Scripture Stories
Joseph and the Famine

“Joseph and the Famine,” Old Testament Stories (2022)

“Joseph and the Famine,” Old Testament Stories

Genesis 42–46

Joseph and the Famine

A brother’s chance to unite his family

Jacob sending his sons to Egypt

Jacob’s family was hungry because of a famine. So Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food. He kept his youngest son, Benjamin, at home. He was afraid of losing Benjamin like he had lost his son Joseph many years before. He didn’t know that his older sons had sold Joseph as a slave.

Genesis 42:1–4

brothers asking Joseph for food

By this time, Joseph was a great leader in Egypt. He was in charge of selling food during the famine. The brothers met with Joseph and asked him for food. They didn’t recognize him.

Genesis 42:5–8

Joseph speaking

Joseph recognized them, but he pretended not to know them. He asked about their family to see if his father and brother Benjamin were alive.

Genesis 42:10–14

brothers leaving with food

Then Joseph gave his brothers food. He told them not to come back for more food unless they brought their youngest brother, Benjamin, with them.

Genesis 42:15–20

brothers returning to Egypt

When the family ran out of food again, Jacob knew he had to send Benjamin with his other sons back to Egypt. Jacob was still scared about letting Benjamin go. But Judah, one of the brothers, promised he would keep Benjamin safe.

Genesis 43:1–15

Joseph accusing brothers of stealing silver cup

When the brothers returned to Egypt, Joseph made it look like Benjamin stole a silver cup. He wanted to see if his older brothers had changed. Judah begged Joseph not to punish Benjamin but to punish Judah instead.

Genesis 44

Joseph showing who he is

Joseph was happy to see that his brothers had changed. They loved Benjamin enough to protect him. So, at last, Joseph told them who he was.

Genesis 42:21–24; 45:1–4

Joseph hugging his brothers

Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him to be a slave. Joseph said it was the Lord’s way to help their family survive the famine.

Genesis 45:5–8

brothers running to Jacob

Joseph’s brothers went back to their father, Jacob, and told him all that had happened. Jacob moved his whole family to Egypt.

Genesis 45:24–28; 46:1–26

Joseph and Jacob in Egypt, Pharaoh watching

Pharaoh welcomed Jacob’s family. He gave them land and animals so they could have plenty of food. Jacob’s family lived in peace for a long time.

Genesis 45:16–23