It looks like news travels pretty fast in Egypt! It doesn’t seem to take long for Pharaoh to be informed about what’s going on at Joseph’s house. And soon he’s inviting Joseph’s entire family to come to Egypt to live, where he’ll take good care of them and let them settle down.
And that’s exactly what Joseph wants. So he gives them everything they’ll need for the round-trip journey.
And then he gives them one last piece of advice–which seems to be very strange, or at least it does to me.
Joseph tells the brothers not to quarrel on the trip back home. Why does he tell them that? It seems to me that there’s not that much to quarrel about now. All the brothers are safe and sound and together. They’re headed back home to get Papa and their families and belongings. Pharaoh has promised them the best Egypt has to offer. They won’t be starving like they were in Canaan. Life looks good from here on out.
Not to mention the fact that Joseph doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge against them. It appears he really has forgiven them.
Everything seems to be going very well for them right now. So why would they argue on the way home?
I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us. It’s something I’d like to ask Joseph when I meet him in Heaven.
But for now, I have a guess. And it is just that–a guess.
Something hit me during this current study of the life of Joseph. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it before. And it’s a question that I can’t find the answer to in scripture.
My question is: Did any of the brothers ever tell their father what they did to Joseph?
Like I said, I haven’t been able to find the answer to that question. My personal guess is that they did not ever tell him.
And the fact that in today’s passage he almost died when they told him Joseph was alive leads me to believe they probably wouldn’t have taken a chance telling him the sad, sad truth about the entire situation.
So I’m wondering if that’s why Joseph told them not to quarrel on their trip. If it was a warning or a request for them not to start blaming each other for the whole big mess that started 20+ years ago. But instead, to focus on getting home and picking up their father and their families and getting everyone to Egypt–so Joseph could see his father again before he died.
And that also may be why the brothers are so anxious later on in this story–after their father dies. They’re concerned then that Joseph’s attitude toward them would be different once their father is dead.
Oh, well. It’s fun to think about things like that. At least it is to me.
Family secrets. Wow. They started a long time ago, didn’t they!
– Sometimes it IS who you know. Pharaoh gladly welcomed Joseph’s entire family, giving them wagons and provisions, and promising them the best the land of Egypt had to offer. The brothers weren’t cashing in on their relationship with Pharaoh–but Joseph’s good relationship with him.
Sometimes a relationship with a close friend, family member, or business acquaintance puts us in contact with someone even more powerful and we reap the benefits of their relationship.
– And that leads to this: It’s important to maintain good relationships. Because you never know when you or someone you know/love will need the benefits a particular relationship affords.
– Sometimes you just have to believe the unbelievable. When the brothers told their father that Joseph was alive and was the governor of Egypt, his heart almost stopped beating. It was as if Joseph had come back from the dead. And sometimes God has surprises for us that are almost that unbelievable. Just think what Israel (the father and the nation!) would have missed out on if their father hadn’t taken a chance on believing their unbelievable story!
– And how about the obvious spiritual principles these three truths portray. (1) Because of our relationship with Jesus and our trust in what He did for us on the cross, we can have a relationship with and access to God the Father. (2) We need to maintain relationships–even with–or especially with–our friends who are lost, because we may be their link to God. (3) The work Jesus did on the cross on our behalf, his resurrection from the dead, the spiritual blessings He promises His followers–not the least of which is eternity with Him!!–are all unbelievable from a human perspective. But refusing to believe this unbelievable story will cause us to miss out on real life!!
– What relationships do you have that have benefited you? Personally? In business?
– Which of your friends/family members/business contacts have benefited by your relationship with someone else?
– What unbelievable blessings have you chosen to believe to be possible? How has your life been changed because of them?
Genesis 45:16-28 / Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well.
17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Tell your brothers this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan,
18 And get your father and your households and come to me. And I will give you the best in the land of Egypt and you will live on the fat of the land.
19 You therefore command them, saying, You do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come.
20 Also do not look with regret or concern upon your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.
21 And the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons, as the order of Pharaoh permitted, and gave them provisions for the journey.
22 To each of them he gave changes of raiment, but to Benjamin he gave 300 pieces of silver and five changes of raiment.
23 And to his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-donkeys laden with grain, bread, and nourishing food and provision for his father [to supply all who were with him] on the way.
24 So he sent his brothers away, and they departed, and he said to them, See that you do not disagree (get excited, quarrel) along the road.
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came into the land of Canaan to Jacob their father,
26 And they said to him, Joseph is still alive! And he is governor over all the land of Egypt! And Jacob’s heart began to stop beating and [he almost] fainted, for he did not believe them.
27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived [and warmth and life returned].
28 And Israel said, It is enough! Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.