Genesis 45:16-23


I.    Verse 16,  And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.  The preparations for Israel to come into Egypt must go through Pharaoh.

A.     This section starts with Pharaoh's hearing.

1.       It is described as "fame", or a very great thing.

2.       I think it is very remarkable that there is no mention that anybody thought about Joseph's family until this point.

3.       The Egyptians had accepted Joseph as a savior and apparently hadn't thought of his family.

4.       If they had asked any questions about his family, Joseph would have been forced to tell them about his brothers selling him into bondage.

5.       The way things turned out, the Egyptians will have no hard feelings toward Joseph's brothers, for they probably never learn that they sold him into bondage.

B.     Joseph's servants heard the weeping first.

1.       The servants were very faithful to Joseph, therefore, there is no record that the servants told anybody anything about them hearing Joseph weeping.

2.       If Joseph wanted them to tell the news, they would obey, but from the record in the scriptures concerning their faithfulness to Joseph, I don't think they would say anything he hadn't commanded them to.

3.       We ought to be so faithful to God that we only tell what He tells us to, no matter how "juicy" the story is.


II.    Pharaoh was well pleased.

A.     Pharaoh, and all Egypt loved Joseph, so anything that made him happy would make them happy.

B.     God worked in all this, for Israel must come into Egypt.


Verse 17-20,  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; {18} And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. {19} Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. {20} Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.

I.    Verse 17,18 - Pharaoh's command.

A.     This is the same command Joseph had already given.

1.       It is important that Joseph gives the command, but when Pharaoh says the same thing, the brothers can be sure everything is okay.

2.       Joseph was not going over the head of Pharaoh by asking his family to come to Egypt.

3.       Pharaoh didn't command the brothers directly, but told Joseph to tell them.

4.       There is no record that all of the brothers ever came into the presence of Pharaoh.

a.      Genesis 47:2 - Joseph did present five of his brothers to Pharaoh.

b.      There is no record as to which of the brothers he presented.

B.     Go back into the land of Canaan.

1.       The brothers are commanded to take the food they bought in Egypt.

2.       They will need food for the trip, both coming and going.

C.     Return to Egypt with everything you own.

1.       Bring Jacob back.

2.       Bring every household back.

3.       They are to return to Pharaoh, not Joseph.

4.       They are answerable to Pharaoh if they don't come back, not to Joseph.

5.       Pharaoh, not Joseph, will give Israel the good of Egypt.

6.       They shall also eat the best of the food.


II.    Verse 19,20 - The commandment reaffirmed.

A.     This is not a fierce command, but a gentle reminder that they are to obey Pharaoh.

B.     Take wagons.

1.       The wagons will be used to haul additional food to Canaan.

2.       Jacob and sons wives and the young children will ride in the wagons on the way back.

3.       A wagon would certainly be a comfort to an old man, 130 years old.

C.     Leave your stuff in Canaan.

1.       They belongings would not be as nice as what they would have in Egypt.

2.       Leaving their stuff behind would also hasten their returning to Egypt.

3.       Possessions often hinder the saved person in his spiritual life.

4.       We should remember that this world will soon be destroyed by fire, and the only thing we will have left are those things we have sent on to eternity before us.


Verse 21-23,  And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. {22} To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. {23} And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.

I.    The commandment was obeyed.

A.     The brothers did so.

1.       The commandment took at least 20 days traveling time.

2.       By the time the brothers got back, probably 30 to 40 days had passed.

B.     Joseph also obeyed.

1.       He gave the necessary wagons.

2.       He also gave them the necessary provision for the way.


II.    Joseph gave other gifts.

A.     The plural word "changes" indicates that each brother got at least two changes of raiment.

1.       The brothers were jealous of Joseph's many colored coat 22 years ago, now they are the recipient of new clothes from Joseph.

2.       The new clothes are a sign of Joseph's love for them like the many colored coat was a sign of Jacob's love for Joseph.

3.       A change of raiment indicates a new life.

4.       The brothers are leaving a life of hatred for a life of love.

B.     Benjamin got 300 pieces of silver and five changes of raiment.

1.       Benjamin is Joseph's favorite because he is his full blooded brother.

2.       There is no hint of jealously at Joseph's generous gift.

3.       Five is the Bible number for grace, for it is by the grace of God that Benjamin, who has done nothing is the brother of Joseph, the savior.

4.       It is by grace that we are counted as brothers of Christ, (we are joint heirs with Him) who is our Savior.


III.    Jacob got 20 asses loaded with food.

A.     This is probably 20 times what was necessary.

B.     Joseph gave out of a heart of love, and love also gives more than is necessary.

C.     God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son.

D.     He has given us much more than we need for a victorious life.