The Brothers Bring Benjamin to Joseph

One of the most powerful prayers in the midst of suffering I have read came from the horrors of Ravensbruck concentration camp. It was built in 1939 for women and over 90,000 women and children were murdered there by the Nazis. Corrie Ten Boom, who wrote The Hiding Place, was imp … More


The story now focuses on Joseph’s plans. The brothers again went to Egypt and this time Benjamin was with them. As soon as they arrived they were taken to Joseph’s house (vv. 16-17). They  were frightened because they did not know what he would do to them (v. 18). Soon a servant brought Simeon out to rejoin them (v. 23). When Joseph arrived they all bowed before him and gave him the present they had brought (v. 26). When Joseph saw his younger brother Benjamin, who had been just a little boy when he left Canaan, he could not hold back the tears of joy and quickly left the room (vv. 29-30). This passage can be outlined in the following way:

1. Undeserved Feast (vv. 16-17).

2. Unconcealed Fear) (v. 18).

3. Unexplained Find (vv. 19-24).

4. Understandable Formality (vv. 25-28).

5. Unrevealed Feeling (vv. 29-31).

6. Uncanny Familiarity (vv. 32-33).

7. Unrestrained Fellowship (v. 34).

When he came back they ate dinner together (vv. 31-32). Joseph had the servants place them at the table, beginning with Reuben the oldest and going down to Benjamin, in the order of their ages (v. 33). Of course, they all wondered how he would know their ages. Then Joseph served them all with food, but the portion which he gave to Benjamin was five times that which he served the others. It seems that the brothers were not jealous or resentful toward Benjamin because of this preferential treatment (v. 34). This points out that they had a change of heart.


Many people become resentful and jealous when others are given special treatment and they are not. How do I feel when this happens in my life? Am I able to rejoice with them?


Genesis 43:16-34 (English Standard Version)

When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon." The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph's house. And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, "It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys." So they went up to the steward of Joseph's house and spoke with him at the door of the house, and said, "Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food. And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man's money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks." He replied, "Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money." Then he brought Simeon out to them. And when the man had brought the men into Joseph's house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, they prepared the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there. When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground. And he inquired about their welfare and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?" They said, "Your servant our father is well; he is still alive." And they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves. And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!" Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, "Serve the food." They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.

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