And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.(Genesis 42:21)
Joseph had been believed to have been dead for 13 years. Famine had gripped the known world, and even in Canaan, things were getting desperate. But Jacob and his sons heard about the Pharoah’s grain program.
Jacob sent all of his sons except Benjamin, to go to Egypt to trade for grain. The first part of the dream of Joseph is fulfilled, for Joseph recognizes his brothers among the supplicants prostrating themselves before him. He interviews them, inquiring about their father and little brother, but none of them recognize him, in his Egyptian garb.
But there is trouble, for the Egyptian official, is accusing them of being spies. The only way they can clear themselves is if they bring Benjamin to Egypt. As the children of Israel take this in, they speak among themselves in Hebrew, and begin to repent of their great sin…
And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.(Geneis 22:21-24)
When the sons arrived, without Simeon, they explained to Jacob that the Egyptian official demanded the presence of Benjamin. Jacob refused,
And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.(Genesis 42:36-38)
The brothers would be forced come again for more grain, bringing Benjamin with them, and Joseph surreptitiously puts his brothers through many harrowing trials, making it appear that Benjamin stole his cup. Benjamin must be imprisoned!
Judah pleads with Joseph, on the basis of his father’s broken heart, and actually offered himself as a substitute for Benjamin, so that his father’s heart would not be broken again.
This is the climax of Genesis.
Joseph can’t hold back his tears, he sees that his brother’s have repented, it is time to reveal himself to them. He clears the room of all Egyptians, and closed the door, and removes his Egyptian head-dress.
“I am Joseph, your brother”.
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.(Genesis 45:1-5)
His brothers, the children of Israel, were shocked. They looked upon him, whom they had sold into slavery. This was the one who they had lied about, and reported as dead to Jacob. How could they explain this?This same one, is their Savior.
Because Joseph is a type of the Jewish Messiah, this is not only history but future.
*Israel has long been estranged from God and from her unique purpose.
*She must undergo a severe time of testing, along with the rest of the world.
*Israel must be brought to the place of repentance and confession of sin.
*Her Messiah is better known among the gentiles.
- At the end, in the midst of great trial, Israel will “Look upon me, whom they have pierced and mourn for her as for an only son”(Zechariah 12:!0)
- Then Israel shall be restored, upon the recognition of the Messiah, whom they had dismissed as a gentile.