The great reveal happens in this chapter. Joseph has had enough of the intrigue and must let his brothers know that he is still alive. He sends everyone out of the room and reveals himself to them. They are dismayed. They don’t believe it, and they hesitate to approach him. He has to tell them a second time that he is Joseph, the one that they sold into slavery, and it is only then that they are able to approach him. Just imagine how traumatic this event is. Can you think of what that experience must have been like? I can’t. To think that the brother that you have been filled with guilt about is actually alive.
What happens next is also pretty incredible. They weep on each other, at least Benjamin and Joseph do, and the brothers greet him. I love vs.24 when Joseph sends them on their way and he tells them: Don’t quarrel along the way. It was as if he knew that they would be arguing as to whose fault it was that they sold him into slavery in the first place. Don’t argue, for it was God who set all of this up. When they got home and told their father that Joseph was still alive he couldn’t believe it at first. Then he says, I have to go to Egypt and see him before I die.
It is also interesting that Pharaoh tells Joseph to bring his family to Egypt and he will provide them with the best land and all the material possessions that they could ever want. He tells them not to think about the possessions that they have, because they will have plenty as time goes on. It is a great reunion, but one where we can easily see the hand of God at work to not only get the people of Israel fed, but also to move them to Egypt. It is from Egypt where they will become slaves and where the story of Moses will begin. But we have to wait until Exodus for that.