Genesis 45 • Joseph’s Second Appearance


Everyone has experienced being an innocent victim, of experiencing evil or sin or injustice at the hands of another without due cause or justification. If life provided an opportunity where the tables were turned so that YOU were in complete control and authority over THEM, what would you do? Have you ever said, “If I ever get the chance, I’ll....(fill in the blank)?” How deeply do you believe that God is sovereign and supreme over EVERYTHING, even the evil, sins, and injustices committed against us? In a very real sense, Joseph is the Old Testament precursor of the New Testament teaching, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Read verses 1-3

Q: What happened the first time they saw Joseph on their previous trip to Egypt?

A: They did not recognize him.

Q: What is the significance of their recognition and reaction the second time he appears to them?

A: It’s the teaching of Joseph as a “type” of Messiah. Christ is rejected by His brothers (Israel) at his first coming, but weep greatly at their recognition of Him at His Second Coming, something that is spoken of elsewhere in Scripture as well.

Read verses 4-15

Q: What had Joseph’s brothers believed concerning Joseph?

A: They thought he was probably dead, but that at the very least there was still God’s punishment awaiting them for what they did to him. During their first visit they revealed:

Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”

— Genesis 42:21-22

Q: But when Joseph sent them away he graciously (and secretly) returned their money to them by placing it in each of their sacks of grain. What was their reaction and why?

A: They said, “What is this that God has done for us?” (Genesis 42:28) They interpret everything negatively, knowing that they are worthy of punishment for their sin against Joseph so many years ago, even to this very day.

Q: How does Joseph explain the proper interpretation of the things that they did to him?

Application: What is there about how Joseph handled injustice and evil in his life—even at the hands of people he loved—that may apply to you right now? How should we go about seeking an answer to why something has been allowed to happen? How should we approach reconciliation with those that have committed sins against us? What should we learn from Joseph’s brothers in regards to the way we may have treated others?

Q: What does Joseph’s response teach us about the Messiah?

A: In the same way, Christ comforts, reassures, and extends both forgiveness and the promise of future protection to all who accept Him at the point of recognition, regardless of their past.

Point: People have focused on certain “signs” that will divulge for sure that the Last Days are in motion such as the rise of the beast, his mark, Jews returning to Israel, rebuilding the temple, and so on. Actually, the earliest and most reliable such sign that will occur is large-scale spiritual revival in Israel, when Jews begin to recognize and accept Jesus as Christ in overwhelming numbers.

Read verses 16-20

Q: What might the Egyptians’ reaction teach us about Israel and the Messiah?

A: That the church at large, mainly composed of Gentiles, should not only be the most happy to see Jews reconciled to Christ Jesus their mutual Messiah, but should facilitate every opportunity for this to occur.

Note: There is a very false movement to “hasten” the Second Coming by Gentile organizations that facilitate moving Jews back to the physical land of Israel without “imposing” on them the preaching of the Gospel or conversion to Christianity. This is completely unbiblical and unsupported by this passage, wherein the Gentiles facilitate the reconciliation of Joseph and Jacob—representing Jesus and Israel—NOT restoration to the physical land of Israel.

Read verses 21-28

Q: What is the deeper, spiritual meaning of Joseph giving his brothers each a new set of clothes?

A: Throughout the Bible, clean clothes symbolize being consecrated and purified for the presence of God, a teaching about salvation, justification, and sanctification. It indicates shedding of the old life (old, dirty garments) for the new (clean, new garments) that can only be given by the Lamb of God.

Q: What might be said about the 300 pieces of silver?

A: Silver always represents redemption throughout Scripture. It’s a very powerful illustration of Christ’s grace and forgiveness, to repay 10 tens times in forgiveness the amount that was originally paid to betray Him. Or in Joseph’s case, 15 times the amount Judah received for selling him to the Ishmaelites.

Q: And the bread for the journey?

A: The spiritual sustenance provided through the Word of God.

Q: How is Jacob’s reaction to the news of Joseph the same that everyone—Jew or Gentile—has concerning Jesus?

A: What was thought to be dead is found to actually be alive. It alludes to the work of the cross and resurrection, both in the person of Jesus and in each person that accepts the reality of that truth.

Overall Application