Thru The Word Ministries

Genesis 43-45


1 - Now the famine [was] oppressive in the land.

We begin to see as our new chapter opens that things are about to get worse before they get better. It was true then and it is true in our day as we will see in moving through our text. What I believe the Lord wants us to see in it all, however, is that He is sovereign, He has a plan, and we are doing well to be on board with His plan.

2 - And it came to be that when they had finished eating up the grain they had brought in from Egypt, then their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little [more] food.”

He makes it sound so simple, but he forgets so soon what the stipulations are in order for that to happen. Such is indicative of human nature when desperation begins to set in.

3 - But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us in saying, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’

4 - “If you will send our brother with us, we will go and buy more food for you.

5 - “If you will not send him, we will not go down, because he said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”

6 - Then Israel said, “Why did you do evil toward me in telling the man you had still [another] brother?”

7 - And they said, “The man asked us specifically in regard to our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still living? Do you have [another] brother?’ So we told him the matter according to these words. How could we have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’”

8 - Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will rise up and go, that we may live and not die, both we and also our children.

9 - “I will stand as surety for him. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him to you and set him before you, then I shall bear the blame for him all of my life.

10 - “For if we had not tarried, we could have come and gone twice by now.”

Judah believes time is of the essence to such a degree that he puts himself up as collateral, if you will, so he and his brothers will obtain the food they need to survive. If I were a wagering man, I’d be willing to bet this is not the first such discussion that has taken place in their household during the time of famine. That could be why Judah begins to ‘pony up‘, that he may create a greater sense of urgency in his father and thus possibly save lives.

11 - Then Israel their father said to them, “If [such is the case], then do this: Take of the best products of the land and bring to the man a gift - a little balsam, a little honey, spice and myrrh, some pistachio nuts, and almonds.

12 - “And take double money in your hands, and return the money in the mouth of your sacks. Take [it] back in your hands; perhaps it [was] a mistake.

13 - “And take your brother, then arise and return to the man.

14 - “And God the Almighty give tender mercy to you in the opinion of the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin; and if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”

Perhaps Jacob was the inspiration for Solomon penning Proverbs 18:16: “A gift opens doors for a man and brings him before the great” (HCSB). This would be especially true if they were to take “double money” and give it to Joseph.

Since ten brothers went to Egypt and they took double money, there were 20 units of money. This answers exactly to the 20 pieces of silver they sold Joseph for (Genesis 37:28).1

15 - So the men took this present, and they took double money in their hands, and Benjamin, and arose and went down to Egypt, and they stood before Joseph.

16 - When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, then he said to that ruler of his house, “Bring the men [into] my house and prepare to slaughter, because the men will dine with me at noon.”

17 - So the man did just as Joseph said, and the man brought the men into the house of Joseph.

18 - Then the men [were] afraid because they had been brought to the house of Joseph; and they said, “On account of the money we were returning in our sacks at the beginning we [are] being brought in like this, to fall upon us and capture us, and to take us for slaves, and our donkeys.”

It’s kind of humorous to see how the text reads. In verse sixteen the household servant was told by Joseph to bring his brothers into his house “and prepare to slaughter.” Then in verse eighteen it says they were afraid. It almost seems as if they believe they are the ones that are being prepared for the slaughter! Of course it means what is being slaughtered is from Joseph’s fine livestock collection in preparation for the noon meal.

What a picture or type of God’s great provision this is. Realizing what they have done toward their brother has pricked their individual and collective conscious. They are still operating under the assumption that divine retribution is being doled out on them during this episode. Yet Joseph, in his infinite love and mercy, provides for their needs even though they do not recognize him and who he is. To me, Joseph does not come closer to being a type of Christ as he does in this phase of his reign in Egypt.

19 - Now when they approached the steward of the house of Joseph, then they spoke to him at the entrance of the house,

20 - And said, “Excuse me, my lord, we certainly came down in the beginning to buy food,

21 - “But it came to be that when we had come into the lodging place, and we opened our sacks, then behold, the money of every man in the mouth of his sack, our money in the exact weight; and now, we have brought it back in our hand.

22 - “Plus, we have brought down additional money in our hand in order to buy food. We have no knowledge of who has put our money in our sacks.”

23 - Then he said, “Peace to you. You have nothing to fear. Your God and the God of your fathers has given you treasures in your sacks. I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

Someone has said this is a wonderful picture of God as it relates to money; specifically, to the money He has entrusted to each of us. I tend to agree. He will give us “treasure in our sacks,” but not in relation to what some huckster on so-called Christian television has promised us. Dr. Adrian Rogers used to refer to them as the health, wealth, and happiness boys. The treasure our Lord promises us may or may not have to do with money. But however He chooses to do so, it will be measured out “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Come what may, you and I cannot out-give God. No way!

24 - And he brought the men into the house of Joseph, then he gave [them] water, and they washed their feet; then he gave fodder for their donkeys.

25 - Then they prepared the gift up to [the time] Joseph came at noon, for they had heard that they would eat there.

26 - When Joseph came home, then they brought the gift to him that [was] in their hand into the house, and they bowed down to him on the ground.

27 - Then he asked about their welfare, and he said, “Is your father well, the old man that you had spoken of? Is he still living?”

28 - And they answered, “Your servant our father is well and still living.” Then they bowed down.

29 - Then he lifted up his eyes and saw Benjamin his brother, the son of his mother, and said, “Is this your younger brother that you have spoken of to me?” And he said, “May Elohim bless you, my son.”

30 - And Joseph went quickly because he had tender mercies toward his brother, so he sought [a place] to weep; then he went into his chamber, and he wept there.

In a sense, Joseph had “tender mercies” toward all his brothers. They all thought their donkeys were going to be stolen, but instead they were all fed and cared for. They thought they would all be executed, but they were provided for without chastisement or rebuke. All Joseph really cared for was their health and well-being. It’s as if he was trying to win them over. Here again, it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). If only these brothers would only see themselves through Joseph’s eyes.

31 - And he washed his face, then came out, and he restrained himself. Then he said, “Serve the food!”

32 - So they set a place for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians eating with him by themselves, because the Egyptians were not able to eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

Due to the fact that the Egyptians were segregationists, Joseph had to eat with the Egyptians instead of his brothers. In the Egyptian society of the day, anyone other than themselves were not only second-class citizens, but second-rate human beings. In their view Egyptians were descendants of the gods and they only. Everyone else in the world operated on a much lesser plane.

This brings up another aspect of God’s provision in that His people, the Israelites, would be exiled to another nation for 400 years whose people were so elitist they would not have anything to do with them. If it were any other nation (especially the Canaanites), they would have intermarried with them, thus diluting the lineage from which would come the Messiah. God in His sovereignty knew exactly what He doing when He allowed His people to be exiled to the land of Egypt.

33 - And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth; and the men [were] astounded with one another.

What are the probabilities of a stranger seating brothers in exact chronological order? That is why they sat amazed, for they knew in their hearts that a stranger could not have accomplished such a feat under normal circumstances.

34 - Then he took portions to them from before him, but the portion belonging to Benjamin [was] five times greater a portion than the others; and they drank and got drunk with him.

And after all that feasting and merriment, the brothers went away having no idea who the provider was. Another reason why Joseph could at least be considered a type of Christ. This relates back to what theologians refer to as ‘common grace’. Everything we have and are and have had and will be comes from God and He alone. Yet most of us are hard-pressed to recognize that, much less acknowledge it.

The late Dr. Homer Lindsay, Jr. once said the doctrine of thanksgiving is possibly the most neglected doctrine in the church today. When he used the term “the church,” he was referring to those who are already believers in the Lord Jesus. If it’s that neglected among the Lord’s people, how much more so among the general populace? It is time for the church to lead the way in having an attitude of gratitude. But that cannot happen until each of us realizes God owes us nothing. Remember, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).



1 - Then he commanded the supervisor over his house, saying, “Fill the sacks of the men [with] food, as much as they are able to carry, and put the money of each man in the mouth of his sack.

2 - “And put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and the money for his grain.” So he did according to the word which Joseph had spoken.

3 - As the morning became light, then the men were sent off, they and their donkeys.

As our new chapter begins, Joseph has worked out a way, it seems, to get the brothers back to his quarters following their time of merriment. He was soon to reveal to them who he really was, and would they ever be surprised! For a time they would not be able to believe it, but in time they would. In a similar way, there is coming a time when Israel will in fact recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

4 - They had gone out of the city, not far away, when Joseph said to the supervisor of his house, “Get up! Follow after the men! When you have overtaken them, then say, ‘Why have you repaid [with] evil instead of good?

5 - ‘[Is] this not [the cup] from which my lord drinks, and from which he practices divination? [This is] evil that you have done.’”

6 - When he reached them, then he spoke to them these words.
When God wants to speak to each of us, He calls someone to do His bidding for Him. The prophets, John the Baptist, the apostle Paul, John the revelator; all these are great examples for us today as the Lord uses the Scriptures to call us back to Himself.

7 - And they said to him, “Why does my lord speak words like these? We your servants would never do according to these words.

8 - “Behold! The money that we found in the mouth of our sacks, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we have stolen from the house of our lord money or gold?

9 - “Whoever of your servants it is found among, then let him die, and we will become slaves to our lord.”

10 - And he said, “So now let it be according to your words: Thus he with whom it is found will become my slave, and [the rest] of you will be blameless.”
The messenger did not agree to all of the stated conditions, you’ll notice. He just agrees to letting the one in whose sack the cup is found be Joseph’s slave; not to kill him and the remainder become his slaves as the brothers originally stipulated.

11 - Then they went quickly and each man brought down every sack, and each man opened his sack.

12 - And he searched beginning with the oldest, then finished with the youngest; and the cup was found in the sack of Benjamin.13 - Then they tore their clothing, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.

They rent their clothes in deep anguish and very possibly mourning as well. Their brother had been ‘torn’ away from them and they knew their father would react in an adverse manner once the news was broken to him.

14 - When Judah and his brothers came to the house of Joseph, then [they] found he [was] still there, and they fell before him on the ground.

Another fulfillment of the prophecy that came to Joseph in a dream that we saw in chapter 37.

15 - And Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that a man such as I can practice divination?”

Not that he was actually doing anything of evil, but probably this is Joseph’s way of bringing the weight of even more conviction on his brothers. They had already been convicted that what they had done to Joseph was evil, but more so now.

16 - Then Judah said, “What can we say, my lord? What will we speak, and how will we justify ourselves? Elohim has certainly found out the iniquity of your servants. Behold, the servants of my lord! We moreover [are] the servants of our lord, and he in whose hand the cup has been found.”

Judah wants to dictate the terms of the agreement, but Joseph exerts a measure of control here that I believe has an important spiritual dynamic. This will be expounded upon toward the end of the chapter.

17 - But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do this! The man in whose hand the cup [is] found, he will become my slave. But [the rest of] you, get up and go in peace to your father.”

His agreement is only for Benjamin to remain while the others depart. You see Joseph had a special kind of relationship with his younger brother and vice-versa. Benjamin is the only one of his brothers from the same mother. They were both products of their father’s old age also. They were indeed kindred spirits and Joseph was interested in picking up where they left off in their relationship of brotherly love. Judah once again exerts himself as he is thinking of what their father’s reaction would be if Joseph were to get his way. Judah is acting in brotherly love, but I want us to see that Joseph is acting in love toward an entire nation.

18 - Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, I beg you, let your servant speak a word in the ears of my lord, and do not let your anger burn toward your servant, because you are just like Pharaoh.

Judah is off to a good start in his appeal to Joseph. He tells him he is every bit as subject to him as he is Pharaoh. And based on chapter 41 verse 40, this is true according to the word of Pharaoh. But before this encounter between the brothers is over, Judah and the rest will know Who is really over all because Joseph will inform them.

19 - “My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’

20 - “And we said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and a child of his old age, a young one; and he alone is left of his mother, and his father greatly loves him.’

21 - “Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, so I may set my eyes upon him.’

22 - “But we said to my lord, ‘The boy is not able to leave his father. If he were to leave his father, he would absolutely die.’

23 - “And you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will never again see my face.’

24 - “So it came to be that we went up to your servant my father, and told him the words of my lord.

25 - “Then our father said, ‘ Return, and buy for us a little [more] food.’

26 - “But we said, ‘We are not able to go down. If our youngest brother is with us, we may go down; for we are not able to see the face of the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’

27 - “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know well that my wife bore to me two sons.

28 - ‘And the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to shreds,”
and I have not seen him since then.

29 - ‘And if this one is also taken from me, and he encounters harm, then you will bring down my gray head in misery to Sheol.’

30 - “So now, when I come to your servant my father, and the boy [is] not with us, since his soul is bound up in his life,

31 - “It will come to be that as he sees the boy [is] not with us, that he will certainly die. So your servants will bring down the gray head of your servant our father in sorrow to Sheol.

32 - “For your servant was pledged for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will be guilty of sin against my father forever.’

33 - “And now, I beg you, let your servant abide instead of the boy as a slave to my lord, and the boy will go up with his brothers.

34 - “For how could I go up to my father not having the boy with me, lest I would see the evil that would come upon my father?”

What a beautiful, eloquent appeal well thought out and voiced by Judah, speaking for the rest of the brothers. Did you catch the gripping emotion behind his appeal? First he shows the concern he has for his father. We must bear in mind that Judah is speaking as representative for the other members of his family that are present. Is he speaking for the rest of them through this appeal? I believe he is.

Remember too in verse fifteen that Joseph had called them out on their sin. On another occasion the brothers themselves said they were being judged by God due to the extra money in their sacks, along with the incident where they were being led back to Joseph’s quarters by the house steward. These men were already sensing conviction due to their sin back in chapter 37 as to why those things had happened to them.

What we have in actuality is Joseph acting in behalf of God to have His chosen people be used to bring about the rebirth of a nation. What an austere challenge for Judah and his brothers. But perhaps this truth would be better brought out by examining the alternate view. If they had not had such heavy conviction of sin would God, through Joseph, have been able to use them as His instruments of grace and mercy in reaching out in love to a nation? I, along with others, believe that God would have at that time started over with a new nation or people group in order to raise them up to do His bidding. We’ll never know, of course, but what we do know is that 1) Judah and his brothers passed the test with flying colors and, 2) we should remember God is always in the business of raising up His instruments of righteousness in order to accomplish His purposes. This is the reason Joseph went through such severe trial and testing in chapter 39 and 40. This was God’s way of finding out if Joseph could be trusted as His servant. We see that pattern with others of His key servants/messengers in the Old Testament. Characters such as Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel and others are there to, among other reasons, remind us that the Lord is always looking for those whose hearts are devoted to Him (2 Chronicles 15:2, Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Notice it was Judah that offered himself in place of his brother. And there would come one from the tribe of this same Judah that one day would offer Himself as a sacrifice for you and I, that He would die in our place. In so doing, you and I may have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:26

Have you given Him praise for such a great and wonderful sacrifice today? Do it before the day is over. Better yet, do it right now. Ask the Lord to give you a fresh filling of His Spirit as you do. Not only will you be glad you did, but those with whom you come in contact (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).



1 - Then Joseph was not able to restrain himself in front of everyone standing by him, and he loudly proclaimed, “Take everyone [away] from me!” And no man stood with him as Joseph made himself known to his brothers.

We’re about to have a family reunion like no other as Joseph, resembling somewhat of a comic book superhero, reveals his true identity to his brothers. As of this moment in time, the scene no one in the Egyptian administration; only family. This is perfectly understandable considering the unprecedented nature of the occasion. It would be difficult enough for family to comprehend, much less anyone from the outside that had no knowledge of the family history.

2 - And he loudly wept, to where the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.

3 - Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I [am] Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were not able to answer him because they were horrified in his presence.

Joseph was to the point where he could no longer contain himself, so he blurts out his identity and asks about the welfare of his father in a single breath. It was too much too soon for the brothers, and they had a difficult time digesting that radical of a truth in such a brief moment. And yet this will be the case when Jesus comes again revealing Himself to His chosen ones, the Jews. It will be brief and they too will be horrified. When that day arrives (and it will), with it will come the fulfillment of Zechariah 13:6:

And one shall say unto Him, “What are these wounds in thine hands?” Then He shall answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends.”

That will be the day when many Jews will be overcome with shock and horror, but for some it will only be momentary. The book of Revelation tells us in chapter seven there is coming a day when 144,000 Jewish evangelists will be scattered throughout the globe proclaiming as they never have before that Jesus is the Messiah! These brothers will function as messengers before long in our Genesis timeline proclaiming that their brother, who was thought to be dead, is now alive. Still another reason why Joseph could at least be considered a type of Christ.

4 - And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near, and he said, “I [am] Joseph, whom you sold in Egypt.

5 - “So now, do not be grieved, and do not be angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for Elohim sent me before you in order to preserve life.

6 - “For these two years the famine [has been] in the midst of the land, and yet [there will be another] five years in which [there is] neither plowing nor harvesting.

7 - “And Elohim sent me to guarantee you have successors in the land, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8 - “So now, you did not send me here, but Elohim; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord over all his house, and the ruler in all the land of Egypt.

9 - “Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph: Elohim has made me to [be] lord over all of Egypt. Come down to me without delay.

10 - ‘And you will dwell in the land of Goshen, and you will be near to me - you, and your children, and your children’s children, and your flocks and herds, and everything that belongs to you.

11 - ‘And I will sustain you there, for [there are] yet five years of famine, lest you and your household and everything that belongs to you become impoverished.’

12 - “And behold, your eyes are seeing, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that [it is] my mouth speaking to you.

13 - “And you will speak to my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you will hurry and bring down my father.”

His brothers being horrified prompts Joseph to transform the occasion into one of reassurance of who they are in relation to him, the providence of God, and the provision of God. In the process, Yahweh was providing for an entire nation that would rescue these brothers from the clutches of the Canaanites and raise up a nation through which the lineage of David would usher in Yeshua HaMeshiach - Jesus the Messiah - Emmanuel. The Way that God said He would make for the redemption of mankind back in chapter three would begin to find its fulfillment as the result of this very Joseph being sold into slavery at the hands of his brothers. As we will see in chapter 50, what they intended for evil, God would use it for good; the good of themselves and the whole of humanity!

14 - Then he fell on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept; and Benjamin wept on his neck.

No doubt this was a very special time for these two. They would have much to catch up on later.

15 - And he kissed all of his brothers and wept on them; and afterward, then his brothers spoke to him.

Joseph had fellowship with them all in spite of the animosities of days past. What a lesson for each of us to let bygones be bygones - especially where family is concerned.

16 - Then the message was heard in the house of Pharaoh, saying, “The brothers of Joseph have come!” And it pleased both Pharaoh and his servants.

Doubtless, Joseph’s servants overheard at least a portion of the conversation between Joseph and his brothers in his chambers. It didn’t take long for the word to get to Pharaoh in his chambers not long after the incident. Pharaoh was pleased to hear of it probably because of his perception of Joseph. He figured they were all of good stock and Pharaoh was anxious to get to know more about them.

17 - And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your cattle and go down to the land of Canaan.

18 - ‘Then take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give to you the good things of the land of Egypt, and you will eat of the fat of the land.

19 - ‘Now you are commanded - Do this: Take for yourselves carts out of the land of Egypt for your children and for your wives; then bring your father and come.

20 - ‘Also do not be concerned about your goods, for all the good things of the land of Egypt [will] belong to you.’”

Joseph’s family will be Pharaoh’s very own honored guests in the land. Not only will they have plenty to eat, but it will be the best of the best. In verse nineteen, “carts” are considered as wagons by some. These were two-wheel devices that would resemble a flatbed trailer in our day. The wheel was cutting-edge technology at this stage that the Egyptians had mastered in terms of application to everyday life. Pharaoh also encouraged them to not be concerned for their things. What he had would be all they would need, and they would bring it back with them to Egypt from Canaan.

I can’t help but chuckle when I recall what James Montgomery Boice said about the brothers taking Egyptian carts back to Canaan. He said culturally it would be like landing a jumbo jet in a tribe of isolated savages.

21 - And the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave carts to them in regard to the commandment of Pharaoh, and he gave them provision for their journey.

22 - He gave a change of clothing to each and every man; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred silver [pieces] and five changes of clothing.

23 - And to his father he sent these: ten donkeys bearing the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys bearing grain and bread and food for his father for the journey.

24 - Then he sent his brothers away, and they went, and he said to them, “[Do] not get in trouble along the way.”

This is probably a reference to their inability to get along with each other that Joseph would know about from first-hand experience. Secondarily, it would result in acting in selfish ways that would not bring glory to the Lord.

25 - Then they went up from Egypt and came into the land of Canaan to Jacob their father.

26 - And they explained to him, saying, “Joseph [is] still alive, and he [is] in fact ruling over all the land of Egypt.” Then the heart of Jacob seemed to stand still because he did not believe them.

27 - When they had spoken all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the carts that Joseph had sent to carry him, then the spirit of their father Jacob recovered.

28 - Then Israel said, “Enough! Joseph my son [is] still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”

Jacob went from “everything is against me,” (42:36) to “my son is still alive.” Jacob had no idea that personal revival was only three chapters away!

Before we laugh too hard though, many have been the times each of us has wanted to give up on the Lord and His plan because He appeared to us to be working ‘too slowly’. If we give up too soon, we never go on to see the results of His perfect plan for our lives. But if we hang on a little bit longer and “not get tired of doing good, … we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9, HCSB).