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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 45

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1Joseph was no longer able to control his feelings in front of all his attendants, and he called, ‘Let everyone leave my presence!’ There was nobody present when Joseph made himself known to his brothers, 2but he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and news of it got to Pharaoh's household. 3Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Can my father be still alive?’ They were so dumbfounded at finding themselves face to face with Joseph that they could not answer. 4Joseph said to them, ‘Come closer to me,’ and when they did so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5Now do not be distressed or blame yourselves for selling me into slavery here; it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6For there have now been two years of famine in the land, and there will be another five years with neither ploughing nor harvest. 7God sent me on ahead of you to ensure that you will have descendants on earth, and to preserve for you a host of survivors. 8It is clear that it was not you who sent me here, but God, and he has made me Pharaoh's chief counsellor a 45:8 chief counsellor: lit. father. , lord over his whole household and ruler of all Egypt. 9Hurry back to my father and give him this message from his son Joseph: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me without delay. 10You will live in the land of Goshen and be near me, you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that you have. 11I shall provide for you there and see that you and your household and all that you have are not reduced to want; for there are still five years of famine to come.” 12You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really Joseph himself who is speaking to you. 13Tell my father of all the honour which I enjoy in Egypt, tell him all you have seen, and bring him down here with all speed.’ 14He threw his arms round his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin too embraced him weeping. 15He then kissed each of his brothers and wept over them; after that his brothers were able to talk with him.

16When the report reached the royal palace that Joseph's brothers had come, Pharaoh and his officials were pleased. 17Pharaoh told Joseph to say to his brothers: ‘This is what you must do. Load your beasts and go straight back to Canaan. 18Fetch your father and your households and come to me. I shall give you the best region there is in Egypt, and you will enjoy the fat of the land.’ 19He was also to tell them: ‘Take wagons from Egypt for your dependants and your wives and fetch your father back here. 20Have no regrets at leaving your possessions, for all the best there is in the whole of Egypt is yours.’

21Israel's sons followed these instructions, and Joseph supplied them with wagons, as Pharaoh had ordered, and provisions for the journey. 22To each of them he gave new clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes. 23Moreover he sent his father ten donkeys carrying the finest products of Egypt, and ten she-donkeys laden with grain, bread, and other provisions for the journey. 24He sent his brothers on their way, warning them not to quarrel among themselves on the road. 25They set off, and went up from Egypt to their father Jacob in Canaan. 26When they told him that Joseph was still alive and was ruler of the whole of Egypt, he was stunned at the news and did not believe them. 27However when they reported to him all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had provided to fetch him, his spirit revived. 28Israel said, ‘It is enough! Joseph my son is still alive; I shall go and see him before I die.’

Notes:

a 45:8 chief counsellor: lit. father.

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