Genesis 45:3-11, 15
February 20, 2022
Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD
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Genesis 45:3-11, 15
New International Version
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
Joseph could no longer question his brothers’ attitudes toward how they had treated him nor their concern for Benjamin and their father. He could not ask for more. No other test was needed. He could not have given one anyway. Ready to lose all composure again, this time in front of all his attendants, he ordered the attendants out. Then he cried uncontrollably, loudly enough to penetrate the walls so that the Egyptians heard it and immediately reported it to the household of Pharaoh (see Genesis 45:2).
Before the brothers could get over their shock at the loss of composure of the one they assumed to be their severe judge, Joseph tearfully identified himself: I am Joseph (45:3). He immediately asked, Is my father still living? He knew Jacob was alive, but his concern added to the validity of his self-identification. To the brothers’ utter surprise was added sudden shock, which produced a paralyzing fear. Standing like zombies with their mouths gaping open, Joseph wanted the distance separating them eliminated. Warmly and tenderly he told them to come close to me (45:4). Seeing that they were still dumbfounded and disbelieving, Joseph underscored his true identity, this time adding something that would remove all doubt in their minds: “I am the one you sold into Egypt.”
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 Wilbur Glenn Williams, Genesis: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 1999), 293.