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    Did Jacob ever find out? – Vayyechi

    Jacob on his deathbed, by Jan Victors c.1635

    After years of sorrow and sighing at home in Canaan, the old father was brought to Egypt by his son Joseph and he lived there for seventeen years. Eventually he died and he was buried by all his sons together.

    Did he ever find out how Joseph had got to Egypt and what the brothers had done to him?

    The text does not offer a decisive answer, and the commentators are divided. Some say that Jacob never found out, others that he knew but kept it to himself.

    Presumably the brothers were ashamed of their actions and did not know how to handle the situation. Without their father, would Joseph bear them a grudge for the events of years before and make them suffer for their sin?

    The text indicates this when it says that after the funeral they told Joseph that they were willing to become his slaves. Joseph responded, “Who do you think I am, God? You meant me harm but God used the situation for good. Have no fear: I will look after you and your children.”

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