Genesis 45:1 “…could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him…”
Most likely an understatement. I’m sure he had trouble keeping his emotions in check the whole time. They’re not mentioned until here, but there must have been attendants with him, other Egyptians. He apparently didn’t want to lose decorum in front of them.
2 “…the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it”
Not sure of this meaning. Could be a generic reference meaning his servants heard him and word eventually travelled to Pharaoh’s household. Could also be a reference to his servants and those who were part of both his and Pharaoh’s households who were in the house and heard his emotional outburst.
3 “…I am Joseph; does my father still live…his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence”
After everything they’ve gone through, now this Egyptian ruler is having a spell. And suddenly he says he is their long dead brother. Didn’t catch it in the text nor did the commentaries mention it, but I would guess there’s the possibility that he had been speaking to them through an interpreter up to this point. If that’s the case, I’m sure he now is speaking directly to them in Hebrew. That would have added to the shock. They have mentioned their father in sharing information, but no specifics. I’m sure Jacob’s physical condition has been heavy on Joseph’s mind during all this time.
4 “…they came near…”
I’m sure he could see their distress and wanted to calm everyone down, including himself. Commentary also suggests he would have wanted to speak privately of the past so the Egyptians wouldn’t have reason to think ill of his brothers.
4-8 Joseph gives them the quick rundown of what has happened and why. He brings up the past, but quickly dismisses it by giving the intent and glory to God which allows them to move forward. Good lesson there. Too many want to just forget the past and move on, but unless you resolve any problems, it’s impossible to move forward with any great success. Resolve the issues, recognize God’s hand or sovereignty over the circumstances, and/or forgive what was, then move on. Don’t miss living in the present by trying to exist in the past.
14-15 “…he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept…Benjamin wept…he…wept over them…his brothers talked with him”
Once all the shock and the urgency of the questions have been stilled, they are allowed to relish in the emotions of the long lost. I’m sure it was more than a bit poignant as they didn’t really care for each other the last time they were all together.
20 “…the best of all the land of Egypt is yours”
Not a lot of indications of the type of man Pharaoh was, but he knew how valuable Joseph had become. I’m sure he also truly cared for this young Hebrew who had saved his kingdom for him. And was moved by genuine gratitude.
24 “…See that you do not become troubled along the way”
No dilly dallying. Commentary also suggests this was an admonition to not let the past begin to work on their conscience. They had lied to Jacob all those years ago. Now their sins toward Joseph and Jacob would be brought to light. If they had truly changed, the weight of their guilt could begin to press down. It does show up again after Jacob’s death.
26 “…Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt”
I’m sure this was no subtle announcement. The text doesn’t give us any more of the conversation. It lets the actions and evidence speak. Was hard to deny the testimony of Benjamin and the sight of all the carts, food, and treasures Joseph had sent.
28 “…Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
Text doesn’t record anything Jacob might have said to his sons regarding the past at this point. It focuses on what was most important which may have been exactly what Jacob did. No matter what happened in the past, Joseph was alive, and Jacob had a chance to see him again.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.