The Reconciliation of the Brothers
1 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants,#tn Heb “all the ones standing beside him.” so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained#tn Heb “stood.” with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 He wept loudly;#tn Heb “and he gave his voice in weeping,” meaning that Joseph could not restrain himself and wept out loud. the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.#tn Heb “and the Egyptians heard and the household of Pharaoh heard.” Presumably in the latter case this was by means of a report.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him because they were dumbfounded before him. 4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here,#tn Heb “let there not be anger in your eyes.” for God sent me#sn You sold me here, for God sent me. The tension remains as to how the brothers’ wickedness and God’s intentions work together. Clearly God is able to transform the actions of wickedness to bring about some gracious end. But this is saying more than that; it is saying that from the beginning it was God who sent Joseph here. Although harmonization of these ideas remains humanly impossible, the divine intention is what should be the focus. Only that will enable reconciliation. ahead of you to preserve life! 6 For these past two years there has been famine in#tn Heb “the famine [has been] in the midst of.” the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God sent me#sn God sent me. The repetition of this theme that God sent Joseph is reminiscent of commission narratives in which the leader could announce that God sent him (e.g., Exod 3:15). ahead of you to preserve you#tn Heb “to make you a remnant.” The verb, followed here by the preposition לְ (lÿ), means “to make.” on the earth and to save your lives#tn The infinitive gives a second purpose for God’s action. by a great deliverance. 8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser#tn Heb “a father.” The term is used here figuratively of one who gives advice, as a father would to his children. to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Now go up to my father quickly#tn Heb “hurry and go up.” and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not delay! 10 You will live#tn The perfect verbal form with vav consecutive here expresses instruction. in the land of Goshen, and you will be near me – you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. 11 I will provide you with food#tn The verb כּוּל (kul) in the Pilpel stem means “to nourish, to support, to sustain.” As in 1 Kgs 20:27, it here means “to supply with food.” there because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise you would become poor – you, your household, and everyone who belongs to you.”’ 12 You and my brother Benjamin can certainly see with your own eyes that I really am the one who speaks to you.#tn Heb “And, look, your eyes see and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that my mouth is the one speaking to you.” 13 So tell#tn The perfect verbal form with the vav consecutive here expresses instruction. my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly!”#tn Heb “and hurry and bring down my father to here.”
14 Then he threw himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After this his brothers talked with him.
16 Now it was reported#tn Heb “and the sound was heard.” in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased#tn Heb “was good in the eyes of.” Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go#tn Heb “and go! Enter!” to the land of Canaan! 18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you#tn After the imperatives in vv. 17-18a, the cohortative with vav indicates result. the best land in Egypt and you will eat#tn After the cohortative the imperative with vav states the ultimate goal. the best#tn Heb “fat.” of the land.’ 19 You are also commanded to say,#tn The words “to say” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. ‘Do this: Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives. Bring your father and come. 20 Don’t worry#tn Heb “let not your eye regard.” about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt will be yours.’”
21 So the sons of Israel did as he said.#tn Heb “and the sons of Israel did so.” Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed,#tn Heb “according to the mouth of Pharaoh.” and he gave them provisions for the journey. 22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them,#tn Heb “to all of them he gave, to each one, changes of outer garments.” but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes.#tn Heb “changes of outer garments.” 23 To his father he sent the following:#tn Heb “according to this.” ten donkeys loaded with the best products of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, food, and provisions for his father’s journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers on their way and they left. He said to them, “As you travel don’t be overcome with fear.”#tn Heb “do not be stirred up in the way.” The verb means “stir up.” Some understand the Hebrew verb רָגָז (ragaz, “to stir up”) as a reference to quarreling (see Prov 29:9, where it has this connotation), but in Exod 15:14 and other passages it means “to fear.” This might refer to a fear of robbers, but more likely it is an assuring word that they need not be fearful about returning to Egypt. They might have thought that once Jacob was in Egypt, Joseph would take his revenge on them.
25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.#tn Heb “and they entered the land of Canaan to their father.” 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned,#tn Heb “and his heart was numb.” Jacob was stunned by the unbelievable news and was unable to respond. for he did not believe them. 27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them,#tn Heb “and they spoke to him all the words of Joseph which he had spoke to them.” and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, their father Jacob’s spirit revived. 28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”
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Berĕshith (Genesis) 45
1And Yosĕph was unable to restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he called out, “Have everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Yosĕph made himself known to his brothers.
2And he wept aloud, and the Mitsrites and the house of Pharaoh heard it.
3And Yosĕph said to his brothers, “I am Yosĕph, is my father still alive?” But his brothers were unable to answer him, for they trembled before him.
4Then Yosĕph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” And when they came near, he said, “I am Yosĕph your brother, whom you sold into Mitsrayim.
5“And now, do not be grieved nor displeased with yourselves because you sold me here, for Elohim sent me before you to preserve life.
6“For two years now the scarcity of food has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there is neither ploughing nor harvesting.
7“And Elohim sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to give life to you by a great escape.
8So then, you did not send me here, but Elohim. And He has set me for a father to Pharaoh, and master of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Mitsrayim.”
9Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Yosĕph, Elohim has made me master of all Mitsrayim. Come down to me, do not delay.
10“And you shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have.
11“And I shall provide for you there, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty, because five years of scarcity of food are still to come.” ’
12“And look, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Binyamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you.
13“And you shall inform my father of all my esteem in Mitsrayim, and of all that you have seen. And you shall hurry and bring my father down here.”
14And he fell on his brother Binyamin’s neck and wept, and Binyamin wept on his neck.
15And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers spoke with him.
16And the report of it was heard by the house of Pharaoh, saying, “The brothers of Yosĕph have come.” And it was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants.
17And Pharaoh said to Yosĕph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your beasts and go, enter the land of Kena‛an,
18and take your father and your households and come to me, and I give you the best of the land of Mitsrayim, and you eat the fat of the land.
19And you, you have been commanded, do this: Take wagons out of the land of Mitsrayim for your little ones and your wives. And you shall bring your father, and come.
20And do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Mitsrayim is yours.’ ”
21And the sons of Yisra’ĕl did so. And Yosĕph gave them wagons, according to the mouth of Pharaoh, and he gave them food for the journey.
22He gave to all of them, to each man, changes of garments, but to Binyamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.
23And he sent to his father this: ten donkeys loaded with the best of Mitsrayim, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, and bread, and food for his father for the journey.
24So he sent his brothers away, and they left. And he said to them, “Do not quarrel along the way.”
25And they went up out of Mitsrayim, and came to the land of Kena‛an to Ya‛aqoḇ their father.
26And they told him, saying, “Yosĕph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Mitsrayim.” And Ya‛aqoḇ’s heart ceased, for he did not believe them.
27But when they spoke to him all the words which Yosĕph had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons which Yosĕph had sent to transport him, the spirit of Ya‛aqoḇ their father revived.
28And Yisra’ĕl said, “Enough! My son Yosĕph is still alive. Let me go and see him before I die.”
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