Saturday, April 2, 2011

Genesis 45:16-24 Pharaoh's Reaction

"When the news reached Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased.  Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Tell your brothers, "Do this:  Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, and bring your father and your families back to me.  I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land."

'You are also directed to tell them, "Do this:  Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come.  Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours." '

Pharaoh seemed quite excited to have the rest of Joseph's family come to live in Egypt.  It appears that he genuinely appreciated the work of his prime minister Joseph, and was happy to offer Joseph's family the best of the land.  This is actually quite appropriate, for Joseph's plan and work had saved his country from starvation.  Now Pharaoh is happy to do the same for Joseph's extended family.

"So the sons of Israel did this.  Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey.  To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes.  And this is what he sent to his father:  ten donkeys, loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey.  Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, 'Don't quarrel on the way!' " (Genesis 45:16-24 NIV)

I find it kind of strange that Joseph has to warn the brothers against quarreling on the way home.  Granted, they had been jealous and quarrelsome years before.  Also, Joseph had given Benjamin silver and clothing beyond what he gave to the other brothers.   Perhaps he is still a bit worried that something will happen to derail the plan to bring his father Jacob to Egypt.

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