Genesis 43:15-34

15 So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph.

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.”

17 Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.

18 Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and seize us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”

19 When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house,

20 and said, “O sir, we indeed came down the first time to buy food;

21 but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand.

22 And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”

23 But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

24 So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed.

25 Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there.

26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth.

27 Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”

28 And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.

29 Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”

30 Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.

31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the bread.”

32 So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another.

34 Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

One can imagine [Joseph’s] emotion as he saw Benjamin, his beloved younger brother, for the first time in over twenty years. He had been only a little child then; so it was practically like seeing him for the very first time. Joseph was quickly assured that his brothers had done nothing harmful to Benjamin [Joseph hadn’t been certain because of what they had done to him]; he was in quite good health and apparently was well regarded by his brothers. — Morris, page 607.


The ten brothers, who had been so apprehensive about merely seeing this man again, hardly knew what to make of this invitation. He had been so harsh with them, and here he was inviting them to dine with him! … After they were gathered in the dining hall, unarmed and unprepared to offer any resistance, [they thought he might] have his guardsmen fall on them, and make slaves out of them. …

Since they had brought Benjamin with them, as they had been instructed, the only remaining excuse the man could have for taking such action would be the money that had been found in their sacks when they returned home after their first trip to Egypt. Accordingly, before they entered Joseph’s house, they tried to explain to Joseph’s steward that they had really not stolen the money; it had somehow been placed in their sacks by someone other than themselves, and they had now brought it back again, along with additional money to buy new supplies. …

Their fear must have changed to surprise and wonder when the steward replied that he had indeed received their money, and their account was fully settled. It must therefore have been “your God and the God of your father” who had placed the money in the sacks! … It almost seems that the steward himself acknowledged their God to be the true God. Perhaps Joseph had told him about God, and in this way he had come to have faith in Him. — Morris, page 608.

bowed down before him to the earth (v.26) — fulfilling Joseph’s dream (Genesis 37:5-10)

Herodotus and other ancient writers have commented on the exclusiveness of the Egyptians. In keeping with their segregation practices, three separate tables had to be set: one for the Hebrews, one for the Egyptian guests, and one for Joseph himself—the last table because of his high position. In particular, the Egyptians abhorred the thought of eating at the same table with Hebrews. They were of a different race, a different language, a different religion. Of course the Egyptians knew that Joseph was a Hebrew and that he worshiped the Hebrews’ God; this had been clearly expressed by Joseph when he first met Pharaoh and was appointed to his position, nevertheless, as far as social customs were concerned, he now had an Egyptian name, an Egyptian wife, and in general lived in the manner of the Egyptian rulers.. He therefore could not eat directly with his brothers without giving undue offense to the Egyptian guests who were present.

After they were assigned to seats at their table, the eleven brothers noted a remarkable thing. They had been seated in order of age, from the eldest through the youngest … Evidently, this man knew a great deal more about their family than they had realized; or else he had some kind of supernatural power. They had no answer, and could only wonder.

Then the waiters, on Joseph’s orders, did another odd thing. They gave Benjamin five times as much as they gave the other men. … This [probably] refers to portions sent from the head table, as a gift of honor. The reason for this … [may have been] to ascertain whether the other brothers would manifest resentment toward Benjamin as they had toward Joseph. Apparently it did not bother then, and this was another very good sign to Joseph. — Morris, page 610.

I wonder if Joseph was deliberately giving his brothers hints as to his identity to see if they would figure it out.

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