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Plea for Forgiveness. 15 [a]Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought, “Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us and now most certainly will pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!” 16 So they sent to Joseph and said: “Before your father died, he gave us these instructions: 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: Please forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you harmfully.’ So now please forgive the crime that we, the servants of the God of your father, committed.” When they said this to him, Joseph broke into tears. 18 Then his brothers also proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, “We are your slaves!” 19 But Joseph replied to them: “Do not fear. Can I take the place of God? 20 Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people.(A) 21 So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.(B)

22 Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s household. He lived a hundred and ten years. 23 He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir were also born on Joseph’s knees.(C)

Death of Joseph. 24 Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you up from this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”(D) 25 Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued, “When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones up from this place.”(E) 26 Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. He was embalmed and laid to rest in a coffin in Egypt.(F)

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Footnotes

  1. 50:15–26 The final reconciliation of the brothers. Fearful of what may happen after the death of their father, the brothers engage in a final deception, inventing the dying wish of Jacob. Again, Joseph weeps, and, again, his brothers fall down before him, offering to be his slaves (44:16, 33). Joseph’s assurance is also a summation of the story: “Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people” (v. 20). Joseph’s adoption of the children of Manasseh’s son Machir recalls Jacob’s adoption of his grandchildren (48:5, 13–20); the adoptions reflect tribal history (cf. Jgs 5:14).

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