After Jacob’s death, Joseph’s brothers fear he will take revenge on them for the evil they did to him. However, Joseph has long since worked through all his bitterness and hurt and had forgiven them for their treachery. Through all these trials, Joseph has learned a great lesson — that when we place our lives in God’s hands, He turns everything to our good so that nothing can harm us.
Genesis 49:29-33; 50:15-26
29 Jacob gave his sons this charge: “Since I am about to be taken to my people, bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there, too, I buried Leah — 32 the field and the cave in it that had been purchased from the Hittites.” 50: 15 Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought, “Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us and now plans to pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!” 16 So they approached Joseph and said: “Before your father died, he gave us these instructions: 17 ‘You shall say to Joseph, Jacobbegs you to forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you so cruelly.’ Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we, the servants of your father’s God, committed.” When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke into tears. 18 Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, “Let us be your slaves!” 19 But Joseph replied to them: “Have no fear. Can I take the place of God? 20 Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. 21 Therefore have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them. 22 Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years. 23 He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir were also born on Joseph’s knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued, “When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones up with you from this place.” 26 Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten.