Genesis chapter 44

Joseph Detains Benjamin. Judah Pleads for Benjamin’s Release.

 


 

JOSEPH DETAINS BENJAMIN

 

VERSE 1. He commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in his sack’s mouth.

He. That is, Joseph.

 

VERSE 2. Put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, with his grain money.” He did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

my cup, the silver cup. This cup would be unmistakeable.

 

VERSE 3. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys.

 

VERSE 4. When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men. When you overtake them, ask them, ‘Why have you rewarded evil for good?

 

VERSE 5. Isn’t this that from which my lord drinks, and by which he indeed divines? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”

divines. That is, divination.

In this context, divination meant to seek an omen by pouring liquids into a cup or bowl.

In later centuries, it would be forbidden to the Hebrew people. But in this verse, it is not yet forbidden.

In any case, Joseph would not need divination to have the knowledge he possesses. He could gain it by his interactions with his brothers.

Maybe Joseph used the word “divination” to imply that he had supernatural knowledge.

 

VERSE 6. He overtook them, and he spoke these words to them.

 

VERSE 7. They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing!

 

VERSE 8. Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again to you out of the land of Canaan. How then should we steal silver or gold out of your lord’s house?

 

VERSE 9. With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”

we also will be my lord’s slaves. That was a very foolish thing to say.

Having said it, though, it became prophetic. The Hebrew people did indeed become slaves of Pharaoh.

 

VERSE 10. He said, “Now also let it be according to your words. He with whom it is found will be my slave; and you will be blameless.”

 

VERSE 11. Then they hurried, and each man took his sack down to the ground, and each man opened his sack.

 

VERSE 12. He searched, beginning with the oldest, and ending at the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.

The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. This incident is famous. Artists have created lots of images of it.

 

VERSE 13. Then they tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey, and returned to the city.

 

VERSE 14. Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there. They fell on the ground before him.

 

VERSE 15. Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Don’t you know that such a man as I can indeed do divination?”

divination. In this context, divination meant to seek an omen by pouring liquids into a cup or bowl.

In later centuries, it would be forbidden to the Hebrew people. But in this verse, it is not yet forbidden.

In any case, Joseph would not need divination to have the knowledge he possesses. He could gain it by his interactions with his brothers.

Maybe Joseph used the word “divination” to imply that he had supernatural knowledge.

 

VERSE 16. Judah said, “What will we tell my lord? What will we speak? How will we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. Behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and he also in whose hand the cup is found.”

 

VERSE 17. He said, “Far be it from me that I should do so. The man in whose hand the cup is found, he will be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

 

JUDAH PLEADS FOR BENJAMIN’S RELEASE

 

VERSE 18. Then Judah came near to him, and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and don’t let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even as Pharaoh.

 

VERSE 19. My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’

 

VERSE 20. We said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother; and his father loves him.’

 

VERSE 21. You said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’

 

VERSE 22. We said to my lord, ‘The boy can’t leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’

 

VERSE 23. You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will see my face no more.’

 

VERSE 24. When we came up to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.

 

VERSE 25. Our father said, ‘Go again and buy us a little food.’

 

VERSE 26. We said, ‘We can’t go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down: for we may not see the man’s face, unless our youngest brother is with us.’

 

VERSE 27. Your servant, my father, said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons.

 

VERSE 28. One went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn in pieces;” and I haven’t seen him since.

 

VERSE 29. If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.

Sheol. The Hebrew word is שְׁאוֹל. It means underworld.

It was seen as the place to which all people descend at death. It was considered a dreary place of darkness.

 

VERSE 30. Now therefore when I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us; since his life is bound up in the boy’s life;

 

VERSE 31. it will happen, when he sees that the boy is no more, that he will die. Your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant, our father, with sorrow to Sheol.

Sheol. The Hebrew word is שְׁאוֹל. It means underworld.

It was seen as the place to which all people descend at death. It was considered a dreary place of darkness.

 

VERSE 32. For your servant became collateral for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I don’t bring him to you, then I will bear the blame to my father forever.’

 

VERSE 33. Now therefore, please let your servant stay instead of the boy, my lord’s slave; and let the boy go up with his brothers.

let your servant stay instead of the boy. This is a early glimpse of what would later be named “substitutionary atonement.”

It means one person takes the punishment on behalf of another.

 

VERSE 34. For how will I go up to my father, if the boy isn’t with me?—lest I see the evil that will come on my father.”

 


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GENESIS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 4950

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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.