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Genesis 45:4-8

Context
45:4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 45:5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here, 1  for God sent me 2  ahead of you to preserve life! 45:6 For these past two years there has been famine in 3  the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 45:7 God sent me 4  ahead of you to preserve you 5  on the earth and to save your lives 6  by a great deliverance. 45:8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser 7  to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

1 tn Heb “let there not be anger in your eyes.”

2 sn You sold me here, for God sent me. The tension remains as to how the brothers’ wickedness and God’s intentions work together. Clearly God is able to transform the actions of wickedness to bring about some gracious end. But this is saying more than that; it is saying that from the beginning it was God who sent Joseph here. Although harmonization of these ideas remains humanly impossible, the divine intention is what should be the focus. Only that will enable reconciliation.

3 tn Heb “the famine [has been] in the midst of.”

4 sn God sent me. The repetition of this theme that God sent Joseph is reminiscent of commission narratives in which the leader could announce that God sent him (e.g., Exod 3:15).

5 tn Heb “to make you a remnant.” The verb, followed here by the preposition לְ (lÿ), means “to make.”

6 tn The infinitive gives a second purpose for God’s action.

7 tn Heb “a father.” The term is used here figuratively of one who gives advice, as a father would to his children.



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