Genesis 45:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 45:8, NIV: So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

Genesis 45:8, ESV: So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 45:8, KJV: So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 45:8, NASB: Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 45:8, NLT: So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh--the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

Genesis 45:8, CSB: Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

What does Genesis 45:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse begins with one of the most profound statements in all of Scripture. Joseph's brothers literally sold him to slave traders when he was just 17 years old (Genesis 37:24–28). And yet, Joseph recognizes an even higher plan and purpose. Their actions were sin, but they were allowed because God saw the greater good. In the sense that He arranged Joseph's rise to power (Genesis 41:44) and his ability to save Israel (Genesis 45:10–11), Joseph can say it was not his brothers, but God who sent him into Egypt. God was responsible for what happened to him, and it was for good (Romans 8:28).

Joseph's evidence for this is the miraculous nature of his rise to power. He, a Hebrew slave, had become a kind of father to the Pharaoh of Egypt; Pharaoh fully submitted himself to all of Joseph's instructions about how best to preserve life in the kingdom (Genesis 41:40). Joseph had even become the lord of Pharaoh's household and the ruler over all of Egypt. This simply could not have happened if God had not intended and engineered it.

The perspective given here makes sense of some hardships. But it does leave other questions. Joseph's trials don't mean that every calamity is an explicit action by God. Nor does it mean that all suffering is meant to be reversed during our earthly lives. Still, Joseph's story proves God can use the evil intentions of men to accomplish great good. It empowers victims of evil to see past the intentions of those who have wronged them. Rather than feel they are at the mercy of men, those who suffer can be encouraged, knowing God can even work through the difficult circumstances of their lives.