Genesis 42 Chapter Commentary: Joseph Meets His Brothers in Egypt

In this chapter, Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy grain during a famine, but they do not recognize Joseph, who is now dressed as an Egyptian official and speaks through an interpreter. Joseph recognizes his brothers and remembers the dreams he had as a young man in which they bowed down to him.

Joseph accuses his brothers of being spies and imprisons them for three days. On the third day, he releases them and allows them to buy grain, but he keeps one of the brothers, Simeon, as collateral until they return with their youngest brother, Benjamin.

The brothers return home and tell their father, Jacob, about their encounter with the Egyptian official. Jacob refuses to let Benjamin go to Egypt, fearing for his safety. Meanwhile, the brothers discover that their money has been returned to them in their grain sacks, causing them to fear that they are being set up.

What’s the Main Point?

Genesis 42 is a chapter in the book of Genesis that tells the story of Joseph’s brothers going to Egypt to buy grain during the famine.

What Can We Learn from This Chapter?

There are several important lessons that we can learn from Genesis 42.

Repentance: The story of Joseph’s brothers going to Egypt to buy grain shows the importance of repentance. The brothers had betrayed Joseph in the past, but their difficult circumstances led them to acknowledge their wrongdoing and seek forgiveness.

Forgiveness: Joseph’s treatment of his brothers demonstrates the power of forgiveness. Although they had hurt him deeply, he was able to forgive them and offer them mercy and kindness.

Family relationships: Genesis 42 also highlights the importance of trust and loyalty within family relationships. Despite their past mistakes, Joseph’s brothers were ultimately loyal to one another and willing to sacrifice for each other.

Trust in God’s plan: The events in Genesis 42 remind us that God’s plan often involves difficult circumstances that challenge us to trust in Him. Despite the hardships faced by Joseph and his family, God was at work to bring about reconciliation and restoration.


Heavenly Father, grant us the grace to face our mistakes. Help us learn from Joseph’s example of forgiveness and restoration. May we find reconciliation and healing in our relationships. Guide us towards unity, grace, and a renewed spirit. In your Name, we pray for wisdom and redemption. Amen.

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Featured image attribution:

The brothers try to buy corn from Joseph, the Vice-Roy of Egypt. Balthasar Beschey, 1774. This image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.