Genesis Chapter 43

Joseph is in Egypt and has kept his brother, Simeon, in prison there, claiming all his brothers were spies. Joseph sent the rest of them back to Canaan to bring his brother Benjamin back to him. If they would do this, they would prove they were innocent and Simeon would be released from prison. In the process they learned that they all still had the money they had taken with them to Egypt to purchase the food they received and now they looked like thieves as well. Jacob (Israel) has been told of the things that happened to his sons in Egypt and is hesitant to send Benjamin and loose him since he has already lost his beloved wife and son, Benjamin’s mother and brother. No one knows at this point, that the man demanding these things is in fact Joseph. This part of Joseph’s story continues as follows:

1 And the famine was sore in the land.
2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.
3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
7 And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.
9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:
12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:
13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:
14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

Jacob recognized their need for food again, but they could not go back to ask for more without taking Benjamin with them. Judah begged that they be able to save their whole family by taking Benjamin with them, otherwise they would not go. Judah promised that the blame would rest on him forever, if anything were to happen to Benjamin while they were gone. Jacob reluctantly sent them to Egypt with Benjamin, gifts and double the amount of money they had taken the first time, so that they could pay back for the amount that they should have paid before.

15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.
19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:
21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
24 And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.
25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

They went to Egypt with all the things that Jacob had told them to take. Joseph had his brothers come to his home to eat with him. His brothers were afraid that they would be taken because of the money they did not pay that last time. They told Joseph’s steward what had happened with the money the first time and he assured them that they should not be afraid. I imagine that the steward knew that their money had been returned to them by order of Joseph when they had come the first time. Simeon was released to them, just as they had been promised and they all went into Joseph’s house and were taken care of there. The washing of feet and taking care of animals was custom for guests in that time. They prepared to meet Joseph there with the gifts they had brought.

26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.
34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.

When Joseph arrived, they gave him their gift and showed him respect. In fulfillment of his dream, again, the brothers all bowed to the earth. This was just as the sheaves of corn had done in the dream he had told them about before they sold him many years before. Joseph asked them how their father was doing and then asked if this was Brother they had spoken of. He was so overcome with emotions over seeing his brother, that he had to leave the room to cry. When he was prepared to return, they ate together according to the customs of Egypt. He gave them all of his meat, giving the greatest portion to Benjamin, who he loved dearly. They were all happy.

This was a true sacrifice for Jacob to send his beloved son Benjamin with his brothers, not knowing what would become of him. I am sure it was extremely difficult for him, but he recognized the needs of his family and the sincerity of Judah’s plea. It is so touching to read of Joseph’s reactions to seeing his brothers the first time and now to see Benjamin. He loved his brother very much. He continued to keep himself disguised from his brothers, which I am sure was what the spirit guided him to do to teach his brothers what they needed to learn from this experience. In each step of this, there was fulfillment of the things they had been told of years earlier. It is continued evidence that the gifts of the spirit are from the spirit of God which is truth, and that all things that had been revealed to them through the spirit, would surely come to pass. When we have things revealed to us by the spirit, we need to recognize them as the truth and things that are for our good. I am so grateful for the guidance and lessons I receive from the spirit in my own life.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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