Joseph's Brothers Come to Egypt

Main Points to Remember

Holding a grudge hurts us more than others

famine: when no food grows
Prayer: Father, we thank you for forgiving us when we do wrong. Help us forgive others.

Genesis 42-45

Lesson Text:
"Since Joseph was governor of Egypt and in charge of selling grain, his brothers came to him and bowed with their faces to the ground. They did not recognize Joseph, but right away he knew who they were, though he pretended not to know." Read the entire lesson text courtesy of Jerri Fusch

Make Egyptian face masks to show how Joseph was able to deceive his brothers. Make face masks by cutting eye and mouth holes in a paper plate. Make the eyes pointy at the corners. Paint or color "make-up" on the plate: use black to outline the eyes, and let the kids decorate the rest. Show a picture from a book on ancient Egypt to give the kids a reference. Then hold up the masks and have the students see how hard it would be to recognize Joseph, especially when you weren't expecting them to be there.

Secret code. pdf

What other ways could Joseph have reacted? How do you think you would have reacted if you were in his shoes? Discuss at length the different ways people deal with painful pasts. Would any other scenarios glorify God the way Joseph's did? Would God have been able to use someone who was unable to forgive? Are we forfeiting God's plan for us by refusing to forgive someone?

: Review the family tree. Add Benjamin. Have the students use generic paper people (like Bible Friends) to illustrate the lesson. Name them and post them on a board, using yarn or dots to connect the family lines.

Skit: Joseph's Brothers Return to Egypt with Benjamin

Joseph Tells His Brothers Who He Is.


    Joseph did not recognize his brothers at first.  F
    All of Joseph's brothers came to Egypt.  F
    Joseph's brothers realized they had sinned against Joseph. T
    Joseph wanted to see his brother Benjamin. T
    Joseph wanted to help his family. T
    When Joseph told his brothers who he was, they all laughed. F
    Joseph told his brothers not to blame themselves for what they did.  T
    Joseph told his brothers to stay in Egypt and send for their families and his father.  F
    Joseph and Benjamin cried when they hugged each other.  T
    Joseph gave each of his brothers one new outfit of clothes. F (Benjamin got 5)
    Joseph told them to go home and he would come visit them as often as possible.  F

Memory Work
  • Genesis 45:5 "And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life."

Review Questions (can be used with Joseph gameboard)
 linguistic questions
  1. What is a famine? when no crops will grow
  2. Name the sons of Jacob.
  3. Unscramble this word:  pytge
  activity questions
  1. Trace the brothers' journey on a map.
  2. Act out the scene where they find the cup in Benjamin's sack.
  3. Draw a quick picture of a camel.
  emotion questions
  1. How did Joseph react to seeing his brothers? He wept several times and inquired about his father and brother
  2. How did the brothers react when Joseph gave them a hard time? They blamed their problems on the sin of selling Joseph and telling their father he was dead
  3. How did Jacob react when he was told he must send Benjamin to Egypt? he was greatly sorrowful, and put it off until he had no choice.
application questions
  1. How should we handle the pain when someone hurts us? Take it to God. Don't dwell on it.
  2. Who gets the glory for our success in life? God
  3. Why do we sometimes suffer or endure pain in life? So God can use us.
fact questions
  1. Whose sack held the silver cup? Benjamin's
  2. Who did Joseph give extra money and clothes to? Benjamin
  3. Where did Jacob and his family live in Egypt? Goshen
review questions
  1. How did Joseph show generosity to his brothers? he gave back the money they paid for the food.
  2. Why did God place Joseph in a powerful position in Egypt? so he could sustain Jacob's family through the long famine
  3. What qualities made Joseph useful to God? his humility, his meekness, and his willingness to forgive