Genesis 45

Joseph Makes Himself Known

1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.
2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!
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.
6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping.
7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
8 “So then, 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.
9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.
10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have.
11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you.
13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping.
15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased.
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan,
18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’
19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come.
20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’ ”
21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey.
22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels[b] of silver and five sets of clothes.
23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey.
24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.
26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them.
27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Genesis 45 Commentary

Chapter 45

Joseph comforts his brethren, and sends for his father. (1-15) Pharaoh confirms Joseph's invitation, Joseph's gifts to his brethren. (16-24) Jacob receives the news of Joseph's being alive. (25-28)

Verses 1-15 Joseph let Judah go on, and heard all he had to say. He found his brethren humbled for their sins, mindful of himself, for Judah had mentioned him twice in his speech, respectful to their father, and very tender of their brother Benjamin. Now they were ripe for the comfort he designed, by making himself known. Joseph ordered all his attendants to withdraw. Thus Christ makes himself and his loving-kindness known to his people, out of the sight and hearing of the world. Joseph shed tears of tenderness and strong affection, and with these threw off that austerity with which he had hitherto behaved toward his brethren. This represents the Divine compassion toward returning penitents. "I am Joseph, your brother." This would humble them yet more for their sin in selling him, but would encourage them to hope for kind treatment. Thus, when Christ would convince Paul, he said, I am Jesus; and when he would comfort his disciples, he said, It is I, be not afraid. When Christ manifests himself to his people, he encourages them to draw near to him with a true heart. Joseph does so, and shows them, that whatever they thought to do against him, God had brought good out of it. Sinners must grieve and be angry with themselves for their sins, though God brings good out of it, for that is no thanks to them. The agreement between all this, and the case of a sinner, on Christ's manifesting himself to his soul, is very striking. He does not, on this account, think sin a less, but a greater evil; and yet he is so armed against despair, as even to rejoice in what God hath wrought, while he trembles in thinking of the dangers and destruction from which he has escaped. Joseph promises to take care of his father and all the family. It is the duty of children, if the necessity of their parents at any time require it, to support and supply them to the utmost of ( 1 Timothy. 5:4 ) Joseph had embraced Benjamin, he caressed them all, and then his brethren talked with him freely of all the affairs of their father's house. After the tokens of true reconciliation with the Lord Jesus, sweet communion with him follows.

Verses 16-24 Pharaoh was kind to Joseph, and to his relations for his sake. Egypt would make up the losses of their removal. Thus those for whom Christ intends his heavenly glory, ought not to regard the things of this world. The best of its enjoyments are but lumber; we cannot make sure of them while here, much less can we carry them away with us. Let us not set our eyes or hearts upon the world; there are better things for us in that blessed land, whither Christ, our Joseph, is gone to prepare a place. Joseph dismissed his brethren with a seasonable caution, "See that ye fall not out by the way." He knew they were too apt to be quarrelsome; and having forgiven them all, he lays this charge upon them, not to upbraid one another. This command our Lord Jesus has given to us, that we love one another, and that whatever happens, or has happened, we fall not out. For we are brethren, we have all one Father. We are all guilty, and instead of quarrelling with one another, have reason to fall out with ourselves. We are, or hope to be, forgiven of God, whom we have all offended, and, therefore, should be ready to forgive one another. We are "by the way," a way through the land of Egypt, where we have many eyes upon us, that seek advantage against us; a way that leads to the heavenly Canaan, where we hope to be for ever in perfect peace.

Verses 25-28 To hear that Joseph is alive, is too good news to be true; Jacob faints, for he believes it not. We faint, because we do not believe. At length, Jacob is convinced of the truth. Jacob was old, and did not expect to live long. He says, Let my eyes be refreshed with this sight before they are closed, and then I need no more to make me happy in this world. Behold Jesus manifesting himself as a Brother and a Friend to those who once were his despisers, his enemies. He assures them of his love and the riches of his grace. He commands them to lay aside envy, anger, malice, and strife, and to live in peace with each other. He teaches them to give up the world for him and his fulness. He supplies all that is needful to bring them home to himself, that where he is they may be also. And though, when he at last sends for his people, they may for a time feel some doubts and fears, yet the thought of seeing his glory and of being with him, will enable them to say, It is enough, I am willing to die; and I go to see, and to be with the Beloved of my soul.

Cross References 59

  • 1. S Genesis 43:31
  • 2. 2 Samuel 13:9
  • 3. S Genesis 29:11
  • 4. ver 16; Acts 7:13; Genesis 46:29
  • 5. S Genesis 43:7; Acts 7:13
  • 6. ver 15
  • 7. Genesis 44:20; Job 21:6; Job 23:15; Matthew 17:6; Mark 6:49-50
  • 8. Genesis 27:21-22
  • 9. Genesis 37:28
  • 10. Genesis 42:21
  • 11. Genesis 42:22
  • 12. ver 7-8; Genesis 50:20; Job 10:12; Psalms 105:17
  • 13. S Genesis 41:30
  • 14. 2Ki 19:4,30,31; Ezra 9:8,13; Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 10:20,21; Isaiah 11:11,16; Isaiah 46:3; Jeremiah 6:9; Jeremiah 42:2; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 4:7; Micah 5:7; Zephaniah 2:7
  • 15. S ver 5; Genesis 49:18; Exodus 15:2; 1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Kings 13:5; Esther 4:14; Isaiah 25:9; Micah 7:7
  • 16. ver 5
  • 17. Judges 17:10; 2 Kings 6:21; 2 Kings 13:14
  • 18. S Genesis 41:41
  • 19. S Genesis 43:15
  • 20. Genesis 43:10; Acts 7:14
  • 21. Genesis 46:28,34">Genesis 46:28,34; Genesis 47:1,11,27">Genesis 47:1,11,27; Genesis 50:8; Exodus 8:22; Exodus 9:26; Exodus 10:24; Genesis 46:28,34">Genesis 46:28,34; Genesis 47:1
  • 22. Genesis 46:6-7
  • 23. Genesis 47:12; Genesis 50:21
  • 24. S Genesis 41:30
  • 25. Psalms 102:17
  • 26. S Genesis 35:18
  • 27. Mark 6:50
  • 28. S Genesis 41:41
  • 29. S Genesis 43:15; Acts 7:14
  • 30. S Genesis 35:18
  • 31. S Genesis 29:13
  • 32. S Genesis 29:11; Luke 15:20
  • 33. S Genesis 29:11,13; S Genesis 46:4
  • 34. ver 3
  • 35. S ver 2; Acts 7:13
  • 36. Genesis 50:7
  • 37. S Genesis 41:37
  • 38. S Genesis 42:26
  • 39. S Genesis 42:5
  • 40. ver 20; Genesis 20:15; Genesis 27:28; Genesis 46:34; Genesis 47:6,11,27; Numbers 18:12,29; Jeremiah 40:4
  • 41. Ezra 9:12; Psalms 37:19; Isaiah 1:19
  • 42. ver 21,27; Genesis 46:5; Numbers 7:3-8
  • 43. Genesis 46:6,32
  • 44. S ver 18
  • 45. S ver 19
  • 46. S Genesis 42:25
  • 47. S Genesis 24:53
  • 48. S Genesis 37:3; S Genesis 41:14; Genesis 43:34; Judges 14:12,13; 2 Kings 5:22
  • 49. S Genesis 42:26
  • 50. S Genesis 24:10
  • 51. S Genesis 42:25
  • 52. Genesis 42:21-22
  • 53. Genesis 13:1
  • 54. Genesis 42:29
  • 55. S Genesis 41:41
  • 56. S Genesis 44:28; 1 Kings 10:7
  • 57. S ver 19
  • 58. Luke 16:31
  • 59. S Genesis 44:28

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "save you as a great band of survivors"
  • [b]. That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains an account of Joseph's making himself known to his brethren, which was done when they were alone, Ge 45:1-4; when he encouraged them not to distress themselves on account of their selling him into Egypt, for God in his providence had sent him there for their good, Ge 45:5-8; and he ordered them to go forthwith to Canaan, and acquaint his father with all the honour and glory they saw him in, and to desire him to come thither to him, where he should be provided for during the five years of famine yet to come, in the best part of the land of Egypt, Ge 45:9-13; upon which he expressed the strongest affection to Benjamin, and to all his brethren, Ge 45:14,15; the fame of this was soon spread in the house of Pharaoh, which gave the king great pleasure, who immediately expressed his earnest desire that his father might come and settle in Egypt, and ordered provisions to be sent him, and carriages to bring him down, and all that belonged to him, Ge 45:16-20; and Joseph accordingly delivered to his brethren wagons and provisions for the way, and gave gifts to them, and sent a present to his father, and dismissed his brethren with an exhortation not to fall out by the way, Ge 45:21-24; and when they came to Canaan, they acquainted their father with all these things, who at first could not believe them; but when he saw the wagons, his spirit revived, and determined to go and see his son, Ge 45:25-28.

Genesis 45 Commentaries

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