9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
What greater evidence is there of Joseph’s forgiveness than his pure desire to take care of his brethren? I know the words I am reading are translated, but I am still struck by the tender compassion in phrases like “thou shalt be near unto me,” and “there will I nourish thee.” There is a sort of maternal concern conveyed in words like these.
But not only maternal concern, Joseph also says that he will be providing them with food and shelter, the chief responsibilities of a father. The once outcast brother will now be the foundation of life for the whole family!
And the family absolutely need Joseph to care for them like this. As Joseph reveals, there are another five years of famine remaining, enough to destroy his father’s household several times over. Yes, the brothers have repented of their prior hatred towards Joseph, but even if they hadn’t, they really wouldn’t have any choice but to put themselves under his protection! The must submit to his care or die!