Genesis Chapter 45
1 Then Joseph couldn't control himself before all those who stood before him, and he called out, "Cause everyone to go out from me!" No one else stood with him, while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2 He wept aloud. The Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Does my father still live?" His brothers couldn't answer him; for they were terrified at his presence.
4 Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." They came near. He said, "I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
5 Now don't be grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6 For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are yet five years, in which there will be no ploughing and no harvest.
7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance.
8 So now it wasn't you who sent me here, but God, and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
9 Hurry, and go up to my father, and tell him, 'This is what your son Joseph says, "God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me. Don't wait.
10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you will be near to me, you, your children, your children's children, your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
11 There I will provide for you; for there are yet five years of famine; lest you come to poverty, you, and your household, and all that you have." '
12 Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaks to you.
13 You shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. You shall hurry and bring my father down here."
14 He fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.
15 He kissed all his brothers, and wept on them. After that his brothers talked with him.
16 The report of it was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, "Joseph's brothers have come." It pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Tell your brothers, 'Do this: Load your animals, and go, travel to the land of Canaan.
18 Take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.'
19 Now you are commanded to do this: Take wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
20 Also, don't concern yourselves about your belongings, for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours."
21 The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
22 He gave each one of them changes of clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothing.
23 He sent the following to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and provision for his father by the way.
24 So he sent his brothers away, and they departed. He said to them, "See that you don't quarrel on the way."
25 They went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan, to Jacob their father.
26 They told him, saying, "Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt." His heart fainted, for he didn't believe them.
27 They told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them. When he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob, their father, revived.
28 Israel said, "It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die."
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Genesis Chapter 45 Guide
In the account of Joseph's revelation of himself to his brethren, the chief value is in his recognition of the fact that his destiny had been in the hand of God: "It was not you that sent me hither, but God." This capacity for ignoring secondary causes is one of the surest signs of greatness. So it was that Joseph was able to forget and to forgive his brethren for selling him into slavery. It is a consciousness possible only to the life of habitual communion with God.
The important position Joseph occupied in Egypt is clearly seen in Pharaoh's attitude toward Joseph's father and his brothers.
When Jacob heard that his son was alive, his heart was touched to its depth: "It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die." Thus he was beginning to find out that under the government of his covenant-keeping God the things he had declared to be against him were really for him. How good it is that when our faith wavers, God does not change His mind or purpose for us. He moves right on in infinite love toward the final good. How much feverish unrest we would be spared if only we would learn from these stories of the past to repose our confidence in God rather than in circumstance and quietly await His time.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.
Genesis Chapter 45 Commentary
- Joseph comforts his brethren, and sends for his father. -- (1-15)
- Pharaoh confirms Joseph's invitation, Joseph's gifts to his brethren. -- (16-24)
- Jacob receives the news of Joseph's being alive. -- (25-28)
Joseph let Judah go on, and heard all he had to say. He found his brethren humbled for their sins, mindful of himself, for Judah had mentioned him twice in his speech, respectful to their father, and very tender of their brother Benjamin. Now they were ripe for the comfort he designed, by making himself known. Joseph ordered all his attendants to withdraw. Thus Christ makes himself and his loving-kindness known to his people, out of the sight and hearing of the world. Joseph shed tears of tenderness and strong affection, and with these threw off that austerity with which he had hitherto behaved toward his brethren. This represents the Divine compassion toward returning penitents. "I am Joseph, your brother." This would humble them yet more for their sin in selling him, but would encourage them to hope for kind treatment. Thus, when Christ would convince Paul, he said, I am Jesus; and when he would comfort his disciples, he said, It is I, be not afraid. When Christ manifests himself to his people, he encourages them to draw near to him with a true heart. Joseph does so, and shows them, that whatever they thought to do against him, God had brought good out of it. Sinners must grieve and be angry with themselves for their sins, though God brings good out of it, for that is no thanks to them. The agreement between all this, and the case of a sinner, on Christ's manifesting himself to his soul, is very striking. He does not, on this account, think sin a less, but a greater evil; and yet he is so armed against despair, as even to rejoice in what God hath wrought, while he trembles in thinking of the dangers and destruction from which he has escaped. Joseph promises to take care of his father and all the family. It is the duty of children, if the necessity of their parents at any time require it, to support and supply them to the utmost of their ability; this is showing piety at home, 1Ti 5:4. After Joseph had embraced Benjamin, he caressed them all, and then his brethren talked with him freely of all the affairs of their father's house. After the tokens of true reconciliation with the Lord Jesus, sweet communion with him follows.
Pharaoh was kind to Joseph, and to his relations for his sake. Egypt would make up the losses of their removal. Thus those for whom Christ intends his heavenly glory, ought not to regard the things of this world. The best of its enjoyments are but lumber; we cannot make sure of them while here, much less can we carry them away with us. Let us not set our eyes or hearts upon the world; there are better things for us in that blessed land, whither Christ, our Joseph, is gone to prepare a place. Joseph dismissed his brethren with a seasonable caution, "See that ye fall not out by the way." He knew they were too apt to be quarrelsome; and having forgiven them all, he lays this charge upon them, not to upbraid one another. This command our Lord Jesus has given to us, that we love one another, and that whatever happens, or has happened, we fall not out. For we are brethren, we have all one Father. We are all guilty, and instead of quarrelling with one another, have reason to fall out with ourselves. We are, or hope to be, forgiven of God, whom we have all offended, and, therefore, should be ready to forgive one another. We are "by the way," a way through the land of Egypt, where we have many eyes upon us, that seek advantage against us; a way that leads to the heavenly Canaan, where we hope to be for ever in perfect peace.
To hear that Joseph is alive, is too good news to be true; Jacob faints, for he believes it not. We faint, because we do not believe. At length, Jacob is convinced of the truth. Jacob was old, and did not expect to live long. He says, Let my eyes be refreshed with this sight before they are closed, and then I need no more to make me happy in this world. Behold Jesus manifesting himself as a Brother and a Friend to those who once were his despisers, his enemies. He assures them of his love and the riches of his grace. He commands them to lay aside envy, anger, malice, and strife, and to live in peace with each other. He teaches them to give up the world for him and his fulness. He supplies all that is needful to bring them home to himself, that where he is they may be also. And though, when he at last sends for his people, they may for a time feel some doubts and fears, yet the thought of seeing his glory and of being with him, will enable them to say, It is enough, I am willing to die; and I go to see, and to be with the Beloved of my soul.
From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.