Children's Bible Ministry of Connecticut, USA

Joseph’s Brothers Bow

Joseph’s brothers had lived with their guilt for more than twenty years. It was time for them to fix their hearts. The years of plenty had gone by. Now were the years of famine and all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy food.

‘I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you will never leave Egypt unless your youngest brother comes here! One of you must go and get your brother. I’ll keep the rest of you here in prison. Then we’ll find out whether or not your story is true.’ – Slide 14One day Jacob’s ten sons came to Egypt to buy food. They came to Joseph and they bowed down! The brothers didn’t recognize Joseph. They had not seen him since he was a teenager. He was older and he dressed and talked like an Egyptian. They didn't recognize him, but Joseph recognized his brothers!

God used Joseph to test the brothers to get them to own up to their evil past. Joseph spoke roughly to them. He called them spies. Joseph then bound Simeon and put him in prison. The others were to take food to their families and return with Benjamin to prove they were honest men and not spies.

They did not know that Joseph could understand all they were saying as they had been speaking through an interpreter. Joseph turned away from them and began to weep. – Slide 18They said to one another, "We are truly guilty concerning our brother, Joseph. Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us." They spoke amongst themselves in their Hebrew language. They did not know that Joseph understood them. Joseph longed to make himself known to his brothers. He loved them. It was hard for Joseph to keep from crying for joy. He sent them away with full sacks of corn for their families and ordered that their money be put back into the sacks. The brothers would later think they were in trouble for not having paid for the corn.

They told their father, Jacob all the things that had happened to them in Egypt. Jacob insisted that he would not let Benjamin go to Egypt. Jacob said, "You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me." (Genesis 42:36).

No, Jacob, what the brothers thought for evil, God meant for good. Indeed, "all things work together for good to them that love God . . ." (Romans 8:28).

 When Joseph arrived, they bowed and gave him their gifts. ‘How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?’ Joseph asked. They bowed low again and replied, ‘Our father, your servant, is alive and well.’ – Slide 12Joseph was suddenly overcome with emotion and had to rush away to his private room where he broke down and wept. – Slide 14Judah promised to take care of Benjamin and so the brothers went and stood once more before Joseph. They still did not know who he was. He invited them to his home for lunch. They once again bowed before him (43:36). Joseph again was so overcome with joy that he had to leave the room to cry. But he continued to test them to see if they were owning up to their past evil deeds.

Joseph seated them in order around the table. (How did he know?) He favored Benjamin with the biggest portion of food. Then he sent them away and had his silver cup hidden in Benjamin’s sack. When it was found they returned sticking up for their younger brother. (They had not stuck up for Joseph!) Judah offered to take Benjamin’s place in punishment.

Joseph could stand it no longer. He sent to his attendants out of the room so he was alone with his brothers. Then he told them, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?’ His brothers were stunned and speechless. – Slide 26Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them. ‘Now hurry back to my father and come down to me immediately!’ he told them. ‘You can live in the region of Goshen, where I will take care of you, for there are still five years of famine ahead. Otherwise you will starve.’ – Slide 28Joseph could not hold back any longer. Joseph said unto his brethren, "I am Joseph, your brother, who you sold into Egypt. Now therefore do not be grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here: for God did send me before you to preserve life." Genesis 45:4-5.

Joseph sent them home to bring their father and their families. He would nourish and take care of them in Egypt. Later, after their father Jacob had died the brothers were afraid Joseph might get even with them. The brothers went and fell down before his face, and they said, "Behold, we are your servants." Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:18-21.

And we know

that all things work together for good

to them that love God, to them

who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Joseph, part one - Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors

Joseph, part two - Joseph and His Brothers

Joseph, part three - Joseph in Eygpt

Joseph, part four - Joseph and Pharaoh

images courtesy of Sweet Publishing /

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