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Genesis 50:15–21

God’s Good Purposes

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of fthe God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and gfell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for ham I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but iGod meant it for good, to bring it about that many people2 should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; jI will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

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Genesis 50:15–21 — The New International Version (NIV)

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — New Living Translation (NLT)

15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said.

16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.

19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”

19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — New Century Version (NCV)

15 After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph is still angry with us? We did many wrong things to him. What if he plans to pay us back?” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph that said, “Your father gave this command before he died. 17 He said to us, ‘You have done wrong and have sinned and done evil to Joseph. Tell Joseph to forgive you, his brothers.’ So now, Joseph, we beg you to forgive our wrong. We are the servants of the God of your father.” When Joseph received the message, he cried.

18 And his brothers went to him and bowed low before him and said, “We are your slaves.”

19 Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Can I do what only God can do? 20 You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done. 21 So don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 16 And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we are thy servants. 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20 And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, If now Joseph should be hostile to us, and should indeed requite us all the evil that we did to him! 16 And they sent a messenger to Joseph, saying, Thy father commanded before he died, saying, 17 Thus shall ye speak to Joseph: Oh forgive, I pray thee, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin! for they did evil to thee. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face, and said, Behold, we are thy bondmen. 19 And Joseph said to them, Fear not: am I then in the place of God? 20 Ye indeed meant evil against me: God meant it for good, in order that he might do as it is this day, to save a great people alive. 21 And now, fear not: I will maintain you and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spoke consolingly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

15 Joseph’s brothers realized what their father’s death could mean. So they thought, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us? What if he decides to pay us back for all the evil we did to him?” 16 They sent a messenger to Joseph to say, “Before your father died, he commanded us, 17 ‘This is what you should say to Joseph, “I’m begging you to forgive the crime and the sin your brothers committed against you. What they did to you was very evil.” ’ So now, please forgive our crime, because we are servants of your father’s God.” Joseph cried when he got their message.

18 Then his brothers also came and immediately bowed down in front of him. “We are your slaves!” they said.

19 Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I can’t take God’s place. 20 Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it. This was to keep many people alive, as he is doing now. 21 Don’t be afraid! I will provide for you and your children.” In this way he reassured them, setting their minds at ease.

Genesis 50:15–21 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.”

16 So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before he died your father gave a command: 17 ‘Say this to Joseph: Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin—the suffering they caused you.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when their message came to him. 18 Then his brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. 21 Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16 So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

15 And when the brothers of Joseph saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hold a grudge against us and pay us back dearly for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent word to Joseph saying, “Your father commanded us before his death, saying, 17 “Thus you must say to Joseph, ‘O, please now forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did evil to you.’ So now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers went also and fell before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 Then Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you planned evil against me, but God planned it for good, in order to do this—to keep many people alive—as it is today. 21 So then, do not be afraid. I myself will provide for you and your little ones. And he consoled them and spoke kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

15 Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers were worried. They said, “Remember all of the bad things we did to Joseph? What if he decides to hold those things against us? What if he pays us back for them?”

16 So they sent a message to Joseph. They said, “Your father gave us directions before he died. 17 He said, ‘Here’s what you must say to Joseph. Tell him, “I’m asking you to forgive your brothers. Forgive the terrible things they did to you. Forgive them for treating you so badly.” ’ Now then, please forgive our sins. We serve the God of your father.”

When their message came to Joseph, he sobbed.

18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down in front of him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Do you think I’m God? 20 You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives.

21 “So then, don’t be afraid. I’ll provide for you and your children.” He set them free from their fears. And he spoke in a kind way to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!”

16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying,

17 Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”

19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place?

20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

21 So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.