Genesis 45:14
Then Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept as they embraced.
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 45:14
Tears of LoveJ. Vaughan, M. A.Genesis 45:14
The First Embrace for BenjaminA. M. Symington, D. D.Genesis 45:14
Darkness Turned into LightR.A. Redford Genesis 45:1-15
Now therefore be not grieved, &c.


1. To preserve life.

2. To set the seed of the better society in the midst of the corruptions and imperfections of the old.

3. To prepare the way for the higher revelations of the future.


1. The history of his people, their persecutions, their apparent humiliations, their marvelous victories.

2. The transformation of men, whereby enemies are made friends, &c.

3. The biographies of distinguished servants of God illustrate his grace in bestowing fitness for appointed work.


1. Time a great revealer. Wait for the Lord.

2. The narrow circle of a family history taken up into the higher sphere of Divine purposes concerning nations and humanity itself.

3. Ultimate vindication of the spiritual men and spiritual principles as against the merely earthly and selfish aims of individuals or communities. - R.

And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
This incident is the most unquestionable instance in the Bible of tears of love. No other feeling but love made Joseph weep.

I. Tears of love are true evidences — and evidences which can scarcely speak falsely.

II. Tears have much of the nature of sacrifice in them.

III. Though there are no tears in heaven, yet loving tears on earth come nearer than anything else in the world to the alleluias of the saints, for they are the outbursts of an irrepressible emotion.

IV. Tears of kindness act back again, and make the kindness from which they spring. In order to have the heart soft enough for tears —

(1)You must lead a pure life;

(2)You must feel that you are loved;

(3)You must be subdued;

(4)You must help yourself by action;

(5)You must have pity.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

1. Grace forbids not natural working of affection in its measure.

2. Mutual workings of hearts in brethren is but natural (ver. 14).

3. Sincere kisses and tears of injured brethren to offenders are remarkable.

4. Brotherly communion may be freely had, when grace had put away all offences, and accepted offenders (ver. 15).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

There was an instinctive delicacy in selecting that one for his first embraces who was best able to return them freely. It gave the others time. Not that he thought of that and planned it; but the instincts of a good heart are very wise. Benjamin could weep tears of unmingled joy, for he had love only to accept — not forgiveness as well. One looks eagerly through the story to find some word telling that the others wept, the ten men who were over forty years of age, the sinners convicted, humbled, pardoned. Such a word would be very welcome; but I do not find it. We have to be content to take another lesson in the mystery of restoring love — that it is easier for God to forgive us than for us to forgive ourselves; that the part of Christ's work which most proves the omnipotence of His grace, is when He persuades us to believe that He has forgiven us. That once believed by the heart, tears flow fast. There is only One who can so look on us that we shall go forth and weep bitterly. Leaving Benjamin after a time, Joseph went from one to another of his brethren, kissing them and weeping on them. I see him beginning with Reuben and Simeon, ending with Judah. The appeal, if one may translate so tender an utterance of the heart into any words, meant this, "I love and forgive you: love me and trust me, trust me and love in return." "And after that his brethren talked with him." The struggle had been a hard one, but love had conquered. It matters little what they talked about — the wonders of Egypt, the storehouses, the capabilities of Goshen, Asenath and Manasseh and Ephraim, the state of the flocks at home, the children of each, their father, the dreams; the great thing was that they talked at all. It was not now as it had been at the banquet yesterday; restraint and stratagem had gone for ever; brother talked to brother, heart to heart.

(A. M. Symington, D. D.)

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