Genesis 45-47…Joseph makes himself known, Jacob goes to Egypt, and Joseph leads Egypt during the famine.
After having patiently held back his true identity, Joseph finally tells his brothers who he is, and he shows them mercy. This represents the Divine compassion toward repentant sinners. “I am Joseph, your brother.” This would humble them even more for their sin in selling him, but would encourage them to hope for kind treatment. When Christ converted Paul, he said, I am Jesus. When he comforted his disciples, he said, It is I, be not afraid. When Christ manifests himself to his people, he encourages them to draw near to him with a true heart. Joseph does so, and shows them, that whatever they thought to do against him, God had brought good out of it.
Jacob travels with his entire family to Egypt. We have here a particular account of Jacob’s family. Though the fulfilling of promises is always sure, it is often slow. It was now 215 years since God had promised Abraham to make him a great nation. However, the branch of his seed, to which the promise was made sure, had only increased to seventy, of whom this particular account is kept, to show the power of God in making these seventy become a vast multitude.
There is rich symbolism in Genesis 47, where Joseph gives life (via food) in return for the material things of the Egyptians. It is plain that the Egyptians regarded Joseph as a public benefactor. The Egyptians believed that Joseph had saved their lives. Similarly, we will gratefully say to Jesus at the last day, you have saved our souls from the most tremendous destruction. The Egyptians parted with all their property, and even their liberty, for the saving of their lives. How much more should we count all but loss in this present world, in return for eternal life.