The Family Moves to Egypt
JOSEPH cannot control his feelings any longer. He tells all his servants to leave the room. When he is alone with his brothers, Joseph begins to cry. We can imagine how surprised his brothers are, because they do not know why he is crying. Finally he says: ‘I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?’
His brothers are so surprised that they can’t speak. They are afraid. But Joseph says: ‘Please come closer.’ When they do, he says: ‘I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.’
Joseph continues to speak in a kind way: ‘Do not blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me to Egypt to save people’s lives. Pharʹaoh has made me the ruler of the whole country. So now hurry back to my father and tell him this. And tell him to come and live here.’
Then Joseph throws his arms around his brothers, and he hugs and kisses them all. When Pharʹaoh hears that Joseph’s brothers have come, he tells Joseph: ‘Let them take wagons and go get their father and their families and come back here. I will give them the best land in all Egypt.’
That is what they did. Here you can see Joseph meeting his father when he came to Egypt with his whole family.
Jacob’s family had become very big. Altogether there were 70 when they moved to Egypt, counting Jacob and his children and grandchildren. But there were also the wives, and probably many servants too. These all settled in Egypt. They were called Israelites, because God had changed the name of Jacob to Israel. The Israelites became a very special people to God, as we will see later.