Genesis 42:7
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7  When Yosef saw his brothers, he recognized them; but he acted like a stranger toward them and spoke harshly to them. He asked them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to procure food.”

va-YAR yo-SAYF et e-KHAV va-ya-ki-RAYM va-yit-na-KAYR a-lay-HEM vai-da-BAYR i-TAM ka-SHOT va-YO-mer a-lay-HEM may-A-yin ba-TEM va-YO-m’-RU may-E-retz k’-NA-an lish-bor O-khel

ז  וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף אֶת־אֶחָיו וַיַּכִּרֵם וַיִּתְנַכֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם וַיְדַבֵּר אִתָּם קָשׁוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מֵאַיִן בָּאתֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לִשְׁבָּר־אֹכֶל׃

 42:7   From the land of Canaan, to procure food

Many commentators point out the incongruity between Yosef’s question and the brothers’ answer. Yosef asked only about their origin; why, then, did the brothers supply a reason for their travels? The question is strengthened by the fact that assumedly, their reason for coming to Egypt was self-evident. Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin answers that the brothers were accustomed to the need to apologize and offer an explanation for leaving the holy Land of Israel. Although they could presume that the Egyptian would not think in these terms, they nevertheless felt the need to excuse their absence from their spiritual homeland.

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Genesis 42
Genesis 43

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  • I don't think Joseph was being unpleasant, yes he knew these were his brothers, but perhaps he was 'sounding them out' he would know from their answers where their hearts lay, he would see remorse, just as surely as he had felt rejection and betrayasl all those years. It must have been painful for him to be reminded of his homeland, I've written elsewhere about the welsh word Hiraeth, which means so much and suddenly, Joseph, faced with his brothers and that longing for his home welled up in his heart.
    There was also the aspect that even though he knew them he might have found it hard to accept, here, after all those years were his brothers, were his eyes playing tricks on him. Of course he had to be sure, he needed to find out about his father and family at home.

  • I believe the brother's comment that they had come also to buy food serves to illustrate just how widespread was the famine that it reached all the way to Canaan and wasn't just something that plagued the Egyptians.
    This is very significant for we will see a time of famine and plague in the time of Moshe that will be limited to the land of Mitzraim and it won't affect the surrounding lands.
    For me, it makes it very clear that the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzak, and Ya'acov is the YAH of the whole earth and the fullness thereof, per the Psalmist.
    Baruch Hashem.

    • In verse 8 we read: "Yosĕph recognised his brothers, but they did not recognise him."
      Yosĕph had been exalted over all the house of Pharaoh, but how could his brothers know? For them Joseph was gone forever.
      The same has been true in the case of Jacob’s descendants ever since the time they rejected their Messiah. Because they did not receive the love of the truth, Elohim sent them an operation of error that they should believe the lie, just as was the case with Ahab (1 Kings 22:1-38).

      Through their own fault, because they gave – and still give – preference to the lie, the majority of the Jewish people do not know that Elohim raised his Beloved, the Lord Yeshua, from the dead.
      Through all the long centuries of the Christian era Yeshua, for their part, was dead. Consequently, all the time a veil has been over their hearts, and therefore the beginning of the tribulation period will find them still ignorant of the exaltation and glory of the Lord Messiah Yeshua.
      But what a surprise will it be for them when Yeshua, at the half of the 70th Yearweek. will make himself known to his Jewish brothers who are living now! As is typifief in chapter 45.

      For more details, see Genesis 42.

Genesis 42:7

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