Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”     — Genesis 45:4-5

When in doubt, tell the truth.   — Mark Twain

 

With full bellies and bags full of grain, the eleven brothers set out on a return trip home. Joseph had one more trick up his sleeve, however. He instructed his steward to slip Joseph’s silver divining cup into Benjamin’s bag. Not long after the brothers departed, Joseph instructed the steward to go after the brothers to retrieve the cup, saying it had been stolen and the brother who stole it would become Joseph’s slave.

All the brothers return with the steward and Benjamin, but it is Judah who steps up and offers to trade himself for Benjamin. When Joseph dismisses the offer, Judah accuses Joseph of callous disregard for their father and the suffering he could not endure should Benjamin be lost to him, too.

Joseph can no longer control himself and sends everyone out of the room except for the brothers. He weeps so loudly that not only his entire household hears, but also Pharaoh’s household. It’s then that he reveals himself as Joseph, their brother, and encourages them to bring their father and all their families back to Egypt where he can protect them all.

It was a sweet deal for Jacob’s family, especially with five more years of famine to come. Goshen was fertile land, with plenty of space for the 70 family members who would return to live there.

Jacob and Joseph would be reunited. Finally. If only truth had been spoken from the start.

 

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