06 Dec Table Talk: Vayigash
Preparations: The family had known since Abraham that they were destined to be “strangers in a strange land.” They, or their descendants would be slaves, and they would suffer terribly.
Joseph clearly understood that Egypt was the “strange land.” He did all he could to prepare the land to receive his family and ease their eventual suffering. Did Jacob know? How could he not! Did the brothers know? It is difficult to imagine that they did not, at the very least, suspect. Why else would God insist that they go down to Egypt rather than have Joseph send food and supplies to them in Canaan? Why was Jacob concerned with his eventual death and burial and not with what would happen do his family? Can you find any indication that the brothers shared Joseph’s concerns and attempted to prepare for the exile to come?
How Curious Was He?
Joseph ruled Egypt for 9 years. Pharaoh appreciated Joseph’s greatness. Did he wonder about Joseph’s father? Yet, when he finally meets Jacob, he doesn’t discuss Joseph, but asks a mundane question; “How many are the days of the years of your life?’ Did Pharaoh not wonder how Joseph became a slave? Did the king ever investigate Joseph’s brothers? Is there any indication in the fateful audience the brothers had with Pharaoh that the king suspected their role in Joseph’s life? Did he consider avenging his second in command?