Joseph’s Brothers Learn He Is Ruler


“So the brothers left Egypt and went to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.” Genesis 45:25

Joseph had a very important job. He was next in line to Pharaoh, the King. Since he had informed the King there would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, it was his duty to buy food and store it for the years of famine or starvation.

The years of plenty ended, and Joseph opened the storehouse he had prepared. This made the people look upon Joseph as their Saviour.

The famine spread to countries all around Egypt, even to the land of Canaan. This meant old Jacob and his eleven sons had no food left. Jacob called his sons in and told them he had heard there was food in Egypt that had been stored by a Governor and was now selling the food. He sent his sons, all but Benjamin, down to Egypt to buy food. Benjamin was his youngest, and Jacob wanted him to stay with him.

The brothers went down to buy grain, but being separated so long from him, they did not recognize this great man dressed in a kingly robe. Joseph recognized his brothers, but pretended not to know them and accused them of being spies. They tried very hard to convince Joseph they were honest men and just wanted to buy food to take back to their old father and younger brother.

This was news to Joseph to know that after twenty years his father was still alive. He, too, wanted to see his youngest brother, Benjamin. So, his plan was that to convince him that they were not spies, they must go home, and bring their youngest brother. He had to leave the room for he was weary.

The brothers decided to leave Simon in Egypt while they took the grain home. On the way home they found the money in the grain sack. They were frightened thinking the Lord was bringing punishment on them for the wrong doing of their brother.

Jacob refused to let them take Benjamin to Egypt. The food gave out. They remembered Simon was still in prison. They refused to go for more food until Jacob consented for Benjamin to go, also. Judah promised to take special care of Benjamin.

This time they took special gifts with them. As they bowed down before Joseph, he could hardly look at Benjamin without telling him who he was.

He asked them to have dinner with him in his home. They made an effort trying to explain finding the money in their sacks, but instead of listening, he released Simon from prison.

This time when they all left for home, he not only had the money put in the sacks, but also had his silver cup put in Benjamin’s sack. After they were on their way, Joseph sent his servants to find the silver cup. The brothers told the servants repeatedly they did not steal the cup. Finding the cup, they were led back to Joseph’s house. They fell down trying to explain they had not stolen the cup.

The brothers said take any of us as prisoners, but Benjamin for if he does not return, our Father will die. This was too much for Joseph, he held out his hands and told them he was Joseph. At first they did not believe.

They fell down begging his forgiveness, but Joseph told them not to be afraid of him as the thing they did was not so bad. Joseph told them it was God’s will so he could save people from hunger.

He told them to go back to Canaan and bring your father. Jacob packed all their belongings, gathered his flocks and moved to Egypt. Because Pharaoh thought so much of Joseph, he gave them a special part of land at Goshen on which they could live.

Finally Jacob died and as promised, his sons took him back to Canaan to be buried with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebekah.


1. How did Joseph get this important job?

2. What was the job?

3. Why did Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt?

4. Who did they leave behind?

5. How did Joseph make sure that they bring Benjamin?

6. Why were the men returned to Joseph’s house?

7. Was Joseph angry with his brothers?

8. What was Jacob’s request when he died?


1. He interpreted the king’s dream 2. Buy and store food 3. Famine 4. Benjamin 5. To prove they weren’t spies 6. For stealing 7. No 8. To be buried with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebekah

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