Richard Agee

Genesis 45: Yosef reveals his secret to his brothers

Richard AgeeWe see here that God caused and allowed many bad things to Yosef for the salvation of Yosef’s family, but He caused and allowed even worse things to happen to the Messiah Yeshua for our salvation.

All of this is recorded for our understanding. God doesn’t want us to point fingers at each other and blame each other for wrongs, both real and perceived. We can acknowledge our own shortcomings without self-pity and acknowledge the shortcomings of others without backbiting and spite. 

When Yosef (Joseph) finally spoke in Hebrew for the first time in front of their brothers, he asked them, “Is my father still alive?” The brothers were silent; “they were dismayed at his presence” (Gen. 45:3).

The brothers were disturbed and frightened of being in Yosef’s presence, because of his great authority. They had backed away from Yosef out of fear, so Yosef had to tell them to come closer to them. 

Yosef then says, “I am your brother Yosef, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” 

Yosef had to tell them not to be angry or sorrowful with themselves for the evil they had done to him because now Yosef understood how it would come for their own good (Gen. 45:5). The word for grief here in Hebrew is עָצַב ’atsab (Strong’s lexicon No. H6087a), which means to be hurt or in pain. The word for angry in this verse in Hebrew is חָרָה kharah (H2734), which means to burn, be kindled, or be in rage. We talk about “burning under the collar” when we are angry. 

Yosef didn’t want them to hurt themselves in grief and anger over what had happened to him. God was involved in every part of Yosef’s life, including the sale into slavery, his time in prison and his exaltation as the second in command in Egypt was all to preserve life, specifically, the lives of Ya’akob (Jacob) and his family. 

The brothers thought that Yosef was going to “get even” for what they had done and Yosef wanted to dispel that notion. 

God has told us from the beginning how Messiah would live and die. Yosef blessed his brothers under a different name, a name they did not know. Just as the Messiah is blessing the world even though his brothers don’t know His name or what He is really doing for them. Yosef’s physical life is a teaching of how the Messiah would be betrayed by His brethren, thrown into the pit, robed in blood, die and be resurrected in a way that would be unrecognizable to most of His people. 

At this point, the famine has been going on for about two years so there were five years to go (Gen. 45:6). Yosef’s message to his father is that he wanted to “keep you alive by a great deliverance.” In the physical, Yosef’s rescue of Ya’akob and his family was a great deliverance. 

How could Yosef be a “father to Pharaoh” (Gen. 45:8) when Pharaoh was older than him and Pharaoh was the absolute ruler from whom Yosef derived his authority, not the other way around? Pharaoh gave Yosef great respect and honor. 

The title “father to Pharaoh” comes from the fact that Yosef was Pharaoh’s most valuable trusted advisor. We call George Washington the “father of our country,” because he set the example of how American presidents and politicians should act in office. George Washington was given the honor of being our country’s first president. 

Yosef called him to come to live with him in the area of Egypt called גֹּשֶׁן Goshen (Gen. 45:10). In Hebrew, the word has no meaning, but the Septuagint translation, Γεσεμ Gesem, means “land that is cultivated.” Yosef’s wife’s family was from Goshen. 

Yosef also tells his brothers to tell Ya’akob about all Yosef’s “glory” in Egypt. 

Then the text tells us that Pharaoh hears of this and is “very pleased” when he hears that Yosef had found his family. It wasn’t just Yosef who encouraged Ya’akob’s family to come to Egypt, the Pharaoh himself confirmed the invitation. The grace that Pharaoh extends to Yosef’s family is providential. 

The brothers did as Pharaoh and Yosef commanded. They returned to Caanan with the bounty that Pharaoh and Yosef told them to carry there as well as the wagons to transport the women and young children back to Egypt to see him. 

When Ya’akob is told that Yosef was still alive and told him of all the blessing Yosef had obtained in Egypt, he was revived. 

Up to this point, Ya’akob is referenced by his original name but after his spirit revived at hearing that Yosef was still alive, he is called Israel again. His family is now complete and reunited and are ready to prepare for the Kingdom of God. 

Speaker: Richard Agee. Reader: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.


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