And Joseph’s brothers said to each other, “Alas, we are guilty for our brother, whose mortal distress we saw when he pleaded with us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has overtaken us.” Joseph had pleaded with his brothers to spare him and now the brothers' panic. They expect Joseph to
ignore their pleas, explains Sforno, just as they had ignored his pleas. Yet, Joseph breaks the cycle of tit-for-tat and refuses to use his power to punish
them in any way. This is another example of his heroism: last week he resisted his master’s wife and this week he resists the allure of power and revenge.