Genesis 43:26–34 (ESV)
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt
Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground. 27 And he inquired about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the
old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves. 29 And
he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30 Then Joseph hurried
out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, “Serve
the food.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to
the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 Portions
were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.
Joseph—motivated by love for Benjamin and his other brothers—tests his brothers to learn whether they will be jealous or abandon their youngest brother, as they had Joseph. Joseph’s conduct is like God’s. He displays both generosity
and severity, seeking repentance. The brothers’ fear comes from the alienating power of sin. When we do not rightly fear God, we fear other things more (Mt 10:28). Joseph’s banquet displays kindness and generosity, independent of his brothers’
recognition of his love. So also God blesses His people, even when they doubt His goodness. Jesus, like His earthly ancestor, Judah, offered Himself to His Father for us.
I pray: Holy God, give us grace to endure Your tests and to recognize Your kindness, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009).
The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 84). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.