This chapter is about Joseph’s brothers return visit to Egypt. Joseph sees his brother Benjamin, finally. Joseph gives Benjamin loads of love in this chapter. It’s a good read/ I hope you enjoy!
The famine was so severe still, that Jacob/Israel tells his sons to go back to Egypt to get more food. His sons tell him that they can’t go back to Egypt without Benjamin. That Joseph won’t even see them without Benjamin. And Simeon will remain imprisoned.
Jacob/Israel says to his sons, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling this man that you had another brother?” The brother reply that the man (Joseph) asked about their family. (Which is a lie. Joseph never asks about their family. They just freely give out the info after Joseph accuses them of being spies.)
Judah then tells Jacob/Israel to send Benjamin with them, that he’ll personally guarantee Benjamin’s safety. That Jacob/Israel can hold Judah personally responsible if something happens to Benjamin. Judah also says that if he doesn’t bring Benjamin back in 1 piece, that he’ll bear the blame for all his life. Judah also throws some smart comment to Jacob/Israel (his dad), “If we hadn’t been delayed (in going to Egypt), we could’ve gone & returned twice.”
Israel/Jacob relents. He tells the brothers to take some balm, honey, spices, & myrrh, pistachios, & almonds with them, as a gift to Joseph. Plus Jacob/Israel tells them to take double the silver, that perhaps it was a mistake. So the brothers took the gifts & silver to Egypt. They presented themselves to Joseph. When Joseph saw Benjamin,, he told his house steward to take the brothers to his house, slaughter an animal & prepare dinner. He also told the steward that the brothers were going to eat with him at noon.
The steward did as Joseph said. Now Joseph’s brothers were scared when they were brought to Joseph’s house. Because they thought they were getting set up due to the silver being back in their bags. So they went over to Joseph’s house steward & talked to him at the entrance of the house. The steward told the brothers to relax, that they weren’t there because of the silver. He then brought Simeon out.
The steward took the brothers into Joseph’s house. He gave them water to wash their feet & gave fodder for their donkeys. The brothers prepared their gifts for when Jospeh got there at noon. When Joseph got home, they presented him with their gifts & they bowed down before Joseph, all the way to the ground.
Joseph asked how their dad was doing, if he was still alive. The brothers told Joseph that their dad was alive & well. They bowed low, again, to pay him honor. As Joseph looked about & saw Benjamin, he asked if this was their youngest brother. Joseph told Benjamin that God may be gracious to him. Joseph was so moved by seeing Benjamin, that he found a private place (with no one around) & wept. After washing his face, he went back out, under control, & said to serve the food.
They served Joseph by himself, the brothers by themselves, & the Egyptians by themselves. Because Egyptans couldn’t eat with Hebrews, for they thought it was “detestable.” The brothers were seated in order of their birth: oldest to the youngest.When the portions were served to the brothers from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was 5x bigger than anybody else’s. Everyone feasted & drank freely with him.