A lot has happened to Joseph since we left him last week. Joseph is called out of jail, at the suggestion of the cupbearer, to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Joseph predicts seven fat years and seven lean years and is made vizier (person in charge) of all Egypt. Sure enough, there are seven fat years which give Joseph a chance to prepare Egypt for the lean years. In come his twelve brothers to buy food. They have brought Benjamin, the youngest and their father’s favorite.
So, we’re caught up with the story so far.
Joseph tells his steward to prepare a feast for the brothers. They are petrified. They think they’re being brought into Joseph’s house because they did something wrong.
Don’t worry, Joseph says and invites them to lunch.
“How’s your father? Is he still alive?” asks Joseph. Yes, they say.
At this point, Joseph looks at Benjamin. He is so overcome that he has to leave the room and cry. Then he washes his face and comes back to the group.
They have a feast, with Benjamin’s portion being five times greater than everyone else’s! Then they all get drunk together.
It sounds like Joseph has forgiven his brothers and everything is just ducky, but not so fast!
Joseph has his steward hide a fancy wine cup in Benjamin’s pack. After the brothers have gone off towards home, he has them brought back and accuses Benjamin of stealing the cup!
You guys, says Joseph, can go home, but Benjamin, who stole my cup, has to remain here as my servant.
Please, says Judah. Take me instead!
Will Joseph keep Benjamin? Will he reveal himself as their brother? Find out next year on Torah Tidbits.
Food for Thought
What would you do if you were Joseph?