Genesis 45

* Joseph comforts his brethren, and sends for his father. (1-15)

Pharaoh confirms Joseph's invitation, Joseph's gifts to his

brethren. (16-24) Jacob receives the news of Joseph's being

alive. (25-28)

1-15 Joseph let Judah go on, and heard all he had to say. He

found his brethren humbled for their sins, mindful of himself,

for Judah had mentioned him twice in his speech, respectful to

their father, and very tender of their brother Benjamin. Now

they were ripe for the comfort he designed, by making himself

known. Joseph ordered all his attendants to withdraw. Thus

Christ makes himself and his loving-kindness known to his

people, out of the sight and hearing of the world. Joseph shed

tears of tenderness and strong affection, and with these threw

off that austerity with which he had hitherto behaved toward his

brethren. This represents the Divine compassion toward returning

penitents. "I am Joseph, your brother." This would humble them

yet more for their sin in selling him, but would encourage them

to hope for kind treatment. Thus, when Christ would convince

Paul, he said, I am Jesus; and when he would comfort his

disciples, he said, It is I, be not afraid. When Christ

manifests himself to his people, he encourages them to draw near

to him with a true heart. Joseph does so, and shows them, that

whatever they thought to do against him, God had brought good

out of it. Sinners must grieve and be angry with themselves for

their sins, though God brings good out of it, for that is no

thanks to them. The agreement between all this, and the case of

a sinner, on Christ's manifesting himself to his soul, is very

striking. He does not, on this account, think sin a less, but a

greater evil; and yet he is so armed against despair, as even to

rejoice in what God hath wrought, while he trembles in thinking

of the dangers and destruction from which he has escaped. Joseph

promises to take care of his father and all the family. It is

the duty of children, if the necessity of their parents at any

time require it, to support and supply them to the utmost of

their ability; this is showing piety at home, #1Ti 5:4|. After

Joseph had embraced Benjamin, he caressed them all, and then his

brethren talked with him freely of all the affairs of their

father's house. After the tokens of true reconciliation with the

Lord Jesus, sweet communion with him follows.
16-24 Pharaoh was kind to Joseph, and to his relations for his

sake. Egypt would make up the losses of their removal. Thus

those for whom Christ intends his heavenly glory, ought not to

regard the things of this world. The best of its enjoyments are

but lumber; we cannot make sure of them while here, much less

can we carry them away with us. Let us not set our eyes or

hearts upon the world; there are better things for us in that

blessed land, whither Christ, our Joseph, is gone to prepare a

place. Joseph dismissed his brethren with a seasonable caution,

"See that ye fall not out by the way." He knew they were too apt

to be quarrelsome; and having forgiven them all, he lays this

charge upon them, not to upbraid one another. This command our

Lord Jesus has given to us, that we love one another, and that

whatever happens, or has happened, we fall not out. For we are

brethren, we have all one Father. We are all guilty, and instead

of quarrelling with one another, have reason to fall out with

ourselves. We are, or hope to be, forgiven of God, whom we have

all offended, and, therefore, should be ready to forgive one

another. We are "by the way," a way through the land of Egypt,

where we have many eyes upon us, that seek advantage against us;

a way that leads to the heavenly Canaan, where we hope to be for

ever in perfect peace.
25-28 To hear that Joseph is alive, is too good news to be

true; Jacob faints, for he believes it not. We faint, because we

do not believe. At length, Jacob is convinced of the truth.

Jacob was old, and did not expect to live long. He says, Let my

eyes be refreshed with this sight before they are closed, and

then I need no more to make me happy in this world. Behold Jesus

manifesting himself as a Brother and a Friend to those who once

were his despisers, his enemies. He assures them of his love and

the riches of his grace. He commands them to lay aside envy,

anger, malice, and strife, and to live in peace with each other.

He teaches them to give up the world for him and his fulness. He

supplies all that is needful to bring them home to himself, that

where he is they may be also. And though, when he at last sends

for his people, they may for a time feel some doubts and fears,

yet the thought of seeing his glory and of being with him, will

enable them to say, It is enough, I am willing to die; and I go

to see, and to be with the Beloved of my soul.
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