Genesis Lesson 25 Day 4

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Genesis Lesson 25 Day 4

Genesis 42:1-20 (I went further into the story in my answers.)

Joseph’s Brothers go to Egypt in Search of Grain

11a) Joseph and his brothers meet face to face.

The famine affected the entire land of Canaan, too. God didn’t warn Joseph’s family to prepare for it, so they ran out of grain.

When Jacob heard that Egypt had grain for sale, he sent ten of his sons to buy some. He didn’t send Benjamin for fear that something would happen to him. (Based on Genesis 45:11, this journey may have taken place following the first year of famine.)

Anyone who came to buy grain had to deal with Joseph.  So it was before him the son’s of Israel presented themselves and bowed down with their faces to the ground in direct fulfillment of Joseph’s dream.

b) Why Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him

  • They never expected to see him again at all, much less as Visier in charge of Egypt’s grain supply. [Visier, the highest official in ancient Egypt to serve the pharaoh (king) during the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Wikipedia]
  • Joseph was now in his late thirties. When they last saw him, he was seventeen.
  • His voice was deeper and he spoke fluent Egyptian, communicating with them through an interpreter.
  • He was clean shaven unlike Hebrew men.
  • As early as 4000 BC, during all periods and dynasties, both men and women in Egypt wore makeup including dramatic eye makeup as documented in their paintings and statues. The makeup on his skin may have altered his skin tone.
  • Joseph may have worn an Egyptian headdress.
  • He wore a gold signet ring and a gold chain along with the fine linen garments of royalty.
  • Even though Joseph recognized them, he pretended to be a stranger, speaking harshly to them.

12) Joseph responds harshly to his brothers.

Guzik writes “Joseph did this guided by the Holy Spirit.” If so, “this wasn’t revenge or twisting the knife.”1

Some commentators believe that if it were up to Joseph, he would have revealed himself to his brothers right then and there. But God recalled the dreams to his mind and guided him to be an instrument for the correction and restoration of the brothers. . . because of the hardness of [their hearts].1

Joseph accuses his brothers of lying and being spies. He took Simeon and bound him in front of them saying they must bring back their brother to prove their innocence.

Despite the harsh words, he sends them away with sacks of grain and with their money hidden inside. He also gave them provisions for the journey back. He gave this before they were reconciled.

This was a test – not from Joseph – but from God. What would they do with the money? What would be revealed about their heart?

· The deceptive heart would hide it.

· The lying heart would make up a story about it.

· The proud heart would think it deserved it.

· The superficial heart would think nothing of it.1

The nine brothers responded with fear because they’d already been accused of spying. Now they could be called thieves. “They were afraid, because of their guilty consciences.”1

When they got home, they told their father the truth about Simeon.

13a) God knows and reveals His plans.

Joseph’s dreams predicted his brothers and father would bow down to him. It not only happened but the events that led to the fulfillment were impossible for man to orchestrate.

For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). His secrets come wrapped in mystery so we must seek Him for understanding.


No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).


The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” (Daniel 2:47)


But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled, just as he proclaimed to His servants the prophets (Revelation 10:7).

b) Comfort and encouragement

Through this story, I see how Joseph provided forgiveness before his brothers repented and asked for forgiveness. Likewise, Jesus provided forgiveness for us before we repented.

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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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