WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS CHAPTERS 45-47:12:
- If you don’t forgive, payback never ends
- God goes before all of us as the great orchestrator of our lives
- What happens in our lives is God’s will
- Seasons of famines come with seasons of feasts
Joseph advises his family to tell Pharaoh that they are shepherds so that they can be allowed the land of Goshen and will be detestable to the Egyptians who despise shepherds.
Joseph tells Pharaoh that his family has come from Canaan to live in Goshen and be shepherds. Joseph chose 5 of his brothers to tell Pharaoh the same thing. Pharaoh gives them the best land in Goshen and asks for help with his flocks if any of them have any special talents.
Jacob was presented before Pharaoh who asks him how old he is. Jacob answers 130 years. He blesses Pharaoh and then they get settled. Joseph provides them with food.
12) Joseph tells his brothers what to say to Pharaoh
13) The years he was called by God to go to to the Promised Land. He also knows that his real home is with God in heaven.
14) He blesses Pharaoh. He’s humble about his lifetime.
Let’s not forget that Joseph is the whole reason Jacob and his family were saved. “Joseph settled his father.” “Joseph provided food.” Pharaoh accepted Jacob and the family only because of Joseph. If they had just been regular Hebrews looking for relief from the famine, they would have been turned away. But because of Joseph (and God) they were saved–as was God’s will.
The Egyptians considered sheep unclean; hence, everyone who worked with sheep were unclean.
Goshen was what is basically the Sinai Peninsula today. Today it is a desert land but in ancient times it was renown for it’s grazing of animals. Succinct history on Goshen HERE.
Let us also not forget that although Pharaoh is presented as a great, benevolent ruler in the Bible, he was all-powerful. He put Joseph in charge to save his people, not God’s. His people were also very poor and worked hard so he could live in luxury. We don’t see the poverty here of the vast majority of the people.
Joseph makes sure his family is provided for. He is their advocate, as Jesus is ours. However, not long after Joseph’s death and presumably the current pharaoh, the Israelites are made slaves (Exodus 1:8-10).
Pharaoh knows how God has blessed Joseph and probably presumes God is with Jacob as well. He accepts the blessing despite the Pharaoh being considered a god himself. Pharaoh knows that he needs God’s help, too.
Joseph you could say is now the head of the family as he is the sole provider of their food and well-being. It is presumed that every time Jacob or his family had a need, they went to Joseph who made sure they were taken care of.
Israel/Jacob set out with all of his household and belongings for Egypt. At Beersheba he offered sacrifices to God. There God spoke to him, reassuring him to go to Egypt.
Jacob left Beersheba for Egypt, taking with him all his sons, their wives and children, his daughters and their families and all his possessions including his livestock. They numbered 66 persons who went with Jacob that were direct descendants. Counting Joseph and his two sons and Jacob the total came to 70 in Egypt.
Joseph met his family at Goshen where they were to settle in Egypt, and he threw his arms around his father and wept. Israel/Jacob said he is now ready to die since he’s seen that Joseph is still alive.
9a) That is was God’s will for them to go since He wanted them in the Promised Land and God had told them to settle where there were at.
b) God spoke to Jacob/Israel in a vision at night, reassuring him that he was to go to Egypt and that God would build them into a great nation there.
c) God is good. He wants to reassure his people that they are doing the right thing. He also is taking care of them so that they can survive.
10) 66. For the line of Jesus to be recorded.
11a) We’ve moved recently to follow our dreams. They are still unfolding.
b) Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
I wonder who eventually told Jacob what had actually happened to Joseph and how he got to be in Egypt. That would have been a conversation I would have liked to have heard. “Uh, Father, well, um, we didn’t like Joseph, so we threw him in this well, and then we sold him….”
We’ve seen Beersheba before in Genesis. (Genesis 22:19), (Genesis 26:23). Abraham planted a tamarisk tree, and God spoke to Isaac here Genesis 21:33), repeating his covenant promise. Genesis 26:24-25). Jacob was making a huge move to a land far away. He needed God’s approval. God told him it was okay to find his wife away from the Promised Land as well (Genesis 28:12-17).
By God telling Jacob to not be afraid to go to Egypt indicates he probably was, as most of us would be. Remember in ancient times, people did not travel very far from where they were born. This is a huge move.
The Israelites will be left alone as the Egyptians will not intermarry with them. This allows God’s people to grow in faith. God will be with them. God will bring them back to the Promised Land. Joseph is alive!
Carts were a sign of wealth, so Jacob was thrilled to see these. Plus, he probably wasn’t looking forward to walking or riding a donkey that far!
The sons of Judah lead to Jesus: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezron
70 males total from God’s people went to or were in Egypt. In Acts 7:14, Stephen tells us 75 went to Egypt. This number includes the sons and grandsons of Joseph who were born in Egypt
Once Abraham waited years for Isaac, 60 years passed before Jacob came alone. Then Jacob had his sons throughout his lifetime. After being in Egypt for 430 years, the Israelites would leave with 600,000 men and 2 million people. God is good, indeed.
Judah is chosen since he was the one with the most repentant heart.
Pharaoh was very happy that Joseph’s brothers had come. He gave Joseph’s family the best of the land in Egypt. He gave them carts to travel in. Joseph gave his brothers the carts and provisions for their journey to retrieve their father and families. He gave them new clothes, but he gave Benjamin 300 shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. He sent 10 donkeys loaded with the best of Egyptian goods as well as 10 donkeys with provisions. He told his brothers to not quarrel along the way.
The brothers told Jacob that Joseph was alive and the ruler in Egypt. He did not believe them at first (understandable, since they have lied before), but after seeing all of the goods and hearing the tale, Jacob was convinced, and will go to Egypt.
6) Pharaoh first welcomed foreigners into the land. He gave them the best land in Egypt with which to prosper. He gave them provisions for the journey and carts to ride in. He said the best of all Egypt will be theirs. Sometimes it pays to have connections.
7) Stunned. He was skeptical, but when he saw all of the goods and heard the tale, he was convinced.
8a) Times when we’ve moved.
b) Trust that God put us here for a reason and that everything will work out as planned.
This shows just how valued Joseph was. Otherwise, I don’t see Pharaoh doing this for anyone else, especially non-Egyptians
We can think of carts as limos in today’s world. Jacob’s travels would be in luxury and a place of prominence to Egypt. Joseph warned his brothers not to quarrel since, as siblings, they may be tempted to.
Jacob is over-the-moon happy when he finally believes his favorite son is alive. Jacob goes from wallowing in self-pity Genesis 42:36) to a man of faith.
Joseph sent all of his attendants away, and he revealed himself to his brothers. He wept so loudly that Pharaoh’s household was informed. His brothers were scared, thinking retribution would be coming. Instead, Joseph explained to them that this was God’s plan to send Joseph ahead so that he could save lives and preserve a remnant for the future. God sent him to Egypt and has made him lord over Pharaoh’s entire household and ruler of all of Egypt.
Joseph tells his brothers to go back to return to his father, Jacob, and bring him here. Bring everything they have, and they shall live in Goshen near him. He tells them he will provide for them; otherwise, they will not make it for there is still 5 more years of the famine left. He hugged and kissed Benjamin. He kissed all his brothers, and they talked.
3a) He tried to calm their fears that he would enact retribution by explaining that God had sent him to Egypt, not them. It communicated love for them and forgiveness, not evil or revenge.
b) Joseph gives God all of the credit always. He is able to see God’s plan in his circumstances. Although we don’t know the future like Joseph, we should be able to see God’s purposes in our lives.
c) At first they were terrified, and probably a little shocked. It had been over 20 years, and they thought he was dead. They probably still felt guilty for what they had done and how they had lied to Jacob. They probably all thought they deserved retribution.
4) The hurt and the pain make it hard to forgive. Prayer, God, and remembering how God forgives us when we don’t deserve it.
5) There is always hope for reconciliation for family. Look at Joseph. Odds are, our hurts from family members don’t include them trying to kill us and selling us into slavery. If Joseph can overcome all that pain and still see God’s hand in it, then so we should be able to overcome that of our family members.
It must be so cool to know the future as Joseph did. This reference to the remnant reminded me of Revelation. How amazing is the Bible!
This is the third time Joseph has cried with his brothers, but the first time publicly.
It is understandable that the brothers were in shock and afraid. Here is the man who is the second most powerful person in all of the ancient world at that time, so Joseph could have them all killed with one word.
Joseph is over what his brothers did to him, and he wants his brothers to know that. It was all God’s divine plan. Do note that Joseph does not dismiss their role when he says “whom you sold into slavery.” The brothers still have to repent of their evilness. However, Joseph forgave because he understood God’s plan for all of this. He had a Godly-perspective that many of us need to adopt as well.
Joseph knew that the reason he was second to Pharaoh was not to save Egyptians, but to save his family, God’s people, and those who would bring forth Jesus. God used the most powerful nation on the planet to preserve His people. Simply beautiful. God always goes ahead of us, orchestrating our lives, too.
Man acts but God overrules these actions. Man has free will; God’s plan still prevails despite man’s evils. All things work for our good.
Jacob needed to hear that his favorite son, Joseph, was still alive. Joseph loved all his brothers, even the ones most cruel to him. He must have had a great time catching up on the happenings of the last 20 years with his brothers.
It’s Sunday! I hope you are warming up your coffee and relaxing a bit before you head to church or listen online.
Today, I’m thinking about acceptance.
Most of us like to be in control. Yet, most of our lives’ circumstances are out of our control. Learning to accept that although you can’t control it, God does will bring you peace.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.