Design By Humans

Genesis 45. Go get your father (Endorsed by Pharaoh).

Genesis 45.

1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

 Finally, the charade is over. Let's move on.

2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

 He wept loudly then, I'm not sure if it is significant that the Egyptians heard him or just that he was loud. I'm guessing it shouldn't matter that the Egyptians hear his cries as they already know who he is, it is only his brothers who he has hidden his true identity from.

3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

 "doth my father yet live?" Judah just told you in the last chapter that he does, just four verses ago. Pay attention Joseph.

4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

 This should prove to be a difficult reunion. Sure, they sold him into slavery but he just spent what I calculate to be about the last two years being properly unpleasant to them and imprisoning some of them. I don't think either party has the moral high ground in this situation.

5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

 If what Joseph says is true and God is responsible for them selling him into slavery then why has he been messing with them (messing with might be a bit of an understatement.)? Also, I think that Joseph is suggesting that the whole slavery, false accusation and imprisonment scenario was engineered by God to place him in charge of Egypt so that he could make sure that the Egyptians weathered the famine. It doesn't seem consistent with the character of God that we have come to know, to be so considerate of the plight of the Egyptians. If this is indeed what God has done, why then, if God is the all powerful creator of the earth and all things on it that we read a mere forty five chapters back, could he not have simply made Joseph Pharaoh? He the opportunity thirty three chapters back to make the whole line of Abraham the royal house of Egypt, surely that would have saved on some suffering? This God character seems to be lacking in long-term thinking skills.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

 I had almost forgotten that Joseph had the power of prophecy and knew exactly how long the famine was going to last.

7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

 Right. So that's what all the lies and trickery were about. 

8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

 So is this a new Pharaoh? It very much came across that the chap/god/king he interpreted dreams for was an adult. If he was not however perhaps this explains his credulity.

9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:

 Joseph tells the brothers to go fetch their father. So there is to be at least one more trip to Canaan and back. What has just occurred to me is, if they did not recognise their brother when they first met, why do they now believe this Egyptian who has been so unpleasant to them all this time when he says that he is their missing brother? Sure, you could say "well how would he know about Joseph being sold into slavery if he were not Joseph?" but you'd be forgetting that the Egyptian before them is a vizier or renown, what could he not know?

10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:

 Joseph isn't asking them to bring Israel for a visit but rather to ask the entire family, which, assuming that each of the brothers has a wife and at least one child, is over thirty people, their effects and their animals. This is no small thing that he asks.

11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.

 He is offering food though. I think I'd take that offer even if it did involve dragging all those people from Canaan.

12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.

 Taken literally these words are odd, as such, I am assuming that what he is saying is that by the actions of his generosity the brothers can see that he truly is Joseph.

13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.

 "Tell him it's nice here. Now go and get him."

14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.

 Here comes the emotional part of the reunion.

15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.

 The emotional part continues.

16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.

 Do we really care what Pharaoh thinks at this point? Joseph is pretty much in control here isn't he? I suppose it is useful to know that Joseph hasn't made an enemy of the Pharaoh by inviting his family to stay?

17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;

 ...

18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.

 ...

19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.

 ...

20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.

 Pharaoh echoes although with greater verbosity what Joseph has offered. I suppose, as Pharaoh, you pretty much have to out-pomp your high vizier and make decrees look as though they were your idea all along.

21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.

 Great.

22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.

 Why is he favouring Benjamin? Perhaps there is some suggestion that Benjamin was not involved in his enslavement, but even if that were true, Joseph previously said that it was God that caused the whole thing. He should have no reason to favour one of his brothers over the others.

23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.

 I understand sending ten she asses with food for the journey but couldn't the ten asses laden with good thing have waited until he arrived in Egypt. It seems like an awful waste of ass power to carry the good things of Egypt to Canaan only to carry them all back to Egypt again.

24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.

 So off they go, those Brothers Israel, back to Canaan... Again.

25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,

 Oh, we're back to calling him Jacob.

26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.

 I think I'd find it hard to believe as well. Clearly Jacob is not as credulous as his boys.

27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:

 There's nothing quite like ten asses laden with good things to revive a man's spirit...

28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

 ...and apparently, to make him believe pretty much anything he's told.


I don't think we've learned anything of note in this chapter, we all knew where the story was headed and we all knew that that the sons if Israel/Jacob are collectively lacking in intellect.

Let's just move on to Genesis 46.

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