Jewish people today should know that the sceptre and lawgiver literally did depart Judah historically right at the time of Jesus. They have not had this self determining power since throughout the dispersion. Further proof that Jesus is the Shiloh.
Did you notice that Abel and Cain were offering sacrifices, but, men did not call on the name of the Lord until Enos? What men? Were there others? Remember that incest at this time was not forbidden, logically it was the only way for these people to reproduce. Notice that sisters of Cain and Abel and Seth are not recorded, there may have been many (perhaps in modern terms 7 to 1 or more). Seeing how quickly Cain's numbers grew, Abel's could have been just as quick, along with Seth's. Given the either of these brothers could have had any number of other unrecorded brothers the human race could have grown quite quickly. Only later when incest was not needed and began producing genetic flaws was it legalized against.
How does one forget such a one as interpreted his troubling dream? How does one forget a solemn oath? Quite easily it appears. Notice that Joseph believes in his Lord and at the same time is pleading his way with others to be delivered. There may be times when the Lord works His favor through other people blessing ones initiative. This however seems to be a time when it was not yet time for the Lord to fully reveal His favor. In the long run Joseph's initiative sticks but, it should be known that it was not the cause.
Joseph possess two attitudes beneficial to his relationship with God from which he names his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. His first attitude is that He has made him to forget his toil and fathers house. It is not that he has forgotten it whole it is that it has a positive influence on him. Instead of blaming God or that he is entitled to this time, he praises God that all of these experiences have lead him to this moment; he would not be this had he not been through that. And surely the desire to be reunited with his kin (particularly Jacob and Benjamin) is still there but contained in the knowledge that it will be by God's hand in God's time. The second attitude is that God has made him fruitful in the land of his affliction. He is not sugar coating the fact that he has been afflicted, he is acknowledging that God has brought him through affliction into fruitfulness.
The revelation of the dream was toward the years of plenty followed by years of famine, the interpretation is in what best to do. The dream does shows the years of famine surviving on the carcass of the years of plenty, but, does not show a man appointed to gather during the years of plenty. It is one thing to know what is about to happen and quite another to be wise enough from it to know what needs to be done. Both are from God, one a product of divine announcement, one the product of divine preparation and testing.
I have often puzzled over the allowance of Joseph to treat his brothers in this somewhat mean and deceitful manner. Jacob was a trickster in his day and now he is being tricked himself. Not to say that I would have reacted any better (probably worse) given the situation, but, wouldn't you like to hear him discuss his thought process now after the fact?
Others have suggested that Joseph is testing his brothers hearts to see where they stand. After all of these years would they still be of the heart that led to selling a brother into slavery and faking his death? Had they learned anything? Had they changed? We saw that there was remembrance of the event and suspicion that this current problem may be the pay back. We are seeing some effort today by them to do what is right even in the midsts of some oddities beyond their control.
The truth is now pouring out from Judah's mouth. He is expressing concern for his dad, concern for his youngest brother, and a willingness to take the place of Benjamin for any wrong the brothers may have done. Nearly everything is here except an outright confession of the past treatment of Joseph.
This is a solid offer of forgiveness to pattern our own after. First, it does not seek anything further from them to make it or keep it happening. Second, it is based upon God's intentions and not either of the two parties involved. Third, it is concerned for reaction of the guilty towards their own selves.
The reaction of Pharaoh should be noted. We know from previous text that the Hebrews were not looked favorably on by the Egyptians during these days; they were not even to be eaten with. Here we see how differently Joseph was viewed, as a man in whom the spirit of God dwelt. That Joseph had been reunited with his Hebrew kin was a favorably endorsed event by Pharaoh.
We should be mindful as to just how serious famines can be. Within the first year the people of Egypt had sold Joseph their cattle and by the second year had sold all but the priest' land. This is a sanitized way of saying that they were absolutely desperate. The dust bowels of Great Depression are the closest thing we Americans have seen to this, not nearly as devastating but requiring a buy back program from the government for many as well, some had to walk away from everything.