Genesis 45

 
Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers
Genesis 45
 
Genesis 45. In this chapter, Joseph finally reveals his identity to his brethren. Rather than blame and accuse them, Joseph had accepted the events of his life from God. He had nothing but love for his brethren. He immediately made arrangements for them to bring Jacob down to Egypt, along with their families. The events of this chapter can be applied prophetically to the appearing of Christ to His Jewish brethren.
 
 

Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brethren (45:1-15)

CHAPTER 45
1 And Joseph could not control himself before all them that stood by him, and he cried, Put every man out from me! And no man stood with him when Joseph made himself known to his brethren. 2 And he raised his voice in weeping; and the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard. 3 And Joseph said to his brethren, I am Joseph. Does my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence. vv.1-3 It is interesting that in ch.44 Judah does not confess to selling Joseph into Egypt. The brothers had already acknowledged their guilt in selling Joseph in speaking to one another in ch.42. It would appear that Joseph was content with where the brothers were at by the close of ch.44, and he does not press for a public confession. There may be a lesson in this, in that there is a tendency to be exacting when it comes to demanding confessions from our brethren. Joseph was not. He made sure the deeper issues were resolved, and then he revealed himself. Joseph was now overcome with emotion. The Lord had worked tremendously in the hearts of his brethren. But before Joseph would reveal his identity, he put out everyone else from his presence. What unfolded next was a private affair, although the Egyptians heard Joseph weeping. The Lord’s work of restoration is private, but the joy that results can overflow to many. The Lord too will have a personal exchange with His earthly brethren; “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn… etc.” (Zech. 12:10 – 13:1). Like with Joseph’s brothers, it isn’t an instant apprehension. At first there is fear, but then growing realization, then sorrow, then joy. Like the disciples on the sea of Galilee, at first they were afraid; “And his brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence”. It is interesting that Joseph quickly adds, “Doth my father yet live?” He could have inferred that Jacob was alive from the previous confession in ch.44. Perhaps he was speaking rhetorically or simply from his heart. In type it pictures the preeminence of the Father-Son relationship. The restoration of Israel, pictured by Joseph’s brothers, pales in comparison to the Son’s zeal for the Father’s glory.
 
4
And Joseph said to his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5 And now, be not grieved, and be not angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been these two years in the land; and yet there are five years in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvest. 7 So God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. 8 And now it was not you that sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and governor over all the land of Egypt.
vv.4-8 Justice could have demanded their lives, but grace called them to “draw near”. Joseph spoke to his brothers of God’s overarching purpose; “be not grieved, and be not angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God sent me before you to preserve life”. The only way the chosen seed of Abraham would survive this famine was through the provision of Joseph. There were still five more years ahead. Joseph speaks also of the place he had in Egypt, in relation to the reigning monarch at that time. How wonderful that Joseph could look beyond his mistreatment at the hands of his brethren, and through it all see God’s hand for blessing; “now it was not you that sent me here, but God”. May God give us the grace to see the misfortunes and trials of life through the lens of God’s sovereignty and grace. Returning to the prophetic application of this passage, we do not know exactly all that the remnant of Israel will understand from the New Testament, but perhaps their understanding will be somewhat limited until they see the Lord, just as Joseph’s brethren were ignorant of these things. But as sons of God, and part of the church of God, we Christians do not have to wait until the millennium to know God’s purpose. God has “made known to us the mystery of his will, etc.” (Eph. 1:9-10).

9
Haste and go up to my father, and say to him, Thus says thy son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, tarry not. 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near to me, thou, and thy sons, and thy sons` sons, and thy sheep, and thy cattle, and all that thou hast. 11 And there will I maintain thee; for yet there are five years of famine; in order that thou be not impoverished, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast. 12 And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth which speaks to you. 13 And tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen, and haste and bring down my father hither.
vv.9-13 Joseph wanted his brethren to tell Jacob the truth. The report they would bring their father this time would be quite different than the report they had brought him many years before (ch.37). They wouldn’t merely tell Jacob that Joseph had survived, but “tell my father of all my glory in Egypt”. How happy Jacob would have been to hear all about Joseph now! Some of the believing Jews in the future will have the blessed privilege of spreading the news that the Messiah has returned, and that He reigns in Zion (Isa. 52:7). That is a little like the brothers returning to tell Jacob of Joseph’s glory in Egypt. By way of application, something we can definitely do to make God the Father happy is to speak well of His Son; to speak to the Father about the glories of His Son. Goshen was a portion of Egypt located in the eastern Delta of the Nile. It was known as good for raising cattle, and it was also separate from the major centers of idolatry. Joseph, in the wisdom given to him, planned for his family to relocate to Goshen. There, they would be near to Joseph, and also they would be kept separate from the Egyptians, who were steeped in idolatry, and who also despised shepherds.

14
And he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.
vv.14-15 Joseph showed affection toward all his brethren, but especially to Benjamin.
 

Jacob invited to come to Egypt (45:16-28)

16 And the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come. And it was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his bondmen. v.16 Joseph was not ashamed to have it known that these men were his brothers. It reminds us of how the Lord is not ashamed to call us brethren (Heb. 2:11).
 
17
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Say to thy brethren, Do this: load your beasts and depart, go into the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me; and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. 19 And thou art commanded — this do: take waggons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and take up your father, and come. 20 And let not your eye regret your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt shall be yours. vv.17-20 Here we have what Pharaoh wanted Joseph to tell his brethren. This v.20 would make a good text over a garage or closet; “let not your eye regret your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt shall be yours”. The good of heaven is ours! Why do we spend our energy gathering possessions on earth, when we have heaven to look forward to! Jesus told His disciples, “In my father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). 
 
21
And the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them waggons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22 To each one of them all he gave changes of clothing; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothing. 23 And to his father he sent this: ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread, and food for his father by the way. vv.21-23 Not only was a place in Egypt waiting for the sons of Israel when they returned, but provision was given them for the way. They same is true for us. Not only do we have an inheritance reserved in heaven for us (1 Pet. 1;4), but we also have provision for the way; “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). Again, Benjamin is given more than the other brothers, but there is no complaint.
 
24
And he sent his brethren away, and they departed. And he said to them, Do not quarrel on the way. v.24 How easy it would be, as the shock of Joseph’s revelation wore off, for blame-laying to begin. Joseph exhorted them, “Do not quarrel on the way”.
 
25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan to Jacob their father. 26 And they told him, saying, Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And his heart fainted, for he did not believe them. 27 And they spoke to him all the words of Joseph, which he had spoken to them. And he saw the waggons that Joseph had sent to carry him. And the spirit of Jacob their father revived. 28 And Israel said, It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die. vv.25-28 When the news was broken to Jacob, he couldn’t believe it. Notice the name difference; it is Jacob that doesn’t believe, but it is Israel who says “it is enough”. The wagons were proof to Jacob, but the prospect of seeing Joseph was what was before his heart; “Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die”.