Our challenge comes to an end, and the story of Joseph comes to end, but his name is mentioned again in Exodus 1 as a new king takes over who did not know Joseph. But before that Pharaoh comes into place we find Joseph more Egyptian than Israelite. He dies in Egypt and is buried in Egypt, probably in one of those big pyramid thingys, but he makes his brothers promise that when they leave Egypt that they will take his bones and bury them with the rest of his ancestors. I don’t think we ever find out if that actually happens.
The most interesting part of this chapter for me is how his brothers now seem to have a renewed sense of fear now that their father has passed away. Maybe, just maybe, Joseph is going to think that because dad is gone I can finally get my vengeance against my brothers. It is probably a similar thought that Jacob had when he was faced with the prospect of meeting his brother Esau. Maybe Esau will look to harm me because of the wrong that I did to him. But instead we see Esau cry on Jacob’s neck when they meet.
Joseph does something similar. When his brothers approach him and make up a story about Jacob telling them to ensure that their brother Joseph would not harm them he breaks down. They tell Joseph that their father commanded them to ask Joseph to forgive them. Once again Joseph repeats to them what he told them in chapter 45 that “even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.” He is reminding them that God paved the way for Joseph to get to Egypt so that the entire people of Israel could be saved. In fact, Joseph tells his brothers, that is exactly what has happened. Because of their evil action God has been able to work a miracle. No, don’t take that thought to its unfortunate conclusion, but in this case it works for Joseph as he tries to console his frightened brothers.
Well, we are done. This challenge is over.
On Ash Wednesday another challenge begins. You will find it below.