Joseph’s Final Days

Genesis 50:15-26

After Jacob’s death, the brothers worry that Joseph will at long last be moved to avenge himself upon them. They therefore claim their father asked before he died that Joseph be merciful and forgive his brothers for what they did to him. They offer to serve him as slaves.


Joseph responds that although their initial intentions were to harm him, God always meant for events to turn out for the best. Joseph assures his brothers he has no intention of punishing them for their actions. Rather, he plans to sustain them and their families in Egypt.


Joseph lives to 110 years of age, seeing his grandsons have children. On his deathbed, he tells his brothers that God will surely remember them and bring their children out of Egypt and back to the Holy Land. At that time, he asks, those descendants should bring his bones with them out of Egypt to Israel.


The Israel Bible points out that the unique phrase Joseph uses, God shall “surely visit” you, is meant not only as a promise, but a sign. When Moses arrives on the scene a century or so later using the exact same phrase, the people know their redemption is imminent. While this sojourn in Egypt would only be one of many trials the Children of Israel would suffer, the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, repeated here by Joseph, means the Jewish people will ultimately be a great nation residing in the Land of Israel, where they belong.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think, 17 years after being reunited, the brothers still worry that Joseph will turn on them?

Comments ( 7 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • The difference between of the life of the brothers and Joseph was great.(palace – behind the sheepflock) A huge distance had been kept and that was cause of the mistrust towards Joseph. They expected him now taking revenge at last. Something Joseph could have done far earlier. He had the power for it. Another thought is did they ever speak out and forgive eachother heartily ? Then there need to be no place for mistrust.

  • They think now that Jacob is dead Joseph will exact revenge on them.

  • There's always a blessing that is given when we complete a Book of the Torah. I'd like to offer it here.
    Be Strong, Be Strong, and Be Strengthened!
    Blessed Be the Name of Adonai! — Baruch Hashem!

  • Since Yosef had demanded no restitution from the brothers for their actions against him, nor had he ever expressed any anger or disappointment towards them, they had to deal with the weight of their guilty consciences on their own.
    The Torah teaches us that when we sin against or cause harm to a brother (or sister), before they truly can be forgiven, they must make some effort to restore or undue the harm that they caused. Unfortunately, the magnitude of what Yosef's brothers had done against him was far beyond the abilities of any of them to make any kind of restitution to him. How do you restore all the years of his life that he endured the suffering of slavery and prison? Only Elohim can make that kind of restitution.
    They didn't understand that the restitution that was made on their behalf came from Elohim, HIMself and that Yosef was willing to forgive them in light of his understanding in all of this. Yosef's brothers never ascended to the levels of spiritual understanding that he had attained through the trials and ordeals that he suffered. Thus they carried their burden of guilt until the end of their days.
    Baruch Hashem.

    • I agree, I think their level of spiritual maturity was still low, they still believed in an eye for an eye (which in fact is what the Torah dictates), and yet Yoseph (who is the type and shadow of Yeshua) was showing them the higher law of the Torah, the law of love.

      • They thought that for the 17 years, it was their father Yaacov's presence that had shielded them from Yoseph's wrath hence the 'eye for eye' mentality I've mentioned above.

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