The famine, being severe in all the region (world), was now affecting life in Canaan and Israel’s household . So Jacob sends his ten other sons to Egypt to buy grain. Thus starts a series of events that re-unites Joseph with his family.
As this section begins we find Joseph being honoured by his brothers. “Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.” Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” “No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food. We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”
This was predicted in Joseph’s dream . Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers sold him into slavery , he entered Pharaoh’s service at age 30, and there were 7 years of “abundance and 7 years of “famine” , which would be a total of 27 years. The years of famine were not yet over, so there would be approximately 21 years now since Joseph had last seen his brothers. At this time Joseph was in every respect an Egyptian, in that he dressed, lived, spoke, and conducted himself in the same manner as the people of Egypt. It can beunderstood therefore why hewas not immediately recognized by his brothers. “As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them…..Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.”
This reminds us of the time when our Lord Jesus travelled throughout Jerusalem and Galilee; those who should have recognized him did not, because their eyes were “blind” to the fact that God “lived among men”.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself….” “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”
The story continues and we see Joseph’s brothers returning to their father in Canaan with the purchased grain, only to find to their horror that the purchase money had been placed in the sacks of grain. Sharing their experience in Egypt with their father, and the condition under which their next visit had to be made; when some time had elapsed, we see them returning to Egypt with their youngest brother Benjamin. At this time Joseph makes himself known to his brothers, and again we can see a parallel to our Lord Jesus. “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.”
Joseph, in quieting the fears of his brothers, speaks of the reason why God allowed the series of circumstances to occur which had now led to this meeting. Again we see a similarity in the purpose of our Lord’s coming to earth, his death, burial and resurrection. “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. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
As the account ends we see Jacob and all his family moving to Egypt at the request of both Joseph and Pharaoh, once in Egypt Joseph is reunited with his father. Joseph then promises to care for his father and brothers and all their family; they are given the best of the land to live in and to enjoy. So too has the Lord Jesus done, and will complete on a coming day, for all those who “love His appearing”. “You shall live….and be near me–you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there…..I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’ …..the best of all Egypt will be yours.'”
Although Egypt (the world) is not our eternal home, yet still the Lord has promised to those who love him the best of everything, both in this world and the world to come. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”