Genesis Chapter 42

Jul 11, 2012  |  Genesis, Old Testament  |  No Comments

Joseph is Reunited with his Brothers

Jacob sends his remaining sons, except Benjamin, to Egypt to buy grain, so they would live and not die. When they arrive, they go before Joseph to buy grain and, recognizing them, Joseph begins to test their hearts.  After accusing them of being spies, he throws them all in jail for three days.

Genesis 42:18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and live, for I fear God.”

Joseph goes on to say to leave one brother in prison, and go and bring the youngest brother, verifying that they are telling the truth and not spies. Then Joseph imprisons Simeon, but provides the remaining brothers with grain and provisions. He returns the money his brothers paid in each of the bags of grain, without their knowledge. As they are journeying back to Canaan, they discover the money.

Genesis 42:28b And their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”

The remaining brothers return to Canaan and tell Jacob all that happened and that they needed to return with Benjamin. Jacob refuses because he is afraid of losing Benjamin, after losing Joseph and Simeon.

Reflections and Prayers on Genesis Chapter 42

This passage says nothing directly about God and little even indirectly. We do see God’s hand at work in Jacob sending his sons to Egypt for grain and encountering Joseph.

What do we learn of God when Joseph says he fears God? We should fear God, a rare concept in today’s casual view of God. I also see the juxtaposition of Joseph saying he fears God (and therefore won’t kill the brothers without cause) with the brothers expressing their fear of what God is doing to them when they discover the money in their bags. When we fear God when we’re following Him, our fear is reverence and respect for God’s power and authority and holiness and justice. In contrast, when we’re not following God, our fear is of the completely justifiable punishment that awaits us.

Lord, help me to follow you and fear you in reverence and love for you. Remind me that I need not fear your punishment, for you yourself provided the sacrifice in the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Leave a comment