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    In Joseph’s presence – Mikketz

    Joseph & his brothers, by Gustave Dore

    Joseph & his brothers, by Gustave Dore

    When Joseph’s brothers enter his presence as Prime Minister of Egypt they bow low to the ground in his honour (Gen. 42:6) though they do not know the real authority of the Prime Minister.

    Let us ask why they enter Joseph’s presence at all, since it is unlikely that everyone who came to buy corn was personally received by Joseph.

    Perhaps the state officials are suspicious of a large group of foreigners and want Joseph to decide their fate.

    The Midrash (Gen. R. 91:4) says that the brothers not only wanted corn but asked around in case their long-lost brother was somewhere in Egypt.

    Their activities came to Joseph’s ears and he realised what was going on, so he made arrangements to see them personally and to come to his own conclusions as to whether they had repented.

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