Joseph Part 3: The Brothers Reunite – Genesis 42-50
This is third of the stories concerning Joseph, the final story of how Joseph and his brothers were reunited.
In our last story about Joseph, we learned that Joseph was now in charge of Pharaoh’s house and that there was a famine in the land so that all countries came to Egypt for food.
Now Jacob who was Joseph’s father, heard that there was corn in Egypt and so he sent Joseph’s brothers to Egypt. It had been a long time since they had sold Joseph and told their father Jacob that Joseph was dead. But Benjamin, the youngest brother stayed home, he did not accompany his brothers to Egypt.
When Joseph’s brothers came to him, they bowed down before him, not recognizing him, just as Joseph had said they would many years before. Joseph knew them, but they did not know him. And so they told him who they were, that they were twelve brothers, but that the youngest brother was still home with their father, and they also told him why they were there, but Joseph told them that one brother would be kept in prison while they went back to get the youngest brother, Benjamin. When the brothers talked the matter over, and remembered their sin against Joseph when he was younger, they did not know that Joseph understood what they were saying.. and Joseph turned away from them and wept.
Joseph took their brother Simeon, and tied him up before them, and sent them away with corn in their sacks and all their money. And when the brothers discovered that all their money was there, they said “What is this that God has done to us?”
And so they returned to Jacob and told him all that happened, and that they had to return with Benjamin. Jacob said that Benjamin would not go, but the famine continued on and when all the corn they had brought was used up, Jacob told them to go to Egypt again. Judah, one of the brothers, said that he would be responsible for the life of Benjamin and so Jacob agreed and told them to take Joseph double money, and presents of honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds. and he prayed that God would show mercy by sending Simeon and Benjamin home.
When the brothers came to Joseph they bowed to him and gave him the presents, and when Joseph saw Benjamin, he went into his chamber and wept because he was so happy to see Benjamin. Then he washed his face and went back and gave them a meal.
And then Joseph made a plan to send them back home with as much food as they could carry, and all their money, but he told his steward to put his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack, and then pretended that Benjamin had stolen the silver cup…and told them that Benjamin would have to stay and be his servant…and the brothers were so very upset that they pleaded for the life of their father who they thought would die if Benjamin did not return, and Judah asked that Joseph would take him in Benjamin’s place so that Benjamin could return to Jacob.
Then Joseph sent every man out except his brothers, and finally told them who he was, and how God had placed Joseph in Egypt because God knew the famine was coming, and then he said “So now it was not you that sent me here, but God and he has made me lord of all this house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go to my father, and say to him, “Joseph says, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me and do not wait and you shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me. You, and your children, and your children’s children, and your flocks, and your herds, and all that you have. And there I will feed you, for there are yet five more years of famine”, and you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, of all that you have seen, and you shall hurry and bring my father here.” And he fell upon Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept too.
And Joseph kissed all his brothers, and wept with them, and then they talked, and Joseph told them to take wagons and bring everyone in their family and all their belongings to Egypt. And he gave each of them changes of clothes, and to Benjamin he gave 300 pieces of silver and five changes of clothes.
And so they went home to Jacob and told him of all Joseph told them to, and Jacob said “It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”
And so Jacob offered sacrifices to God at Beersheba, and God spoke to Jacob in a dream and told him not to be afraid to go to Egypt. God said “I am God, the God of your father: I will go with you into Egypt, and I will also bring you up again.”
And so Joseph was reunited with his father Jacob and they wept together a long time, and then Joseph presented his family to Pharaoh and they were made keepers of Pharaoh’s cattle. They dwelt together until the end of the famine, and Jacob died, and they took his body back to Canaan to bury it, and then Joseph returned to Egypt.
And a message was given to Joseph written by his father before he died, asking that Joseph forgive his brothers for all that they did to him those years before and Joseph wept again, and said these mighty words after his brothers came to him and fell down before him:
“Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, to save very many people alive. Now therefore do not be afraid, for I will feed you and your little ones” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
And Joseph lived a hundred and ten years, and before he died he told the people that God would surely bring them out of Egypt and into the land he had given to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And so he died, and was buried in Egypt.
Only a memory verse here, but a wonderful one:
Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good……”
And a lesson from this story is that sometimes bad things happen to us, but nothing happens that God does not allow, and someday he will show us that He was behind everything that happens to us, because God has a plan for our lives..and that all things work together for good for those who love God.