7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.

9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

The fulfillment of his visions is not lost on Joseph, and he reflects on them, according to verse 9. He has been greatly blessed during this last decade by God, and now here is the culmination of his reward for having trusted in the Lord. Joseph remained faithful, even when things went against him for so very, very long, and God has not forgotten His long ago promises.

One thing of note is that Joseph recognizes his brethren, but they do not recognize him. Obviously, it would be easier to recognize a group of ten men, than a single one in isolation, and presumably Joseph has been made to look very different, likely adopting Egyptian standards of dress and grooming. But I also think the lack of recognition in Joseph’s brothers goes to show what a very different man he has become. He has grown, matured, and become powerful. Joseph has gone through a metamorphosis, such that he is a new creature in God.

But Joseph’s brothers? It’s been at least twenty years since he saw them, and they are still recognizable as the same beings that they were before. As we will see, they have matured to some degree from what they were before, but generally they are much the same.

The hope of each of us should be that we are transformed, turned into a more wonderful person, even to the point of being unrecognizable from our past self. Honestly, it would be tragic to instead remain as the same person that we always were, never growing and never evolving. To be purified is divine and to remain stagnant is base.

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