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Nicholas King Lectio Divina 1

Author: Lisa Cherrett, 14 June 2024

Explore Joseph’s reunion with his brothers in Nicholas King’s new translation. Follow this devotional reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation journey for an immersive experience of Scripture.

Genesis 45.1–9

And Joseph could not cope with all his attendants, and said, ‘Send them all away from me.’ And Joseph had no one else attending on him when he made himself known to his brothers. 
He let out a cry, and weeping; and all the Egyptians heard [it]; and it was audible in Pharaoh’s palace.
Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph: is my father still alive?’ And his brothers could make no response, for they were overwhelmed.
Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come closer to me.’ They did so, and he said, ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
Now don’t be distressed, and don’t think of it as a hard thing that you sold me here. For God sent me ahead of you to preserve life.
For this [is the] second year [when] there has been famine on the earth, and there are still five years to come in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvesting.
For God sent me ahead of you, that a remnant of you might be left upon the earth, and to nourish a great posterity for you.
So you see it was not you that sent me here; it was God. And God has made me like a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler of the entire land of Egypt.
So, quickly, go up to my father and tell him, “This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of the whole land of Egypt. So come down to me, and don’t delay.”’


The story of Joseph began in Genesis 37 and has been building up to this emotionally charged moment when Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers. They have no idea that this powerful ruler, speaking Egyptian and dressed in Egyptian robes of state, is the boy they last saw being carried away from the pasturelands of Canaan by slave traders, exchanged for 20 pieces of gold.

Joseph has had years to come to terms with the course his life has taken, and to recognise God’s hand in it. His brothers are haunted by the guilt of their treachery and cannot yet see beyond it.

Read these verses slowly, several times over. Read aloud if that helps you enter into the emotion of the story.


How do you feel about the family relationships in the passage? Meditate on the father–son–brother dynamics here. 

If you were ‘in’ the story, who would you be: Joseph, one of the brothers, an Egyptian man or woman who hears Joseph weeping? How would you retell the scene from that person’s point of view?

If there were no sense of God’s hand in the events of Joseph’s life, how would this scene be different?


Speak and listen to God about your family relationships, whether they are close and nourishing, or somewhat alienated. Thank God for supportive family members, intercede for any who have particular needs, or pray for reconciliation if that is needed.

Pray about your sense of God’s hand on your life – or the absence of any such sense. Feel free to ask questions of him as well as expressing your trust in him.


Take time to rest in God’s presence, allowing any insights from this reading to sink in. Take Joseph’s words with you as you leave your prayer time: ‘It was not you that sent me here; it was God.’

The Bible translated by Nicholas King is available in the Bible Society shop. You can also buy and download an audio track featuring the story of Joseph from Genesis 37 to 50 (abridged).

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