[31] joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “i will go up and tell pharaoh and will say to him, ‘my brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of canaan, have come to me. [32] and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ [33] when pharaoh calls you and says, ‘what is your occupation?’ [34] you shall say, ‘your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the egyptians”. — [genesis 46:31-34]


forgiveness in action

after all that joseph had endured as a result of his brother’s actions, the simple act of forgiveness would have been enough. there was no further action required. he did not owe his family anything, and no one would argue that he did.

his brothers had planned his end by sending him into slavery and had then gone on without him. they had tried to snuff out his dreams, yet by the grace of God he was blessed beyond measure, and his dreams came to fruition. joseph would have appeared more than kind in simply forgiving them and sending them on their way with a supply of grain to sustain them.

yet joseph’s forgiveness went above and beyond.

you may dwell in the land of goshen

setting forgiveness into action, joseph appealed to pharaoh on their behalf, securing them a good land where they could live in peace.

just as they had once thought out a harmful plan to separate joseph from the family, joseph had thought out a beneficial plan that would separate his family from egypt. in goshen they could work in the trade in which they had always worked, while still experiencing the safety and bounty of egypt that his position provided.

joseph’s actions of going above and beyond, offering forgiveness instead of vengeance, were a clear display of his heart for God. not only that, but his forgiveness would lead to the fulfillment of God’s promises to abraham, and pave the way for the future Messiah.


~ jason soroski