Monday, I was reading Genesis 40-43. This section includes the dreams of the cupbearer, the chief baker, and Pharaoh. Then Joseph is made Number 2 in all the land of Egypt, prepared storehouses, and made Egypt famine resistant. This is where the story becomes a little more interesting. Israel (Jacob) send 10 of his sons to Egypt to buy food as they too were suffering. In order to get the grain they have to appear before Joseph. As an aside at this point of the story the brothers bow before him, just as he had dreamed so many years before.
The part of the story which is strange to me is the part where Joseph withholds his identity from them and plays a game to get the brothers to bring Benjamin to Egypt. I don’t understand the reasons for the way it plays out. Granted I don’t have to understand the reason things play out this way, truth is truth and history is history. There is the cat and mouse game that Joseph plays. “You are spies.” “No we aren’t.” Then he has them go get there little brother so he will know you are not spies. One of the brothers is held hostage for some time while dad refuses to send Benjamin. Oh, and the silver is mysteriously return to them. In the end the little brother comes and then the secret is revealed, dad and the whole household joins them in Egypt and everyone is happy for a couple of hundred years.
I’m left wondering why. Why the cloke and dagger? Why the secrets, the silver cup, the whole saga for that matter. It was a great story when it was God interpreting dreams. It was a great story to have the hateful brothers reunited with their long lost brother. It is a great story seeing dad and the younger brother back together. It’s a great story. And I guess the details, while not necessarily message bearing, add to the story. I have no idea why Joseph played it that way, but he did. And so we read on, looking forward to yet another Bible story.