(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)
41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
28 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49 Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.
50 And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53 Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” 56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.
12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
1 When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?”
7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
6 Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.
30 “The man who is lord of the land spoke roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.
33 Then the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone.
8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
21 Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.”
19 Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming!
17 So he put them all together in prison three days.
3 So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. 4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.
22 And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.”
22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
6 And Israel said, “Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had still another brother?”
7 But they said, “The man asked us pointedly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we told him according to these words. Could we possibly have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.
2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.”
9 I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.”
29 Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
21 Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.”
33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another. 34 Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
Jacob was anxiously awaiting the return of his sons, and on their arrival the whole encampment gathered eagerly around them as they related to their father all that had occurred. Alarm and apprehension filled every heart. The conduct of the Egyptian governor seemed to imply some evil design, and their fears were confirmed, when, as they opened their sacks, the owner's money was found in each. In his distress the aged father exclaimed, “Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.” Reuben answered, “Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.” This rash speech did not relieve the mind of Jacob. His answer was, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.”
But the drought continued, and in process of time the supply of grain that had been brought from Egypt was nearly exhausted. The sons of Jacob well knew that it would be in vain to return to Egypt without Benjamin. They had little hope of changing their father's resolution, and they awaited the issue in silence. Deeper and deeper grew the shadow of approaching famine; in the anxious faces of all in the encampment the old man read their need; at last he said, “Go again, buy us a little food.”
Judah answered, “The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.” Seeing that his father's resolution began to waver, he added, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones;” and he offered to be surety for his brother and to bear the blame forever if he failed to restore Benjamin to his father.
Jacob could no longer withhold his consent, and he directed his sons to prepare for the journey. He bade them also take to the ruler a present of such things as the famine-wasted country afforded—“a little balm, and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds,” also a double quantity of money. “Take also your brother,” he said, “and arise, go again unto the man.” As his sons were about to depart on their doubtful journey the aged father arose, and raising his hands to heaven, uttered the prayer, “God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
Again they journeyed to Egypt and presented themselves before Joseph. As his eye fell upon Benjamin, his own mother's son, he was deeply moved. He concealed his emotion, however, but ordered that they be taken to his house, and that preparation be made for them to dine with him. Upon being conducted to the governor's palace, the brothers were greatly alarmed, fearing that they were to be called to account for the money found in their sacks. They thought that it might have been intentionally placed there, to furnish occasion for making them slaves. In their distress they consulted with the steward of the house, relating to him the circumstances of their visit to Egypt; and in proof of their innocence informed him that they had brought back the money found in their sacks, also other money to buy food; and they added, “We cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.” The man replied, “Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money.” Their anxiety was relieved, and when Simeon, who had been released from prison, joined them, they felt that God was indeed gracious unto them.
When the governor again met them they presented their gifts and humbly “bowed themselves to him to the earth.” Again his dreams came to his mind, and after saluting his guests he hastened to ask, “Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?” “Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive,” was the answer, as they again made obeisance. Then his eye rested upon Benjamin, and he said, “Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me?” “God be gracious unto thee, my son;” but, overpowered by feelings of tenderness, he could say no more. “He entered into his chamber, and wept there.”
Having recovered his self-possession, he returned, and all proceeded to the feast. By the laws of caste the Egyptians were forbidden to eat with people of any other nation. The sons of Jacob had therefore a table by themselves, while the governor, on account of his high rank, ate by himself, and the Egyptians also had separate tables. When all were seated the brothers were surprised to see that they were arranged in exact order, according to their ages. Joseph “sent messes unto them from before him;” but Benjamin's was five times as much as any of theirs. By this token of favor to Benjamin he hoped to ascertain if the youngest brother was regarded with the envy and hatred that had been manifested toward himself. Still supposing that Joseph did not understand their language, the brothers freely conversed with one another; thus he had a good opportunity to learn their real feelings. Still he desired to test them further, and before their departure he ordered that his own drinking cup of silver should be concealed in the sack of the youngest.
Joyfully they set out on their return. Simeon and Benjamin were with them, their animals were laden with grain, and all felt that they had safely escaped the perils that had seemed to surround them. But they had only reached the outskirts of the city when they were overtaken by the governor's steward, who uttered the scathing inquiry, “Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.” This cup was supposed to possess the power of detecting any poisonous substance placed therein. At that day cups of this kind were highly valued as a safeguard against murder by poisoning.
To the steward's accusation the travelers answered, “Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen.”
“Now also let it be according unto your words,” said the steward; “he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.”
The search began immediately. “They speedily took down every man his sack to the ground,” and the steward examined each, beginning with Reuben's, and taking them in order down to that of the youngest. In Benjamin's sack the cup was found.
The brothers rent their garments in token of utter wretchedness, and slowly returned to the city. By their own promise Benjamin was doomed to a life of slavery. They followed the steward to the palace, and finding the governor yet there, they prostrated themselves before him. “What deed is this that ye have done?” he said. “Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?” Joseph designed to draw from them an acknowledgment of their sin. He had never claimed the power of divination, but was willing to have them believe that he could read the secrets of their lives.
Judah answered, “What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.”
“God forbid that I should do so,” was the reply; “but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.”
In his deep distress Judah now drew near to the ruler and exclaimed, “O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.” In words of touching eloquence he described his father's grief at the loss of Joseph and his reluctance to let Benjamin come with them to Egypt, as he was the only son left of his mother, Rachel, whom Jacob so dearly loved. “Now therefore,” he said, “when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father forever. Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.”
Joseph was satisfied. He had seen in his brothers the fruits of true repentance. Upon hearing Judah's noble offer he gave orders that all but these men should withdraw; then, weeping aloud, he cried, “I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?”
His brothers stood motionless, dumb with fear and amazement. The ruler of Egypt their brother Joseph, whom they had envied and would have murdered, and finally sold as a slave! All their ill treatment of him passed before them. They remembered how they had despised his dreams and had labored to prevent their fulfillment. Yet they had acted their part in fulfilling these dreams; and now that they were completely in his power he would, no doubt, avenge the wrong that he had suffered.
Seeing their confusion, he said kindly, “Come near to me, I pray you;” and as they came near, he continued, “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Feeling that they had already suffered enough for their cruelty toward him, he nobly sought to banish their fears and lessen the bitterness of their self-reproach.
16 Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”
33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers.
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
34 For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
34 For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”
1 Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.
9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
4 And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
7 And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
18 Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.
20 Also do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ”
27 But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
29 But if you take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’
28 Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
The famine was severe in the land of Canaan. Jacob and his sons were troubled. Their supply of food was nearly exhausted, and they looked forward to the future with perplexity. They talked despondingly to one another in regard to being able to supply their families with food. Want and starvation stared them in the face. At length Jacob heard of the wonderful provisions which the king of Egypt had made; that he was instructed of God in a dream seven years before the famine to lay up large supplies for the seven years of famine which were to follow, and that all the countries journeyed to Egypt to buy corn. He said unto his sons, “Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt. Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence, that we may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren, for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.”
Jacob's sons came with the crowd of buyers to purchase corn of Joseph, and they “bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.” And Joseph knew his brethren, but he appeared not to know them, and spake roughly unto them. “And he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan, to buy food. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies. To see the nakedness of the land ye are come.”
They assured Joseph that their only errand into Egypt was to buy food. Joseph again charges them with being spies. He wished to learn if they possessed the same haughty spirit they had when he was with them, and he was anxious to draw from them some information in regard to his father and Benjamin. They feel humbled in their adversity, and manifest grief, rather than anger, at the suspicions of Joseph. They assure him that they are no spies, but the sons of one man; that they are twelve brethren; that the youngest is then with their father, and one is not. His father and Benjamin are the very ones Joseph wishes to learn in regard to. He professes to doubt the truthfulness of their story, and tells them he will prove them, and that they shall not go forth from Egypt until their youngest brother come hither. He proposes to keep them in confinement until one shall go and bring their brother, to prove their words, whether there was any truth in them. If they would not consent to this, he would regard them as spies.
The sons of Jacob felt unwilling to consent to this arrangement. It would require some time for one to go to their father, to get Benjamin, and their families would suffer for food. And then again, who among them would undertake the journey alone, leaving their brethren in a prison. How could that one meet his father? They saw his distress at the supposed death of Joseph, and he would feel that he was deprived of all his sons. As they conversed with one another in this manner, Joseph heard them. They said, further, It may be we shall lose our lives, or be made slaves. And if one go back to our father for Benjamin, and bring him here, he may be made a slave also, and our father will surely die. They decided to all remain, and suffer together, rather than to bring greater sorrow upon their father by the loss of his much-loved Benjamin.
The three days of confinement were days of bitter sorrow with Jacob's sons. They reflected upon their past wrong course, especially their cruelty to Joseph. They knew if they were convicted of being spies, and they could not bring evidence to clear themselves, they would all have to die, or become slaves. They doubted whether any effort any one of them might make would cause their father to consent to have Benjamin go from him, after the cruel death, as he thought, Joseph had suffered. They sold Joseph as a slave, and they were fearful that God designed to punish them by suffering them to become slaves. Joseph considers that his father and the families of his brethren, may be suffering for food, and he is convinced that his brethren have repented of their cruel treatment of him, and that they would in no case treat Benjamin as they had treated him.
Joseph makes another proposition to his brethren. And he said unto them the third day, “This do, and live; for I fear God. If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison. Go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses. But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die.” They agree to accept this proposition of Joseph; but express to one another little hope that their father will let Benjamin return with them. They accuse themselves, and one another, in regard to their treatment of Joseph. “And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore behold also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. And he turned himself about from them, and wept, and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.”
Joseph selected Simeon to be bound, because he was the instigator, and principal actor in the cruelty of his brethren toward him. He then directed that his brethren should be liberally supplied with provision, and that every man's money should be placed in his sack. They pursued their homeward journey in sadness. As one of them opened his sack to feed his beast with provender, he found his money, just as he had brought it to Joseph. He told his brethren, and they considered that a new evil would arise, and they were afraid, and said one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us? Shall we consider this as a token of good from the Lord, or has he suffered it to occur to punish us for our sins, and plunge us still deeper in affliction? They acknowledge that God has seen their sins, and has marked their wrongs, and that he is now visiting them for their transgressions.
As he sent a portion of food to each of his brethren, he sent Benjamin five times as much as the others. He did this not only to show his particular regard for his brother Benjamin, but to prove them, and see if they regarded Benjamin with the same envious feelings they had him. They thought that Joseph did not understand their language, and were free to converse with one another in his presence; therefore Joseph had a good opportunity to learn the true state of their feelings without their knowledge. Joseph again commanded to provide his brethren with food, as much as they could carry, and to put every man's money in his sack's mouth, and to place his silver cup in the sack of the youngest. When his brethren were gone out of the city, Joseph sent his steward to overtake them, and inquire why they had rewarded evil for good, by taking the silver cup belonging to the king, whereby, indeed, he divineth.
Kings and rulers had a cup from which they drank, which was considered a sure detective if any poisonous substance was placed in their drink. “And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my Lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing. Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan. How then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen. And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words. He with whom it is found shall be my servant, and ye shall be blameless. Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and, opened every man his sack. And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.”
At this discovery all were greatly surprised, and, to express their great distress, they rent their garments, which was the custom when in great affliction. Benjamin was more amazed and confounded than his brethren. They returned into the city sorrowful and afraid. They thought that the hand of God was against them for their past wickedness. By their own promise, Benjamin was appointed to a life of slavery. And the fears of their father they thought would be fully realized. Mischief had befallen his much loved Benjamin.
Judah had pledged himself to be surety for Benjamin. “And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there, and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?” Joseph asked this question to draw forth from his brethren an acknowledgment of their past wrong course, that their true feelings might be more fully revealed. He did not claim any power of divination, but was willing his brethren should believe that he could read the secret acts of their lives. “And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants. Behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.” Judah told his brethren that God had found out their iniquity for selling their brother in Egypt, and was now returning upon them their transgressions, by permitting them to become slaves also.
Joseph refused to accept them all, according to the word of Judah, as bondmen. “And he said, God forbid that I should do so; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.” Judah spoke with Joseph aside from the rest, and related to him the reluctance of his father to let Benjamin come with them to Egypt, and that he pledged himself to become surety for Benjamin, that if he brought him not to his father he would bear the blame forever. He eloquently plead in behalf of his father, relating his great grief at the loss of Joseph, and that Benjamin was all that was left of the mother which his father loved, and that if Benjamin should be separated from his father he would die, for his life was bound up in the lad's life. Judah then nobly offered to become a slave instead of his brother, for he could not meet his father without Benjamin was with him. Said Judah, “Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren.”
Joseph was satisfied. He had proved his brethren, and had seen in them the fruits of true repentance for their sins, and he was so deeply affected that he could not longer conceal his feelings, and requested to be left alone with his brethren. He then gave vent to his long-suppressed feelings and wept aloud. “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph. Doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.”
His brethren could not answer him for astonishment. They could not really believe that the ruler of Egypt was their brother Joseph whom they had envied, and would have murdered, but finally were satisfied to sell as a slave. All their ill treatment of their brother painfully passed before them, and especially his dreams, which they had despised, and had labored to prevent their fulfillment. They had acted their part in fulfilling these dreams. Repeatedly had they made obeisance to Joseph, according to his dream. And now they stood before him condemned and amazed.
As Joseph saw the confusion of his brethren, he said to them, “Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.” He nobly sought to make this occasion as easy for his brethren as possible. He had no desire to increase their embarrassment by censuring them. He felt that they had suffered enough for their cruelty to him, and he endeavored to comfort them. He said to them, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land, and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and Lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me Lord of all Egypt. Come down unto me, tarry not. And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast. And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. And, behold your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them, and after that his brethren talked with him.”
They humbly confessed their wrongs which they had committed against Joseph, and entreated his forgiveness, and was greatly rejoiced to find that he was alive; for they had suffered remorse, and great distress of mind, since their cruelty toward him. And now as they knew that they were not guilty of his blood, their troubled minds were relieved.