Joseph Made Known to His Brethren

When Joseph his brethren beheld

Author: John Newton
Published in 75 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 When Joseph his brethren behold,
Afflicted and trembling with fear;
His heart with compassion was fill'd,
From weeping he could not forbear;
A while his behaviour was rough,
to bring their past sins to their minds;
But when they were humbled enough,
He hasted to shew himself kind.

2 How little they thought it was he
Whom they had ill-treated and sold!
How great their confusion must be,
As soon as his name he had told!
"I am Joseph, your brother he said,
"And still to my heart you are dear;
"You sold me, and thought i was dead,
"But God, for your sakes sent me here."

3 Though greatly distressed before,
When charg'd with purloining the cup;
"They now were confounded much more,
Not one of them durst to look up,
"Can Joseph, whom we would have slain,,
"Forgive us the evil we did?
"And will he our houshold maintain?
"O this is a brother indeed!"

4 Thus, dragg'd by my conscience, I came,
And laden with guilt to the Lord;
Surrounded with terror and shame,
Unable to utter a word:
At first he look'd stern and severe,
What anguish then pierced my heart;
Expecting each moment to hear
The sentence, "Thou cursed depart."

5 But oh! what surprise when he spoke,
While tenderness beam'd in his face;
My heart then to pieces was brok,
O'erwhelm'd and counfounded by grace;
"Poor sinner, I know thee full well,
"By thee I was sold and was slain;
"But I died to redeem thee from hell,
"And raise thee in glory to reign.

6 "I am Jesus, whom thou hast blasphem'd,
"And crucify'd often afresh;
"But let me henceforth be esteem'd
"Thy brother, thy bone, and thy flesh;
"My pardon I freely bestow,
"Thy wants I will fully supply;
"I'll guide thee and guard thee below,
"And soon will remove thee on high.

7 "Go publish to sinners around,
"That they may be willing to come,
"The mercy which now you have found,
"And tell them that yet there is room."
Oh, sinners, the message obey!
No more vain excuses pretend;
But come without further delay,
To Jesus, our brother and friend.

Source: Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #5

Author: John Newton

John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumul­tuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When Joseph his brethren beheld
Title: Joseph Made Known to His Brethren
Author: John Newton
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


[When Joseph his brethren beheld] (51113)


The tune most commonly known as CONTRAST is a German folk tune. In American shape-note tradition the tune is known as GREEN FIELDS or GREENFIELDS. J. S. Bach quoted it in his "Peasant Cantata," but he did not compose it. It has also been misattributed to Maria DeFleury and to Lewis Edson. Edson wrot…

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The Cyber Hymnal #13080
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The Cyber Hymnal #13080

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