January 20 – True Forgiveness and Seventeen Years


  • Gen. 45:16-47:28


Joseph was 17 years old when he was thrown into the pit and sold to the Ishmaelites as a slave. It is pretty safe to assume that at some point during his suffering Joseph felt a sense of anger toward his brothers for their mistreatment. But by the time Joseph revealed himself to his brothers in Egypt, he was not angry with his brothers. By this time he understood what GOD had done with his life.

Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
(Gen. 45:4b-5)

Joseph told his brothers:

“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 tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.”’ …Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.
(Gen. 45:9-15)

Joseph had apparently let go of any anger he might have felt toward his brothers long before he revealed himself to them in Egypt. Joseph completely forgave them for their hatred and mistreatment of him. That’s what true forgiveness does. It lets go of any feelings of anger or bitterness about what happened in the past.

Seventeen Years

Jacob was 130 years old when he came to live in the land of Goshen in Egypt. It had been a long journey for him to this day. Jacob had traveled many miles in his lifetime. GOD had blessed him mightily, but now he was old and weary. When he saw Joseph for the first time in Egypt, he said:“Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive.” (Gen. 46:30) Jacob was finally at peace knowing that his missing son Joseph, whom he had long assumed was dead, was alive and well. GOD blessed Jacob with 17 more years to live in Egypt with Joseph and his family—which is exactly the amount of years Jacob had with Joseph before he was sold into slavery—seventeen years. Jacob died at the age of 147.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *