Genesis Bible Study: Chapter 42–45
An executive summary:
Joseph’s brothers in Egypt.
Eventually the famine hit very hard that Israel sent his sons, except Benjamin, to Egypt to get food.
On getting to Egypt, they met Joseph.
Remember, Joseph was in charge of distributing the food.
Joseph recognized them immediately but they didn’t recognize him. When they saw Joseph, they bowed.
Yay, his dream came to pass.
Joseph was overwhelmed with emotions and he first treated his brother’s harshly. He accused them of being spies and threw them in prison. Then he wept uncontrollably when he heard his brothers talk about how they were being punished for what they did to Joseph in the past.
After 3 days of being in prison, Joseph released all the brothers except one. He told them to go home and bring their youngest brother back to Egypt as evidence that they were not spies.
He sent them off with plenty of grain and he secretly returned their money back to them.
The men returned home and told the story to their father, Israel.
After much pleading and a pledge to keep Benjamin safe by Judah, Israel finally allowed Benjamin to go to Egypt with his brothers.
He asked them to take double of the price of the food as well as many other gifts to appease the governor.
On arriving at Egypt, Joseph threw a huge feast and asked his brothers to join them. He went away secretly to cry when he saw his brother Benjamin.
The next day, the men were on their way back home, but Joseph had one of his servants secretly put one of his gold cups inside Benjamin’s bag. He then sent that same servant to chase after his brother’s and accuse them of theft.
The brothers were shocked and stated that they were innocent.
“With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”
Genesis 44:9 NKJV
Alas, the cup was in Benjamin’s bag and the brothers were really devastated. They went back to Egypt and Joseph demanded that Benjamin remain as his slave. Judah spoke out and told Joseph about why Benjamin can’t be his slave and how precious he was to their old father. He then offered to stay as a slave in place of Benjamin.
Finally, Joseph became completely overwhelmed and eventually revealed his identity to them.
“Please, come closer,” he said to them.
So they came closer. And he said again,
“I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And He is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh — the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.”
Genesis 45:4–8 NLT
Joseph was able to realize that everything that happened to Him was for a reason and it happened with God’s knowledge and it was all His plan and it happened for a purpose.
Joseph then sent his brothers to go and bring his father back to Egypt so that they could all live as a family once again.