Genesis 45

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1 And Joseph could not control himself before all them that stood by him, and he cried, Put every man out from me! And no man stood with him when Joseph made himself known to his brethren.

2 And he raised his voice in weeping; and the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard.

3 And Joseph said to his brethren, I am Joseph. Does my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence.

4 And Joseph said to his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

5 And now, be not grieved, and be not angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God sent me before you to preserve life.

6 For the famine has been these two years in the land; and yet there are five years in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvest.

7 So God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance.

8 And now it was not you [that] sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and governor over all the land of Egypt.

9 Haste and go up to my father, and say to him, Thus says thy son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, tarry not.

10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near to me, thou, and thy sons, and thy sons' sons, and thy sheep, and thy cattle, and all that thou hast.

11 And there will I maintain thee; for yet there are five years of famine; in order that thou be not impoverished, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast.

12 And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth which speaks to you.

13 And tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen, and haste and bring down my father hither.

14 And he fell on his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept on his neck.

15 And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.

16 And the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come. And it was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his bondmen.

17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Say to thy brethren, Do this: load your beasts and depart, go into the land of Canaan,

18 and take your father and your households, and come to me; and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.

19 And thou art commanded -- this do: take waggons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and take up your father, and come.

20 And let not your eye regret your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt shall be yours.

21 And the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them waggons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.

22 To each one of them all he gave changes of clothing; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred [pieces] of silver and five changes of clothing.

23 And to his father he sent this: ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread, and food for his father by the way.

24 And he sent his brethren away, and they departed. And he said to them, Do not quarrel on the way.

25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan to Jacob their father.

26 And they told him, saying, Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And his heart fainted, for he did not believe them.

27 And they spoke to him all the words of Joseph, which he had spoken to them. And he saw the waggons that Joseph had sent to carry him. And the spirit of Jacob their father revived.

28 And Israel said, It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die.

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Doctrine of the Lord 47

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Word/Phrase Explanations

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

cried
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Brethren
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

Weeping
'Weeping' represents both sorrow and love.

Egyptians
Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Pharaoh
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

Brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

sold
'To sell,' as in Genesis 41:56, means transferring to another as their own, because what is sold becomes the property of the one who buys...

egypt
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

angry
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

famine
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

Five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

Ploughing
'Ploughing' denotes preparation for good to receive truths.

harvest
'A sickle,' as in Revelation 14, signifies the divine truth of the Word, because 'a harvest' signifies the state of the church regarding divine truth...

remnant
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

save
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

governor
"Rulers" or "governors" in the Bible represent the most basic, most essential true ideas that guide us in life, ideas that spring directly from the...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

haste
'To hasten' or 'hastiness' in the internal sense, does not denote what is quick, but what is certain, and also what is full, thus every...

Go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Tarry
'To tarry,' as in Genesis 27:44, signifies almost the same thing as 'to dwell,' except that 'to tarry' relates to the life of truth with...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

Goshen
‘The land of Goshen,’ as in Genesis 46:28, signifies the innermost parts of the natural mind.

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

years of famine
(Gen. xli.) By years are signified states, by the years of abundance of provision states of the multiplication of truth in the natural principle, and...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Benjamin
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

speaks
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

Glory
Glory, wisdom, and thanksgiving signify the Lord's divine spiritual principle. Honor, virtue and might signify his divine celestial principle, as in Revelation 7:12.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

Neck
'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...

wept
'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief.

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

bondmen
Freemen and bondmen, as in Revelation 6:15, signifies those who know and understand from themselves, and those who know and understand from others.

beasts
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

Canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

Fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

wives
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

commandment
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

provision
'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

clothing
'Vestments' signify truth, and in relation to the Lord, divine truth. 'Vesture' signifies truth clothing good, and when describing the Word, it signifies the Word...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Three hundred
'Three hundred' signifies fullness, because the number comes from three and a hundred multiplied. Both 'three' and 'a hundred' signifies fullness. The significance of products...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

pieces
The two sticks, in Ezekiel 37:16-22, signify the celestial and spiritual kingdom of the Lord.

silver
'Spoil of gold, and silver, and cattle' signifies falsified truths.

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

Corn
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

food
To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

still
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

believe
The meaning of "believe" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but runs deeper than what appears on the surface. When in the Old Testament people...

Words
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.

spirit
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

Enough
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

die
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Bring an Offering of Thanksgiving
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Dramatize the Story of Joseph Receiving His Brothers
Retell the story or read selected portions from the Word as the children dramatize the story of the brothers going to Egypt and being reunited with Joseph. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Family Worship: The Joseph Story
Religion Lesson | All Ages

 Food for the Soul
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Joseph Forgives His Brothers
If we love the Lord and try to obey His commandments, He will be with us to turn even our bad experiences into things that are good for us, that will prepare us for heaven.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Joseph Is Reunited with Brothers
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph Reveals Himself - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: sing an action song about Joseph's family reunion (video demonstration), make a trifold picture that shows Joseph revealing himself to his brothers, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph Reveals Himself - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: try a water experiment to see how the Lord's forgiveness works (video demonstration), make a trifold picture that shows Joseph revealing himself to his brothers, do a "wrinkled heart" activity to show how hard it can be to heal hurt feelings, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph Reveals Himself - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: watch and discuss a video about what Benjamin represents and how we need that quality in our lives, read several scenarios written in the style of news headlines and consider whether various actions should be forgiven or whether another response is called for, read a door handle sign with the Prayer of Saint Francis reflect on how you can forgive others, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Joseph Reveals Himself - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: watch and discuss a video about what Benjamin represents and how we need that quality in our lives, consider how true ideas can connect us with the Lord and help us get to heaven, read a door handle sign with the Prayer of Saint Francis reflect on how you can forgive others, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Joseph Welcomes His Family
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Story of Joseph
Examining the life and character of Joseph teaches us about how the Lord leads each of our lives.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18


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