Joseph reveals himself to his brothers royalty
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What Came Before:
THE food which Jacob's sons had brought from Egypt did not
last long, for Jacob's family was large. Most of his sons were married and had
children of their own; so that the children and grand-children, were sixty-six,
besides the servants who waited on them, and the men who cared for Jacob's
flocks. So around the tent of Jacob was quite a camp of other tents and an army
When the food that had come from Egypt was nearly eaten up, Jacob said to his
sons "Go down to Egypt again, and buy some more food for us."
And Judah, Jacob's son, the man who years before had urged his brothers to sell
Joseph to the Ishmaelites said to his father "It is of no use for us to go to
Egypt, unless we take Benjamin with us. The man who rules in that land said to
us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your youngest brother be with you.' "
Israel said, "Why did you tell the man that you had a brother ? You did me great
harm when you told him.''
"Why," said Jacob's sons, "we could not help telling him. The man asked us all
about our family. Is your father yet living? Have you any more brothers? and we
had to tell him, his questions were so close. How should we know that he would
say, 'Bring your brother here for me to see him.' "
And Judah said, "Send Benjamin with me, and I will take care of him. I promise
you, that I will bring him safely home. If he does not come back, let me bear
the blame forever."...
"I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt."
Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers
Jean Charles Tardieu 1788
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So ten brothers of Joseph went down a second time to Egypt. Benjamin going in
place of Simeon. They came to Joseph's office, the place where he sold grain to
the people; and they stood before their brother, and bowed as before. Joseph saw
that Benjamin was with them, and he said to his steward, the man who was over
his house: "Make ready a dinner, for all these men shall dine with me today."
Joseph Makes Himself Known to
Francois Pascal Gerard 1810
The Reconciliation of Joseph
and His Brothers
Peter Cornelius 1817
Joseph's Brothers Beg For Help
When Joseph's brothers found that they were taken into Joseph's house, they were
filled with fear; they said to each other: "We have been taken here on account
of the money in our sacks. They will say that we have stolen it; and then they
will sell us all for slaves."
But Joseph's steward, the man who was over his house, treated the men kindly,
and when they spoke of the money in their sacks, he would not take it again,
saying: "Never fear; your God must have sent you this as a gift." The steward
received the men into Joseph's house, and washed their feet, according to the
custom of the land. And at noon, Joseph came in to meet them. They brought him
the present from their father, and again they bowed before him, with their faces
on the ground.
And Joseph asked them if they were well, and said: "Is your father still living,
the old man of whom you spoke? Is he well? "
And they said, "Our father is well, and he is living." And again they bowed to
Joseph. And Joseph looked at his younger brother, Benjamin, the child of his own
mother, Rachel; and he said: "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke
to me? God be gracious unto you, my son."
And Joseph's heart was so full that he could not keep back his tears. He went in
haste to his own room, and wept there. Then he washed his face, and came out
again, and ordered the table to be set for dinner. They set Joseph's table for
himself, as the ruler, and another table for his Egyptian officers, and another
for the eleven men from Canaan; for Joseph had brought Simeon out of the prison,
and had given him a place with his brothers.
After dinner, Joseph said to his steward, " Fill the men's sacks with grain, as
much as they can carry; and put each man's money in his sack. And put my silver
cup in the sack of the youngest, with his money." The steward did as Joseph had
said; and early in the morning the brothers started to go home. A little while
afterward, Joseph said to his steward:
"Hasten- follow after the men from Canaan, and say, ' Why have you wronged me,
after I had treated you kindly? You have stolen my master's silver cup, out of
which he drinks.'" The steward followed the men, and overtook them, and charged
them with stealing. And they said to him: "Why, should you talk to us in this
manner ? We have stolen nothing. Why, we brought back to you the money that we
found in our sacks; and is it likely that we would steal from your lord his
silver or gold? You may search us; and if you find your master's cup on any of
us, let him die, and the rest of us may be sold as slaves."
Then they took down the sacks from the asses, and opened them; and in each man's
sack was his money, for the second time. And when they came to Benjamin's
sack, there was the ruler's silver cup! Then, in the greatest sorrow, they tied
up their bags again, and laid them on the asses, and came back to Joseph's
And Joseph said to them, "What wicked thing is this that you have done?
Did you not know that I would surely find out your deeds." Then Judah said, "O
my lord, what can we say? God has punished us for our sins; and now we must all
be slaves, both us that are older, and the youngest in whose sack the cup was
"No," said Joseph, "only one of you is guilty, the one who has taken away my
cup; I will hold him as a slave, and the rest of you can go home to your
father." Joseph wished to see whether his brothers were still selfish, and were
willing to let Benjamin suffer, if they could escape.
Then Judah, the very man who had urged his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave,
came forward, and fell at Joseph's feet, and pleaded with him to let Benjamin
go. He told again the whole story, how Benjamin was the one whom his father
loved the most of all his children, now that his brother was lost. He said "I
promised to bear the blame, if this boy was not brought home in safety. If he
does not go back, it will kill our poor old father, who has seen much trouble.
Now let my youngest brother go home to his father, and I will stay here as a
slave in his place!"
Joseph knew now what he had longed to know, that his brothers were no longer
cruel nor selfish, but one of them was willing to suffer, so that his brother
might be spared. And Joseph could not any longer keep his secret, for his heart
longed after his brothers, and he was ready to weep again, with tears of love
and joy. He sent all his Egyptian servants out of the room, so that he might be
alone with his brothers, and then said:
"I am Joseph, is my father really alive?" How frightened his brothers were, as
they heard these words, spoken in their own language by the ruler of Egypt, and
for the first time, knew that this stern man, who had their lives in his hand,
was their own brother whom they had wronged! Then Joseph said again:
"I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But do not feel troubled
because of what you did. For God sent me before you to save your lives. There
have been already two years of need and famine, and there are to be five years
more, when there shall neither be plowing of the fields nor harvest. It was not
you who sent me here, but God, and he sent me to save your lives. God has made
me like a father to Pharaoh and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Now, go home,
and bring down to me my father and all his family, for that is the only way to
save their lives."
Then Joseph placed his arms around Benjamin's neck, and kissed him, and wept
upon him And Benjamin wept on his neck. And Joseph kissed all his brothers, to
show them that he had fully forgiven them; and after that his brothers began to
lose their fear of Joseph, and talked with him more freely.
Afterward Joseph sent his brothers home with good news, and rich gifts, and
abundant food. He sent also wagons in which Jacob and his wives and the little
ones of his family might ride from Canaan down to Egypt. And Joseph's brothers
went home happier than they had been for many years.
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