VERSES: Genesis 42:1-38
MEMORY VERSE: Genesis 42:8 "And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew him not."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Proverbs. Write "Proverbs" on slips of paper and give to each child when they leave the classroom. Make sure the class recites all the books of the Old Testament that they know. Are you keeping track of how many books they know on a chart? Children love charts and stickers! Children learn with charts and stickers! Tip: If you don't have stickers, cut out little stars or small items and glue them on a chart like a sticker as the children learn their books.
PRAYER: Pray that God will take care of us and our families. May we show our families love and kindness each and every day, being thankful that each one is in our lives.
SPECIAL SONG: The Twelve Sons of Jacob (see April - Lesson - The Twelve Sons of Jacob for song on this blog). Be Patient and Kind (see below).
BE PATIENT AND KIND
Be patient and kind to your neighbor,
Be patient and kind to your friend,
Be patient and kind,
All of the time,
Be patient and kind to your neighbor!
Be careful what you say to your neighbor,
Be careful what you say to your friend,
'Cause words live on,
After you're gone,
Be careful what you say to your neighbor!
Always do good deeds for your neighbor,
Always do good deeds for your friend,
'Cause the deeds that you do,
Will follow after you,
Always do good deeds for your neighbor!
VISUAL AID: TV Box (see February - Visual Aids #1 on this blog).
- Remember last week we studied how Joseph got out of prison and now was in charge of all the food in Egypt. This was at a time when there was a "sore" famine, meaning that it was a very serious famine. Do we remember what famine means? That's right! No food! Remember Jacob and his eleven brothers? They did not live in Egypt. They lived in Canaan which was far away from Egypt, but the famine was everywhere and even Jacob and his sons were running out of food. But, Jacob had heard that there was corn in Egypt, so he told Joseph's ten brothers to go to Egypt and buy some food. Didn't Joseph have eleven brothers? Let's turn our Bibles to Genesis 42:4 to see why ELEVEN brothers didn't go to Egypt and only ten went to buy food. (Read verse.) Let's place our bookmarks right here. Who was the eleventh brother who did NOT go to Egypt? That's right! Benjamin! Even though we think of Benjamin as a baby, he was grown up. If Joseph was thirty years old by now (Gen. 41:46), Benjamin was in his 20's. But still, Jacob did not want Benjamin to go because he was afraid that something bad might happen to him and he would be hurt or killed. We must remember that Jacob still thinks Joseph died, so he is very protective of his youngest son, Benjamin.
- Joseph's ten brothers get ready and go to Egypt to buy corn. Hmmmm..let's think about this. Joseph's brothers are going to buy corn in Egypt and who is in charge of all the food in Egypt? Joseph! Do you think his brothers may see Joseph when they go to Egypt? The Bible says that Joseph was the governor over all the land of Egypt and he was the one who sold the food, so, yes, Joseph's brothers had to see Joseph if they wanted to buy any food. The day that Joseph's brothers saw Joseph for the first time since they had put him in the pit, they did not even recognize Joseph! He was a lot older--30 instead of 17--and he probably dressed more like an Egyptian than a Hebrew, so there was good reason why they did not know Joseph. Besides, there would be no reason to even imagine Joseph would be so important in this foreign land.
- When the ten brothers stood before Joseph, they showed him respect by bowing down to the ground. When Joseph spoke to his brothers for the first time, he spoke roughly and asked them from where did they come. They answered, "We came from Canaan to buy food." Joseph remembered the dreams he had when he was a young boy about the sheaves of wheat bowing down to him and the sun, moon, and stars bowing before him. Is that what was happening? Yes! The brothers were bowing themselves before him. The dreams were coming true!! But Joseph said to them, "You are spies! You have come to spy out the land of Egypt!" The brothers say, "No, sir. We have only come to buy food. We are all one man's sons." Was that true? Yes, it was true. They weren't spies at all and they were all Jacob's sons. Joseph says again that they are spies, and again the brothers said that they were not spies, they were all sons on one man who lived in Canaan who had one more younger son who stayed with their father...and they said that there had been one more son, but he had died. Was all that true? Everything except about the one son dying. Who did they think had died? That's right! Joseph! But he was standing right there!! But they did not recognize him, did they? They did not know that he was their brother, Joseph.
- Then Joseph said something that scared the brothers. Joseph said that they must prove that they were not spies by bringing that youngest son to Egypt, then Joseph would know that they were not spies. Joseph wanted to see Benjamin! So Joseph said for them to go get the youngest brother. They were to stay in Egypt in prison until the youngest son would come and he put all the brothers in a special room for three days. Do you know what the brothers did in that time? They talked! They didn't know Joseph and didn't know that he could understand what they were saying because Joseph was using an interpreter, a person who could speak both languages, but Joseph listened to them. The brothers were afraid that everything that was happening to them right then was all because of what they had done to Joseph many years before. Reuben said, "Didn't I say to you not to harm Joseph? You would not listen and now we are in this big mess!" They didn't know that Joseph was listening to them and understanding what they were saying. What they said made Joseph cry and he had to turn away from them and leave the room because he didn't want them to see him cry.
- Joseph went back into the room, talked a little more with his brothers, and ended up keeping his brother, Simeon, in Egypt while the others went back with corn to Canaan to get Benjamin. Do you know what Joseph did with their corn and money? He commanded others to fill up their sacks with corn, put the money they were using to buy the corn back into their sacks, and gave them food for the trip back home. Joseph was being kind to his brothers! So, they went back home, leaving Simeon in Egypt, and had the problem of convincing their father of bringing Benjamin back on their next trip.
- As they were going back on the trip and stopped to feed the donkeys, one of the brothers opened up his sack and guess what he found? The money! That made all the brothers very afraid! When they got back home to Jacob, they told him everything that had happened, how they were commanded to take the youngest son back to Egypt with them to prove that they were not spies, and how they had found their money in their sacks on the trip home.
- Jacob was very upset. He said, "You have made me very sad this day. Joseph has died. Now Simeon is in Egypt, and now you are taking Benjamin away from me. Everything is against me." Reuben speaks up and tells his father that when they go back to Egypt, that he would personally be responsible for Benjamin. He would bring Benjamin back to Jacob. But Jacob said, "Benjamin will not go to Egypt. If anything were to happen to him, I would die." Next time, we will see how this story ends. Will it be a happy ending or a sad ending and why did all of these things happen the way they did?
"Older Student" Tips:
- Again, show on the Bible map just how far it was from Canaan to Egypt. One long trip! Review how they traveled on this long trip. Was it comfortable? Was it convenient? How did they eat along the way? Compare it to a trip today and the differences. They must have been very hungry to go on a trip just for food.
- Discuss how Joseph must have felt when he saw his brothers. He recognized them instantly! Talk about the changes in Joseph as to why the brothers would not recognize him.
- Talk about Jacob's conflicted feelings about Benjamin and why he did not want Benjamin to go in the first place and especially not to go on the second trip to Egypt. On such a long trip, there were reasons why he didn't want Benjamin to go. Why didn't Jacob go with them? Later in the story, Jacob said that he was 130 years old (Gen. 47:9), so he maybe he didn't think he could make a long to Egypt and the long trip back, and, of course, he had many younger sons to make the trip for the family.
Materials needed: Two 9" x 12" brown construction papers, 4" x 6 yellow construction paper, 3" x 3" shiny gold or silver paper (I used poster board, but wrapping paper will work as well), glue, crayons, scissors.
- Round the corners of one 9" x 12" brown construction paper to resemble a grain sack.
- Round corners of the other 9" x 12" brown construction paper to resemble the flap of a grain sack. Cut 'flap' shorter than the 'grain sack' (see picture below).
- Cut ten to twelve 1/2" yellow circles for corn kernels.
- Glue 'corn kernels' to top of 'grain sack's' edge, leaving at least 1/2" edge at top (see picture below).
- Fold 1/2" of top of 'flap'.
- Cut three gold or silver circles to resemble coins.
- Glue 'coins' on top of yellow 'kernels.'
- Glue 'flap' top edge only to top edge of 'grain sack.'
- Write "Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him" on flap and "Genesis 42:1-38" on bottom of 'grain sack.'
- Open 'flap.'
- Write "Joseph is kind" inside top of 'flap.'