Thru The Word Ministries

Genesis 40-42


1 - Then it came to be after these things that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense toward their lord, the king of Egypt.

Our present chapter picks up “after these things,” referring to the incarceration of Joseph and the events prior to. Perspective is everything as we move through the Joseph story. If we don’t keep in mind that the Lord has Joseph right where He wants him, we’ll each lose the proper perspective (the context of our passage) very quickly. As I hope we’ll see, Joseph is about to be used of the Lord via the gift of prophecy.

2 - And Pharaoh was angry with his two officials; with the chief butler and with the chief of the bakers.

3 - So he put them in custody, in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was held in custody.

4 - And the captain of the bodyguard assigned Joseph to them, and he was their personal servant, and he was in custody a long time.

Joseph is given the opportunity to prove himself in the position of responsibility he has been given. Notice toward the end of the previous chapter that Joseph was referred to as the overseer of all of the prisoners. We think of someone who is in a position of power and/or control when we hear the term ‘overseer’, don’t we? Yet this verse says “he was their personal servant.” And Jesus would later say…

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant... Matthew 20:27, emphasis mine

5 - Then both men dreamed a dream - each man a dream in that night - the dream of each man according to its interpretation - the butler and the baker for the king of Egypt who were being held in custody in the prison.

 The dream that each of them had probably seemed more like a nightmare as the verses that follow tell us.

6 - When Joseph came to them in the morning, then he beheld and saw they were disturbed.

7 - So he asked the officials of Pharaoh who were in custody with him in the house of his lord, saying to him, “Why do your faces look sullen today?”

8 - And they said to him, “We have dreamed a dream and [there is] none to interpret it.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to Elohim? Please tell [it] to me.”

Early on in this process of events, Joseph establishes himself as a witness to and for the Lord. He will do this primarily by informing them before they even share their dreams with him how the Lord will receive the credit and the glory for their interpretation.

9 - So the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, then, behold, a vine [was] in front of me,

10 - “And in the vine, three twigs, and it [was] as [if they were] budding; it blossomed forth and brought forth ripe clusters of grapes.

11 - “Then the cup of Pharaoh [was] in my hand, and I took the grapes and I pressed them out into the cup of Pharaoh, and I gave the cup into the hand of Pharaoh.”

Notice how vivid his dream was without being very detailed. It obviously made a great impression on him, but at the same time he wanted to know if Joseph in his interpretation would feel the same way.

12 - And Joseph said to him, “This [is the] interpretation: The three twigs [are] three days.

13 - “Within three days, Pharaoh will lift up your head and he will restore you to your position, and you will put the cup of Pharaoh in his hand, as the time when you first became his butler.

14 - “If only you will remember me when everything goes well for you, and please show kindness to me, and remember me before Pharaoh, and get me out of this prison.

15 - “For I was in fact stolen away from the land of the Hebrews, and while here I have not done anything that they should put me into the dungeon.”

The sentiment here is obvious. Joseph interprets his dream, gives him a favorable interpretation, then intersperses it with another sentiment. To paraphrase, “I’ve scratched your back, now you scratch mine!”

16 - When the chief baker saw that [it was] a good interpretation, then he said to Joseph, “I also [was] in my dream, and behold! Three baskets of white bread [were] on my head.

17 - “And in the highest basket were all kinds of baked foods for Pharaoh, but the birds [were] eating them from out of the basket on top of my head.”

The chief baker was feeling pretty good about the interpretation of the butler’s dream, so he decided to go for it. Because his friend’s dream was a prophecy of things to come, his dream had to be as well, right?

18 - And Joseph answered and said, “This [is the] interpretation: The three baskets [are] three days;

19 - “Within three days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off of you and he will hang it on the tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off of you.”

Isn’t it something when the Lord says something is going to happen that it actually does? That’s how you know it’s Him that’s saying it - when what is said will come to pass truly does!

20 - And it came to be on the third day, the birthday of Pharaoh, that he made a great feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants.

21 - And he restored the chief butler to his position, and he put the cup into the hand of Pharaoh;

22 - But the chief baker was hanged, as Joseph had interpreted to them.

Once the Law came into being, this issue of whether one should listen to a particular prophet or not was to be approached in this manner: that when the prophet spoke, if what he said came to pass, the people were to pay heed to him. If his prophecy did not come to pass he was not just to be ignored, but stoned to death! Oh that more self-made prophets of today were to hear and heed the words of Deuteronomy 18:14-22. In that passage we see once again the Lord’s attitude toward sin in that one is not to speak on His behalf presumptuously. This was certainly not the case with Joseph, however.

23 - Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph; but he forgot him.

What a crushing blow that had to be for Joseph knowing he was so close to freedom, yet so far away. But again, perspective is everything as we continue to see how God has Joseph exactly where He wants him for this particular day, time, and place. I urge you to hang on to that perspective as we continue through the Joseph story.



1 - And it came to be at the end of two full years that Pharaoh was dreaming; and behold, he was standing by the Nile.

2 - And behold, out of the Nile came up seven beautiful cows in appearance, and fat-fleshed; and they fed among the reeds.

3 - And behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the Nile, pitiful-looking and thin-fleshed, and stood beside the [other] cows on the bank of the Nile.

4 - And the pitiful-looking, thin-fleshed cows devoured the seven beautiful-looking, fat-fleshed cows; then Pharaoh awoke.

At this point in our study, we see where Joseph is about to be used again to speak a word of prophecy. This time the opportunity to do so will land him squarely in the court of Pharaoh and will launch him into prominence in the land of Egypt. This chapter also stands as one of the longest in the Genesis account. It will serve to show how the sovereignty of God can come to play in the life of one who is willing to be used of the Lord, and has suffered through the trial by fire, as it were, coming through God’s ‘acid test’ without blemish. Again, while we can’t necessarily refer to Joseph as a type of Christ, he certainly serves as an example for many of us that one can live an exemplary life before the Lord. He enables us to do so, but only as we allow Him.

The second dream installment of Pharaoh directly follows the first, troubling him to seek help where he can get it.

5 - Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second [time]. And behold, seven ears of corn going up [from] one stalk, fat and good.

6 - And behold, seven ears of corn, thin and being scorched by the east wind, were springing up after them.

7 - And the seven thin ears of corn swallowed the seven fat and full ears of corn. Then Pharaoh awoke; and behold, [it was] a dream.

8 - And it came to be in the morning that he was troubled in his spirit, so he sent and called for all magicians in Egypt, and all of its wise men. Then Pharaoh recounted his dream to them, but none of them could interpret for Pharaoh.

Pharaoh exhausted all his possibilities, humanly speaking. Then one of those in the previous verse was prompted. Without question it was a prompting of the Lord for the purpose of showing Himself strong on behalf of the nations.

9 - Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “Today I am reminded of my sins.

10 - “Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and he placed me in custody in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, [both] the chief baker and I.

11 - “And we both dreamed a dream in the same night, he and I. Each man dreamed according to the interpretation of his dream.

12 - “Now there was a Hebrew boy with us, the servant to the captain of the bodyguard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; each man according to his dream he interpreted.

13 - “And it came to be that as he interpreted to us, so it occurred: I was restored to my position, and he hanged him.”

The chief butler said he knew just the man Pharaoh needed to help him in his time of despair. The chief butler is a type of witness in the Church Age pointing the way to Jesus for others in their need for forgiveness.

14 - Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph; and they brought him quickly from the dungeon. When he shaved and changed his clothes, then he came before Pharaoh.

Joseph has a lot of work to do in a little time. He had to go from looking like a prisoner to looking presentable before a king, all in a matter of minutes. It’s a good thing Joseph wasn’t a woman!

15 - And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream, and no one can interpret it. Now I have heard it said of you [that when] you hear a dream, you can interpret it.”

16 - But Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “I cannot; Elohim will answer for the welfare of Pharaoh.”

Immediately Joseph refuses to take the credit for any sort of favorable interpretation on Pharaoh’s behalf. Rather, he acknowledges God who is ready, willing, and able to act in his best interest. He will always act in our best interest as well, if only each of us will give Him the opportunity.

Pharaoh is now in the process of recounting both dreams for Joseph, who will provide the interpretation as he speaks for the Lord…

17 - So Pharaoh spoke to Joseph: “In my dream, behold, I am standing on the bank of the Nile;

18 - “And behold, out of the Nile are coming seven fat-fleshed cows, so beautiful in form, and they fed among the reeds.

19 - “And behold, seven other cows coming up after them, poor and pitiful in form; very thin-fleshed. I had not seen such ugliness in all the land of Egypt!

20 - “And the seven thin, pitiful cows ate the first seven fat cows.

21 - “When they had eaten them up, then no one could have noticed that they had eaten them up, for they appeared as bad as at the beginning. Then I awoke.

22 - “Then I saw in my dream, and behold, seven ears of corn coming up in one stalk, full and good.

23 - “And behold, seven ears of corn, dried up [and] thin, scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them.

24 - “And the seven thin ears of corn swallowed the seven good ears of corn. Now I told [it] to the magicians, but none could explain [it] to me.”

25 - Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh [are] one and the same, because Elohim has declared to Pharaoh what He is going to do.

26 - “The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears of corn are seven years; the dreams are one and the same.

27 - “And the seven thin, miserable cows going up after them [are] seven years; and the seven empty ears of corn scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.

28 - “That [is] the word which I have spoken to Pharaoh, because Elohim has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do.

29 - “Behold, seven years of great plenty are coming in the land of Egypt;

30 - “And after them shall arise seven years of famine, and all the sufficiency in the land of Egypt shall be forgotten, and the famine shall consume the land.

31 - “And the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine after that, for it will be very oppressive.

32 - “Now the reason for the dream being repeated to Pharaoh one after another, [is] because the matter is settled by Elohim, and Elohim will hasten to do it.

33 - “And now Pharaoh should choose a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt,

34 - “May Pharaoh do so, and appoint commissioners over the land, and take a fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty.

35 - “And they should gather all the food in those good years that are coming, and heap up the clean, threshed grain under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them take care of the food in the cities.

36 - “And the food shall become for store in the land in the seven years of the famine that will be in the land of Egypt, so the land will not perish by the famine.”

Joseph provides not only the interpretation, but a solution to the pending problems that will soon plague the land.

37 - Now the matter was pleasing in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

No one seemed to have come up with a better idea, so everyone was able to very quickly buy into the solution for survival. Isn’t it something that the text never mentions anyone doubting or questioning the interpretation of the two dreams.

38 - Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can a man be found like this man, in whom [is] the spirit of Elohim?”

Pharaoh’s response is the obvious acknowledgement of the hand of God at work in the life of Joseph on behalf of Pharaoh and the land of Egypt. The Lord waits to show Himself strong on the church’s behalf also.

39 - Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as Elohim Himself has declared all this, none [is as] discerning and wise as you.

40 - “You will be over my house, and according to your word all my people will be obedient; only [concerning] the throne will I be greater than you.”

In just a matter of moments, Joseph is second-in-command in Egypt. Joseph trusts the Lord and finds He is faithful to him in the bad times. He will find before long that He is faithful to His word concerning the land of Egypt as well - especially in the bad times.

41 - And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

Joseph is now Pharaoh’s number two man. That’s not bad for someone who was incarcerated only hours before!

42 - Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from off his hand and put it on the hand of Joseph, and he clothed him in fine garments, and he put a chain of gold upon his neck.

When God clothes each of us, He clothes us in His righteousness. These “fine garments” are symbolic of the account of the one “like unto the Son of Man” as depicted in Revelation 1:12-18:

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Joseph does not have the keys to life and death in a spiritual sense, but on the other hand he will soon have control over whether people live or die physically in the land of Egypt and many regions of the world.

43 - And he made him ride in the second-best chariot that he [had], and they cried before him, “Kneel down!” So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph was reverenced in accordance with the honor Pharaoh had bestowed on him. There is also coming a day when “…at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). The question is, are you ready for that day? If you’re not, you can be. It is much easier for you to confess Him as Lord here in the age of grace than in the day you will stand before Him (Revelation 20:11-15). You can be in right relationship with the Lord by making Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord by simply opening your heart to Him. You can do that even now, if you have never done so already. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you may ask Jesus to save you from the penalty due you as the result of your sin condition. This presumes, of course, that you realize you are indeed a sinner (Romans 3:23). He can save you from an eternity in a literal place called ‘hell’. But whether or not He will is up to you. If you’ve never asked Him to save you and you’d like to, please do so today before it is too late! If you’d like to know more, see our page titled ‘The Main Thing’.

44 - Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I [am] Pharaoh, but apart from you no man will lift up his hand or foot against you in all the land of Egypt!”

Anything anyone wanted or needed went to Joseph. This decree also guarantees Joseph the much-needed protection he needed, both physically and in regard to the kingdom.

45 - And Pharaoh called the name of Joseph ‘Zaphenath-paneah’; and he gave to him Asenath, daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, for his wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh also provides him with a wife, who provides him with offspring. Proverbs 18:16 tells us, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing…”

46 - Now Joseph was thirty years old when he represented Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from before Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.

Likewise, Jesus was thirty years old when He represented His Father in heaven when “He came unto His own…” (John 1:11). When Jesus went through all the land of Israel, it was for the purpose of teaching and preaching the coming of the kingdom of heaven.

47 - And the earth brought forth in the seven plenteous years in abundance.

As promised in Pharaoh’s dream, there was nothing left to the imagination. Literally the phrase “in abundance” could be rendered “in overwhelming sufficiency.” Each and every person in the kingdom had more than they could live off of for the foreseeable future and beyond.

48 - So he gathered all the food of [those] seven years that had been brought forth in the land of Egypt, and he brought the food into the cities; and he placed within the midst of the city food for the city from the surrounding field.

49 - And Joseph poured into great heaps grain as the sand of the sea, until he could no longer count it, because it was innumerable.

50 - And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which were born to him by Ashenath, daughter of Potipherah, priest of On.

The children of Joseph will serve as a tribute to the grace and mercy of Yahweh shown him due to his rise from tribulation to prominence.

51 - And Joseph called the name of the first-born ‘Manasseh’, “Because Elohim has forgotten all my trouble, and all the house of my father.”

52 - And the name of the second he called ‘Ephraim’, “Because Elohim has made me fruitful in the land of poverty.”

In the same manner, as the Lord Jesus Christ raises up each one of us by His grace and mercy, He forgives us. He gives each of us the enabling to move on from the past (Philippians 3:12-14) and bear fruit in His name and for His glory (Galatians 5:16-26).

53 - Then the seven plenteous years came to an end that were in Egypt,

54 - And the seven years of famine began to come according to what Joseph had said. Then famine came to be in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt [there] was bread.

When each of us enter into a period of famine in our lives, when it seems everything around us has ‘dried up’ and our spirit is ‘barren’, we know we have the fruit of the Spirit in reserve. Knowing this, we as His dear blessed children are able to continue to walk in His Spirit and produce the fruit known as joy.

55 - When all the land of Egypt was hungry, then the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. And Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, you are to do.”

And Mary the mother of Jesus would tell the servants at the wedding in Cana, Galilee that they were to do whatever her Son told them they were to do (John 2:5).

56 - When the famine was upon all the face of the land, then Joseph opened all houses containing grain and offered grain for sale to the Egyptians; and the famine became intense in the land of Egypt.

57 - And all the earth had come to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine had become intense on all the earth.

Similarly, the only way in which any of us can obtain relief from the intensity of the battles of this life is to go to Jesus. Run to Him on the knowledge that He waits to have intimate fellowship with you. Nothing else satisfies, and nothing else ever will.



1 - When Jacob had learned that there was grain in Egypt, then Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?”

2 - And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us from there, so we may live and not die.”

Desperation is beginning to set in at the household of Jacob. It has come to the point where he says to his sons, “What are you doing sitting around here staring at each other? You’d better load up and head down to Egypt and bring back some food for us before we starve to death!” Did his motivational tactic work?

3 - So ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain in Egypt.

4 - But Jacob did not send Benjamin, the [other] brother of Joseph, with his brothers, because he had said, “Lest harm comes upon him…”

Jacob is conservatively cautious in not sending Benjamin, lest he lose him in a manner similar to Joseph, or so he thought at the time. It makes us wonder, doesn’t it, how expendable Jacob thought his other sons were, knowing what we know about them. Some would say they were older and Benjamin was younger, but Benjamin was also the last surviving son (supposedly) from the woman he dearly loved, Rachel.

5 - So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, for the famine had come to the land of Canaan.

The nations had come to the very place that had been defiled by sin in the land. In a sense, revival came to the land of Canaan. To get a better feel for what was going on in Canaan prior to this, see the commentary on chapter 34. Regardless, we can say without reservation Canaan would have been voted the nation least likely from which revival of any sort could spring. Yet the Lord was using the least likely to bring help and healing and blessing to others. If your locale is in need of revival today, I would encourage you to use this passage as an impetus in your prayer life to seek the Lord and see what He would want to do to bring about much-needed revival in our city, nation, and world.

6 - And Joseph himself [was] ruler over the land; he [was] selling grain to all the people of the land. And the brothers of Joseph came in and they bowed down to him [with] faces to the earth.

Joseph’s dream comes true as depicted back in chapter 37. They bowed to him because he was now a ruler. Yet back when he shared his dream with them he seemed like anything but a ruler to them. Call it sibling rivalry or seeing what to them was an obvious lack of potential, but the proverb once again proves true that “a man’s heart deviseth his way, but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Now at this point Joseph’s brothers have some things to account for. Let’s move on and find out what that is about.

7 - When Joseph saw his brothers, then he recognized them, but he acted as a stranger toward them and spoke harshly to them, and said to them, “From where have you come?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”

8 - Now Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

Joseph’s physical maturity with the passage of time combined with the brother’s perception that he was dead were most likely the contributing factors to the lack of recognition on their part.

9 - Then Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed in regard to them, and said, “You [are] spying! You have come to see the undefended places of the land.”

10 - Then they said to him, “No, my lord; instead your slaves have come to buy food.

11 - “We all [are] sons of one man. We [are] honest men. We your servants are not spying.”

Would this be considered retribution on the part of Joseph? I wondered about that for many years, but thanks to more in-depth study I now see this passage in a different light.

12 - But he said to them, “No, on the contrary, you have come to see the undefended places of the land!”

13 - But they said, “Twelve brothers [are] your servants. We [are] the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest [is] with his father, and the [other] one is no longer.”

14 - And Joseph said to them, “It [is] as I said to you, saying, ‘You [are] spying!’

Joseph, guided by the Lord, speaks correction into the lives of his brothers. Each of us need to be convicted of our sin condition. For some, that process takes a bit more than others. We understand too, do we not, that God can use anything or anyone to accomplish His purposes. In the case of the brothers, it was their own brother that was the instrument. This is the same Joseph they just knew they had put out of his misery down in the bottom of that muddy well in the wilderness at Dothan. Now follow where Joseph goes with his thought process that, once again, I believe is guided by the Lord Himself.

15 - “By this you will be tried: You will not go out from here unless your youngest brother comes here.

16 - “Send one of you, that he may fetch your brother, and you shall be bound and your words put to the test, whether [there is] truth in you or not. By the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spying!”

He just wanted to see Benjamin again. We’ll find out just how much he wanted to when we get to our next chapter. In the meantime, Joseph began to carry out his ultimatum. We know this because of what the next verse tells us.

17 - So he put them in prison for three days.

18 - And Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and you will live, [for] I fear Elohim;

19 - “If you [are] honest, let one of your brothers be bound in your jail house, but you are to go bring in grain for the famine in your houses,

20 - “But bring your youngest brother to me, that your words may be confirmed, and you will not die.” And they did so.

Three days and two nights in a prison cell will do wonders for one’s perspective. Where the brothers were once unwilling to accept his explanation of a dream that said he would one day rule over them, and then his edict that they were to bring to him their little brother, an amazing revelation begins to unfold. Once it does, reality begins to set in. Let’s eavesdrop on their conversation and find out more.

21 - Then they said each one to the other, “Truly we [are] guilty concerning our brother because we saw the distress of his soul when he sought compassion from us, and we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.”

22 - And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy,’ and you would not hear. Now, what’s more, behold, his blood [is] seeking us out.”

As if that wasn’t enough…

23 - Now they did not know that Joseph was understanding them, because a translator [was] between them.

This portion of the text is full of all kinds of surprises, isn’t it? Not only were we eavesdropping on their conversation, but so was Joseph! But still another surprise…

24 - And he turned away from them and wept; then he returned to them and spoke to them, and took Simeon from them, and bound him before their eyes.

Joseph is so overcome with compassion for them and their condition that he is moved to tears. But how was it that Simeon was the one taken hostage? Inquiring minds want to know, but probably never will this side of heaven.

25 - Then Joseph commanded, and their bread-sacks were filled with grain, and to the sack of every man was money returned, and to each of them was given provision for the journey; and thus he did for them.

The Lord Jesus is filled with compassion for each of us in spite of our sinful nature and our resulting response to Him over the years. He just keeps pouring out His provision on each of us. Why is that? He is slow to anger and rich in mercy and love (Psalm 103:8, 145:8; Joel 2:13). As Joseph did unto them, thus the Lord does for each of us!

26 - So they loaded their donkeys with grain, and they departed from there.

27 - When one of them opened his bread-sack to give fodder to his donkey at the lodging place, then he saw his money, and behold, it [was] in the mouth of his sack.

How would any of us have reacted if we had made such a find among our groceries. A lot of us may have been thinking of the old song, “Take the Money and Run”!

28 - Then he said to his brothers, “My money has been brought back, and also, behold, it [is in] my bread-sack”; and their hearts sank, and they trembled and each one said to the other, “What [is] this [that] Elohim has done to us?”

Joseph’s brothers saw what was happening as judgment. They are still carrying the weight of their burden resulting from the abandonment of Joseph. Either they are superstitious or the conviction of the Spirit of God is upon them. What do you think?

29 - When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, then they told him all that they encountered, saying to him,

30 - “The man [who is] lord of the land spoke harsh words to us , and made us out to be like spies of the land.

31 - “But we said to him, ‘We [are] honest men; we have not become spies.

32 - “’We [are] twelve brothers, sons of our father; one [is] no longer, and the youngest [is] with our father in the land of Canaan this day’.

33 - “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this shall I know that you [are] honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me, and for the famine of your house take [food] and go.

34 - ‘And bring your youngest brother to me; then I will know that you [are] not spies, but you [are] honest men. I will give to you your brother, and you may pass through the land.’”

In recapping their adventures for their father, the brothers have to eventually show the results of their journey. In so doing they wound up getting more than they bargained for…

35 - And it came to be [as] they were emptying their bread-sacks that, behold, in the bread-sack of each man [was] a bundle of silver pieces. When they and their father saw the bundles of silver pieces, then they were afraid.

They were all afraid, but poor Jacob was having all of this put on him at once. It was more than he could handle, both mentally and emotionally. He saw his sons react adversely, which very possibly triggered the following meltdown.

36 - And Jacob their father said to them, “You have deprived me of my children! Joseph [is] no longer, and Simeon [is] no longer. Now you would take away Benjamin from me. All these [things] happen to me!”

37 - Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him to you. Put him in my care and I will bring him back to you.”

One last-ditch attempt on the part of Reuben to provide for the household spoke volumes as to how desperate their situation would soon become. This in spite of Jacob’s negative response in the last verse of our chapter.

38 - But he said, “My son will not go down with you, because his brother is dead, and only he [is] left. If he were to meet with mischief on the road that you are going on, then you will bring down my gray head to sheol in grief.”

Virtually all of what Jacob said in this last verse is true. If anything adverse were to come upon Benjamin while away from his father, it absolutely would have killed him. Benjamin did everything for him that had to be done concerning his household affairs while in his aged, weakened condition. He was desperate for his ministry to him with each passing day.

Whether anyone in the household at the time realized it or not, things were about to get worse before they would get better. Jacob eventually would succumb on account of his hunger and what would become his immediate need to provide for his household. Something would have to give, but what few others realized is that Yahweh-Yireh is on the verge of providing for not only his family but all of his people in a glorious manner. We will see how that transpires starting in our next chapter.