Joseph Egypt jabraa

Jabra’s Gospel Thoughts | When reading the story of Joseph’s encounter with his brothers in Egypt it is very natural to see a story about unconditional forgiveness and moving on. The story though is a bit more nuanced . . .

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Joseph Egypt jabraa

When reading the story of Joseph’s encounter with his brothers in Egypt it is very natural to see a story about unconditional forgiveness and moving on. The story though is a bit more nuanced.

I’m not sure that Joseph instantly forgave his brothers. He had to have them go through several tests of character, and he threw Simeon in jail while the others went to Canaan. Luckily, the years of famine and suffering have probably humbled the brothers and paved the way for the change in character that Joseph observed when he tested them.
When faced with the prospect of jail, they displayed genuine sorrow for what they have done to Joseph, seeing their troubles as punishment for their sin (which must’ve haunted them for the previous two decades).

I think the story is one that teaches about both repentance and forgiveness, with the prior being a precondition.

Having said that, I say also that Joseph teaches us to forget the wrongs others have done to us. When Joseph became the grand Vizier of Egypt he had power over the land of a Canaan. He could’ve sought out his brothers to punish them. However, he called his first son Menassah (from the Semitic root β€˜Nasa’ which means β€˜to forget’). Joseph declares that he chose the name because he forgot all the troubles that have happened to him. The lesson here is that when we are wronged we should focus on the blessings in our lives rather than past wrongs. This way, we can see the bigger picture and build a capability to forgive when the right moment presents itself.

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