What does Genesis 45:26 mean?
ESV: And they told him, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them.
NIV: They told him, 'Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.' Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them.
NASB: And they told him, saying, 'Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.' But he was stunned, for he did not believe them.
CSB: They said, "Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt! " Jacob was stunned, for he did not believe them.
NLT: Joseph is still alive!' they told him. 'And he is governor of all the land of Egypt!' Jacob was stunned at the news — he couldn’t believe it.
KJV: And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
NKJV: And they told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” And Jacob’s heart stood still, because he did not believe them.
Verse Commentary:
With great fear and anxiety, Jacob sent ten of his twelve sons to Egypt to buy grain from a demanding ruler there (Genesis 43:3–6). From Jacob's perspective, one of his beloved sons had been lost long ago to a wild animal attack (Genesis 37:31–34). Another was held captive in Egypt by the very ruler who then demanded his beloved youngest son Benjamin return with the other brothers (Genesis 42:36). Jacob could not know if he would ever see Benjamin again or, for that matter, if his other sons would return with grain in time to keep the family from starving during the famine (Genesis 43:14).

Now they have returned, including Benjamin and the formerly imprisoned brother. They are also loaded down with grain and, for some reason, accompanied by empty wagons. Jacob probably would have been elated and confused.

One can only imagine how awkward the conversation would have been, as Jacob's sons explain this turn of events. They will have to admit their lie about Joseph's death (Genesis 37:24–28). They will reveal that Jacob's once-favorite son, thought dead for decades, has been alive this entire time (Genesis 45:1–4). Judah had been worried that further bad news would kill their elderly father (Genesis 44:34). In this case, even good news comes as a shock. As one might expect, it's too much for Jacob to process. His reaction is numbness—a stupefied level of disbelief. His sons must have wondered if Jacob would die on the spot.

Pharaoh and Joseph planned well, however (Genesis 45:16–23). Their careful attention to detail will convince Jacob that these stories are true (Genesis 45:27).
Verse Context:
Genesis 45:16–28 describes Pharaoh's enthusiastic response to learning about Joseph's reunion with his estranged family. With Pharaoh's blessing, Joseph urges his brothers to return to Canaan, pack all they own, and come back to resettle the family in Egypt. Their father Jacob agrees after eventually being convinced the story is true.
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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