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.
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.
"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.'
"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.