A Daily Genesis

Genesis 45:14-28

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 45:14-15 . .Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.[/B]

I seriously think the ten brothers were so consternated to the point of paralyzing terror as to be rendered utterly mute until Joseph adequately allayed their fears, and proved his good will towards them with all his blubbering and hugging; and I also think they never took their eyes off his hands the whole time, half expecting him to draw a jeweled dagger and pierce it through each man's liver in turn.

There was a time when the older brothers were so infected with rivalry towards Joseph that any conversation they had with him, if they had any at all, was punctuated with hostility (Gen 37:4). I think you can safely bet that at this point, their conversation is re-punctuated with supplication, humility, hats in hand, and profuse apologies rather than hostility.

Joseph was an extremely magnanimous man; with a degree of self control that is really quite amazing. If anybody in the Old Testament was justified to nurse a grudge, it has to be him. Surely he deserves some recognition for exemplifying at least one of Jesus' beatitudes.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matt 5:9)

There are some people in this world who are simply implacable. They refuse to bury the hatchet and move on. No, for them, rivalry, revenge, spite, retaliation, stubbornness, and grudging are a way of life: every disagreement is an act of war-- they're emotional and reactive, and they thrive on criticism, sarcasm, chafing, carping, finding fault, thoughtless remarks, demeaning comments, insults, contempt, ridicule, bickering, retort upon retort, endless yeah-buts, telling other people off, and giving people a piece of their mind.

It should go without saying that warlike people can't possibly be allowed into heaven because God's home is a place of peace. It just wouldn't be fair to the others to let confrontational people loose in paradise to wreck it for everybody.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 45:21-22a . .The sons of Israel did so; Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had commanded, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey. To each of them, moreover, he gave a change of clothing;[/B]

Their "change of clothing" wasn't just some fresh clothes. The changes were actually garments suitable for formal occasions like an audience with a king, or hob-nobbing with aristocrats (e.g. Gen 41:14, 2Kgs 25:27-30). So the changes were pretty expensive; like Valentino suits.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 45:22b . . but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and several changes of clothing.[/B]

You know, some people just never seem to learn. It was because of favoritism that Joseph's brothers were provoked to malicious sibling rivalry in the first place; and here he is repeating the very same mistake grandpa Isaac made in chapter 25, and the very same mistake papa Jacob made in chapter 37.

Benjamin had done nothing to deserve preferential treatment over and above his elder brothers. The only reason that Joseph treated him better than the others is simply the fact that they shared the same mother; that's all: which Webster's defines as nepotism.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 45:23-24 . . And he sent to his father these things: ten jack burros loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female burros loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father for the journey. So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them: See that you are not distracted along the way.[/B]

Apparently the trade route from Egypt to Canaan offered diversions aplenty to entertain grown men; which Joseph would like his brothers to avoid this time around because he was anxious to get his dad moved into Egypt as soon as was practical. In point of fact, time was of the essence what with five more years of famine conditions yet to come; with each succeeding year much worse than those preceding it. I think Joseph wanted his dad settled in before the worst of it took hold of the region and put them all, including their livestock, in very imminent danger of perishing.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 45:25-26 . . So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him: Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt. Jacob was stunned and didn't believe them.[/B]

He didn't believe them because for one thing; he was led to believe all these years that Joseph was dead; hence Jacob was incredulous and one could hardly blame him. As an example, suppose a total stranger should walk up to your door some day and announce you won a 42 million-dollar Powerball lottery. Now add that to the fact that you have never bought a Powerball lottery ticket in your whole life. Would you begin jumping up and down and shouting hallelujah? I don't think so. I think you would be skeptical; just as skeptical as Jacob.

The actual Hebrew of Gen 45:26 says that Jacob's heart became sluggish; viz: his blood pressure dropped and he quite literally paled. You have to remember that Jacob was 135 years old at this point in his life, and would live only another seventeen more (Gen 47:28). Older people don't do well with shock; it can actually kill them.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 45:26-28 . . But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, their father Jacob's strength returned. And Israel said: I'm convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.[/B]

No doubt Jacob had to sit down-- more likely lay down with his feet elevated --while his sons related their adventures in Egypt; and quite possibly it was right then that they confessed to their selling Jacob's favorite son into slavery. Better they tell him now than wait till he finds out later from Joseph.

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