Genesis Chapter 43
"Joseph Reunited with his Brethren."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Genesis 43:1 "And the famine was sore in the land."
The famine is getting very bad, and the food is starting to run short, Simeon is still sitting in prison in Egypt, and no one in Jacob's house seems to care.
Genesis 43:2 "And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food."
Jacob knows that they are all going to die if they don't go back to Egypt to get more food.
Genesis 43:3 "And Judah spake unto him, saying, the man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you."
Genesis 43:4 "If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:"
Genesis 43:5 "But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you."
They felt that they had lost Simeon, and if they reappeared in Egypt without Benjamin even their lives would be in danger. Joseph had told them there would be no more food without their little brother coming with them.
Genesis 43:6 "And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?"
Israel is Jacob's name that God had given him, and it is used to show his submission to God's will. Israel is asking them now why they thought so little of their father that they should even mention the fact that they had a younger brother at home.
Genesis 43:7 "And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?"
When Joseph asked them a straight out question about their father, and if there is any other brothers, they simply could not see how it would hurt to tell them. When we told him of our other brother, How were we to know that he would ask us to bring our other brother down. At the time they all felt their lives were on the line, as they were being charged as spies.
Genesis 43:8 "And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones."
Judah is telling his father that if you don't send Benjamin with him, all the little ones, and the whole family will die anyway.
Genesis 43:9 "I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:"
Genesis 43:10 "For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time."
Judah is saying we have already put off the second trip already, for we should have been back. It seemed they were not thinking one bit about Simeon, they were more in fear of their father, and that he wouldn't allow them all to go back.
Genesis 43:11 "And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:"
Jacob is thinking, well if we have to do this, lets do it up right. During the famine years these items would be very scarce and would be a real treat for him.
Genesis 43:12 "And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:"
This is not to pay double the price of the grain you intend to purchase, but to bring back the money that was put in their bags, and then bring in addition more money to buy more grain.
Genesis 43:13 "Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:"
Genesis 43:14 "And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
After all this time, Jacob finally mentions Simeon, his son in jail back in Egypt.
Genesis 43:15 "And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph."
Genesis 43:16 "And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon."
After all these years Joseph is now seeing his brother Benjamin for the first time, and he is going to have a feast for them in his royal house.
Genesis 43:17 "And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house."
These travelers just arriving from Canaan are in fear for their lives, and all of a sudden they are taken to the top rulers house for a feast. Everything just doesn't add up to any of them. Why are they being taken there, is this some sort of a trap?
Genesis 43:18 "And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses."
Joseph's brothers are trying to think of a logical reason why they should be invited to the palace of the ruler of Egypt. They still do not know that this ruler is Joseph, nor that he can understand everything that they are saying.
Genesis 43:19 "And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,"
Genesis 43:20 "And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:"
Genesis 43:21 "And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand."
They did not want to enter into the house and enter into a trap, so they are trying to set the record straight, by explaining the circumstances to this servant that talked their language. The confession is good for the soul.
Genesis 43:22 "And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks."
Genesis 43:23 "And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them."
This was not spoken in the Hebrew, but the servant is setting their minds at rest. He is saying don't worry about it, and put your minds at peace. Don't worry about your money, for it was given to you by your God, for I have the money that you paid for the other grain. At the same time they are bringing Simeon our to his brothers. So the brothers are all together and there is no problems at this time.
Genesis 43:24 "And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender."
The foot washing is not a ritual, but just cleaning up after their long journey. Even their animals are well taken care of.
Genesis 43:25 "And they made ready to present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there."
Genesis 43:26 "And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth."
Remember the vision that God gave Joseph many years prior, when he was just a boy? It has come true at this moment.
Genesis 43:27 "And he asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? is he yet alive?"
Joseph is naturally concerned about his father.
Genesis 43:28 "And they answered, "Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive." And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance."
Here again are the brothers fulfilling the vision that God gave Joseph. All the time Joseph is watching, and wanting to give his little brother a big hug, yet it is not time to reveal who he is. The test is not complete yet.
Genesis 43:29 "And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me?" And he said, "God be gracious unto thee, my son."
there is about sixteen or seventeen years difference between Joseph's and Benjamin's ages. This is Josephs love for his brother.
Genesis 43:30 "And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there."
Joseph is about to cry in front of his brothers, and he can't do that until he has tested to see if his brothers would sell his only brother out. Though Joseph wants to tell them, he can not reveal himself until he finds out if his half brothers would sell his little brother out first. Joseph knew that God was in their selling of him, but he had to know the true nature of all his brothers.
Genesis 43:31 "And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, "Set on bread."
Genesis 43:32 "And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians."
There are three tables set here for eating. Joseph has his own table, along with the other Egyptians sitting at another table, while the other brothers sat at still other table. The common Egyptians can not sit with the royalty, while that Egyptians were forbidden to eat with a Hebrew at the same table. The reason for this is the fact that foreigners eat female meat, and the Egyptians are forbidden to eat that meat. It was considered an abomination to butcher a female animal of any kind and use it for meat. the health laws between the two peoples prevented this.
Genesis 43:33 "And they sat before him the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marveled one at another."
As they walked in to sit down to eat, the servants sat them at the table according to their ages, with the one caring the birthright [the oldest] at the head of the table, and the youngest at the other end of the table. The brothers marveled at how they could have known the order of their births. This seating arrangement was a custom amongst the Egyptians.
Genesis 43:34 "And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of their. And they drank, and were merry with him."
It was Joseph himself that served the food and the drink, and all of Joseph's brothers now were very much at ease. the act of giving Benjamin's mess five time greater, was to show favoritism for the younger brother, and it was a custom in Egypt. There is also an spiritual lesson in this for five in Biblical numerics is the number for grace. Would the brothers now be jealous over Benjamin, as they were jealous over him and his colorful coat years ago.
That coat symbolized the firstborn, and Joseph wasn't, yet Joseph still has to set up a similar situation that will give a accurate test of his brothers. That final test is about to be sprung on them.
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field