Genesis 42 – Joseph’s Brothers Fail to Recognize Him
During the seven years of famine and drought Jacob sends ten of his sons to Egypt to buy corn to help them make it through. Benjamin stayed because Jacob said ‘peradventure mischief befall him’. Doesn’t seem like he trusts Benjamin to go and behave himself.
v.5 two things; 1-Jacob is called Israel and 2-it says the famine was in the land of Canaan. Abraham was never called Abram after he was renamed the first time, why is Jacob going back and forth? In the last chapter it said the famine was world wide; I can understand if they were just reiterating that it was ALSO in the land of Canaan.
The ten brothers of Joseph make their way to Egypt and unknowingly bow before their brother because he was in control of the stores. Joseph sees and recognizes his brothers and makes sure they don’t recognize him and ‘speak roughly’ to them.
When he saw his brothers bowing before him he remembered the dream he had so long ago that had made them mad at him.
Joseph gives them a hard time asking if they were spies that come to see the ‘nakedness of the land’ but they refuse and try to explain that they are all brothers including one who stayed with their father and one who was ‘not’.
Joseph again claims that they are spies and that they would have to prove their story. Joseph has them placed in jail for three days.
On the third day he gives them the corn and tells them to bring back their youngest brother who had remained with their father.
v.21-22 is the brothers talking to one another when they thought Joseph didn’t understand because he had been using an interpreter the whole time.
This is the first mention of interpreters since the Tower of Babel.
Joseph listens to their talk about what happened when they sold him. They were feeling guilty for what happened while this stranger questioned them about their family.
Joseph was brought to tears hearing what they had to say about what they had done to him.
Joseph sent them off after giving them the corn for the famine, supplies for the travel back, and the money they paid. He kept Simeon there to ensure their return.
They discovered that their money had been returned when they stopped at an inn and asked why god had done it to them.
They tell their father about everything that happened in Egypt and when they emptied their sacks they found their money. Yes, they found that their money had been returned two different times.
Jacob was upset that Joseph was gone, Simeon didn’t return, and now they all must leave again including Benjamin. Reuben speaks to his father offering his two sons as sacrifices if he didn’t return with Benjamin.
v.38 ends the chapter with Jacob refusing to let Benjamin go with them because what if something were to happen while they were gone.