Lesson 31

Joseph and His Brethern

"And be kind one to another and tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God has forgiven us through Christ."
Ephesians 4:32 (Lamsa Translation)

When the brothers returned to Egypt with Benjamin, Joseph had a feast prepared for them. This astonished the brothers and made them fearful for they did not know what he had in mind. Finally, Joseph sent his servants away and told his brothers that he was their brother whom they had sold into slavery. He assured them of his forgiveness and explained that God had caused all his hard experiences to work out for good. Now he was able to save his family, as all the Egyptians, from losing their lives to starvation.

The brothers were overjoyed! They all wept and hugged each other and could hardly believe that this was truly their brother. Joseph asked about his father and told them to bring him and all their families to Egypt where there was plenty of stored grain for all. Pharaoh gave them the land of Goshen, the very best land.

So Jacob, now called Israel, lived in Goshen, and his people began to prosper. They had many children and became a great nation. Joseph said to his brothers, "God turned into good what you meant for evil . . ." (Genesis 50:20 Living Bible).

Joseph pictures Christ and his church. These have endured and overcome their trials and lived according to God’s commands to the best of their ability. This will bring them the highest kingdom honors. Joseph’s brethren represented the Jews, the Egyptians pictured the rest of mankind. Both Jews and Gentiles will be blessed because of the glorious exaltation of Messiah (Isaiah 25:6-9 New International Version).

Joseph, in his dying request, wanted the Israelites to carry his bones with them when they returned to Canaan. The families of Israel lived in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years when Moses came on the scene to lead them back to their homeland.

We see how Joseph trusted God because of his knowledge of the promise made to Abraham. So also it was with all the worthy ones of the past, and the same principle holds true today!

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