Notes: Genesis 42-43

English language Bible study guide for February 13, 2008

Genesis 42

I. Jacob’s famine disaster plan (1-5)

2: Go to Egypt; they have food


II. Joseph, now the Egyptian governor and unrecognized by his brothers, accuses them of being spies (6-17)

9: Do you remember Joseph’s dreams?

16: One of you may go and fetch your younger brother.

17: I’ll put you in prison while you make up your minds.


III. Still incognito, Joseph imprisons Simeon and sends the other 9 home with food AND their money (18-28)

19: After 3 days, Joseph says: Ok, one must stay; the rest of you may go and fetch your younger brother.

22: Joseph hears Reuben tell his brothers that their current trouble is payback for what they did to Joseph.

25: Each man’s money, which he gave for Egyptian grain, is put into his sack along with the grain–according to Joseph’s orders and unbeknownst to the brothers.

28. When the money is discovered, God is blamed.


IV. Jacob learns of the happenings in Egypt, but holds to Benjamin and ignores Simeon’s plight (29-38)

35: Once home, the men discover that all the money has been returned.

36: Joseph seems little concerned for Simeon.


Meditation Points:

  1. Isaac had been forbidden to go to Egypt
  2. Joseph’s dream is fulfilled
  3. Why the ruse about the brothers being spies and the money returned to their sacks?
  4. With Joseph missing and presumed dead, and Simeon locked away in an Egyptian prison, Jacob is afraid to send Benjamin with this brothers.
  5. The narrative of the interview with Joseph and finding the money seems contradicted in the telling by the brothers.


Genesis 43

I. After the initial Egyptian grain is gone and the famine persists, Jacob proposes another trip to Egypt (1-10)

3: The brothers refuse to go back to Egypt without Benjamin.

4: Similar to Reuben’s earlier offer, Judah now volunteers to be surety for Benjamin.


II. When his sons refuse to go without Benjamin, Jacob relents (11-14)

11: Jacob orders his sons to take back the money that had been mysteriously placed in their grain sacks at the time of their first visit to Egypt.

12: An oversight?

13: Benjamin is reluctantly sent with the others.

14: A parting prayer to God Almighty


III. With double money and gifts for Joseph, his brothers venture back to seek food (15-25)

16: Joseph gives instructions that his brothers are to be brought to his house

19-23: When the brothers try to give back the money, Joseph’s steward says that God must have put the money in their sacks


IV. Joseph receives them and entertains them (26-34)

27: Joseph asks about Jacob’s welfare

29-31: The sight of Benjamin brings Joseph to tears

34: Joseph provides a feast for his brothers


Meditation Points:

  1. Why would the elder brothers offer to guarantee Benjamin’s safety?
  2. Famine make Jacob weigh the consequences of keeping Benjamin at home.
  3. Where the brothers had blamed God for the confusion concerning the money, Jacob asks God to help them on their 2nd journey to Egypt.
  4. A gift is not necessarily a bribe.
  5. Joseph’s steward credits the Hebrew’s God with putting money in their sacks.
  6. Did you ever cry when you saw a loved one for the first time in 20 years?