Joseph Reveals His Identity

In his book. LEE: THE LAST YEARS, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal … More


Approximately a year had passed since Joseph’s brothers had first arrived in Egypt. He simply had to wait patiently until his brothers had evidenced a change of heart and mind (repentance) (v. 1-3). Joseph urges his brothers to bring their father down to Egypt where they would live near him in the land of Goshen. His family could pasture their flocks, be relatively close to him, and yet remain somewhat distant from the urban populace of Egypt, who disliked Hebrew people (Heb, 46:34).


            1.         Revelation of His Person (vv. 1-3).

            2.         Revelation of His Purposes (vv. 4-15).


When Joseph saw their concern for their father and for Benjamin, he knew that they had really changed. Quickly he sent all of the servants out of the room and with a burst of emotion he revealed himself to his brothers (vv. 1-2). At first, they were stunned by the news and afraid that Joseph would treat them as they had treated him (v. 3). However, Joseph spoke kindly to them and explained that God, in His sovereignty had brought him to Egypt so that he could now take care of them and their father (vv.  4-5). It is only the person who is spiritual that can see the hand of God in every event, and consequently forgive those who have wronged him. Joseph explained how there are still five more years of famine (v. 6). It was God who sent me here to save you (vv. 7-8). He tells them to hurry back to Jacob and tell him Joseph is ruler of all Egypt (v. 9). They must move Jacob and all of their families to Egypt and live in the land of Goshen (vv. 10-13). This was suitable for cattle (Gen. 47:4-6), but hated by the Egyptians (Gen. 46:34); and thus, provided good seclusion for the Israelites. Joseph and his brothers hugged and started crying and talking to each other (vv. 14-15).


As I look back over my life can I think of some unhappy experiences like Joseph did, and see how God allowed it to happen for my good? If so perhaps there is someone I need to forgive.    

Genesis 45:1-15 (English Standard Version)

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, "Make everyone go out from me." So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.' And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here." Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

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