Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 105

Joseph and His Brothers

This chapter is based on Genesis 41:54-56; 42 to 50.

Under the direction of Joseph, huge buildings were erected throughout the land of Egypt to store the surplus of the expected harvest. During the seven years of plenty the amount of grain stored away was too much to count.

And now the seven years of famine began, according to Joseph’s prediction. “The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.’ The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians.”

The famine was severe in the country where Jacob lived. Hearing of the abundant provision made by the king of Egypt, ten of Jacob’s sons journeyed there to buy grain. They were directed to the king’s deputy and came to present themselves before the ruler of the land. And they “bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.” “Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.” His Hebrew name had been changed, and there was little resemblance between the prime minister of Egypt and the youth they had sold to the Ishmaelites. As Joseph saw his brothers stooping and bowing down, his dreams and the scenes of the past rose vividly before him. His keen eye discovered that Benjamin was not among them. Was he also a victim of the brothers’ treacherous cruelty? Joseph determined to learn the truth. “You are spies!” he said sternly. “You have come to see the nakedness of the land!”

They answered, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. ... We are honest men; your servants are not spies.” He wanted to learn some information from them about their home, yet he knew how deceptive their statements could be. He repeated the charge, and they replied, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.”

Professing to doubt their story, the governor declared that he would require them to remain in Egypt until

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