The famine in the previous chapter was not just in Egypt, but the entire region. Joseph’s family sends ten of his brothers to Egypt to buy grain. Jacob, their father, keeps Benjamin behind for fear that something bad might happen to him. Joseph immediately recognizes his brothers, but keeps his identity hidden, and speaks harshly to them, accusing them of being spies, and locks them all up for three days. After three days, Joseph stated that in order to prove their innocence the brothers must return with their youngest, the caveat being that one brother must remain in custody. Simeon was bound, and the other 9 brothers were loaded with grain and sent home. Upon return, the brothers informed their father, Jacob, of what had happened, and also discovered that their money had been returned. However, Jacob refused to let the brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin in order to rescue Simeon.
It’s quite obvious that this is literally a dream come true for Joseph (see Genesis 37). His brothers are coming to bow down before him. This also seems to mark a turning point in Joseph’s behavior. He seems to really be a jerk. Which is quite understandable. Because of these brothers he was almost killed, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Lucky for him he ended up in a high position.
The brothers see the current predicament they are in as a consequence of what they did to Joseph, who they believe they killed. While this is good that they realized they did something terrible, I don’t think it sets a good example. They only really see this a punishment for their behavior, and accept it as such, but don’t really demonstrate remorse or guilt. They only seem to acknowledge that they are receiving punishment. It’s almost like the westernized version of karma.
I am eager to see how the rest of this story goes.
Lessons I learned:
- Revenge for attempts on your life are acceptable.