Genesis 45:1-15

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 45:1-15

  1. Locate the passage

As Joseph witnessed his brothers begin to take responsibility for their previous mistreatment of him and demonstrate maturity in their concern for Benjamin, he could no longer constrain himself. He could not endure the ruse one more minute. So, to their astonishment, Joseph revealed himself.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative and records the instance of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers. While the text suggests a conversation between them, the narrator only records Joseph speaking in this pericope.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

45:1-4 – I am Joseph

45:5-8 – God sent me before you

45:9-13 – I will provide for you

45:14-15 – Reconciliation and conversation

  1. Exegete the passage

Joseph put his brother in a position to abandon another brother as they had done to him. But, this time, the brothers refused to allow another brother to be lost. Joseph could see that they had changed. They had passed the test.

This passage revealed that Joseph harbored no hatred towards his brothers for how they treated him and was not interested in revenge. He had heard their grief over their treatment of him and He witnessed their concern over Benjamin. Yet, reconciliation had to begin with Joseph. He was the hurt party and he had the power to retaliate. But, the tension that began in Genesis 37 is finally resolved as Joseph forgives his brothers and recognizes God’s providence in “sending” him to Egypt. The tension between the phrases, “you sold me” (45:5) and “God sent me” (45:5, 7) reveal a mature understanding of God’s hand of providence even through his brother’s sin.

45:1-2 – Joseph had restrained himself for as long as he could.

45:3 – Is my father alive?

45:4 – Please come near

45:5 – You sold me … God sent me

45:6 – These two years

45:7 – “To preserve a posterity for you”

45:8 – He has made me a father … lord … ruler

45:9-11 – Joseph’s instructions to his brother were to:

45:12-13 – Joseph further explained how the brothers would convince Jacob to come

45:14-15 – Joseph is reconciled with his brothers

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

This passage reveals 5 responses from Joseph that define genuine reconciliation


Category: Sermon Structure
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