Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

Genesis 42-50

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - The Birth and Flight of Moses (Exodus 1-2)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Opening Prayer

Brotherly Love (Genesis 37)
    How well did Joseph get along with his brothers? = special tunic reached to palms & soles
      Genesis 37:4 = They hated him because Jacob loved him more
    How did Joseph contribute to this animosity?
      Genesis 37:2, 5 = Joseph squealed on them and dreamt twice they'd bow to him
    How did the brothers take out their anger towards their spoiled brother?
      Genesis 37:23-24, 28 = Sold him as a slave to traders going to Egypt
    What did the brothers tell their father and how did Jacob respond?
      Genesis 37:31-34 = Gave robe with goat's blood to Jacob, he grieved a long time

Good News / Bad News (Genesis 39-41)
    How did things go for Joseph in Egypt?
      Genesis 39:2, 4 = God gave Joseph success in everything, put in charge of house
    How did Joseph's situation change in a way that may have seemed that God deserted him?
      Genesis 39:7, 10, 14, 20 = After refused by Joseph, P's wife cried rape, he went to jail
    How did God remember Joseph in prison?
      Genesis 39:21, 23 = God gave Joseph success in everything, put in charge in jail

    What happened some time later that seemed like a way out for Joseph?
      Genesis 40:2, 4, 8, 14 = He revealed dreams to trusted servants of Pharaoh
    Did the cupbearer work for Joseph's release when he was restored as Joseph had foretold?
      Genesis 40:23 = No, he forgot Joseph

    How did this actually lead to Joseph's release in an entirely unexpected way?
      Genesis 41:1, 8-9, 12, 14 = Pharaoh sent for Joseph to interpret two dreams
    What happened after Joseph said that the dreams foretold 7 abundant & 7 famine years?
      Genesis 41:39-41 = Pharaoh put him over all Egypt to gather & distribute food

Seven and Seven (Genesis 41:46-57)
    How did Joseph spend the first seven years of his job for Pharaoh?
      Genesis 41:47, 49 = Went throughout Egypt gathering & storing grain, beyond measure
    How did Joseph know when to stop collecting and to start distributing the grain?
      Genesis 41:55 = When the people ran out of their own food & came to Pharaoh
    How did Joseph distribute the grain? Did he give it to the Egyptians?
      Genesis 41:56-57 = Sold it to anyone who came paying, Egyptian or otherwise

Interesting, But Is It Pertinent? (Genesis 42:1-8)
    What do all of these stories about Joseph in Egypt have to do with God's people in Canaan?
      Genesis 42:1-5 = Famine was severe in Canaan, Jacob sent sons to buy grain in Egypt
    Did Jacob's sons get to see their long-lost brother when they went to Egypt?
      Genesis 42:6-8 = Yes, but they didn't recognize him
    Why didn't they recognize their own brother? = 17 when sold as slave, now late 30s
      Genesis 41:45; 42:23 = Never expected brother to be Egyptian gov, diff. name

Spies From Canaan (Genesis 42:9-24)
    Did Joseph take advantage of the situation and take revenge against his brothers?
      Genesis 42:9-14 = Looks like it at first glance, accused them of being spies
    If not taking revenge, what was Joseph doing through these accusations?
      Genesis 43:7 = An excuse for asking questions to get updated on family situation
    How did Joseph build on this to see if his brothers had changed? = In prison 3 days without hope
      Genesis 42:15-20 = Would they stand by their brother or save their own skin

    Why did the brothers think this was happening to them?
      Genesis 42:21-22 = Punishment for what they had done to Joseph 20 years before
    Did Joseph get a chance to hear his brothers' remorse? = Simeon 2nd oldest; Reuben saved J's life
      Genesis 42:23-24 = They spoke in front of him in Hebrew, he continued with plan

Another Difficult Message for Dad (Genesis 42:25-38)
    How does it become clear that Joseph had forgiven his brothers & wasn't seeking revenge?
      Genesis 42:25-26 = He filled their grain orders and returned their silver payment
    What did the brothers think when they found the silver in their packs? = v11, we are honest men
      Genesis 42:27-28 = Afraid they would be considered thieves, more punishment
    How did Jacob respond when the brothers told him their story?
      Genesis 42:29-36 = Afraid of losing his youngest son, Benjamin
    How did Reuben try to get Jacob's confidence, and did it work?
      Genesis 42:37-38 = Offered his sons as collateral, Jacob said no way

When Ya Gotta Go... (Genesis 43:1-14)
    What made Jacob reconsider his decision not to let Benjamin go to Egypt?
      Genesis 43:1-5 = They ran out of food again and had to go buy some more
    Who put his own neck on the line to convince Jacob to send Benjamin?
      Genesis 43:6-10 = Judah - you can hold me personally responsible for him
    What did Jacob decide? = Asked God for safe return of his sons
      Genesis 43:11-14 = Sent them with gifts for the gov & double silver for payment

A Confusing Fellowship Meal (Genesis 43:15-34)
    What happened as soon as the brothers reached Joseph? = Hadn't seen Ben since 1 yr old, now 23
      Genesis 43:15-17 = Without explaining, Joseph had brothers taken to his house
    What did the brothers think about being taken to Joseph's house?
      Genesis 43:18-22 = They thought they'd be taken as slaves for stealing the silver
    How did Joseph's steward calm their fears?
      Genesis 43:23 = Said payment was credited in full, not stolen, released Simeon

    How did the brothers respond when Joseph arrived for lunch?
      Genesis 43:24-26 = They bowed down to him (dreams fulfilled) & presented gifts
    What was the most valuable gift Joseph received from them?
      Genesis 43:27-30 = Good news of his father's health & seeing his only full brother
    How did this lunch become even more confusing?
      Genesis 43:31-33 = They had been seated in order of age - how did they know?
    What other strange thing did the brothers see at this meal?
      Genesis 43:34 = Bejamin was given 5 times as much food

Stolen Silver (Genesis 44)
    Did Joseph let the brothers go home, never to see them again or reveal himself to them?
      Genesis 44:1-5 = He carried out another "silver in the pouch" plan
    How did the brothers respond to accusations of stealing the governor's silver cup?
      Genesis 44:6-10 = They wouldn't do such a thing, guilty one would become slave
    What happened when the sacks were searched?
      Genesis 44:11-12 = It was found in Benjamin's sack

    What did the brothers do with the prospect of telling Jacob that Benjamin is a slave?
      Genesis 44:13-16 = Returned to Joseph & offered selves as slaves (bowed again)
    Did Joseph accept this?
      Genesis 44:17 = No, only the guilty one would become his slave, rest are free
    Who steps up on Benjamin's behalf?
      Genesis 44:18-34 = Judah pleads with Joseph to take him as slave instead

    Luther: What would I not give to be able to pray before the Lord as Judah here interceded for Benjamin, for it is a perfect model of prayer, nay, of the strong feeling which must underlie all prayer.

Joseph Exposed (Genesis 45)
    How much further does Joseph continue to push things? = Shown repentance for wrongs to J
      Genesis 45:1-2 = He stops here; he breaks down and tells them who he is
    How does Joseph make it clear to them he has forgiven them and holds no grudges?
      Genesis 45:3-7 = God allowed it all so Joseph could save them from famine
    What further plans did Joseph have?
      Genesis 45:8-11 = To have Jacob and the entire family move to Egypt
    How was Joseph seeing part of God's plan, but missing the bigger part?
      Genesis 15:13-14 = God was bringing His chosen people to Egypt for 400 yrs preparation

Retiring in the Land of Goshen (Genesis 46-50)
    How did the 130 year old Jacob respond to the idea of moving to Egypt?
      Genesis 45:25-46:1 = He was thrilled at seeing Joseph again
    How did he know it was okay with God to leave Canaan and move to Egypt?
      Genesis 46:2-4 = God told him in a vision to go
    Did Jacob plan to move to Egypt or just visit? = 66 people + 4 in Egypt (Joseph +)
      Genesis 46:5-7, 26-27 = He took everything and everyone, a permanent move

    How did Jacob react when he saw Joseph for the first time in 20 years?
      Genesis 46:29-30 = Emotional reunion, Jacob felt his life was now complete
    What promise did Jacob ask of Joseph?
      Genesis 47:29-30 = To bury him in Abraham's cave, not in Egypt
    Did Joseph fulfill this promise?
      Genesis 50:7, 13 = Yes, went with all of the family and a lot of Egyptian officials

God Intended it for Good (Genesis 50:15-21)
    What concerned Joseph's brothers after their father died?
      Genesis 50:15-18 = Joseph might now take revenge in them, offered as slaves
    How did Joseph respond to their fears?
      Genesis 50:19-21 = You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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