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.
"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.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)