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Genesis 45

45
The Reconciliation of the Brothers
1 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants,#tn Heb “all the ones standing beside him.” so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained#tn Heb “stood.” with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 He wept loudly;#tn Heb “and he gave his voice in weeping,” meaning that Joseph could not restrain himself and wept out loud. the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.#tn Heb “and the Egyptians heard and the household of Pharaoh heard.” Presumably in the latter case this was by means of a report.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him because they were dumbfounded before him. 4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here,#tn Heb “let there not be anger in your eyes.” for God sent me#sn You sold me here, for God sent me. The tension remains as to how the brothers’ wickedness and God’s intentions work together. Clearly God is able to transform the actions of wickedness to bring about some gracious end. But this is saying more than that; it is saying that from the beginning it was God who sent Joseph here. Although harmonization of these ideas remains humanly impossible, the divine intention is what should be the focus. Only that will enable reconciliation. ahead of you to preserve life! 6 For these past two years there has been famine in#tn Heb “the famine [has been] in the midst of.” the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God sent me#sn God sent me. The repetition of this theme that God sent Joseph is reminiscent of commission narratives in which the leader could announce that God sent him (e.g., Exod 3:15). ahead of you to preserve you#tn Heb “to make you a remnant.” The verb, followed here by the preposition לְ (lÿ), means “to make.” on the earth and to save your lives#tn The infinitive gives a second purpose for God’s action. by a great deliverance. 8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser#tn Heb “a father.” The term is used here figuratively of one who gives advice, as a father would to his children. to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Now go up to my father quickly#tn Heb “hurry and go up.” and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not delay! 10 You will live#tn The perfect verbal form with vav consecutive here expresses instruction. in the land of Goshen, and you will be near me – you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. 11 I will provide you with food#tn The verb כּוּל (kul) in the Pilpel stem means “to nourish, to support, to sustain.” As in 1 Kgs 20:27, it here means “to supply with food.” there because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise you would become poor – you, your household, and everyone who belongs to you.”’ 12 You and my brother Benjamin can certainly see with your own eyes that I really am the one who speaks to you.#tn Heb “And, look, your eyes see and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that my mouth is the one speaking to you.” 13 So tell#tn The perfect verbal form with the vav consecutive here expresses instruction. my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly!”#tn Heb “and hurry and bring down my father to here.”
14 Then he threw himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After this his brothers talked with him.
16 Now it was reported#tn Heb “and the sound was heard.” in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased#tn Heb “was good in the eyes of.” Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go#tn Heb “and go! Enter!” to the land of Canaan! 18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you#tn After the imperatives in vv. 17-18a, the cohortative with vav indicates result. the best land in Egypt and you will eat#tn After the cohortative the imperative with vav states the ultimate goal. the best#tn Heb “fat.” of the land.’ 19 You are also commanded to say,#tn The words “to say” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. ‘Do this: Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives. Bring your father and come. 20 Don’t worry#tn Heb “let not your eye regard.” about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt will be yours.’”
21 So the sons of Israel did as he said.#tn Heb “and the sons of Israel did so.” Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed,#tn Heb “according to the mouth of Pharaoh.” and he gave them provisions for the journey. 22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them,#tn Heb “to all of them he gave, to each one, changes of outer garments.” but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes.#tn Heb “changes of outer garments.” 23 To his father he sent the following:#tn Heb “according to this.” ten donkeys loaded with the best products of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, food, and provisions for his father’s journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers on their way and they left. He said to them, “As you travel don’t be overcome with fear.”#tn Heb “do not be stirred up in the way.” The verb means “stir up.” Some understand the Hebrew verb רָגָז (ragaz, “to stir up”) as a reference to quarreling (see Prov 29:9, where it has this connotation), but in Exod 15:14 and other passages it means “to fear.” This might refer to a fear of robbers, but more likely it is an assuring word that they need not be fearful about returning to Egypt. They might have thought that once Jacob was in Egypt, Joseph would take his revenge on them.
25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.#tn Heb “and they entered the land of Canaan to their father.” 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned,#tn Heb “and his heart was numb.” Jacob was stunned by the unbelievable news and was unable to respond. for he did not believe them. 27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them,#tn Heb “and they spoke to him all the words of Joseph which he had spoke to them.” and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, their father Jacob’s spirit revived. 28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”
45
1-2Joseph couldn’t hold himself in any longer, keeping up a front before all his attendants. He cried out, “Leave! Clear out—everyone leave!” So there was no one with Joseph when he identified himself to his brothers. But his sobbing was so violent that the Egyptians couldn’t help but hear him. The news was soon reported to Pharaoh’s palace.
3Joseph spoke to his brothers: “I am Joseph. Is my father really still alive?” But his brothers couldn’t say a word. They were speechless—they couldn’t believe what they were hearing and seeing.
4-8“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt.
9-11“Hurry back to my father. Tell him, ‘Your son Joseph says: I’m master of all of Egypt. Come as fast as you can and join me here. I’ll give you a place to live in Goshen where you’ll be close to me—you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and anything else you can think of. I’ll take care of you there completely. There are still five more years of famine ahead; I’ll make sure all your needs are taken care of, you and everyone connected with you—you won’t want for a thing.’
12-13“Look at me. You can see for yourselves, and my brother Benjamin can see for himself, that it’s me, my own mouth, telling you all this. Tell my father all about the high position I hold in Egypt, tell him everything you’ve seen here, but don’t take all day—hurry up and get my father down here.”
14-15Then Joseph threw himself on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. He then kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Only then were his brothers able to talk with him.
16The story was reported in Pharaoh’s palace: “Joseph’s brothers have come.” It was good news to Pharaoh and all who worked with him.
17-18Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘This is the plan: Load up your pack animals; go to Canaan, get your father and your families and bring them back here. I’ll settle you on the best land in Egypt—you’ll live off the fat of the land.’
19-20“Also tell them this: ‘Here’s what I want you to do: Take wagons from Egypt to carry your little ones and your wives and load up your father and come back. Don’t worry about having to leave things behind; the best in all of Egypt will be yours.’”
21-23And they did just that, the sons of Israel. Joseph gave them the wagons that Pharaoh had promised and food for the trip. He outfitted all the brothers in brand-new clothes, but he gave Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver and several suits of clothes. He sent his father these gifts: ten donkeys loaded with Egypt’s best products and another ten donkeys loaded with grain and bread, provisions for his father’s journey back.
24Then he sent his brothers off. As they left he told them, “Take it easy on the journey; try to get along with each other.”
25-28They left Egypt and went back to their father Jacob in Canaan. When they told him, “Joseph is still alive—and he’s the ruler over the whole land of Egypt!” he went numb; he couldn’t believe his ears. But the more they talked, telling him everything that Joseph had told them and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him back, the blood started to flow again—their father Jacob’s spirit revived. Israel said, “I’ve heard enough—my son Joseph is still alive. I’ve got to go and see him before I die.”