Genesis 42–43: On Joseph’s Brilliant, Premeditated-ish Plan for His Bowed-Down Brothers (Bible Talk, Ep. 15)

As far as Joseph’s brothers know, their brother is dead. They haven’t seen him in decades. So when they finally see their brother again—unbeknownst to them!—Joseph has a brilliant plan to see if they’ve been humbled, or if they’re still as wicked as they were when they threw him into a well and sold him into slavery.

In this episode of Bible Talk, Alex Duke chats with Jim Hamilton and Sam Emadi about Genesis 42–43.


1:00 / Alex recaps what led to Joseph’s rise in power.

2:54 / Why does Jacob hold back one of his sons from going into Egypt? Does Jacob not trust his sons?

4:25 / Jim explains the significance of Joseph’s brothers finally bowing down to him. His previous dreams and blessings fulfilled, and God’s providence is yet again proven true.

8:00 / Why does Joseph not immediately enact vengeance on his brothers who sold him into slavery in Genesis 37? Jim and Sam explain Joseph’s plan to gather information and conceal his identity.

10:15 / Old Testament scholar uses the term “the clink” to refer to prison.

10:36 / Then . . . Joseph puts his brothers in prison. What?!?! Is he paying them back for what they did to him?

13:24 / Jim explains the significance of “the third day” in Genesis 42:18 and how it relates to Genesis 22 and the salvation of Israel.

14:43 / Joseph’s brothers are in distress because God is judging them for selling Joseph into slavery. Why does Joseph react as he did? Is this a sign of repentance from his brothers?

16:11 / Joseph’s brother Reuben is such a loser. How did he get a sandwich named after him?

17:35 / As the brothers travel home, they hear some shocking news. Jim explains.

19:07 / How does Jacob react when his brothers return with a bag full of money, a missing brother, and a request to take Jacob’s favorite son?

23:12 / Judah returns to the scene. How has he changed since Genesis 43?

25: 53/ What do we learn about Jacob when he is giving these gifts to his sons to take to Joseph?

26:15 / Jinx! Jim and Sam reveal their favorite lip balm when they providentially say “Burt’s Bees” at the same time while making a balm joke.

28:13 / Tensions rise as the brothers return to Joseph’s house with fear. They expect to be assaulted for what they’ve done. How does Joseph’s reaction point to the gospel?

32:55 / How does this feast represent reconciliation between God and man? Sam and Jim give concluding thoughts.


What’s the best way to get the most out of Bible Talk? Should listeners read the passage beforehand?

Artwork: Joseph Selling Grain in Egypt, Claes Cornelisz, 1633

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