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From Eternity Past

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    Reconciliation!

    His brothers stood motionless, dumb with fear and amazement. The ruler of Egypt their brother Joseph, whom they had envied and would have murdered, and finally sold as a slave! All their ill treatment of him passed before them. They remembered how long they had despised his dreams and had labored to prevent their fulfillment. Yet they had acted their part in fulfilling these dreams. Now that they were completely in his power, he would, no doubt, avenge the wrong that he had suffered.EP 156.2

    Seeing their confusion, he said kindly, “Come near to me, I pray you”; and as they came near, he continued, “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Feeling that they had suffered enough for their cruelty toward him, he nobly sought to banish their fears and lessen the bitterness of their self-reproach.EP 156.3

    “God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither but God: and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen ...; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.” “And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.” They humbly confessed their sin and entreated his forgiveness.EP 156.4

    The news of what had taken place was quickly carried to the king. He confirmed the governor's invitation to his family, saying, “The good of all the land of Egypt is yours.” The brothers were sent away abundantly supplied with provision and everything necessary for the removal of all their families and attendants to Egypt.EP 157.1

    The sons of Jacob returned to their father with the joyful tidings. “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” At first the aged man was overwhelmed; he could not believe what he heard; but when he saw the long train of wagons and loaded animals, and when Benjamin was with him once more, he was convinced. In the fullness of his joy he exclaimed, “It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”EP 157.2

    Another act of humiliation remained for the ten brothers. They now confessed to their father the deceit and cruelty that for so many years had embittered his life and theirs. Jacob had not suspected them of so base a sin, but he forgave and blessed his erring children.EP 157.3

    The father and his sons, with their families, their flocks and herds, and numerous attendants, were soon on the way to Egypt. In a vision of the night the divine word came: “Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again.”EP 157.4

    The promise had been given to Abraham of a posterity numberless as the stars; but as yet the chosen people had increased but slowly. And the land of Canaan was in the possession of powerful heathen tribes that were not to be dispossessed until “the fourth generation.” If the descendants of Israel were to become a numerous people, they must either drive out the inhabitants of the land or disperse themselves among them. Should they mingle with the Canaanites, they would be in danger of being seduced into idolatry. Egypt, however, offered the conditions necessary to the divine purpose. A section of country, well-watered and fertile, was open to them there, affording every advantage for their speedy increase. And they would remain a distinct and separate people, shut out from participation in the idolatry of Egypt.EP 157.5

    Upon reaching Egypt, the company proceeded directly to the land of Goshen. Thither came Joseph in his chariot of state, attended by a princely retinue. One thought alone filled his mind, one longing thrilled his heart. As he beheld the travelers approaching, the love whose yearnings had for so many years been repressed would no longer be controlled. He sprang from his chariot and hastened to bid his father welcome. “And he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.”EP 158.1

    Joseph sought to save his brothers from the temptations to which they would be exposed at a heathen court; therefore he counseled them to tell the monarch frankly their occupation. The sons of Jacob followed this counsel, being careful also to state that they had come to sojourn in the land, not to become permanent dwellers, thus reserving the right to depart if they chose.EP 158.2

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