It Is Enough [Genesis 45:9–28 Study]

Jacob reunited with Joseph and said, "It is enough." Can we follow Jacob's example of contentment and say, "My cup overflows. It is enough."

It Is Enough [Genesis 45:9–28 Study]
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  • Open your Bibles and turn with me to Genesis 45.
  • The title of today's Bible study is "It is enough."
  • Please stand for the reading of God's word.


  • Story: Anticipating the birth of our first son, Timothy.
  • Joseph had waited for this moment. He can extended forgiveness to his brothers. In a private moment, the brothers and Joseph had been reconciled.
  • Now the wheels can be set in motion for the family to be reunited.

Outline of Genesis 45:9–28

  1. Joseph's Direction (v.9–13)
  2. Joseph's Satisfaction (v.14–15)
  3. Pharoah's Injunction (v.16–20)
  4. Joseph's Provision (v.21–24)
  5. Jacob's Capitulation (v.25–28)

1. Joseph's Direction (v.9-13)

  • Joseph gives three commands to his brothers (v.9a)
    1. "Hurry." - Make haste; act quickly; be swift.
      • Why hurry now? Joseph had been vizer of Egypt for 9 years.
      • This family reunion had been on hold until there was reconcilation and restoration.
        • Joseph began his master plan of subterfuge to lure his brothers to bring Benjamin to Egypt. (Genesis 42)
        • On their return, Joseph lavished them with kindness. (Gen 43)
        • His crafted one final test with the silver cup. (Genesis 44)
        • All of this compelled Judah to declare himself as Benjamin's substitute and surety.
        • Judah's entreaty convinced Joseph that his brothers were ready for reconciliation.
      • Now that reconciliation had been reached, Joseph tells his brothers to hurry.
    2. "Go up to my father." - ascend and travel up.
    3. "Say to him" - Deliver to father this message.
  • Joseph relays one command to his father. (v.9b)
    • "Come down to me."
    • Joseph was convinced that this was God's plan.
    • Joseph had planned for this possible family relocation for some time.
  • Take note: Joseph gave four reasons to persuade his father (v.9b-13)
    1. "God has made me lord of all Egypt." (v.9b)
      • "You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt." (v.13)
        • "Honor" in verse 13 sometimes indicates wealth and riches, but here it is referring to reputation and importance.
      • Joseph's high position.
      • But Joseph was subject to God's absolute sovereignty.
    2. "There are yet five years of famine to come." (v.11a)
      • Joseph knew that his father sent Benjamin out of desparation.
      • This was only the second year; five years remained.
    3. "I will provide for you so you don't come to poverty." (v.11b)
      • There is hope. Our family does not need to suffer financial ruin.
      • By coming to Egypt and accepting the provision that only I, Joseph, can provide, you will be rescued. You can be saved.
    4. "And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see." (v.12)
      • Father, your eleven sons are eyewitnesses, including Benjamin.
      • Even if you doubt your 10 sons who had lied to you these last 22 years, you can trust Benjamin, your son of beloved Rachel.
  • Joseph's Direction was "Hurry, come down to me now so our family can be saved."

2. Joseph's Satisfaction (v.14-15)

  • Joseph's outpouring of fondness to Benjamin (v.14)
    • Benjamin reciprocated Joseph's display of affection
    • Mutual weeping; mutual contact to the neck.
      • First time: Esau and Jacob's reunion in Genesis 33:4
      • Third time: When Joseph and Jacob reunite (Genesis 46)
    • In contrast, Joseph's ten other brothers responded differently.
      • Joseph kissed all his brothers and wept on them.
      • His brothers talked with him.
        • "They hated him and could not speak peacefully to him" (37:4)
      • Why? Because Joseph's brothers did not fully trust and embrace Joseph's gift of forgiveness.
      • "When Joseph's brothers saw that thei rfather was dead, they said, 'It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.'" (Genesis 50:15)
    1. Joseph's forgiveness was genuine, and it gave him great satisfaction.
      • Unwillingness to forgive leads to bitterness, grief, and misery.
      • The cost of forgiveness is great.
      • The consequence of unforgiveness is fatal.
    2. Joseph's brothers did not fully delight in Joseph's forgiveness.
      • The brothers doubted. To them, Joseph's forgiveness was impossible.
      • Question: Do you accept and enjoy God's gift of forgiveness without reservation?

"As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

3. Pharoah's Injunction (v.16-20)

  • Pharaoh was pleased to hear about the report about Joseph's brothers. (v.16)
  • Pharoah gives commands (v.17)
    • Two verbs "Say to your brothers" and "Do this" are both imperatives.
    • Send your brothers back to Canaan to retrieve the entire family.
    • "I will give you the best of the land of Egypt" which was Goshen. (Joseph had somehow planned and anticipated this)
    • Two more imperatives: "Do this" and "take wagons." (v.19)
      • During this time, wagons were an advanced technology.
      • There were no carts or wagons in Canaan during this time.
        -"The best of all the land of Egypt is yours." (v.20)
    • Pharoah withheld nothing.
    • "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he wills." (Proverbs 21:1)
    • Read Esther 6:6-10
      • God orchestrated King Ahasuerus to bless the Jewish people through the faithfulness of Mordecai and Queen Esther.
      • Like King Ahesuerus, the King of Egypt blesses Joseph with the best fruits of the land and the best land.
  • Why did Joseph not go to his father personally?
    • Pharoah would not have refuse Joseph. If Joseph had wanted to leave Egypt, Pharoah would have granted Joseph's request.
    • Joseph understood that sending his brothers would persuade his father more than going to Canaan himself.
      • Jacob was going to resist leaving Canaan.
      • Jacob clung to the land God had promised.
      • Unlike his grandfather Abraham in Genesis 12:10, Jacob was not about to impulsively leave Canaan because of famine.
      • Joseph must remain to force Jacob to come to Egypt to make their family reunion possible.

4. Joseph's Provision (v.21-24)

  • Joseph executed Pharoah's orders as prescribed. (v.21)
  • But Joseph went one step further.
  • "To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes" (v.22a)
    • God clothed Adam and Eve with animal skin after their sin (Genesis 3)
    • Jacob told his family in Genesis 35, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments."
    • Joseph's brothers tore their clothes after in Benjamin's sack was revealed the silver cup.
  • "But to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five changes of clothes." (v.22b)
    • Joseph gave Benjamin 5 times as much food during the luncheon.
    • Now he again gives Benjamin 5 changes of clothing and silver.
    • Stop here: Joseph in his prerogative blesses Benjamin more than the other brothers.
    • Sometimes God will bless one of us more than the other.
  • "Do not quarrel on the way." (v.24)
    • "quarrel" translates a verb meaning to be "disturbed", "upset," "worried." It has mainly to do with emotional states, not with quarrels and arguments.[1]
    • Used 40x in OT, 3x in Torah.
    • "The peoples have heard; they tremble" (Exodus 15:14a ESV)
    • "As you travel don't be overcome with fear." (NET)

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NAS)

5. Jacob's Capitulation (v.25-28)

  • "And they told him, 'Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.' And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them." (v.26)
    • Throughout his life, Jacob was quick to receive bad news.
    • When Joseph's robe tainted with blood was presented to Jacob. (Genesis 37)
    • When the brothers returned without Simeon. (Genesis 42)
    • When presented with evidence, Jacob's logic was sound. He feared the worst, but his conclusions were wrong.
    • Jacob see his sons returning with both Benjamin & Simeon.
    • This was good news. The best news.
    • But his response was unbelief. He could not accept the truth.
    • What is the most astonishing good news?
    • For some, the gospel is "too good to be true."
  • "they told him all the words of Joseph." (v.27a)
    • The brothers told Jacob everything in the words of Joseph.
    • They explained that all has happened by the providence of God.
    • "But his father kept the saying in mind." (Genesis 37:11b)
      • Jacob saw the ladder of God. (Genesis 28)
      • Jacob wrestled with God and held on to God until he was blessed (Genesis 32)
      • Since Joseph's two divine dreams, Jacob receives no special revelation until God appears to him later in Genesis 46.
  • "And when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived." (v.27b)
    • "his heart became numb" -> "Jacob's spirit revived"
    • Jacob believes.
  • "It is enough."(v.28a)
    • One word - a Hebrew particle רַב translated here as "enough."
      • It usually means "numerous, many, great" (HALOT)
      • It connotes the condition of having too much.
    • Abraham and Lot had decided to part ways "for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together." (Genesis 13:6)
    • Esau told Jacob, "I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself." (Genesis 33:9)
    • This is the ultimate state of Christian contentment.
    • Note the progression:
      • Genesis 42:36 - "Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more...All this has come against me."
      • Genesis 43:14 - "If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
        • Similar to when Esther told Mordecai, "Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 5:16)
        • But to calmly yield to the providence of God is only the penultimate state of Christian contentment.
      • The ultimate state of contentment is Jacob here at the end of Genesis 45: "It is enough."
    • If you are in Christ, you are in the position to say, "It is enough."


  • Through Joseph, God saved Jacob and their entire family.
  • Every Jews was decreed to be executed by Medo-Persian decree. And through Esther, God saved them
  • And through Christ Jesus, God has saved each of us who have placed our faith and trust in His only Son.
  • Can we say to God today? "My cup overflows. It is enough."

  1. Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. 1998. A Handbook on Genesis. UBS Handbook Series. ↩︎

Bible Studies on the Story of Joseph

  1. Introduction to the Joseph Narrative in Genesis
  2. Joseph the Dreamer (Genesis 37:2–11)
  3. Joseph Sold to Slavery (Genesis 37:12–36)
  4. Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38)
  5. Joseph Tempted by Potiphar's Wife (Genesis 39)
  6. God Remembers Joseph in Prison (Genesis 40)
  7. Pharoah's Dreams Interpreted (Genesis 41:1–36)
  8. Joseph Made Prime Minister (Genesis 41:37–57)
  9. Jacob's Sons' First Trip to Egypt (Genesis 42)
  10. Jacob Accepts Judah's Guarantee (Genesis 43:1–14)
  11. Joseph Reunites with Benjamin (Genesis 43:15–34)
  12. Joseph Plants His Silver Cup (Genesis 44:1–17)
  13. Judah's Plea for Benjamin (Genesis 44:18–34)
  14. Judah Becomes Surety for Benjamin (Genesis 44)
  15. A Portrait of Forgiveness (Genesis 45:1–8)
  16. It Is Enough (Genesis 45:9–28)
  17. Prepared to Die (Genesis 46)
  18. God Rescues Egypt (Genesis 47:1–26)
  19. "God Will Be With You" (Genesis 47:27–48:22)
  20. Lion of Judah: When All Is Said and Done (Genesis 49)
  21. God Meant It For Good (Genesis 50)