GENESIS 50:20

“you meant it for evil God meant it for good”

KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)

TRANSLATION, MEANING, CONTEXT

In this verse Joseph has forgiven his brothers who sold him into slavery. He says that, although they meant harm upon Joseph, it worked out for good, according to God's plan.

After Joseph gets sold into slavery by his brothers, he is brought to Egypt. There, he falls into the favor of Pharaoh after he interprets Pharaoh's dreams. Joseph becomes a high-ranking person among the Egyptians. When drought fell upon their homeland, Joseph's brothers seek aid and refuge in Egypt. There, they get help from Joseph.

This verse shows how bad things in life can result in unexpected, good outcomes. With the power of the forgiveness of sins, all trespasses may become righted again. And bad things in life have in them the seed of equal or greater benefit. The key is how we handle life's events and the choices we make to influence outcomes.

To get what Genesis 50:20 means in detail, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

Verse Picture

Verse with Popularity

“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.”

Very high popularity: 4,400 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Genesis chapter 50 using average monthly Google searches.

Genesis 50:20 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
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Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
But as for you, וְאַתֶּ֕ם Thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you But as for you
ye thought חֲשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם Properly, to plait or interpenetrate, i.e., (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate; figuratively, to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute thought
evil רָעָ֑ה Bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral) evil
against עָלַ֖י Above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications against
me; God אֱלֹהִים֙ Gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative God
but (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
meant it חֲשָׁבָ֣הּ Properly, to plait or interpenetrate, i.e., (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate; figuratively, to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute meant
unto good, לְטֹבָ֔ה Good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well) good
to לְמַ֗עַן Properly, heed, i.e., purpose; used only adverbially, on account of (as a motive or an aim), teleologically, in order that to
bring to pass, עֲשֹׂ֛ה To do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application bring pass
as this הַזֶּ֖ה The masculine demonstrative pronoun, this or that as this
it is (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
day, כַּיּ֥וֹם A day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverb) day
to save לְהַֽחֲיֹ֥ת To live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive save
much רָֽב׃ Abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality) much
people עַם A people (as a congregated unit); specifically, a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively, a flock people
alive. עַם A people (as a congregated unit); specifically, a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively, a flock alive

Verse Context

See Genesis 50:20 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 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.

  • 22  And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.




Sources:

The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.


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