Click here to read Genesis 42:1-45:28

Today’s passage is a little longer than usual, but that’s just because the full story of Joseph’s reunion with his family takes a little bit longer than usual.  The main focus of this entire passage is on the events that unfold surrounding Joseph and his brothers—two tests, the reconciliation, and the future blessing and benefits that result from the reconciliation.

And most of the details and plot of this passage focus on Joseph testing his brother.  It might be tempting to think that Joseph was torturing his brothers to get back at them for all that they had done to him, but nothing in this passage indicates that this is even a remote possibility.  Instead it seems that Joseph acted how he did in part so that he could obtain information about the welfare of his mother and father.  But through Joseph’s testing he sees (and so do we) that his brothers have changed and that there is real regret for how they have treated him in the past.  They can’t just be telling Joseph what they think he wants to hear because they express it to him without even knowing that they are doing so!

But the most important part of this passage takes place when Joseph chooses to reveal his identity to his brothers.  As he does so, he explains to them that all that has happened since their separation has happened in accordance with God’s will.  Even though they intended it as evil, God brought good from it—preventing the family from starving, putting Joseph in a position of power, and blessing Egypt through Joseph.  Joseph acknowledges that God has had a plan to provide for the people with whom He made a covenant.  And what’s more is that through doing so God’s name is also made known to and praised by Egypt.

Names Places

God – God

Jacob/Israel – Joseph’s father

Joseph – favorite son of Jacob

Pharaoh – ruler of Egypt

sons of Israel – Joseph’s 11 brothers


Egypt – where Joseph finally ended up

Canaan – where Joseph’s family lived

Goshen – where Joseph’s family would live





Interesting fact:

Remember the first dream that Joseph shares with his brothers—the sheaves of wheat? Through it we saw that his brothers would bow to him, and it also seemed that it might have something to do with agriculture.  In this passage we see that the vision in Josehp’s dream has come true—his brothers are bowing before him and it is because he is in charge of the food of Egypt.  Joseph’s second dream also comes true as they bow before him as he is in a position of much authority.  Through this we see that God has accomplished what He has promised and has done so without Joseph trying to take matters into his own hands, or worse, doing something to sabotage the promise. Joseph is richly rewarded, and God keeps His promise to him, and all Joseph does is serve God by faithfully trying to do what is right and just (what God wants him to do) no matter what the situation.