In the following article you will find a brief commentary on Genesis 42-43 that goes along with our Riverside Church Two Year Bible Reading Plan (Volume 1 & Volume 2). This plan will allow you to read the New Testament and Psalms once every year and the Old Testament once every two years.
The Gospel Transformation Bible
A good study bible is a phenomenal tool. The Gospel Transformation Bible is less on study and more on gospel. What do I mean? Every passage should be read and interpreted from the perspective of the gospel. But how? The GTB attempts to help the reader see the gospel perspective as he/she reads. Here is an excerpt explaining Genesis 42 and 43. Enjoy!
In a strange twist of fortune in these chapters, Joseph the betrayed and imprisoned becomes the master of the fast of his own starving brothers. Through a series of strategic conversations and events, Joseph works out in his brothers’ lives the same hard lesson he had himself learned from God – namely, that it is the adversity of life that softens us sufficiently to make us open to the Lord’s grace.
Joseph’s own softening before God is clear from the numerous times he breaks down and weeps in the presence of his brothers (42:24; 43:30; 45:2, 14, 15; 46:29). And in the emerging new gentleness among his brothers, the discerning reader perceives God’s transforming grace reaching their hearts through their once-hated younger brother. When Joseph insists that Benjamin be brought to Egypt, for example, Judah pacifies Jacob’s objections by pledging his own life for Benjamin (43:8-9). Reuben had movingly proposed something similar (42:37). These brothers who once betrayed a younger brother now place their own lives as pledges for the life of another younger brother. They also begin to see, as Joseph has, the hand of God in the events of their lives: “What is this that God has done to us?” they ask (42:28). Their hearts are slowly being trained to leave behind the steely bitterness that caused them to sell Joseph into slavery.