Joseph and His Brothers (Part 3

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Genesis Chapters 44-45
I. Observation • Who are the main characters? What do we know about them? • Joseph: • • Joseph’s brothers:

Notes

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When do the events of this passage take place? • Verse 45:6 tells us that there had been 2 years of famine when Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, so this passage occurs roughly 22 years after Joseph was sold into slavery. Where do the events of this passage take place? • The majority of this passage takes place in Egypt with the very end occurring in Canaan. What is happening? (Summary of Events) • After Joseph and his brothers had finished the feast, Joseph commanded his steward to return the men’s silver into their sacks and to place his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack (v. 44:1-2) • The next morning, Joseph’s brothers left for home, but before they had traveled far, Joseph sent his steward after them and instructed him to confront them about the “theft” (v. 44:3-5) • When the steward caught up with the men and confronted them, they denied having taken anything and said that whoever was guilty would die and the rest would become their slaves (v. 44:6-10) • The steward had their sacks searched and found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. Joseph’s brothers tore their clothes in agony and returned to the city (v. 44:11-13) • Joseph confronted them about the “theft” and says that they may leave, but that Benjamin must stay as his slave. Judah pleads with Joseph to keep him instead and recounts the events that took place between them and their father before they came back to Egypt (v. 44:14-34) • After Judah’s plea, Joseph has everyone leave his presence except for his brothers and, after weeping loudly, reveals his identity to them. (v. 45:1-3) • His brothers did not believe him at first, but soon realized that it was true (v. 45:3-4) • Joseph expresses his forgiveness to them and recounts how God had used their evil acts to ultimately save lives by allowing Joseph to become in charge of Egypt (v. 45:5-8) • Joseph tells his brothers to return home and tell their father what had happened and then to bring him and the rest of the family back to live in Egypt under his provision (v. 45:9-13) • After they had all been reconciled together and spent some time together, Pharaoh heard of the events and instructed Joseph to have them bring their families to live in the best part of Egypt. Pharaoh sent carts with them and told them to leave their belongings, since they would have plenty in Egypt. (v. 45:14-20) • Joseph did as Pharaoh said and, after giving his brothers new clothes and supplies, sent them on their way back to get their father, Israel. (v. 45:21-24) • When they arrived back in Canaan, they told Jacob/Israel what had happened and he was stunned. After hearing their story, he was convinced and they made plans to leave and return to Egypt to live with Joseph. (v. 45:25-28)

II. Interpretation • What principles are illustrated in this passage? What is the main theme? How is God involved in this passage? When/How is God mentioned and by whom?

How has Joseph changed since the start of this section? How have his brothers changed? Why?

How does this passage, particularly Chapter 45, foreshadow the coming Christ and the reconciliation that would be made possible through him?

III. Applications • What are some examples of how God has used bad circumstances for good in your life? How did you feel in the midst of the bad? What made you look back and see the good?

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