Lesson 19: Joseph, Part 2

  • The Brothers Return to Egypt
  • A Test of True Repentance
  • Joseph Reveals His Identity
  • Reunion with Jacob
  • Jacob's Last Days
  • Parallels Between Joseph and Christ


At a mere 30 years of age, Joseph had attained a level of success which would have been regarded as fantasy only a decade earlier. Through the providence of God, this Hebrew shepherd boy had gone from slave to sovereign, holding a position of authority second only to Pharaoh himself.

Considering the cruel treatment which Joseph had suffered at the hands of his older brothers, most would have expected him to use his new powers to bring about sweeping revenge on them and their families. But Joseph was no ordinary ruler. He knew well the bitter taste of oppression and, having been delivered by the grace of God, he had also felt the warmth of mercy. Placed in a position of authority over his former persecutors, Joseph demonstrated his virtue by choosing forgiveness instead of vengeance.

Not only did Joseph righteously show compassion to his former enemies, he also revealed his profound understanding of God's long-term objectives for the people of Israel. To the outside observer, Joseph had been a victim of chance, tossed about in a sea of inexplicable suffering. In reality, each event in his life was sovereignly directed by his Heavenly Father in order to bring about the deliverance of an entire nation. As Joseph later explained to his bewildered brothers, "…Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good…" (Genesis 50:20)