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Gen 43:1-34

BACKGROUND: The situation in the beginning of this chapter is following: Simeon has been left in the Egyptian jail and will not be released before Benjamin is taken to the angry Prime Minister. Simeon’s wife and children are waiting for their father to come back home. Meanwhile all the food has been eaten in the camp and Jacob’s grandchildren are looking at their grandfather with big eyes and pale faces.

- Didn’t Joseph understand in what kind of a difficult situation he would put his father or didn’t he care?


- Judah had once suggested the selling of Joseph. What could have been his motive when he made the promise mentioned in verses 8-10 to his father?
- What made Jacob to change his mind and let Benjamin go?
- Were the words of old Jacob in verses 11-14 expression of faith or unbelief? Give reasons for your opinion.
- Jacob was not allowed to keep the dearest person on earth close to himself. Why did God want to test an old man by taking away the most precious thing from him?
- Why does God sometimes test also us in the same way – by taking away the most precious thing from us?
- What good did the separation probably do to Jacob’s and Benjamin’s relationship?

Note that Joseph’s servants didn’t understand the language the brothers were speaking. They always had to use an interpreter. Read also verse 42:25.
- What does it tell us that Joseph’s steward used such a name of God (23)?
- How did Joseph’s steward know which and what kind of God these men and their father believed in?
- What did the brothers realize when they saw Simeon (23b)?
- Why are all these details written in the Bible?

Read verse 32. We know on the basis of the secular history that Egyptian farmers despised the nomads calling them “the desert’s tramplers”.

- Why did Joseph want to eat together with his brothers?
- What does Joseph’s first question show us about him (27-28)?
- What kind of thoughts went through Joseph’s mind when he saw his little brother Benjamin after 20 years of separation?
- Why did Joseph cry (29-39)?
- What do you think the steward and servants were thinking about their master’s crying?
- Do you think Joseph was ashamed of his crying like men usually are? Give reasons for your answer.
- Verse 32 reveals that Joseph had never eaten at the same table with the Egyptians even though he was the second man of the state. Why hadn’t Joseph tried to conceal his nomadic origin and strive to become an Egyptian citizen?
- What things amazed the brothers when they were sitting at the dining table (33-34)?
- Which explanation is in your opinion more plausible: Did Joseph want to pour his brothers so much alcohol that they would get drunk or did the brothers drink it willingly too much?

Summarizing question:
- Where can you find Jesus in this chapter?
- Look for common characteristics between this meal and the last supper.

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