GENESIS 45:1-50:26

(45:1-26; 46:26-47:27; 50:15:26)



a)  After hearing Judah's plea for Benjamin, how did Joseph respond?

Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants.  He said, "Have everyone leave my presence!"  Then he wept loudly.

How did he reveal himself to his brothers?

He said, "I am Joseph!  Is my father still alive?"

How did they react?

His brothers were terrified at his presence.  See verse 3.

a)  How did Joseph reassure them?

He taught them God's sovereignty in the matter.

What meaning did he see in the tragedy of being sold as a slave? (5)

God had sent him ahead of them to save lives.  He said in verse 5, "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you."

What mission had he received from God (6,7)?  

To preserve a remnant on earth; to save lives by a great deliverance.

How did his mission make him great?

Before men he became lord and ruler.  It was because of God and also the fact that God used him to save lives.  This is always God's number one will in doing our mission: that we save lives.

What can we learn here about God?

God exalts the humble and uses humble men for his purpose to save lives.

About Joseph's faith?

Joseph gave glory to God.  He saw God's hand and glorified God.  He acknowledged God.  Joseph had reassured his brothers through what he said.  Joseph could love and forgive his brothers for what they had done because he had God's mission in his heart.  His coming to Egypt wasn't the result of a mischievous and evil prank.  It was an act of the Holy and Sovereign God.  Joseph believed God's sovereignty and love.  For this reason he could love and forgive his brothers.

a)  How did Joseph help his family practically? (Think about spiritual help, material help, and human help toward having independent lives.)

He helped them materially by giving them food and a good place to live (17-24).  He helped them humanly towards living independent lives by not showing any favoritism towards them.  In other words, he did not give them high level government jobs with high pay.  He did not let them live in the palace where they could eat a lot of food and become lazy and lose their identity as God's people.  See 46:31-34.


a)  How did Joseph regard his position in Egypt (45:8)?

God had made him lord and ruler.  He saw that it was from God, "He made me…"

What does this reveal about his attitude toward people and toward material things?

He was able to keep spiritual order because he saw that he did not get the position by his own strength.  He was humble and because God was number one in his heart he had a right sense of value system.

About his attitude towards God?

He honored God with a humble heart.  Not once did he give any credit to himself or take away any of the honor from God.  Joseph had lived a slave life for many years, but he showed no vestige of a slave mentality.  His faith enabled him to live before God and not before man.  He had gone to prison rather than to sin against God and to compromise his purity.   His mission had made him great.  He said in verse 8, "It was not you who sent me here, but God.  He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt."

a)  How long had the famine ravaged the land when Joseph's family came to live in Egypt? (45:11)

Two years.

How did his treatment of his family reveal his stewardship of Egypt? (46:31-47:12)

Joseph had a shepherd heart for them to help them get food to eat even though they were losing many things.  When they had nothing to give him, he did not stop to help them, but continued to do so.  He persevered to help them and to save them.  He did not put the people on welfare.  He made them pay for the grain they used.  Joseph did not take advantage of their helpless situation and exploit them.  He made them recognize their debt to Pharaoh. Give a fifth of the crop when it comes up to Pharaoh.

How did the people respond to his treatment?  Why?

They were very grateful.  They said, "You have saved our lives…"  See verse 25.

a)  How did Joseph prove his loyalty to Pharaoh?

He brought the land of the people and the people themselves in return for grain and seed.  He made them give one-fifth of their new crop to Pharaoh as a law. He did not seek personal gain or personal power now that the people had been grateful to him for saving their lives.  He never forgot that he was a servant to Pharaoh.  In fact, he recognized himself as a father to Pharaoh. (45:8)  This means he had a great shepherd heart for Pharaoh.  He didn't let human ambition to motivate his actions.

b) What does this reveal about Joseph?

He lived as a man of mission before God and served as others as if he was serving God.


a)  How did Jacob bless Joseph and his sons (49:8-12)?

This was the blessing for Judah.  From the line of Judah, Jesus Christ will come.  In 48:12-20 he blesses Joseph's children.  He blessed Ephraim first instead of Manasseh even though Ephraim wasn't the covenant son.  In 49:22-26 he blesses Joseph.  Joseph wasn't the covenant son.  Joseph was used by God to change Judah into a man of faith and love and into a fruitful man.  Joseph's life points to Jesus.  No other Old Testament man bears such an image.  Joseph was used as a bridge into Egypt for the people of the future Israel nation.  God had promised to Abraham that his descendants would be slaves in a foreign land. (Gen 15:13-16)  God used Joseph to bring the Israel people into Egypt  for the people of the future Israel nation.  God had promised to Abraham that his descendants would be slaves in a foreign land.  

What is the significance of this blessing? (Mt. 1)

Judah was the covenant son through whom Jesus Christ would come.  He is included in the genealogy of Jesus.

a)  Why did Joseph's brothers become fearful after Jacob's death?

They thought now Joseph had been holding back on them.  Now they thought he would take revenge on them for what they did to him.

What request did they make of Joseph that reeals their repentance? (50:14-18)

They made up a story that Jacob had left instructions for them to tell Joseph to forgive his brothers for their sins and the wrongs they had committed it treating him so badly.  Now please forgive their sins.  They couldn't understand why Joseph held no grudges.  They were spiritually immature.  They had  a hard time accepting God's grace of forgiveness.

a)  What did Joseph teach them?

Joseph did not want them to think that he would judge them and punish them.

What can we learn about Joseph's faith (19-21)?

He taught them once again God's sovereignty in this matter.  "Don't be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what he is ding now being down, the saving of many lives."

What hope did Joseph plant in his family *22-26)?

The hope of the exodus.  He promised that God would bring them to the promised land.  He'd keep his oath to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.  He directed them to cary his bones from this place.  Joseph accepted Roman 8:28 and 1Thessalonians 5:16-18.  Joseph planted a sure hope in the hearts of his brothers and the Israelites.  It was a sure and confident faith in God who always keeps his promises.

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