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Gen 42: 1-28

BACKGROND: Joseph had been lost 13 + 7 + 1 = 21 years and he was now 38 years old. His brothers were 40 – 50 years of age, except for Benjamin, who was still under thirty. The big brothers were married and had children.

- Do you think that the brothers sometimes talked about Joseph’s destiny with each other? Why, why not? (1-2 and 21)
- In which ways did the secret about Joseph’s destiny affect the life of Jacob’s clan?
- How had the father probably raised his youngest son, Joseph’s whole brother (4)?

- How is it possible that the brothers didn’t recognize Joseph?
- What kind of thoughts were probably going around in Joseph’s mind at that moment? (Do you think Joseph still felt the desire for revenge?)
- Suddenly Joseph remembered all the dreams he had seen in his childhood. How did they affect him (9-12)?
- Why did Joseph begin to call his brothers spies instead of revealing them who he was?
- What would you do, if the person who has hurt you the most, suddenly were at your mercy?

Note that each of the brothers had a wife and children in the land of Canaan and they would starve to death, if the brothers wouldn’t soon get back home.

- What did Joseph first demand of his brothers (13-17)?
- What does is show about Joseph’s brothers that none of them wanted to fetch Benjamin from the land of Canaan?
- What did Joseph want to achieve by putting his brother in prison?
- What made Joseph change his mind and let his brother out of the prison (18-19)?
- Why did Joseph ask the brothers to bring him especially Benjamin and not for instance their father (20)?
- What kind of things does this chapter reveal us about Joseph’s faith?

- Look at the verses 21-22 and 28. What do you think: which one has lived a happier life since their last encounter; Joseph or his brothers? Why?
- How does a bad conscience affect a man’s everyday life and his relationships?
- What do you do, if your conscience is blaming you? (You can answer this question also silently.)
- What does is it show about Joseph that he still was able to cry in that situation (23-24a)?
- Why did Joseph cry?
- What was probably the hardest thing for Simeon when he had to stay alone in the Egyptian prison (24b)?
- Why did Joseph want to return his brothers the price of the grain (27-28 and 35)?

Summarizing question:
- Where can you find Jesus in this chapter?

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