Daily Word

Dream materializes | Genesis 42:6-17

6 Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 

9 And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”

12 He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.” 13 And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. 

15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.

Genesis 42:6-17 (ESV)

Dream materializes

Joseph’s dream of 20+ years ago, that his brothers would bow down to him, finally comes true. Anyone who wanted to buy gain had to buy it from Joseph. He immediately recognizes them but they don’t recognize him. There were 10 of them which helped Joseph, but only one of him. And if he was alive, they would have never expected him to be ruler, but a slave.

Joseph remembers the dream and is probably stunned. Not sure what to do, he creates a diversion and grills them then accuses them of being spies. [Note: “Nakedness of the land” means the “undefended parts” (NASB).] The brothers flatly deny the charge but rather, claim to be “honest men” (12 brothers) of one father. They indicate they had not forgotten their dirty deed. 

Prove it!

Joseph comes up with a plan and presents it as a test of their honesty. He’ll keep them all here and let one go back to get the youngest son (Benjamin). So they are put into custody (prison?) for 3 days. If anything, it would give them a taste of the trials he had gone through.

Why the grilling?

We may wonder why the grilling and diversion? “He [also] did so to see if they had genuinely repented of their sin against himself. He apparently did not act out of revenge, and he was not spiteful. Joseph simply wanted to uncover his brothers’ hearts.” (planobiblechapel.org)


  • “God can, and must, sometimes use ways we think are harsh to call us to go to where He wants us to be. We must never resent it, because it was the hardness of our hearts that demanded it. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word (Psalm 119:67).” (enduringword.com)
Dream view. Image by Ales Krivec from Pixabay

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