Life Is Closely Bound Up with Each Other

Genesis 44


Eleven men threw themselves to the ground before the ruler of all Egypt. They are being questioned about Joseph’s silver cup found in one of their sacks.

“What is this you have done?”

Joseph scolds them sternly. In actuality, all this is what Joseph has planned.

A long time ago, Joseph was once sold into Egypt by his brothers, but now has become the ruler of Egypt, who manages the whole land. As the famine was severe, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain. Then, he saw his brothers come from Canaan to Egypt to buy grain. However, his brothers did not recognize Joseph.

Joseph who recognized his brothers at a glance pretended to suspect that they were spies, and let them bring Benjamin their youngest brother. His brothers who returned to Jacob their father reassured him, who was very anxious with fear that he might even lose his youngest son after Joseph, and then came back to Egypt with their youngest brother. Treating his brothers very kindly, Joseph hid his silver cup in the sack of Benjamin before they left so that it would be found and they would be driven into a corner. It was a kind of test.

“What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? We are now your slaves.”

“No! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father.”

Despite their pleading, Joseph does not care. Then, Judah goes up to Joseph and tells him in detail how they can bring their youngest brother and how much their father is distressed.

“My father’s life is closely bound up with the boy’s life. If he sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die. Please let your servant remain here in place of the boy, and let the boy return.”

Seeing Judah thinking of his father with all his heart and trying to protect his youngest brother, Joseph is so moved at his brotherly love that he weeps loudly. Finally, he reveals his identity and has a reunion with his brothers in tears.

To father, his child is his life, and losing his child is the greatest sorrow. As Judah had ever brought his father great sorrow with his brothers by selling Joseph, he made every effort to keep his youngest brother Benjamin in fear that his father would suffer again after losing him. Though late, Judah fathomed his father’s heart and showed his filial piety. At this, Joseph shook off all hatred towards his brothers and forgave them sincerely.

The reason Judah was able to truly repent of the fault he made due to his jealousy was that he finally realized that father’s life was bound up with his child’s. His will not to make his father fall into grief of losing his child any longer led all his family to be reunited dramatically.

Let us too think of the heart of Heavenly Father and Mother who only want us to be saved. Then, the repentance and unity with brothers and sisters, which we couldn’t accomplish in heaven, will be completed soon.