Genesis 43:15-34

Talks for Growing Christians

Joseph Tests His Brothers

Genesis 43:15-34

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Lesson Number 95

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The fear of God should lead a person to repentance.
  2. The grace of God should lead a person to repentance.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s explain the true God to people who believe in false gods.


  1. When the brothers visited Egypt the first time, Joseph treated them roughly. Why? When they returned a second time, Joseph treated them kindly. Why?
  2. Why did Joseph give Benjamin five times as much food as the other brothers?
  3. Why were three tables set?
  4. Why does the fear of God lead someone to repentance?
  5. How does the grace of God lead someone to repentance?


  1. Joseph first tested them to see if they had changed in the twenty years since they sold him into slavery. Second, Joseph loved them.
  2. It was a further test to see if the brothers were as jealous of Benjamin as they had been of him (both were sons of Rachael). He wanted to know if they had changed.
  3. One was for Joseph, one was for the Egyptians, and the brothers ate at another table. The Egyptians considered it an abomination to eat with the Hebrews.
  4. A guilty conscience is awakened. Note how the brothers felt guilty about what they had done to Joseph.
  5. In the case of Joseph’s brothers, Joseph treated them kindly. This grace affected them and led to their repentance and eventual reconciliation. God treats people kindly today, yet some people despise the goodness of God. See Romans 2:4.


  1. Has the fear of God ever worked in your heart to bring you to a point of repentance? Give specific examples.
  2. Has the grace of God ever worked in your life to bring you to repentance? Give specific examples.


  1. There is evidence that Joseph made His God known, even in the midst of the pagan Egyptian gods. See Genesis 43:23. Are you making the true God known, even in the midst of false gods around you?

Key Verses

  • “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure....” Genesis 43:23
  • “They bowed down before him....” Genesis 43:26
  • “They drank and were merry with him.” Genesis 43:34

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