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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 45

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-8


Verses 1-8:

The final test was passed. Joseph found it impossible to continue the trial any longer. He ordered all to leave his presence except the brothers. Then he announced his identity to them, amid intense emotion. The brothers were dumbfounded, and likely not a little apprehensive. The revelation that powerful Egyptian lord was their long-lost brother was a shock to them.

Joseph quickly sought to allay their fears. He recognized the hand of God in every step of the way which brought them to this point. This illustrates the working of Divine Providence in every era of time. God overrules the designs of sinful, wicked men to accomplish His purpose, see Pr 16:4; Ps 76:10.

God’s child often tends to become discouraged in the face of trials and persecutions. It may seem that all the events in life conspire to frustrate and rob him of peace and joy. But God is still on His throne: He still guides the events of life, even the designs of wicked men, in such a way as to work together for good to them who love Him (Ro 8:28).

God had another purpose in mind, in addition to His Providential care over Joseph That purpose was to preserve alive the "Chosen People" in Egypt. First, there were yet to be five years of famine throughout the region. The areas outside of Egypt would suffer drastically. Then, the household of Israel must be removed from the corrupting, debilitating influence of the pagan Canaanites during the critical years of development into a nation. No better place for this development could be than the territory assigned to them in Egypt.

Verses 9-15

Verses 9-15:

Joseph’s primary concern was for his aged father. Jacob at this time was 130 years of age. Joseph had not seen him for more than twenty years. His heart yearned to be reunited with Israel and to be near him during the closing years of his life. Also, it was his desire to provide for Israel and his family during the coming years of famine.

Particularly charged with deep emotion was the reunion between Joseph and his full brother Benjamin. Joseph loved all his brothers, but there was a special relationship between him and Benjamin. They were both sons of Rachel, the beloved favorite of their father Jacob.

Verses 16-24

Verses 16-24:

News of the events of Joseph’s house soon reached Pharaoh. He and his court were pleased to welcome Joseph’s brothers. Pharaoh authorized that due haste be made to return to Canaan, and bring their father and all their household to Egypt. There they would live off the best Egypt had to offer. This was likely what Joseph had intended. Pharaoh was fulfilling the Divine plan in providing a place of refuge and instruction for the Chosen People. Pharaoh authorized a means of transportation that would be both adequate and comfortable, as well as ample provisions for their journey from Canaan to Egypt.

Joseph carried out Pharaoh’s directive. In addition, he gave extra provisions to Benjamin as evidence of love for his younger brother. Then he sent them all on their journey, with instructions that they not quarrel along the way.

Verses 25-28

Verses 25-28:

The brothers arrived home with what appeared to their father to be incredible news. Joseph was alive! More than that, he was governor (prime minister) over all the land of Egypt. Jacob’s heart "fainted" (literally, grew chill) at the tidings his sons brought. At first, he did not believe them. But when he saw the wagons, evidence of Joseph’s bounty and provision, and when he heard the invitation to come to Egypt, his heart revived. The sight of his beloved son Joseph would be enough to compensate for all the years of sorrow he had endured.

Jacob’s job at the prospect of seeing Joseph after many years of grieving for him, reminds of the joy that shall fill the heart of God’s child when he sees the risen, glorified Christ. When by His Grace, I shall look on His face, that will be glory, be glory for me.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Genesis 45". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/genesis-45.html. 1985.
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