Day 39…Genesis 43

November 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM Leave a comment

Genesis 43: Joseph’s brother’s 2nd visit to Egypt

v.1-2, since Jacob refused to let his sons take Benjamin with them to Egypt they stayed home…BUT the famine got worse! and eventually they started to run out of food! This is when Jacob told his sons to go back to Egypt and some more!

v.3-4, Judah had to remind his Dad (Jacob or Israel) of what the man in charge of the food distribution told them (aka…Joseph). “If you don’t bring your brother [Benjamin] with you, you won’t be allowed to see me” [in other words: no Ben, no food, no Simeon]. So Judah reminded his Dad what Reuben said possibly weeks or months before–“if you’re ready to let Benjamin go with us, we’ll go to Egypt, if not there is no sense in going because because we won’t be able to get food and definitely not Simeon.”

v.5-7, Jacob got upset and started to tell off his sons. He asked why in-the-world they would tell this man they had another brother? They told Jacob the man in charge kept asking them questions about their family–“do you have a brother?” “is your Dad alive?” So they simply answered his question not knowing that the man would ask them to bring their youngest brother to him!!!

v.8-10, Judah told his Dad  if they didn’t leave now everyone is going to starve to death! And he would take full responsibility for Benjamin’s safety. If he didn’t bring him back to Jacob, Judah will take all the blame for the rest of his life. Then Judah kinda scolds Jacob telling him “if we hadn’t waited so long, we could have been there and back TWICE OVER!”

v.11-14, Jacob FINALLY gave in… but before they left he told them to bring twice as much money (to pay back what was left in their sack the first time they went to buy food. Maybe that was a mistake. And the rest is to pay for more grain / food). To bring gifts for the “guy in charge” (balm, honey, spices, perfume, pistachio nuts and almonds). Then he prayed a special blessing on them…

“May God Almighty make him merciful to you so that he will send your other brother [Simeon] and Benjamin home with you. For me nothing’s left, I’ve lost everything.” – GWT & MSG

v.15-18, so they set off for Egypt with Benjamin, the gifts and the extra money. When they arrived in Egypt Joseph saw they had Benjamin with them and he told his steward (butler) to take them to his home and prepare a meal for them because he was going to eat with them at noon. The butler did what Joseph asked. Joseph’s brothers became anxious and frightened thinking the reason for being brought into Joseph’s house was because they found out about the money that was “mistakenly” left in their sacks–maybe they were worried that Joseph thought they were indeed spies and they stole the money. They thought he was going to attack them and make them slaves and take their donkeys.

v.19-23, so they spoke to the steward (man in charge of Joseph’s house) and explained what really happened the first time they visited (they found the money in the sacks when they stopped for the night–they didn’t steal it). Then they went onto explain they brought extra money to pay back what was left in their sacks and to buy more grain / food.

“We had no idea who put the money back in our sacks!” The steward said “Don’t be afraid! Everything is in order! Your God must have given you a bonus in your sacks because I was paid in full already!” Then they were united with their brother Simeon.

v.24-26, the steward took them into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and food for their donkeys. They got all the gifts ready for Joseph as they waited for him to come home and have lunch with them. When Joseph did arrive they presented him with all the gifts they had and bowed respectfully before him [fulfilling Joseph’s dream from chapter 37 where all 11 brothers bowed down to him].

v.27-31, Joseph asked them about their Dad–how is he? Is he still alive? Of course they said yes, he is quite well and very much alive! Then they bowed to him again! Then Joseph looked around and spotted Benjamin (his ONLY full-brother…all the other brothers were from different Mothers except Benjamin). He asked them if this was the younger brother they told him about? Then he said “God be gracious to you, my son.” But Joseph was so deeply moved at seeing his full-brother for the first time that he had to leave and find another room to cry. Then when he had composed himself and washed his face, he came into the room and announced “let’s eat!” or ” Serve the food!”

v.32-34, Joseph was served SEPARATELY (showing his high rank among the people present) and so were the other Egyptians because Joseph’s brothers were Hebrews and Egyptians DIDN’T EAT with HEBREWS! They believed they were barbarians and it was repulsive to eat with them–even sit at the same table. Joseph sat the brothers from oldest to youngest and the brothers what was going to what next [they must have been freaked out that this stranger from another land knew the order in where were born!] If that wasn’t weird enough, they brought the food out and Benjamin’s plate was overflowing 5x’s more food than the other brothers. But the brothers didn’t seem to care and they weren’t jealous as they were because of the favouritism Jacob showed to Joseph. [Is this a turning point for the brothers?] So they stayed and feasted until they were full and drunk.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Joseph continues to show grace and compassion towards his brothers so much so that he has to go off and cry on a number of occasion after seeing his brothers and now after seeing his younger brother Benjamin, finally. He had every right to punish them, even execute them, do all kinds of terrible things to them [and he had the means with all his power too] BUT he chose the HIGH ROAD! He still did “play with them” a bit by putting them through a test in chapter 42 and now freaking them out by putting them in the order of their birth [something I could have seen myself doing–just to make them squirm.] But he never harmed them (ex. they always had food to eat while they were with him and to take home to their Dad and family)

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Follow Joseph’s example and take the high road! I don’t mean “play with” or “test” those who have done wrong to me, I mean show compassion and grace. Treat them with respect even they don’t deserve it. Not just those who have hurt me in the past, but for those who are hurting in the present and will hurt me in the future.

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible.

Day 38…Genesis 42: Please pray!

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