When Jacob Learned that there was Grain in Egypt, Ten of His Sons Went to Buy Some

42: 1-5

DIG: As this chapter unfolds, what vantage point does the reader have that the brothers do not have? In what way did Joseph foreshadow the life of Christ?

REFLECT: You will never possess what you will not pursue. When Jacob sent his sons down to Egypt to buy grain, it was a very practical matter. They had to get up and go get it. What do you need to pursue today so that you may live and not die?

When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other, not knowing what to do” (42:1)? His sons had obviously heard of the surplus grain in Egypt and their families were starving. Going down to Egypt obviously called up memories that they did not want to think about.

He continued: I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die (42:2). 63. The children of Israel were driven out of their own land. Several years afterward, the children of Israel rejected Joseph, delivering him up to the Gentiles. They were forced by a famine (sent by God) to leave their land and go down to Egypt – a symbol of the world. And so many years afterward, the children of Israel, after rejecting Christ and delivering Him up to the Gentiles, were forced by the Romans (sent by God) to leave their Land and be dispersed throughout the world.

When you become a believer, you have no guarantee that bad things will not happen to you. Ha’Shem does not save you from the famine in your land and the horror of war. Why? It is just His reminder that this earth is not our home. ADONAI is saying your citizenship and your palace is in another country. You are looking for a city whose builder and maker is Elohim. You are looking for another city where angels bow before the throne of God.

Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt (42:3). The rabbis teach that the number ten is mentioned to emphasize the missing two on the trip, Joseph and Benjamin. Yosef’s brothers now come to the forefront to prepare us for their eventual meeting.

But Ya’akov did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him (42:4). What Yosef once was to Isra’el, Benjamin is now.649 Perhaps Isra’el had come to suspect his other sons in the death of Joseph and he was afraid that now they would harm Benjamin as well. Jacob was determined that nothing could ever happen to his beloved Rachel’s youngest son.

So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also (42:5). Like the dreadful silence of Abraham and Isaac traveling to Mount Moriah, they traveled in silent resignation. There is not a single word of conversation recorded. We can only imagine the thoughts and feelings of the ten brothers as they traveled to Egypt and recalled the selling of their brother about twenty-two years earlier. Little did they know what was in store for them.


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