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)

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