The text used comes primarily from the New Revised Version of the Bible.
Today’s Hebrew Bible reading is taken from the book of Genesis. We are reading from chapter 45, beginning with the first verse.
Before we hear today’s reading, here is a recap …
Today’s reading starts at the point of Joseph’s story when he reveals himself to his hateful brothers who thirteen years earlier sold him into slavery.
It is written:
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out!
Joseph: Send everyone away from me!
Storyteller: So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.
Joseph said to his brothers,
Joseph: I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?
Storyteller : But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers,
Joseph: Come closer to me.
Storyteller : And they came closer.
Joseph: I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
Do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here.
For God sent me before you, to preserve life.
For the famine has been in the land these two years.
And there are five more years, in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvest.
God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
So it was not you who sent me here, but God.
God has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph,
God has made me lord of all Egypt.
Come down to me! Do not delay!
You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children, and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
I will provide for you there— since there are five more years of famine to come— so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’
Now your eyes, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you.
You must tell my father, how greatly I am honoured in Egypt, and all that you have seen.
Hurry and bring my father down here!
Storyteller: Then Joseph fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck.
Joseph kissed all his brothers, and wept upon them.
After that his brothers talked with him.
Here ends the reading with Joseph, having shown mercy, reconciled with his brothers.
May God bless our hearing with understanding.
Photos are from a production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ in Melbourne, Australia 2005.