WORK TOWARD RECONILIATION
Genesis 43:1-45:28 May 11 2008
The narrative about Joseph’s path toward reconciliation
with his brothers continues in Genesis 43:1-45:28. Three major
themes emerge in these chapters. First , the theme of God’s
guiding sovereignty in all aspects of Joseph’s life and career
comes to the fore. When Jacob reluctantly agreed to allow
Benjamin to go to Egypt with his other sons, he cast himself
on the mercy of “ God Almighty “ (Genesis 43:14). God’s
sovereignty was revealed also in the encouragement Joseph’s
steward gave to the Hebrew brothers, “Your God and the God
of your father must have put treasure in your bags”
(Genesis 43:23). Finally , Joseph affirmed God’s guiding
sovereignty as he calmed his brothers’ anxieties, framing his
prior enslavement in terms of God’s saving purpose
(Genesis 45: 5).
The second major theme is Benjamin’s rise to
prominence. Benjamin became the focal point as Joseph
continued to examine the integrity and sincerity of his brothers
(Genesis 42:20, 34).
The third Major theme focuses on Judah, the brother
whose idea it was to sell Joseph in to slavery (Genesis 37:26-27)
and who became the responsible guardian of Benjamin
1. Seeking Confirmation (Gen. 44:1-2)
Gen. 44:1 Now Joseph gave these instructions to the
steward of his house: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much
food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the
mouth of his sack. 44:2 Then put my cup, the silver one,
in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the
silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.
Since Benjamin was Joseph’s only full brother, how the older
brother reacted to this situation would reveal to Joseph whether
they had changed or not. If so true reconciliation could occur. The
steward did as Joseph told him. Though his brother had
wronged him, Joseph sought confirmation they had changed so
he could affect reconciliation with them.
2. Receiving Verification (Gen 44:32-34)
Gen. 44:32 Your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to
my father. I said, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear
the blame before you, my father, all my life!’ 44:33 “Now
then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave
in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.
44:34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with
me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come upon
In place of the boy. Judah’s willingness to be a substitute for
Benjamin helped make amends for his role in selling Joseph
(Genesis 37:26-27).Do not let me see the misery. Judah
remembers an earlier scene (Genesis 37:34-35).
3. Making Reconciliation (Gen. 45:1-9.14-15)
Gen. 45:1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before
all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my
presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made
himself known to his brothers. 45:2 And he wept so loudly that
the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about
it. 45:3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father
still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because
they were terrified at his presence. 45:4 Then Joseph said to his
brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said,
“I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 45:5 And
now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for
selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me
ahead of you. 45:6 For two years now there has been famine in
the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and
reaping. 45:7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you
a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
45:8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made
me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all
Egypt. 45:9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is
what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt.
Come down to me; don’t delay. 45:14 Then he threw his arms
around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced
him, weeping. 45:15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over
them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
Wept(Genesis 45:14-15; 43:30 ).Brothers. . . were terrified. Either
because they thought they were seeing a ghost or because they
were afraid of what Joseph would do to them.I am your brother
Joseph . ( Genesis 45: 3; Acts 7:13). This time Joseph
emphasized his relationship to them. You sold. (Genesis 37:28).
God sent me. (Genesis 45:7-9; Acts 7:9). God had a purpose to
work through the brothers’ thoughtless and cruel act (Acts 2:23; 4:28).
Joseph was now 39 years old (Genesis 41:46,53). A remnant.
Although none had been lost, they had escaped a great threat to
them all; so Joseph called them a remnant in the confidence that
they would live to produce a great people. Father . A title of honor
given to viziers (Genesis 41:43) and other high officials (in the
Apocrypha 1 Maccabees 11:32). All three titles of Joseph in this
verse were originally Egyptian. Hurry back. . . don’t delay. Joseph
is anxious to see Jacob as soon as possible (Genesis 45:13).
Goshen . A region in the eastern part of the Nile delta, it was very
fertile (Genesis 45: 18) and remains so today. I. . . am speaking.
Not through an interpreter as before (Genesis 42:23). Wept .
(Genesis 43:30).His brother talked with him . In intimate
fellowship and friendship, rather than hostility or fear, for the first
time in over 20 years (Genesis 37:2 ; Genesis 45:6).
The final statement, to keep you alive by a great deliverance,
has double meaning. First, it referred to why God led His people in
to Egypt. He wanted to keep them alive by great deliverance
through Joseph’s provision of land and food in Egypt. Second, the
final statement foreshadowed the time, tour hundred years in the
future, when God would deliver His people from Egyptian bondage .
thus, both the entrance of god’s people into Egypt and their
departure from Egypt were accomplished by a great deliverance
orchestrated by God.