10 Things You May Have Missed in the Book of Genesis

7. Joseph was tenderhearted.

Slide 7 of 10

Scripture records that Joseph’s emotions ran deep and wide. And no wonder. He’d experienced a lifetime of tragedy in a few short decades. Instead of becoming bitter and angry over the injustices of his life, however, he remained tenderhearted. While he could have become cold and cynical, he instead allowed himself to experience and display his emotions. In poignant detail, the book of Genesis records seven instances where Joseph wept. Contrary to what you might expect, though, he seldom cried tears of sorrow. 

In Genesis 42:24, Joseph wept when he encountered his brothers for the first time since they had sold him into slavery. His brothers’ expressions of remorse over what they had done to him so long ago moved him to tears. 

In Genesis 43:30, Joseph wept from happiness when he saw his brother Benjamin again. And Genesis 45:1-2 records his most dramatic outburst. When Joseph revealed himself to his disbelieving brothers, he wailed so loudly all the Egyptians in the palace heard him. He cried again when he embraced his beloved little brother (Genesis 45:14-15).

Genesis 46:29 finds Joseph weeping with joy when he reunited with his father, Jacob, after years of separation. Genesis 50:1 records the only instance of Joseph weeping in sorrow. After Jacob had breathed his last, and was “gathered to his people,” Joseph flung himself upon his father’s face, wept over him, and kissed him. 

Genesis 50:17 captures Joseph’s final outburst. Witnessing his brothers’ lingering guilt and fear over the dastardly way they had treated him, he wept as he comforted them, assuring them, “You meant this for evil, but God used it for good.”

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