Joseph could stand it no longer. "Out, all of you!" he cried out to his attendants. He wanted to be alone with his brothers when he told them who he was.
Then he broke down and wept aloud. His sobs could be heard throughout the palace, and the news was quickly carried to Pharaoh's palace.
"I am Joseph!" he said to his brothers. "Is my father still alive?" But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them.
"Come over here," he said. So they came closer. And he said again, "I am Joseph, your brother whom you sold into Egypt.
But don't be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.
These two years of famine will grow to seven, during which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
God has sent me here to keep you and your families alive so that you will become a great nation.
Yes, it was God who sent me here, not you! And he has made me a counselor to Pharaoh -- manager of his entire household and ruler over all Egypt.
"Hurry, return to my father and tell him, 'This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. Come down to me right away!
You will live in the land of Goshen so you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that you have.
I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you and your household will come to utter poverty.'"
Then Joseph said, "You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that I really am Joseph!
Tell my father how I am honored here in Egypt. Tell him about everything you have seen, and bring him to me quickly."
Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin also began to weep.
Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and then they began talking freely with him.
The news soon reached Pharaoh: "Joseph's brothers have come!" Pharaoh was very happy to hear this and so were his officials.
Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Tell your brothers to load their pack animals and return quickly to their homes in Canaan.
Tell them to bring your father and all of their families, and to come here to Egypt to live. Tell them, 'Pharaoh will assign to you the very best territory in the land of Egypt. You will live off the fat of the land!'
And tell your brothers to take wagons from Egypt to carry their wives and little ones and to bring your father here.
Don't worry about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours."
So the sons of Jacob a did as they were told. Joseph gave them wagons, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey.
And he gave each of them new clothes -- but to Benjamin he gave five changes of clothes and three hundred pieces b of silver!
He sent his father ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten donkeys loaded with grain and all kinds of other food to be eaten on his journey.
So he sent his brothers off, and as they left, he called after them, "Don't quarrel along the way!"
And they left Egypt and returned to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan.
"Joseph is still alive!" they told him. "And he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!" Jacob was stunned at the news -- he couldn't believe it.
But when they had given him Joseph's messages, and when he saw the wagons loaded with the food sent by Joseph, his spirit revived.
Then Jacob said, "It must be true! My son Joseph is alive! I will go and see him before I die."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)