Genesis 42:25-38


Verse 25-28, Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. {26} And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence. {27} And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth. {28} And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?

I.    Verse 25, Joseph's commands.

A.     Joseph made three commands.

1.       To fill their sacks with corn.

2.       To lay every man's money in the top of one of his sacks.

a.      I don't know if they bought the sacks in Egypt.

b.      Or is they brought the sacks with them.

3.       To give them provision for the way.

B.     The reason for the three commands.

1.       Joseph didn't want the brothers opening their sacks immediately after they left Egypt.

2.       He wanted them to get a pretty good piece down the road, so it would be too far to return to Egypt to return the money.

3.       I personally believe the brothers were almost home before one of the brothers opened one of his sacks and found the money.


II.    Verse 26-28, The discovery of the money.

A.     One of the brothers found his money when he open the sack to feed his donkey.

1.       There is no way of knowing which brother this was.

2.       I suppose if it was important, God would have told us.

B.     The money was in the sack's mouth, or laying on top of the grain.

C.     Their heart failed them, and they were afraid.

1.       This does not mean that they had a heart attack.

2.       It means that they thought their heart would stop beating, or that it would burst it was beating so hard and fast.

3.       We have all had this sensation when sudden fear came upon us.

4.       The Bible says we shouldn't fear "sudden fear".

D.     "What is this that God hath done unto us?"

1.       They blame God because they know they are guilty concerning Joseph and deserve to be punished.

2.       Oftentimes, we blame God for the good and credit "luck" for the good.  This should not be.

3.       If our conscience is clear before God, we won't blame God for the evil that comes upon us.


Verse 29-34, And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying, {30} The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. {31} And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies: {32} We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. {33} And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone: {34} And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land.

I.    These verses are a rehearsal of their trip to their father.


II.    Things they leave out.

A.     They don't tell that they have spent three days in jail.

B.     They don't tell that Simeon is in jail, although Jacob can see that he is not with them.

C.     They do call Joseph the "lord of the land" two times.

1.       Verse 30.

2.       Verse 33.


Verse 35-38, And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. {36} And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. {37} And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. {38} And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

I.    The opening of the sacks.

A.     Apparently only one sack was opened on the way home.

B.     They evidently opened all the remaining sacks into a common storage bin designed to keep insects and rodents out.

C.     They were afraid when they saw the money.

1.       This is natural.

2.       They were more afraid than before for they didn't know what to think!


II.    Jacob's reaction.

A.     He blamed his sons for his troubles.

1.       He blamed them for the loss of Joseph, and Simeon.

2.       He had good reason, for he couldn't trust his sons.

3.       It is indeed terrible when a father can't trust his children.

4.       When parents have children they can trust, it is a great blessing indeed.

B.     "All these things are against me".

1.       Jacob is wrong, it only seems like everything is against him.

2.       Actually, everything is for him.

3.       Romans 8:28 - Everything works for our good and God's glory.  This is promise we have from God, and we ought to believe it even when the circumstances we are in look bad.

4.       I don't want to blame Jacob for his thinking, because every one of us have said the same thing at one time or another.


III.    Reuben's answer.

A.     Reuben is the only one to say anything, probably because he is the only one that is not filled with guilt.

B.     Slay my two sons.

1.       I don't believe Reuben is actually giving his sons to his father to slay.

2.       I don't believe Jacob would even consider killing these two grandsons.

3.       Reuben is giving them as "insurance".  Actually he is saying, "I understand some of the grief you feel.  You are afraid you have lost two sons, and will lose a third.  I will give up my two sons if I don't return Benjamin to you.

C.     Reuben does not say "if the Lord will".

1.       He is depending entirely upon his own strength to bring Benjamin home.

2.       We should remember never to trust our strength, but to totally rely on the strength of Christ.


IV.    Verse 38, Jacob's reply to Reuben.

A.     Benjamin shall not go with you.

1.       Jacob has lost Joseph.

2.       Benjamin is the only "living" child of Jacob and Rachel.

3.       Jacob is afraid of something happening on the trip that Reuben can't help.

B.     Jacob says he will die of grief.

1.       Sometimes there are circumstances we face that we just don't think we can face.

2.       Our strength is gone when we face the mountain of trouble before us.

C.     Jacob is not ready at this time to let Benjamin go.

1.       But when it is necessary he will be ready.

2.       This is the way it is with us.  We look at a situation, and think we cannot endure it.  But when the time comes, and we know we must, we find we are able to do that which before we couldn't do.


V.    Benjamin.

A.     I really don't know where is a good place to put this, but it does need to be included somewhere.

B.     Benjamin is not a child, as we sometimes picture him.

1.       According to Genesis 46:21 Benjamin has 10 sons.

2.       This is more sons than any of the other brothers.

3.       This shows us that God is well able to bless those He intends to bless.

C.     The age of Benjamin.

1.       Genesis 30:22-24 - Joseph was born when Jacob was working for Laban.

2.       Genesis 31 - Jacob leaves Laban, probably one year later, and certainly not two years.

3.       Genesis 35:16-20 - Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin and was buried near Bethlehem.

4.       This makes me believe that Benjamin was one or two years younger than Joseph.

5.       This puts Benjamin in his late 20's or early 30's.

D.     Some would think Jacob should not "hang onto" a child this age.

1.       Those people are probably young and do not understand that the youngest child in the family will always be "the baby" to the parents.

2.       In truth, the parent that does not want to "hang onto" their children must not love, or care for their welfare very much.