A Beloved Brother

And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin. ... . "God be gracious to you, my son!"
GENESIS 43:29
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A Beloved Brother
[Joseph] sees [Benjamin] in his house. . .. Here his natural affections assert themselves, and he weeps at the sight of his brother and at the mention of his father. "God be gracious to you," he says, "and show you favor, my son!" These words stirred his heart very deeply, for he is affected not only by the sight of his brother but also by the recollection of his mother and his father and of everything that had happened at home. He recalled that his very sweet mother had died in childbirth on account of this son Benjamin in the year before he was sold. At the same time he thought of the many great troubles his parents and he himself had to endure throughout their life, especially during the two years before his mother died, and that he had been sold to the Ishmaelites at the end of the year in which Benjamin was born. There is no doubt that he saw all this in his mind's eye when he caught sight of his brother. And his heart burned with the most tender affection toward Benjamin and his parents. Therefore he says: "God be gracious to you, my son." It is as though he were saying: "With what great pain our mother bore you! With what great difficulties and cares my father and I were tormented until it was granted me to enjoy the sight of you and your company!" Now his heart melts in tears.
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