Genesis  ◦   Chapter 45

1Joseph’s heart was bursting, and he could not control his feelings in front of all his attendants. So he said, “Everyone out, now!” Then Joseph was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. 2He broke down and cried and wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and word was quickly taken to Pharaoh’s palace about it.

3Then Joseph spoke to them without a translator and said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers, realizing they were in Joseph’s presence, were too shocked and frightened to answer.

4Joseph gently said to his brothers, “It’s alright. Please, come closer.” When his brothers came closer, he said, “Yes, I am your brother Joseph – the one whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. 5Please, stop blaming yourselves and don’t be angry with yourselves any longer for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to save your lives. 6There has been famine throughout the land for two years, and it will continue for another five years. It will be so bad, there will be no crops harvested. 7But God sent me ahead of you to preserve you in this spectacular way, so that you and your descendants may survive and God’s promise to bring the Messiah to save the world will be realized.

8“So understand that it wasn’t you who sent me here – it was God. He made me advisor to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and governor of all Egypt. 9Now, hurry home to my father and say to him, ‘Joseph your son says: God has made me lord of all of Egypt. Come here to me as quickly as you can. 10You will live in the fertile region of Goshen and be near to me – you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds and all you have. 11I will care for you there, providing all that you need, because the famine will continue for the next five years. Otherwise, you and your descendants, through whom God promised to bring the Messiah, will be destroyed.’

12“Come, look and see for yourselves! And see how my brother Benjamin knows me! It is really me – Joseph your brother – speaking to you. 13So go home and tell my father about all the honor and power I have been given in Egypt and about all you have seen. And bring my father to me as quickly as you can.”

14Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and they both wept for joy as they embraced each other. 15Still weeping for joy, Joseph hugged and kissed each of his brothers, and then they talked with him.

16When Pharaoh was informed that Joseph’s brothers had come, he and all his officials were happy for Joseph. 17Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers this: ‘Load your animals and go back to Canaan, 18and get your father and your families and come back to me. I will give you the best land in Egypt, and you will have plenty to eat from the best the land produces.’ 19You are also to tell them this: ‘You are to take wagons from Egypt for your children, wives and father to ride in. 20Don’t worry about bringing every item you possess, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”

21And the sons of Israel did just as instructed. Joseph gave them provisions for the journey, and wagons – just as Pharaoh commanded. 22He gave each brother new clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred silver coins and five sets of clothes. 23Joseph sent to his father ten donkeys loaded with the finest gifts of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and other provisions for his journey. 24Then he sent his brothers on their way. But as they were leaving, he said to them, “On the way home, don’t argue with each other or blame each other over what has happened.”

25So they left Egypt and returned home to their father Jacob in Canaan. 26They told him, “Father, Joseph is still alive! And he is the governor over all of Egypt!” Jacob was so shocked that he didn’t initially believe them. 27But when they told him all that happened and everything Joseph had said to them; and when he saw the wagons and provisions Joseph had sent, then Jacob’s heart soared with joy, and he revived. 28And Israel exclaimed, “I believe you – my son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”