We begin with a catastrophic event, the famine continues and it is worse than before. The author wants to start with this thought because what is next gives us an example of how far parents would go to take care of their family in hard times. What is the hardest thing your family has gone thru? What did your parents do? Jacob makes a decision to save his family that puts all his male children at risk of death, well at least in their minds. We know that Joseph would not harm his brother, or would he? He already put one of his brothers in prison. It seems that Joseph, wanted to teach them a lesson. Lets see what he has up his sleeve in this chapter.
43 Now the famine was severe in the land. 2 So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” 3 Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man solemnly warned [a]us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5 But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” 6 Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly [b]by telling the man whether you still had another brother?” 7 But they said, “The man questioned particularly about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we [c]answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8 Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. 9 I myself will be surety for him; [d]you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then [e]let me bear the blame before you forever. 10 For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your [f]bags, and carry down to the man as a present, a little [g]balm and a little honey, [h]aromatic gum and [i]myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14 and may [j]God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 So the man did as Joseph said, and [k]brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may [l]seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys.” 19 So they came near to Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21 and it came about when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in [m]full. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22 We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He said, “[n]Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; [o]I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder. 25 So they prepared the present [p]for Joseph’s coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat [q]a meal there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him. 27 Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” They bowed down [r]in homage. 29 As he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph hurried out for [s]he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, “[t]Serve the meal.” 32 So they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is [u]loathsome to the Egyptians. 33 Now they [v]were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34 He took portions to them from [w]his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
We are going to break this chapter into two sections and draw some lesson from it.
Section 1; Verses 1-15;
Jacob recognizes that he has to do something for his family approximately 66 persons(Gen 46:26-7) or they are going to perish. He tells his children to go get food from Egypt (vs 2-3). Not surprisingly Judah takes the leadership role. He is not the oldest but the one that everyone looks up to as a/the leader. Remember he saved Joseph life earlier. Also another thing to remember Jesus comes from the tribe of Judah. Here I see that we don’t have be the oldest of our siblings to be a leader amongst them. So if your not the firstborn, remember Judah. Jacob is reminded of what Joseph requires of them if they return. He does not hesitates to give up his only son left from Rachel, Benjamin, without knowing what was going to happen. It reminds me of our Heavenly Father giving His only Son. If you have something hard to do read verse 14 and be assured, if you ask God, He will happen compassion on you.
Section 2; Verse 16-26;
What was Joseph thinking when he saw his brothers again and especially Benjamin for the first time in years? Well he said, “lets have a carne asada!”, well at least a formal one. His brothers are more confused trying to figure what is going than us reading it. They confess everything that happened and are surprised by the release of Simeon from the brig. Right before the meal Joseph is asking question, why is he so nosy? As soon as the small talk is over, more like investigation they sit down and eat. I like vs 32 it gives us insight into their culture their times. The brothers realizes that something is going on. They are all seated in order of their age and Benjamin is given 5 times more food than the rest. But why? What does Joseph have up his sleeve?
You have to read tomorrows to find out!
Any thoughts or comment are welcomed and of course prayers also.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.