16 “When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ 19 And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ” (Genesis 45:16–20 (ESV)
What was Pharaoh’s reaction to all that occurred? What did he think regarding Joseph’s reunion and reconciliation with his brothers? How did he feel about these circumstances involving Egypt’s governor?
Moses does not delay in providing an answer to these questions. Pharaoh was pleased when he heard the report of Joseph and his brothers. This reunion was not something in which he felt threatened by in any way. He understood the importance of Joseph reuniting with his family and for them to relocate to Egypt.
In fact, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.”
Pharaoh continued with a gracious and endearing command for Joseph’s brothers to take Egyptian wagons with them back to Canaan. The wagons would serve to transport their women and children from their homeland back to Egypt. Even Jacob was included in Pharaoh’s command for Joseph’s family to “come.”
Pharaoh’s final directive was for Jacob’s family not to concern themselves with food once they arrived in Egypt. The best of land was at their disposal and for their benefit. The king’s seal of approval was conspicuous.
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains, “Pharaoh puts his seal of approval on Joseph’s offer and gives the brothers the means to transport their families to his land. The king of Egypt is pleased to do this (v. 16), for his faithful Hebrew vice-regent has saved his country and people. As God promised, the seed of Abraham has blessed the nations (12:1–3). Pharaoh, who has benefited because he blessed this seed (Joseph, 41:37–45), wisely chooses to bless the rest of the Lord’s chosen. Pharaoh’s blessing on Jacob’s sons and the consequent favor the Lord showed to him (47:20) is an important fulfillment of God’s pledge to Abraham and was especially important for the original readers of Genesis. This audience lived in Egypt under the rule of a pharaoh who did not know Joseph and who cursed Jacob’s sons with slavery (Ex. 1:8–14). These readers, who were also children of Abraham, could look to Genesis and understand their slavery would not last forever.:
Dr. Sproul concludes, “Since God blessed those who blessed Abraham’s seed in Joseph’s day, the Israelites could see that He would certainly curse the pharaoh who persecuted them centuries later (Gen. 12:1–3). Likewise, we who are Abraham’s seed in Christ (Gal. 3:29) can be confident that the Lord will one day bless those who bless us and curse those who curse us. This should motivate us to be a blessing to other Christians — other sons of Abraham — for if we bless them, our own blessing and reward will be that much greater.”
Romans 12:16-18 says, “14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Let this be said of us. Have a blessed day in the LORD. May each of us be a blessing to others.
Soli deo Gloria!
The His Word Today Podcast begins June 1, Soli deo Gloria!