Read Genesis 41:1-44:17 at Bible Gateway.
teaching tools of scripture
outline of genesis according to its hebrew paragraph divisions
The paragraph divisions for this torah portion are as follows:
Gen 41:1-44:17 s Joseph the overseer
This torah portion forms its own chiastic structure:
1a) Gen 41:1-56, Joseph, able to discern the dream, is made ruler of the land + God has found out Joseph’s righteousness;
1b) Gen 41:57-42:28, The sons of Jacob went to Egypt to buy corn:
– 1) Gen 41:57, All countries came to Joseph to buy corn because of the severity of the famine in all lands;
– 2) Gen 42:1-5, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy corn, but not Benjamin;
– 3) Gen 42:6, Joseph’s brothers came to Joseph in Egypt and bowed before him;
– 4) Gen 42:7-24, Joseph’s interchange with his brothers: they did not recognize him, but he wept with yearning for them;
– 5) Gen 42:25-26, Joseph commanded their money returned + donkeys laden + the brothers departed;
– 6) Gen 42:27-28, The brothers discovered their money + their hearts failed them for fear;
central axis) Gen 42:29-38, Jacob, the father, and his love for Benjamin;
2b) Gen 43:1-, The sons of Jacob went to Egypt to buy corn:
– 1) Gen 43:1 The famine was severe in the land;
– 2) Gen 43:2-15a, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy corn, including Benjamin;
– 3) Gen 43:15b, Joseph’s brothers came to Joseph in Egypt and stood before him;
– 4) Gen 43:16-34, Joseph’s interchange with his brothers: they did not recognize him, but he wept with yearning for them;
– 5) Gen 44:1-3, Joseph commanded their money restored + donkeys laden + the brothers departed;
– 6) Gen 44:4-13, The steward discovered the silver cup with Benjamin + they rent their clothes for grief;
2a) Gen 44:14-17, Joseph, the ruler of the land, is able to discern wisdom + God has found out the brothers’ iniquity.
For years I could not understand why Joseph did these things to his brothers, and especially to Benjamin. Why keep one in prison when he knew perfectly well they were not spies? Why not send the message that he was alive to his father on the brothers’ first return to Canaan? Why make the demand for Benjamin to come, when he perhaps had an idea what this would mean for his father? It is all revealed in the next Torah portion, and we discover the gospel of grace being preached from Genesis! And the heart of the entire gospel is revealed in this central axis: the father loves his son with an overwhelming love!