Genesis 45: Joseph Reveals Himself, Forgives His Brothers, and Sends for Jacob

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Hebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them for selling him because Yahweh planned it to save the family from starving. With the blessing of Pharaoh, Joseph sends the brothers home to fetch Jacob so that the entire family can live near Joseph in Goshen. Jacob agrees to travel to Egypt in his old age.

II. Photo

Pharaoh has a message for Joseph’s brothers: “Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.” (v. 18)

III. Outline

1-8. Joseph reveals himself

1. Joseph sends the Egyptians from the room

2-3a. Joseph weeps loudly and says “I am Joseph, is my father alive?”

3b. The brothers were so shocked they could not speak

4-8. Joseph pardons his brothers saying it was all part of Yahweh’s plan to save the family

9-24. Joseph sends his brothers for Jacob

9-13. Joseph tells his brothers to bring Jacob so that the family can live in Goshen

14. Joseph weeps with Benjamin

15. Joseph weeps and speaks with his brothers

16-20. Pharaoh tells Joseph to send his brothers to Canaan in royal fashion and return with his family

21-22. Josephs sends his brothers in wagons with clothing, but gives Benjamin silver and five sets of clothing

23. Joseph sends his father ten donkeys with grain and ten with presents

24. Joseph sends his brothers on their way

25-28. The brothers tell Jacob (also called Israel) about Joseph; Jacob gains his health and decides to travel to Egypt

IV. Select Verses

1-3: hen Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

4-8: Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

21-22: The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments.

28: Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”

V. Comment

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VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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