45 25 And they went up from Egypt and came to the land of Canaan, to Jacob, their father. 26 They said to him, “Joseph is still alive! He is ruler of all the land of Egypt!” Jacob’s heart failed him, for he did not believe them.
27 They spoke to him all the words Joseph had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him down, Jacob revived. 28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I must go and see him before I die.”
The caravan from Egypt to Canaan steadily made its way through the wilderness of Sinai. There was time to consider how to deal with Jacob, so resistant to losing the land promised to his father and father’s father. If Jacob only risked sending Benjamin until all other options for survival had been exhausted, how long would all this bounty coming his way delay his leaving?
Sorting through their options, it was decided that the strongest emotion of Jacob surfaced when it involved Joseph. Their plan needed to begin by using Joseph as a lure.
Upon arriving at Jacob’s tent, the brothers begin their practiced song-and-dance routine that Joseph was alive and living in Egypt.
As might be expected, such news caused Jacob’s heart not just to skip a beat, but to intermit—to hold its life-breath, to simply stop.
The brothers applied their verbal shock-paddles to Jacob and repeated Joseph’s words to Jacob. When he finally saw the wagons sent by Joseph, it is recorded that Jacob revived. This resurrection was different than anything Jacob had experienced with a vision of a ramp, the sighting of Rachel, his return meeting with Esau, or word about Joseph’s death.
Jacob’s usual behavior took a backseat to relief, and he wanted to start back without checking their water supply or the strength of the animals. He was so ecstatic that he had no regret for all that needed to be left behind.
Jacob was on his way to Egypt without hesitation. Where the brothers wondered how they could convince Jacob to leave, they now had to figure out how to constrain him from driving everyone and their remaining flocks into the ground.