Joseph and His Brothers (Part 2

Genesis Chapter 43
I. Observation • Who are the main characters? What do we know about them? • Jacob • • • Joseph’s Brothers: Joseph:


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When do the events of this passage take place? • Genesis 37 tells us that Joseph was around 17 years old when he was sold into slavery, so he spent about 13 years in Egypt as a slave [Ryrie] before being placed in charge of Egypt. Since there were 7 years of plenty before the famine, this passage occurs somewhere between 20 and 27 years since Joseph was sold into slavery. Where do the events of this passage take place? • These events take place in Egypt and in Canaan. What is happening? (Summary of Events) • When Jacob and his sons had eaten all the grain they purchased from Egypt, Jacob tells them to go back and buy more food (v. 1-2) • Judah reminds his father of what the man (Joseph) had told them; they would not be allowed to see him again unless they brought Benjamin with them (v. 3-5) • After some discussion, Judah vows to bring back Benjamin or else he will bear the blame before his father for the rest of his life, and Jacob realizes that there are no more options, so he concedes and allows Benjamin to go with them (v. 6-10) • Jacob advises his sons to take with them various gifts from their land to give to the man (Joseph) as well as double the silver, since their silver had been returned (v. 11-14) • Joseph’s brothers, including Benjamin, go to Egypt. When Joseph sees them, the has them taken to his house and has the noon meal prepared for them to join him (v. 15-17) • Joseph’s brothers feared his retaliation, so they told Joseph’s steward about finding their silver returned to them. The steward tells them it must have been from God (v. 18-23) • Joseph’s brothers went to his house and when he arrived, they bowed down in honor to him and presented to him the gifts they had brought from Canaan. (v. 24-26) • Joseph asks about their father and about Benjamin, who was with them (v. 27-29) • Joseph blesses Benjamin, but, overcome with emotion, retreats to his room to weep (v. 30) • When Joseph returned from his room, he had his servants serve the meal. Joseph was served first, by himself, then his brothers, then the other Egyptians. (v. 31-32) • Joseph’s brothers had been seated in order of age, which surprised them. Benjamin was served 5 times the portion of his brothers, and they all ate together with Joseph. (v. 33-34).

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?

What clues to his identity has Joseph given? Why do you think he has still not identified himself?

How are Joseph and Jacob similar? How are they different?

III. Applications • Jacob had a difficult choice to make: risk losing his last son from his beloved wife or face starvation for himself and all his family. How do you respond when faced with difficult choices? Do you rely on God, as Jacob did (v. 14), to “work all things together for the good (Rom. 8:28)?