What does Genesis 45:11 mean?
ESV: There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’
NIV: I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.'
NASB: There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be impoverished.'?’
CSB: There I will sustain you, for there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise, you, your household, and everything you have will become destitute." '
NLT: I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you, your household, and all your animals will starve.’'
KJV: And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
Verse Commentary:
Joseph is describing his plan to save his entire family from the ravages of a famine. This would have been an overwhelming, stunning moment for his brothers. Only moments ago, they feared for the life of their youngest brother, Benjamin (Genesis 44:17). Shortly after, they feared vengeance from a man they had sold as a slave. Then they were stunned to hear that man speak of his plan to save their entire family (Genesis 45:1–8).

Not only does Joseph seem to have forgiven his older brothers, but he also wants to rescue them. He has insisted they return to Canaan and bring Jacob back. In fact, he wants them to move the entire family and all they own to Egypt, to the fertile region of Goshen along the Nile River. Joseph knows the current crippling famine will last another five years (Genesis 41:28–31. There's simply no way the family will survive in Canaan. Joseph's plan is to save them from poverty and death.

Then, as now, poverty and famine forces families into terrible choices. To survive, many families may sell all they own. Eventually, they might even sell themselves as slaves of one kind or another. Poverty could lead to death, but it could also result in family groups being broken up in a desperate attempt to stay alive. God would need to intervene to keep this from happening to His chosen people, Israel. Joseph revealed to His brothers that God has done exactly that (Genesis 45:5). They will be saved through Joseph's power and influence in Egypt.
Verse Context:
Genesis 45:1–15 records Joseph's emotional revelation of his identity. Still unrecognized by his estranged brothers, Joseph had tested them, leading to Judah's passionate, sacrificial offer (Genesis 44:18–34). Overcome with emotion, Joseph identifies himself to his dumbfounded brothers. He states with confidence that all this has happened as part of God's plan to preserve the people of Israel.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 45 is a series of revelations. Following an emotional breakdown, Joseph finally reveals his identity to his baffled brothers. After they realize the governor of Egypt is the one they sold into slavery two decades earlier, he rushes to tell them he does not hold them responsible. In His own way, God had arranged for Joseph's enslavement, for the purpose of saving many people from famine. With Pharaoh's enthusiastic support, Joseph arranged for his brothers to return to Canaan, pack up Jacob and all they own, and come back to resettle in Egypt. Jacob, finally convinced all this is true, agrees to the move.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 44 concluded with an impassioned speech from Judah, offering to sacrifice himself for his younger brother. Overwhelmed with emotion, Joseph breaks down and finally reveals his identity to his brothers. He urges them to move Jacob's entire family to Egypt to survive the famine. Jacob agrees, leading to the migration and resettlement depicted in Genesis 46. The remainder of Genesis describes the happy results of this relocation.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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