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The Big Feast

by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards

Joseph sat his brothers at the table in age order from oldest to youngest

Text Version | Afrikaans

Kari was quite worried. She and her family were going on a trip to visit her aunt, uncle, and cousin. The last time she had been with her cousin, they had gotten into a big argument. Lauren had found that one of her CDs had gotten broken and she had blamed Kari. Even though Kari didn't break the CD, there was nothing she could say that would convince Lauren that she was telling the truth. The two girls didn't speak to each other for the next two days.

"I hope this isn't going to be a horrible trip," Kari thought, remembering the previous incident. "I wonder if Lauren still hates me?"

When they finally arrived at Lauren's house, Kari was almost overcome with fear. She inched her way slowly up the steps and rang the doorbell. Kari could hardly believe it when Lauren threw open the door and gave her a big bear hug. When Kari asked if she was still mad at her about the CD, Lauren was surprised that she still remembered it. "Oh, that," she said."I got over that a long time ago. I know you didn't do it. I probably stepped on it myself, and besides, I was able to buy another one that I like better. Come on! Let's play!"

Kari realized that all her worry was for nothing. She was glad that her friendship with her cousin had been restored and they had a wonderful, fun-filled week together.

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Some time had passed since Joseph's brothers went on their l-o-n-g shopping trip to Egypt. The famine was still great in all the land and they knew the food wasn't going to last much longer. Finally the day came when their father, Jacob, told them they had to go back to Egypt to buy more food. OH, MY! That was one trip they were certainly hoping not to have to repeat!

The man in charge told us we are not allowed
to go back unless we take Benjamin Judah spoke to his father: "The man in charge told us we are not allowed to go back unless we take Benjamin. There's just no way around it. If you allow us to take Benjamin, we will go, but if you don't, there is no point in us even going. He will turn us away. . . or worse. He might throw us all in jail or even have us killed. No!" Judah exclaimed adamantly. "We just can't go back without Benjamin."

Why did you even
tell the man that you had another brother "Why are you doing this to me?" Jacob asked in much distress. "Why did you even tell the man that you had another brother?"

"We had no choice," Judah replied. "The man asked all about us. He asked if our father was alive and he asked if we had another brother. We had to tell him. How could we know that he was going to tell us to bring our other brother?"

Judah continued pleading with his father Judah continued pleading with his father: "I promise that he will come back home safely. If not, put the blame totally on me and do whatever you want to me in return. If we hadn't spent so long arguing with you about this, we could have been to Egypt and back already."

Jacob saw that there was no way he was going to win this argument. There was hardly any food left and they would all starve if the brothers didn't go to Egypt and quickly return. He finally conceded and allowed Benjamin to go with his brothers.

"This is what you need to do," Jacob instructed. "Put together a nice present for the man in charge. Take the best dried fruit we have and add a little honey, spices, and nuts to the package. Take double the amount of money needed to purchase the food, and also take the money that was left in your sack the last time. Take your brother Benjamin, and I pray that God will give you mercy in the sight of the man and he will allow both Simeon and Benjamin to return home."

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The ten brothers began preparing for the second, l-o-n-g shopping trip. Reuben read the list as Levi checked the items:







Put together a nice present for the
man in charge After making sure the supplies were securely tied to the donkeys, they put together the gift package for the man in charge, took double the money that was needed to purchase the food, plus the money that had been left in their sacks the previous time, and started on their journey.

This trip was just as long and miserable as the first.

The heat was nearly unbearable. . .

The ground was dry and dusty. . .

The breezes were hot. . .

They had to sleep on the ground. . .

and . . .

they were hungry.

The difference between this trip and the previous one was that this time they
were nervouse The difference between this trip and the previous one was that this time they were nervous . . . and worried . . . and fearful. They had several conversations along the way, but there were a few questions they just couldn't get out of their minds:

"What if the man in charge still thinks we are spies?"

"What if he won't release Simeon from prison?"

"What if he throws us all in jail?"

But the most worrisome "what if" questions of them all were:

"What if something happens to Benjamin? How could we ever face our father if we have to go home without Benjamin?"

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After several days of travel, the warehouse was in sight. They were growing more and more worried and fearful. They found a good place to tie the donkeys and cleaned themselves up. They wanted to be as presentable as possible so the man in charge would not think they were just dirty spies.

They gathered up the gift package and all the money and timidly made their way to the warehouse to buy food. The man in charge had seen them coming and had one of his servants waiting for them. He told the servant to take the brothers to his house and have a feast prepared for them.

The brothers were terribly frightened.

"What does this mean? Why were we brought to the man's house?" they wondered.

"What is he going to do to us?"

"Is he going to keep us all as slaves?"

They began nervously talking to one of the servants They began nervously talking to one of the servants. "Sir, we came here the first time to buy food. On our way home when we opened our sack, we found that the money we gave you was still in the sack. We don't know how it got there. . . honestly! To prove that we are honest men, we brought all that money back, plus more. We didn't do anything wrong! Really, we didn't!"

There is no reason to be afraid The servant noticed the fear on their faces and in their voices. "Calm down," he said. "There is no reason to be afraid," he continued. "I have the money that you gave me for the food. The God of your father must have put that money in your sacks." Then the servant walked away.

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Standing right in front of them was their brother Simeon When the servant returned, the brothers couldn't believe their eyes. Standing right in front of them was their brother Simeon. They had expected him to have been locked away in prison or possibly even dead. They didn't know if they would ever see him again, and yet, here he was, in that very room with them! What a joyous reunion that was!

After they finished hugging and greeting Simeon, the servant gave them water to wash their feet, which was a sign of welcome and hospitality in those days. Then he went outside and gave their donkeys food and water.

They had heard they were going to eat at that house with the man in charge and they were very confused about the whole matter The brothers didn't understand why they were being treated so well. They had heard they were going to eat at that house with the man in charge and they were very confused about the whole matter. This was the same person who had been mean to them and called them spies. Now this man, the second most important man in all Egypt, wanted to have his dinner with them. They were very puzzled and didn't quite know what to think.

When Joseph, the man in charge, walked into the house, they all stooped to the floor and bowed down to him. Joseph asked, "Is your father still alive?"

Is this your youngest brother "Yes, he is alive and in good health, Sir," they replied, as they were still bowing.

Joseph recognized his brother Benjamin in the crowd. "Is this your youngest brother?" he asked.

"Yes, Sir. This is our youngest brother," they replied, as they were still bowing.

Joseph was having a hard time controlling his emotions. He went into another room and wept cries of joy at having seen his youngest brother whom he hadn't seen since they were children. He composed himself, washed his face, and prepared to eat with his brothers.

He went into another room and
wept cries of joy at having seen his youngest brother Joseph composed himself washed his face and prepared to eat with his brothers
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Joseph had a small table set for himself and a larger table set for his brothers It was the custom in those days that the Egyptians did not eat with foreigners. Joseph, who had been accepted by the Egyptians, given an Egyptian name, and who held a place of authority in Egypt, was considered by all to be an Egyptian, even though he had originally come as a slave. So he had a small table set for himself and a larger table set for his brothers.

He told his servants how to arrange the seating at the table.

The brothers were quite amazed that this man had seated them all in order, according to their age. "How could he know this?" they questioned among themselves.

Each man received a large platter with plenty of food, but Benjamin's
platter was piled high Then Joseph had the platters of food served. Each man received a large platter with plenty of food, but Benjamin's platter was piled high. His had FIVE times more food than the others.

Joseph wanted Benjamin to have more than the others for two reasons: First, Benjamin was his only full brother and he loved him very much; the others were his half brothers. Second, Joseph wanted to test the other brothers to see if they would be jealous that Benjamin received more than they did.

Happily, the brothers passed this test. They did not become jealous or angry. They talked and laughed and they all enjoyed their big feast, which was fit for a king.

However, they still didn't know that the
man in charge was their own brother,

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1. Why did the brothers go to Egypt?
2. Why did Jacob not want Benjamin to go?
3. What did the brothers take as a gift for the man in charge?
4. Who was the man in charge?
5. Was Simeon ever released from prison?
6. Why was Benjamin given more than the others?
7. Did the brothers pass the test?


Even though we may not always know why things happen
as they do, God does, and He is always in control.


"Peace be to you, fear not" (Genesis 43:23).


Imagine you are one of Joseph’s 11 brothers. Imagine you also did not know who he really was. Would you be afraid of a ruler who treated you harshly, telling you that you were a spy? Could you imagine his* treating you with great mercy, like giving back your money so you didn’t have to pay for something you sorely needed?

Now, have you ever bullied someone, maybe a sibling or friend, or a kid at school or church? Can you imagine the person you bullied turning around and forgiving you, showing you mercy instead of going after you to get even?

Joseph forgave his brothers because he could tell they were sorry for what they had done. Are you sorry for what you’ve done? Then be brave. Go and apologize to that person. It’s what God expects of you. You can be confident that God will work everything out in the end, even if that person responds angrily at first.

Maybe you’ve never bullied someone. But imagine yourself traveling back in time, all the way to when Jesus was on the earth. Do you remember Jesus having a feast with 11 disciples after Judas left? Did those disciples really know who Jesus was? Can you also remember what they did in the garden of Gethsemane? Yes, they all deserted Jesus when He needed them most, just like Joseph's brothers deserted him. Remember how Reuben didn’t stop the others from selling Joseph to slave traders?

Now, have you ever run away when someone else was being bullied? Are you sorry that you didn’t try to help or send help for that person?

[After discussion:] God doesn’t want us bullying others, and He doesn’t want us to allow others to bully someone else. He would be so pleased with you if you would go to that person and apologize for not standing up for them.

Let’s take a moment and pray to God for forgiveness for being a bully or for not standing up for others, or for not defending Jesus. Let’s ask Him to give us the courage to make it right with others and stand up for them. Most importantly, pray for opportunities to stand up for Jesus when others disrespect Him or his Name. Take time to pray for the person who uses God’s Name in vain. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you when to speak up and what to say. Foremost, ask the Lord to help you live in such a way that nothing in your life dishonors God.


Dog and boy praying

Dear God, thank You for always being in control
and knowing what is best for us. Help us to
always trust You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Genesis 43:1-34

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Joseph and His Brothers
Every Man's Money Was in His Sack
Joseph's Brothers Bowed Before Him
Egypt Coloring Pages
Bible Heroes: Joseph
Bible Colour and Learn 7: Joseph

Action Bible Coloring Book
Coloring Through the Bible
Beginner's Bible Super-Duper Mighty Jumbo Coloring Book
Bible Stories Kids Love Coloring Book (ages 2 to 4)
Bible Verse Coloring Pages #2
Big Book of Bible Story Coloring Pages for Elementary Kids
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, Coloring Book
My Bible Coloring Book
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Benjamin Goes To Egypt With His Brothers
Genesis 43
Adventure Bible: Joseph The Dreamer (I Can Read)
Beginner's Bible: Joseph & His Brothers (I Can Read)
God's Dreamer: The Story of Joseph (Bible Wise)
Joseph (read online)
Joseph and the Hidden Sacks of Silver

Joseph—God's Superhero
(Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids)

Joseph in Egypt
Joseph, Jacob's Favorite Son (Arch Books)
Joseph Rules
Joseph Saves His People
Joseph's Coat (Famous Bible Stories)
Joseph's Ten Brothers Go to Egypt

The Birth of a Nation: Abraham to Joseph
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The Great Famine

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Jigsaw Puzzle (online)
Joseph Word Search
The Big Feast Multiple Choice Worksheet
Matching Game
Joseph Tests His Brothers
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Big Book Of Bible Puzzles
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Fear Not Memory Verse Activity
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Joseph Tests His Brothers
Joseph Activities and Games

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Maker-ific WOWS! (ages 8-12): 54 Surprising Bible Crafts

More! Bible Crafts on a Shoe String Budget:
Paper Sacks & Cardboard Tubes

(Reproducible: Ages 5-10)

Puppet Crafts For Kids

CDs and Videos

Bugtime Adventures: Blessing in Disguise - The Joseph Story (watch online)
Heroes of the Bible: Moses, Miriam, and Joseph VeggieTales DVD
Joseph: Beloved Son, Rejected Slave, Exalted Ruler DVD
Joseph: Beloved Son, Rejected Slave, Exalted Ruler (watch online)
Joseph & the Coat of Many Colors DVD (Greatest Heroes & Legends)
The Beginner's Bible, Volume 4 (watch online)
The Bible Stories: Joseph, DVD
The Story of Jacob and Joseph
VeggieTales: The Ballad of Little Joe (watch online)

Do You Wonder Why? (watch online)
Read and Share DVD Bible
God's Story from Creation to Eternity (listen & watch online)
Bible Collection: Jesus TV Mini-Series [Streaming Video Rental]
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit
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birds singing

Everywhere I Go - Sheet Music
Romans 8:28 - Sheet Music
God Will Take Care of Us All by Helen McAlerney Barth (listen online)
In His Dreams - Sheet Music
Joseph's Coat Of Many Colors [Music Download]

100 Ways To Know God Loves Me & 100 Songs
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs
Action Bible Songs
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100 Singalong Bible Songs For Kids

Platinum Bible Collection of Classic Christian Songs on DVD
The Bible in a Minute (sing along)

25 Favorite Sunday School Songs
Children's Music


Joseph by F B Meyer
Joseph - A Very Colorful Story
Joseph Tests His Brothers
Take-Home Paper

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801 Questions Kids Ask About God
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