-The scene shifts back to Canaan and Jacob’s desperate decision to send ten of his sons to Egypt to buy grain for their survival. God had providentially provided for them and others through the dreams of Pharaoh and the interpretations with wisdom of Joseph.
-Upon their arrival, Joseph immediately recognizes his brothers but disguises himself so that they cannot make him out as their brother. He now is speaking another language and he successfully hides his identity. What a shock and surprise this must have been to Joseph in some respects as his brothers pleaded their cause before him as subservients, but he remembered his dreams and everything began to come together in his righteous mind. God’s plan was becoming apparent.
-It is interesting to note how often Joseph’s ten brothers claim they are “honest men” in the conversations they have. There is perceived skepticism from Joseph as to their truthfulness (for good reason). The virtue of honesty continues to weave its thematic web through the narrative as Joseph accuses them of being spies coming against Egypt.
-Joseph has them put in prison for three days, but then tells them he fears God and will test them to see if they are honest men by sending them back with grain to their household on the condition that one of them stays confined in prison until the youngest brother is brought back to him as proof of their story.
-The ten brothers say to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us (Genesis 42:21).” Reuben reminds them of his position back when of not wanting them to sin against the boy and fears the reckoning that is now occurring over his brother’s blood (he is assuming as they all have that Joseph has died). Joseph of course understands everything they are saying even though he is still disguising himself and has an interpreter with him. He turns away from them and weeps. *Application* This is the point of forgiveness, and restoration begins in this all important biblical family. We also need to come to the point in our lives where we see the sin that we have committed and it’s just consequences. We need to turn from our sin and back toward what we know is right in the eyes of God. This is true biblical repentance and is the first step in calling upon the LORD in faith (Acts 3:19; 20:21; 26:20, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, and many more).
-Simeon is then bound before their eyes and Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain along with all the money they had given for their product. This is discovered on their journey back to Canaan and it made their hearts sink because they felt like someone was setting them up and God was against them.
-They return home to their father Jacob and tell him all that occurred in Egypt. Jacob is distressed but Reuben assures him that Benjamin will be taken care of by him for his return. This is a promise of surety and Judah actually is the one who fulfills it (Genesis 44:32). *Application* This matter of surety is a guarantee. It is the same type of promise our LORD gives Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for His plan of salvation through the Messiah. These are looking forward in faith to the One, Jesus Christ, who is able to take their sins and make them pure before the God of the universe (for more insight on this see… Beach, J. Mark. Christ and the Covenant: Francis Turretin's Federal Theology as a Defense of the Doctrine of Grace. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2007).
Verse to memorize: Genesis 42:3