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Gen 45:4-25

Joseph had had 22 years to think about the purpose of his suffering and his relationship to his brothers.

- What do you think is most touching in this description?
- What had made Joseph convinced that it was God himself who had sent him to Egypt and not the brothers (5,7,8)?
- What is the difference between these two statements: “God permitted it that Joseph was sold as a slave” or “God sent Joseph to slavery”?
- How would Joseph probably have acted in this situation, if he had taken his misfortune from his brothers’ hand and not from God’s hand?
- How did the brothers feel when they heard Joseph’s words, especially verse 5?
- What should happen so that you could say about the pain that another person has caused you: “It was not he/she, it was God”?

- What do Joseph’s words tell about his relationship to his old father (9-13)?
- What kind of things Joseph wanted his father to know about him?
- Think about that day from Benjamin’s point of view who hadn’t known anything about the selling of Joseph. How did all this probably affect him (14)?
- What did Joseph probably talk about with each of his brothers (15)?
- In what ways did Joseph try to show his love for his brothers?
- What do these verses teach us about forgiveness?

You probably remember that in principal the Egyptians didn’t tolerate nomads among them.

- What made the Pharaoh make all these promises?

Shekel was a measure of weight: 10-16 grams.

- As a child Joseph had received an exceptional robe from his father. Why did he now want to give each of his brothers especially a fine robe and for Benjamin even five robes?
- How many kilos of silver did Benjamin get (22)?
- Do you think the other brothers felt a stitch of jealousy in their hearts when they saw Benjamin getting special treatment? Give reasons for your answer.
- What kind of quarrel Joseph was probably afraid of when he said the words of verse 24?
- How did the brothers’ faith in God change on this journey?

Summarizing question:
-In which ways Joseph is Jesus’ prefigure in this chapter?
- How does Joseph’s behavior resemble the behavior of the Prodigal Son’s father?

IN CONCLUSION: Joseph is Jesus’ prefigure as a forgiving brother. “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebr 2: 17-18, NIV)

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