The Meaning Behind Joseph’s Tears

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.

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