
13) Judah cannot bear to see the misery that would come upon Jacob and the fact that Jacob would die in sorrow. Just the fact that Judah does not want Benjamin taken says it all. Here, his actions speak louder than his words. All of the brothers could have left Benjamin. Instead, they stand up for him.
14) Personal Question. My answer: Age and experience has contributed to my growth. Unsure the evidence, however.
15a) Regret is when you feel sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an event that has happened or been done to you. Repentance is a feeling of regret for past wrongs and a commitment to change for the better. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary defines repentance as “a complete change of orientation involving a judgment upon the past and a deliberate redirection for the future.” Sorrow leads to repentance. Regret is the first step; repentance follows regret and is the act of change.
b) Just the fact I want to repent is God’s grace. Many people feel bad over what they’ve done, but don’t resolve to change. Resolving to change so when the situation presents itself again is repentance and that lead to salvation. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 So my answer is all the time since I sin all the time.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34
I love how the brothers pass this test of Joseph’s of caring. What if they hadn’t? The story of God’s people would have been different, indeed.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34
Many Bible scholars call Judah’s appeal moving. Others call it pathetic. Either way, it’s one of absolute desperation. Once again, Judah is putting the blame on someone else, saying this all started because Joseph asked them questions. All they wanted was to buy some grain. He once again says that Joseph is torn to pieces. I’m wondering how Joseph is taking this. I’m surprised he never asked what happened to him/Joseph to see if he could get the truth from them.
Joseph asks “What is this you have done?” giving the brothers a chance to repent and explain themselves. This is the same question God asks Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and of Cain when he killed Abel.
You can see now that Judah does care about Jacob’s feelings when before they didn’t, even though Jacob favored both Joseph and now Benjamin. I can only imagine that Benjamin was even more favored now that Joseph is gone than before.
Since Judah is the one who volunteers to exchange his life for Benjamin’s, we see sacrificial love, which usually only occurs under the umbrella of love and is a sign of transformation (John 13:34). Since he was the one who wanted to sell Joseph (Genesis 37:26-27), we know for sure that his heart at least has changed.
In these two chapters, we see how the brothers have matured. They stay with Benjamin, they don’t care he gets more food, they offer themselves as slaves, and they care for Jacob. They also know all of this is happening because of their sin against Joseph (Genesis 44:16) , and they accept that. This is a lot of growth, indeed.
Joseph then gives his brothers all of the grain that they can carry. He then orders each man’s silver to be placed back in the mouth of their sacks and for his silver cup to be placed in Benjamin’s sack. Joseph lets his brothers pack up and leave. Then he sends men after them to accuse them of stealing. The brothers deny having stolen anything, citing the fact that they even brought back the other silver they had found in their sacks. They boast that if anyone finds it, that person will die and the rest of them will become slaves. The silver cup is found in Benjamin’s sack. The brothers tore their clothes and returned to the city.
Joseph asked them why they stole from him since he can divine things with the cup. The brothers have no defense, taking this as God’s payback for what they did to Joseph. They declare themselves Joseph’s slaves. Joseph says only the one who was found with the cup will be his slave.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 4: Genesis 44:1-17
11) Joseph is testing his brothers to see how they react when Benjamin is found to have the silver. Perhaps Joseph wants to see if they are happy that they will be rid of Benjamin like they were him.
12a) Night and day. The brothers couldn’t wait to be free from Joseph who told them he would rule over them and they would bow to him one day. Here, they tear their clothes and accompany Benjamin back to Egypt.
b) The brothers are older now with families of their own. They have matured. They know how much they hurt their father by getting rid of Joseph, and they can’t bear to tell him Benjamin is gone, too. Judah says he is personally responsible for Benjamin.
c) Anyone can change, even those who do evil. This is good to remember when evil is done to us as well.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 4: Genesis 44:1-17
Great way to see how the hearts of the brothers have changed and to test them, bringing them to complete repentance for what they did to him.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 4: Genesis 44:1-17
Bible scholars doubt that Joseph actually used the cup for divination. I mean, God speaks to him. Joseph obviously doesn’t need a cup. It was probably just to emphasize to the brothers the magnitude of the crime they were being accused of.
The brothers are so confident no one stole it that they offer death as a penalty.
Their reaction to Benjamin having the cup says it all: they did not want any harm to come to him, as they did Joseph.
We see the brothers bowing before Joseph for a third time (Genesis 37:5-11). They needed Benjamin to go free and were humble in their approach.
The brothers could not return to Jacob without Benjamin. So, they would stick by him, becoming slaves with him. It took all this time for the brothers to finally realize their wrong against Joseph, and now they would pay the price. It seems they have accepted that. No one can hide from God or escape the penalties of their decisions. Time will get you; either on this side of heaven or the other.
The brothers did as Jacob said. They hurried to Egypt with Benjamin. Joseph invited them to eat with him. The brothers were frightened of this action. They thought Joseph was going to attack them and seize them as slaves and take their donkeys as punishment for the silver in their bags they did not pay the first time.
The brothers approached the steward in an effort to give the money back. The steward said it was a gift to them from God. Then Simeon was brought out. The brothers prepared for a meal and retrieved the gifts to give Joseph. When Joseph arrived, they gave him the gifts and bowed low to him. He asked them if Jacob was still alive, and they replied yes.
Joseph was very moved to see Benjamin. They were probably very close as brothers. He had to excuse himself to weep. Joseph returned, and the food was served. Joseph ate separately from his brothers because the Egyptians would not eat with Hebrews. Joseph sat them in the order of their birth, and the brothers were astonished. Benjamin got 5 times the amount of the others.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34
7) Joseph invited them to eat with him. The brothers were frightened of this action. They thought Joseph was going to attack them and seize them as slaves and take their donkeys as punishment for the silver in their bags they did not pay the first time.
8 ) The steward knows of their God/God/Joseph’s God. I’m wondering if this is because of Joseph’s position and if his story is known to others.
9) I think Joseph was trying to give them a hint, but the brothers missed it.
10) Wow. Too many to pinpoint. I would say everything in my life has led to this point and God continues to lead. It’s only fear if you perceive it as that. In my life, it seems everything is unexpected.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34
You think that when the brothers were seated in the order of their birth that they would begin to wonder what was up. That they would truly LOOK at Joseph and recognize him. It’s obvious that something is going on here, how Joseph asks after Jacob; how he invites them to dinner, etc. It’s a puzzle that I’m surprised not one of the brothers tried to figure it out. I bet Simeon doesn’t care; he is just glad to be out of jail.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34
The brothers wonder why they are being invited to Joseph’s house. Still, they don’t put it together. Joseph mirror Jesus here in wanting us to eat (Revelation 3:20).
The brothers wanted to be transparent and do the right thing by giving back the silver. The steward said no; it is a gift from God. As promised, Simeon is released.
Joseph shows nothing but kindness to his brothers, again, like Jesus. The brothers bow down again like in Joseph’s dreams out of need, as well as honor and respect. We come to God in the smae way.
Perhaps he saw Rachel, his mother, when he looked at Benjamin.
Interestingly, the Egyptians would not eat with Joseph either, despite his status above them. Egyptians thought of themselves as gods and above all other societies. God, in His infinite wisdom, would use this as well. Because the Egyptians despised everything as foreign, including imports, they would have nothing to do with the people of God/Jacob’s family.
Jacob’s family would be left in peace to grow and multiply to the millions without intermixing with the pagan culture around them. This kept them safe from turning from God. If Jacob’s family had stayed in Canaan, this might not have been the case. God protected the Israelites, using Joseph to do so. Amazing!
The mathematical odds of getting the brothers’ birth order right was 1 in a million.
Joseph was testing his brothers’ hearts again, seeing how they would react to Benjamin getting more food, and seeing if Benjamin even made it to Egypt or he would be sold as well.
Israel/Jacob and all of their family ate all of the grain that the brothers had brought back from Egypt. When they ran out, Israel told them to get more, at first without Benjamin. He blamed them for telling “the man” (aka Joseph) that they had another brother. The brothers told him they were simply telling the truth when asked, nothing more. How were they to know the man would demand to see Benjamin?
Judah said the man would not give them any more grain without Benjamin. Reluctantly, faced with the starvation of his family, Israel agreed to let them take Benjamin. He also sent twice the amount of silver to pay for the first grain, and he sent other, local gifts as well. Finally, Israel put Benjamin’s fate in the hands of God.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 2: Genesis 43:1-14
3) Because he did not want to send Benjamin and risk losing him.
4) Judah told Jacob that the man would not see them (sell them grain) if they came back without Benjamin. Judah also said that he would be responsible for Benjamin and bear the blame if he came back without him. He said that if they didn’t go, everyone would starve.
5a) “Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift — a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pisttachio nuts and almonds. Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benajmin come back wih you.”
b) God is in control. He grants mercy. He will let the man let Benjamin return to him.
c) Jacob has finally put his faith in God for the outcome of Benjamin. After all, Benjamin is God’s, not Jacob’s. He is resigned and accepting of what will happen.
6) Just putting my faith in God that my husband’s new ventures will be fruitful and profitable and that we will make it through.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 2: Genesis 43:1-14
Love how we see Jacob come full circle. I also love how it’s Jacob’s kids that are the voice of reason, ensuring they don’t die because of their father’s fears.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 2: Genesis 43:1-14
Jacob’s hand is forced to go back to Egypt for food. Perhaps he hoped he could forget about the whole thing and leave Simeon in jail. However, as the famine wore on, they needed food, and Egypt was the only place to get it. I’m wondering what Joseph is thinking all this time. It was quite some time since the brothers left. I’m wondering if Joseph felt sorry for Simeon in jail like he was for no fault of his own. The waiting and the procrastination of Jacob must have been hard on everyone involved. Yet, God’s plan would prevail.
Bible scholars are unsure of the age of Benjamin here. Some Bible translations refer to Benjamin as a lad. Yet, he is probably older, maybe even with a family of his own at this time (Genesis 46:21).
Judah offers to be responsible for Benjamin’s return. Perhaps he feels guilty since he was the one to propose the sale of Joseph (Genesis 37:26-27) and to treat Tamar horribly (Genesis 38).
Judah is the 4th son of Jacob, but emerges the leader here. Simeon and Levi were responsible for hte murder of the Shechemites. Reuben had slept with Bilhah, his father’s wife. Judah takes the lead here.
Jacob is giving gifts to Joseph in the hopes of winning his favor, like with Esau in Genesis 33:10-11) He orders them to take twice the amount of silver to pay for what they owe and to purchase more grain. Bible scholars say this is equivalent to 20 pieces of silver they sold for Joseph.(Genesis 37:28).
Some Bible scholars say Jacob’s prayer is not showing enough faith. To me, even a little faith is better than none at all.
The brothers are at least smart enough to know that this is happening because of what they did to Joseph. Reuben blames his brothers for this, saying he tried to save Joseph (let’s face it, they are all guilty). Joseph was overcome and began to cry. He has Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.
He filled their bags with grain and had the silver they had brought with them returned in their bags. He gave them provisions for their journey. Along the way, they realized that their silver had been returned. They now sense that God is most definitely admininstering justice.
The sons returned and told Jacob all that had happened in Egypt. When they saw all of the silver returned, they were even more frightened. Jacob says everything is against him now that he has lost two sons.
Reuben promises to bring Benjamin back or Jacob can kill both of his sons. But Jacob refuses to let Benjamin go because he claims he will die without him.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38
14) They are very afraid. They realize this is some sort of punishment for what they did to Joseph and are now extremely compliant for the demands.
15) Jacob did not respond with faith (hence, he is called Jacob here and not Israel). He blames his sons for losing two of his other sons, and he refuses to let one brother save another, claiming he will die if Benjamin does. Not very Godly at all. Leaving your one son to rot in jail.
16) God is in control. All things are happening for a reason. God will work good out of the situation. That God has got this.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38
I would not want to return and tell Jacob that effectively they had lost another brother. They were probably dreading the entire trip backing, knowing that Jacob would never let Benjamin go. Poor Simeon. He probably resigned himself to a life in prison, knowing the exact same response of his father.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38
Five time in the Book of Genesis we see Joseph in tears (Genesis 43:30; 45:2, 14-15; 50:17) with his brothers. You can almost feel Joseph’s hurt and pain, like when they were talking about the incident in front of him, not knowing he was listening. Yet, he loves his brothers, but it is so hard when you’ve been hurt. This shows that pain that happens in childhood runs deep throughout life and can affect you in ways you don’t even realize.
Listen to Your Conscious
Having a conscious is something that sets humans above other animals. Animals have no feelings if they have hurt others; whereas, we do. All of Joseph’s brothers are struggling with their sin against Joseph and know that in some way this is the penalty. If humans did not have a conscious, a knowledge from right and wrong, we’d be little more than animals and society would be in trouble, indeed.
Joseph wept at his own emotions, but also in the fact that they still have not gotten to the point of confession and admittance as we see in Reuben who is blaming his other brothers for this mess. Joseph knows God has more soul work for them to do.
Simeon either was chosen or volunteered to stay behind. Poor guy. Most likely he knew he might rot in jail the rest of his life since Jacob parting with Benjamin was a long shot. Simeon was the second oldest and was one of the leaders in the slaughter of Shechem (Genesis 34). Perhaps this was God’s punishment for that sin.
Grain was expensive. After all, there’s a famine going on. Most likely directed by God, Joseph put their money back in their sacks. This was a lot of money. He gave his brothers provisions for the trip back home. Before any apologies were given, Joseph gave. This is a lesson for us as we see Jesus here as well. Before we believe, Jesus gives.
God Works to Bring Us to Him
They were afraid, knowing they could be accused as thieves now since they had the silver returned. The only prudent thing would be to try to return it when they returned to show them to be honest. If they kept it for personal gain, this would not be good. I would be suspicious as well. The silver was there for a reason; it could be good or bad. Was it a gift from God? Or, was it a trap?
Here, we see the brothers tell the truth of what happened, rather than what happened to Joseph. While many Bible scholars laud this as a step in the right direction, it’s truly hard to compare the situations. They lied to cover up an evil they did to Joseph the first time. Here, they had no evil/sin to cover up, so why would they lie? You truly cannot compare the two situations.
Jacob knew in his heart that the reason he has now lost two sons was due to the behavior/sins of his other sons.
Jacob is Bound by Selfishness
Note Jacob lack of faith and victim mentality. We don’t see him praying, asking God about allowing Benjamin to go to Egypt. We see Jacob in self-preservation mode. He does not want Benjamin to die; nothing else matters. He is blind here, and only God can make him see.
We also see the power of lies in people’s lives. When you lie, it affects others. In this case, Jacob believed for over 20 years Joseph was dead. That is indeed a cruel sin to let your father believe that. Imagine those years of heartache Jacob felt, while the brothers did not care — until God made them care.
Reuben, the oldest, the one who slept with his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22), the one who did too little too late to save Joseph, offers his own sons if he does not bring Benjamin back. There is always room in life to make up for sin.
Here we see human selfishness defined. Jacob seems to care nothing for Simeon. In his mind, his only son is Benjamin. Simeon probably has a family. Did he mean to leave Simeon’s kids orphans? Jacob never once is seen praying or trusting God here. All he sees is himself, so he sins aginst his other son, Simeon. Sometimes humans fail miserably under sin. Even the bond of love is breakable without the love of Jesus.
Jacob sends all of his sons to buy grain from Egypt except Benjamin, afraid that something will happen to Benjamin like Joseph. Famine is in Canaan as well. Joseph was in charge of selling all the grain, and when he saw his brothers, he recognized them, but they did not know him. He pretended not to know them, and questioned where they were from.
Joseph accuses them of being spies and of coming to see where the land is unprotected. Here, they say they are the sons of one man and how one is not with them and one is dead. Joseph says that one must stay with them while the rest return home to fetch the younger brother in order to prove if their story is true. The one shall remain in prison until they return. He would allow them to leave with grain.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20
11a) God made the brothers come for grain, which Joseph was in charge of.
b) Joseph was but a boy when he left at 17. You can change a lot in that amount of time. Joseph was most likely dressed like an Egyptian at the time with a headress on and heavy makeup. Plus, they thought he was dead. Who would think their dead brother sold into slavery would be second in line behind Pharaoh?
12) Joseph pretended not to know them, and questioned where they were from. Joseph accuses them of being spies and of coming to see where the land is unprotected. Joseph probably was feeling not-so-generous when he saw his brothers. Perhaps hurt and anger arose from what they had done to him. Perhaps it was time to give them a taste of their own medicine.
13a) We see how God put Joseph in the position to save the chosen family of Jesus. All things happen for God’s purposes.
b) Every event in my life has a purpose, for me or for the future. Even the bad.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20
I love this. It’s giving the brothers a taste of their own medicine. Surely they were extremely worried during the time they were in jail. Now, they would know what it felt like to be wrongly imprisoned just like Jospeh did.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20
Bible scholars believe this event happened at the very beginning of the famine (Genesis 45:11).
The strange expression was most likely the face of guilt. Egypt reminded the brothers of the terrible deed they had done, and no one wants to live with that. How they lived 20 years with that on their conscious I don’t know.
God uses events and circumstances in our lives to move us, to push us to do things we normally would not do. The brothers had to reconcile with Joseph. Here was the impetus to do so.
Joseph’s Dream Comes True
The brothers bow down before Joseph, just like his dream said they would. By selling Joseph into slavery, the brothers made Joseph’s dreams come true when their whole intent was to make sure they never would bow before Joseph. Ironic, isn’t it? And another piece of evidence that God is in control of everything.
Joseph would have used an interpreter here. He would not have spoken directly to his brothers, which would have revealed he knew Hebrew. But this was probably common place for high officials not to speak to commoners as well. Funny, Jesus recognized you before you recognize him.
Joseph remembered his dream of the brothers bowing down and would use this to restore their relationship. First, the brothers had to admit what they had done. Instead, they lie about Joseph still, saying he is dead. They did not say that one brother is a slave. The brothers must learn the hard way to confession. Like Jesus, Joseph was alive and well even if no one knew it.
Joseph gives the brothers the reason for what they are doing: for the fear of God. All of us need a healthy fear of God.
Note that the whole point of this is to prove they are honest. Ever since Joseph was sold into slavery, none of them have lived an honest life, and still they are denying Joseph’s existence. Surely, both Joseph and the brothers knew bringing Benjamin would be a fight with Jacob.