The Message

Genesis 45

11-2 Joseph couldn’t hold himself in any longer, keeping up a front before all his attendants. He cried out, “Leave! Clear out—everyone leave!” So there was no one with Joseph when he identified himself to his brothers. But his sobbing was so violent that the Egyptians couldn’t help but hear him. The news was soon reported to Pharaoh’s palace.

Joseph spoke to his brothers: “I am Joseph. Is my father really still alive?” But his brothers couldn’t say a word. They were speechless—they couldn’t believe what they were hearing and seeing.

4-8 “Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt.

9-11 “Hurry back to my father. Tell him, ‘Your son Joseph says: I’m master of all of Egypt. Come as fast as you can and join me here. I’ll give you a place to live in Goshen where you’ll be close to me—you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and anything else you can think of. I’ll take care of you there completely. There are still five more years of famine ahead; I’ll make sure all your needs are taken care of, you and everyone connected with you—you won’t want for a thing.’

12-13 “Look at me. You can see for yourselves, and my brother Benjamin can see for himself, that it’s me, my own mouth, telling you all this. Tell my father all about the high position I hold in Egypt, tell him everything you’ve seen here, but don’t take all day—hurry up and get my father down here.”

14-15 Then Joseph threw himself on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. He then kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Only then were his brothers able to talk with him.

16 The story was reported in Pharaoh’s palace: “Joseph’s brothers have come.” It was good news to Pharaoh and all who worked with him.

17-18 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘This is the plan: Load up your pack animals; go to Canaan, get your father and your families and bring them back here. I’ll settle you on the best land in Egypt—you’ll live off the fat of the land.’

19-20 “Also tell them this: ‘Here’s what I want you to do: Take wagons from Egypt to carry your little ones and your wives and load up your father and come back. Don’t worry about having to leave things behind; the best in all of Egypt will be yours.’”

21-23 And they did just that, the sons of Israel. Joseph gave them the wagons that Pharaoh had promised and food for the trip. He outfitted all the brothers in brand-new clothes, but he gave Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver and several suits of clothes. He sent his father these gifts: ten donkeys loaded with Egypt’s best products and another ten donkeys loaded with grain and bread, provisions for his father’s journey back.

24 Then he sent his brothers off. As they left he told them, “Take it easy on the journey; try to get along with each other.”

25-28 They left Egypt and went back to their father Jacob in Canaan. When they told him, “Joseph is still alive—and he’s the ruler over the whole land of Egypt!” he went numb; he couldn’t believe his ears. But the more they talked, telling him everything that Joseph had told them and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him back, the blood started to flow again—their father Jacob’s spirit revived. Israel said, “I’ve heard enough—my son Joseph is still alive. I’ve got to go and see him before I die.”

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 45

Joseph Tells His Brothers Who He Is

1Joseph couldn’t control himself anymore in front of all his attendants. He cried out, “Have everyone leave me!” So there wasn’t anyone with Joseph when he told his brothers who he was. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him. Everyone in Pharaoh’s house heard about it.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers weren’t able to answer him. They were too afraid of him.

Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” So they did. Then he said, “I am your brother Joseph. I’m the one you sold into Egypt. But don’t be upset. And don’t be angry with yourselves because you sold me here. God sent me ahead of you to save many lives. For two years now, there hasn’t been enough food in the land. And for the next five years, people won’t be plowing or gathering crops. But God sent me ahead of you to keep some of you alive on earth. He sent me here to save your lives by an act of mighty power.

“So then, it wasn’t you who sent me here. It was God. He made me like a father to Pharaoh. He made me master of Pharaoh’s entire house. God made me ruler of the whole land of Egypt. Now hurry back to my father. Say to him, ‘Your son Joseph says, “God has made me master of the whole land of Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t waste any time. 10 You will live in the area of Goshen. You, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you have will be near me. 11 There I will provide everything you need. There are still five years to come when there won’t be enough food. If you don’t come down here, you and your family and everyone who belongs to you will lose everything.” ’

12 “My brothers, I am Joseph. You can see for yourselves that I am the one speaking to you. My brother Benjamin can see it too. 13 Tell my father about all the honor given to me in Egypt. Tell him about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”

14 Then Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept. Benjamin also hugged him and wept. 15 Joseph kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After that, his brothers talked with him.

16 The news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come. Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Here’s what I want you to tell your brothers. Say to them, ‘Load your animals. Return to the land of Canaan. 18 Bring your father and your families back to me. I’ll give you the best land in Egypt. You can enjoy all the good things in the land.’

19 “And here’s something else I want you to tell them. Say to them, ‘Take some carts from Egypt. Your children and your wives can use them. Get your father and come back. 20 Don’t worry about the things you have back there. The best of everything in Egypt will belong to you.’ ”

21 Then the sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded. He also gave them supplies for their journey. 22 He gave new clothes to each of them. But he gave Benjamin more than seven pounds of silver. He also gave him five sets of clothes. 23 He sent his father ten male donkeys loaded with the best things from Egypt. He also sent ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other supplies for his journey. 24 Then Joseph sent his brothers away. As they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t argue on the way!”

25 So they went up out of Egypt. They came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of the whole land of Egypt.” Jacob was shocked. He didn’t believe them. 27 So they told him everything Joseph had said to them. Jacob saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back. That gave new life to their father Jacob. 28 Israel said, “I believe it now! My son Joseph is still alive. I’ll go and see him before I die.”