Genesis Chapter 43
Genesis 43:1 “And the famine [was] sore in the land.”
“And the famine was sore in the land”: In the land of Canaan; it increased yet more and more: this is observed for the sake of what follows, showing the reason and necessity of Jacob’s sons taking a second journey into Egypt.
Genesis 43:2 “And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.”
“And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt”: Which, in so numerous a family as Jacob’s was, having so many children, grandchildren, and servants, what nine men on so many asses could bring with them must be consumed in a short time, how long cannot be said.
No doubt they lived sparingly on it in such a time of scarcity, to make it last as long as they could, and perhaps only he, his children and grandchildren, might eat of it.
The servants, as Calvin observes, might live on lessor food, as acorns, herbs, and roots. And it must not be thought that all this corn was eaten up entirely, and none left, but the far greater part of it, and but very little remaining. Otherwise, how should Jacob, and his sons’ wives and children be supported until the return of his sons from Egypt with fresh provisions?
Indeed it may be supposed, that the land of Canaan produced some corn, though but little; and it is certain there were other fruits which were serviceable for food, as appears from (Genesis 43:11).
“Their father said, go again, buy us a little food”: Just enough for him, and them, and theirs, for the present; hoping that the famine would be over quickly, and therefore orders them to go once more to Egypt, and buy some provisions.
They made no move themselves to go, as it is highly probable they determined they would not, since Jacob had resolved Benjamin should not go, but waited for their father’s move, and which he did not make until necessity obliged him.
Genesis 43:3 “And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother [be] with you.”
“And Judah spake unto him”: Reuben the eldest son had met with a repulse already (Gen. 42:36). Simeon the next was now in Egypt (Gen. 42:24), and Levi, perhaps on account of the affair of Shechem (Gen. 34:25), did not yet fare well in his father’s favor and affection.
Wherefore Judah being next, with the consent of his brethren, undertakes to manage the affair with him, who had doubtless an interest in him, as well as authority among his brethren, and was a prudent man, and could speak well.
“Saying, the man did solemnly protest unto us”: Meaning Joseph, though he then knew not that it was he; whom he calls “the man”, not by way of contempt, or as thinking and speaking meanly of him, but the reverse, the great man, the honorable man, the governor of Egypt.
The seriousness of Joseph’s words portended failure for another mission to buy food, unless the criterion he had set down was strictly met.
And so the Septuagint version adds, “The man, the lord of the land”, he in the strongest terms, and in the most solemn manner, protested by the life of Pharaoh.
“Saying, ye shall not see my face”: With acceptance, should not be admitted to come near him, or treat with him, and purchase any corn of him:
“Except your brother be with you”: Their youngest brother Benjamin.
This famine was widespread and for an extended period of time. It was better to go to Egypt and take a chance of being killed, than for the entire family to starve to death. Judah remembered the warning of Joseph that he will not even listen to them unless they had Benjamin along. Joseph was still holding Simeon.
Genesis 43:4 “If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:”
“If thou wilt send our brother with us”: Give orders for his going with us, and put him under our care.
“We will go down and buy thee food”: Signifying, on the above condition, that they were ready and willing to take a journey into Egypt, and buy provisions for him and his family, otherwise not.
Genesis 43:5 “But if thou wilt not send [him], we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother [be] with you.”
“But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down”: This they said not as undutiful, and from a spirit of rebellion and disobedience to their father, or of stubbornness and obstinacy, but because they durst not go down, nor could they with any safety.
They might expect to be taken up as spies, and put to death as they were threatened. Besides, it would be in vain, and to no purpose, since there was no likelihood of succeeding, or of getting any provision.
“For the man said unto us, ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you”: Which they repeat both for the confirmation of it, and as an apology for themselves, to clear them from any charge of unfaithfulness.
Genesis 43:6 “And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye [so] ill with me, [as] to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?”
“And Israel said”: In answer to the speech of Judah.
“Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me”: Had done that which brought so much evil upon him, gave him so much grief and trouble, and threw him into such perplexity and distress, that he knew not what to do, or course to take.
“As to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?” Which he thought was done imprudently and unadvisedly, and that there was no need of it. Which, had it not been done, would have prevented this anxiety of mind he was now in, and the mischief he feared would follow.
Jacob did not want to let go of Benjamin. This was the last child from his beloved Rachel. He was angry, because they told that they had a brother.
Genesis 43:7 “And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, [Is] your father yet alive? have ye [another] brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?”
Judah therefore, speaks. “Is your father yet alive?” “Have ye a brother?” These questions do not come out in the previous narrative, on account of its brevity. But how pointed they are, and how true to Joseph’s yearnings! They explain how it was that these particulars came out in the replies of the brothers to Joseph.
Genesis 43:8 “And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, [and] also our little ones.”
Judah now uses all the arguments the case would admit of, to persuade his father to allow Benjamin to go with them. He closes with the emphatic sentence, If I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me have sinned against thee all my days; that is, let me bear the blame, and of course the penalty of having sinned against thee in so tender a point.
“And Judah said unto Israel his father, send the lad with me, and we will arise and go”: Directly to Egypt for corn. Judah calls Benjamin a lad, because the youngest brother, and tenderly brought up by his father, who had an affectionate fondness for him as if he had been a child.
Otherwise he must be thirty two years of age, for he was seven years younger than Joseph, who was now thirty nine years of age. Benjamin must have children of his own, who went with him and his father into Egypt (Genesis 46:21); for the computation of Benjamin’s age (see Gen.30:22).
“That we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones”: He argues, that if they with Benjamin went down to Egypt for corn, there was a possibility, yea, a probability that they would all live, even Benjamin also. But if not, they must all in course die, and Benjamin likewise.
Therefore, it was most prudent and advisable, for the sake of all their lives, of them and theirs, and for the sake of Benjamin among the rest, for whom Jacob was so particularly concerned, to let him go with them to Egypt for corn, since he must die if they did not go.
And he could die if he did go. There was great likelihood, if not a certainty, he would not; at least Judah was confident he would not, as appear by what follows.
Genesis 43:9 “I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:”
“I will be surety for him”: Reuben’s offer to guarantee the safety of Benjamin had been rejected (42:37-38), but Judah’s was accepted (verse 11), because of the stress of the famine and the potential death of all (verse 8), if they waited much longer (verse 10).
Genesis 43:10 “For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.”
“For except we had lingered”: Delayed going down to Egypt, through the reluctance Jacob made of tending Benjamin with them.
“Surely now we had returned this second time”: They would have made their journey to Egypt, and returned again with their corn and their brother Benjamin too, as Judah supposed, before this time. So that by these delays they were losing time, and involving themselves and families in distress for want of corn.
Part of God’s plan for Israel was that they would be detained in Egypt for 400 years. Jacob will not leave Canaan, unless something drastic took place, such as this famine. This request for Benjamin to go was almost more than Jacob could bear.
All the promises in the world from all these sons would not keep the hurt from killing Jacob, if they did not return with Benjamin. One thing I do not understand is the lack of concern about Simeon who was in jail in Egypt.
Genesis 43:11 “And their father Israel said unto them, If [it must be] so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:”
“And their father said unto them”: Being in some measure convinced by their reasoning, and in part at least reconciled to let Benjamin go with them, there being nothing to be done, he perceived, unless he consented to it.
“If it must be so now, do this”: if nothing else will do but Benjamin must go, which after all he was reluctant to, then he advises them to do as follows.
“Take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels”: Such as were the peculiar produce of the land of Canaan, and the best of it; for which it was most famous, and praised, as the word signifies; these Jacob advises to take and put into their sacks they carried to bring back their corn in.
“And carry down the man a present”: The great man and governor of Egypt, whose name was not known, little thinking it was his son Joseph; this he proposed to be done, in order to procure his friendship that he might carry it kindly and respectfully to them, release Simeon, and send back Benjamin with them. The present consisted of the following things.
“A little”: Likely this was a significant present because they had little left. But there was no future at all past the little if they did not get grain in Egypt.
Genesis 43:12 “And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry [it] again in your hand; peradventure it [was] an oversight:”
“And take double money in your hand”: Than what they carried before, either to buy as much more as they then did; or rather because of the greater scarcity of corn, as Jarchi observes, which made it doubly dearer. For this seems to be different from the money they are also bid to take in return for that found in their sacks, which was a third parcel.
“And the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand”: That it might be ready to pay upon demand, should they be charged with nonpayment for the corn they had before.
“Peradventure it was an oversight”: A mistake of the governors, or of those that were under him, concerned in the sale of the corn, and receiving money for it, or of Jacob’s sons; he could not tell how it was, but some way or other he supposed a mistake was made.
Genesis 43:13 “Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:”
“Take also your brother”: Their brother Benjamin, committing him into their hands and to their care, hereby declaring his consent and willingness that he should go with them.
“And arise, go again to the man”: The governor of Egypt, to buy corn of him.
Genesis 43:14 “And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved [of my children], I am bereaved.”
Jacob’s acquiescence to let Benjamin go (verse 13), ended with prayer for the brothers’ and Benjamin’s safety and with a cry of being a helpless victim of circumstances. Pessimism had apparently set into his heart and deepened after the loss of Joseph.
Here, Jacob finally turned this situation over to God. He realized if he did not send for food, they would all die. He was explaining to his sons how to handle the situation, so as not to incite the fury of this man who was in charge in Egypt.
It seems Canaan still had fruit, and nuts, but no grain. Bread is the staff of life, so they must have grain. Jacob said finally, whatever comes, I will accept it being from God.
Genesis 43:15 “And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.”
“And the men took the present”: Their father directed them to.
“And they took double money in their hand”: Besides what they found in their sacks mouths, which they also carried with them.
“And Benjamin”: They took him likewise with their father’s leave.
“And rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph”: Presented themselves to him, and their petitions for more corn, as well as to answer to any questions that should be asked them.
Genesis 43:16 “And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring [these] men home, and slay, and make ready; for [these] men shall dine with me at noon.”
“And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them”: Whom he knew, though he had not seen him twenty two years, and though he must be very much altered, being but about ten years of age when Joseph was said into Egypt, yet being with the rest of his brethren, whom he knew very well, concluded it must be him.
“He said to the ruler of his house”: His steward, as he is after called.
“Bring these men home”: To his own house, for Joseph was now at or near the place where the granaries of corn were, and was distributed.
“And slay, and make ready”: Or “slay a slaughter”, that is, of beasts for food; a sheep, or a lamb, or a calf, very probably, and order it to be dressed, boiled or roasted, or both, that it might be fit for food.
“For these men shall dine with me at noon”: Which was the usual time of dining with the eastern people, as it is now with us. Though with the Romans, they eat in the evening.
Here the brothers had done what Joseph asked. They even brought presents to go with the money, and Benjamin. Joseph was so excited when he saw his brother, Benjamin, the only other brother by his mother, Rachel. He told his servants to prepare a noon meal for them. Egyptians and Hebrews ordinarily do not eat together.
Genesis 43:17 “And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.”
“And the man did as Joseph bade and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house”: Showed them the way to it, and introduced them into it, and led them into some apartment in it, and ordered everything to be gotten ready for dinner as his master had bid him, being a diligent and faithful servant.
At old Cair, travelers are shown the house of Joseph in the tower, and a very surprising well, said to be made by him. And here, they say; the granaries were, in which the corn was laid up.
Genesis 43:18 “And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.”
“And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house”: It not being usual, as Jarchi observes, for those that came to buy corn to lodge there, but at an inn in the city.
“And they said, because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in”: To examine and inquire of them how they came to go away without paying for their corn, take up their money again after they had laid it down, and take it away with them, and so were guilty of tricking and defrauding, if not of theft.
“That he may seek occasion against us”: Or “roll on us”; cast all the shame on them, and leave the reproach and scandal of it on them.
“And fall upon us”: With hard words, and severe menaces, if not with blows.
“And take us for bondmen, and our asses”: Imprison them, which was the punishment for fraud and theft, and take their asses as a forfeiture.
When Joseph’s brothers were brought to his house, they assumed the worst. They imagined that Joseph was going to take them into bondage for stealing money from him. I think their policy was to always think the worst.
Genesis 43:19 “And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,”
“And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house”: The same person before called the ruler of his house, under whose direction they were. Just before they came to the house, as it seems by what follows, they made up to him as having something to say to him.
“And they communed with him at the door of the house”: Before they went into it, being uneasy and eager to know what should be the meaning of their being brought there, which was unusual.
Genesis 43:20 “And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:”
“And said, O sir”: Or, “on me, my lord”, one said in the name of the rest, perhaps Judah. On me let the blame lie, if guilty of rudeness in making our address to thee. Or as the Vulgate Latin version, “we pray, sir, that thou wouldest hear us”; and so Jarchi and Aben Ezra say the phrase is expressive of beseeching, entreating, and supplicating.
“We came indeed down at the first time to buy food”: Not to spy the land but to buy corn, and not to get it by fraud or tricking but by paying for it the price that was required.
Genesis 43:21 “And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, [every] man’s money [was] in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.”
“And it came to pass when we came to the inn”: Upon the road, on the first day’s journey, to refresh themselves and their cattle.
“That we opened our sacks”: To feed our cattle; by which it appears that they all did this, though it is only said of one of them at the inn, and of all of them when they came home (Gen. 42:27).
“And, behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight”: All of it; it being usual in those times to pay money by weight, and not by the tale of pieces.
“And we have brought it again in our hand”: In order to pay it for the corn we have had, having no design to defraud.
These brothers were trying to get in a quick word to the steward, to explain what happened. They hoped the steward would pass it on to Joseph. Of course, they still had no idea that this was their brother, Joseph. They continued explaining to him in the next verse.
Genesis 43:22 “And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.”
“And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food”: Double money for a double quantity, or because the price of corn was now doubled; and their bringing this besides the other showed their honest and upright intentions.
“We cannot tell who put our money in our sacks”: We are quite ignorant of it, and can by no means account for it, and therefore hope no blame will be laid on us.
Genesis 43:23 “And he said, Peace [be] to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.”
“Your God … hath given”: An indication of Joseph’s steward either having come to faith in God or having become very familiar with how Joseph talked of his God and life.
So concerned were the brothers to protest their ignorance of the means of the money being returned and to express their desire to settle this debt (verses 20-22), that they missed the steward’s clear reference to the God of Israel (“the God of your father”), and his oversight of events in which he had played a part (“I had your money”).
This was the first reassurance that everything was alright. This servant called God “your God” and “God of your father”. Egyptians did not recognize God. One even greater reassurance was Simeon not being hurt. I know they have begun to wonder what was going on.
Genesis 43:24 “And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave [them] water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.”
“And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house”: After the above discourse had passed between them, and he had made their minds easy, both with respect to the money and by bringing Simeon unbound to them.
“And gave them water, and they washed their feet”: Which was usually done in the eastern countries after travelling, and when about to take a meal, and was both for refreshment and cleanliness.
“And he gave their asses provender”: Thus were they hospitably entertained, them and all that belonged to them.
Now, they were being treated as honored guests, even the animals were being treated special.
Genesis 43:25 “And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.”
“And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon”: They took it out of their vessels or bags in which they brought it, having unladed their asses, and disposed of it in a proper manner to present it to him when he came home at noon to dine.
“For they heard that they should eat bread there”: Dine there, bread being put for all provision. This was told them, very probably, by the steward, or by some of the servants in the house, or they overheard what Joseph said to the steward (Gen. 43:16).
Genesis 43:26 “And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which [was] in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.”
“And when Joseph came home”: In order to dine, it being noontime.
“They brought him the present which was in their hand into the house”: Everyone took a part of it in his hand, and brought it to Joseph in the parlor where he was, and delivered it to him as a present from their father, or from themselves, or it may be as from both.
“And bowed themselves to him to the earth”: In the most prostrate and humble manner, now again fulfilling his dream, and more completely than before, for now all his eleven brethren were together, signified by the eleven stars in the dream, that made obeisance to him (see Gen.37:9).
“Bowed themselves to him to the earth”: Again, Joseph’s boyhood dream (37:5-8), had become reality (42:6).
Here, they (Joseph’s brothers), humbled themselves before him by bowing. The gifts were brought, so that he might go easy on them this time. These nuts and fruit they brought were not native of Egypt. Don’t you know they brought back memories to Joseph of the bygone days in Canaan?
Genesis 43:27 “And he asked them of [their] welfare, and said, [Is] your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? [Is] he yet alive?”
“And he asked them of their welfare”: Or “peace”, their prosperity. And especially about the health of their physical bodies, whether they were well and in good health, after so long a journey.
“And said, is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake?” When they were with him before, and told him they were all the sons of one man, who dwelt in Canaan.
“Is he yet alive?” Which he was very desirous of knowing; for, being advanced in years, he might fear he was removed by death in the time between their going and returning.
Genesis 43:28 “And they answered, Thy servant our father [is] in good health, he [is] yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.”
“And they answered, thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive”: Which is an answer to both his questions; and by calling their father Joseph’s servant, he did obeisance to him in them, as well as by sending a present to him, which they delivered as coming from him his servant.
And it is not improbable that Jacob sent his salutation to him as his servant, and so that part of the dream of Joseph’s was also fulfilled, which represented the sun doing obeisance to him (Gen. 37:9).
“And they bowed their heads, and made obeisance”: A second time, as they did, no doubt, at every time they gave answer to Joseph’s questions. And this is again observed, to show the full completion of the above dream.
Joseph’s heart was aching to know of his father. It had been a very long time since he had seen him. Joseph loved him very much. Remember, Joseph was his favorite.
Genesis 43:29 “And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, [Is] this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.”
“And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin”: He had seen him before when his brethren first presented themselves to him, but then took no particular and special notice of him, only gave him a side look as it were, but now he looked intently at him.
“His mother’s son”: The son of Rachel his mother, and who was his only brother by his mother’s side. The rest, though his brethren, yet only by his father’s side, not his mother’s sons.
“And said, is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me?” He knew he was the same, but was willing to have it from their mouths, to lead on to what he had further to say.
“And he said”: After they had answered his question, and told him it was he.
“God be gracious unto thee, my son”: Speaking as a superior, a governor, in which capacity he was a father to his inferiors; and as a man, a relation, a brother, though not as yet discovered; he spoke in the most tender and affectionate manner, and, as a religious good man, he wishes the best thing he could for his brother, the grace and goodness of God.
And which may be understood in the largest and most expressive sense, as including all good things, temporal, spiritual, and eternal.
Joseph easily used the name of God in his conversation, but the brothers did not hear the name of their own covenant God being spoken by one who looked just like an Egyptian (42:18).
This too, had to be heart wrenching for Joseph. His brother had grown into a man. Joseph spoke a blessing on him.
Genesis 43:30 “And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought [where] to weep; and he entered into [his] chamber, and wept there.”
“And Joseph made haste”: To get out of the room where he was with his brethren as fast as he could.
“For his bowels did yearn upon his brother”: His passions grew strong, his affections were raised, his heart was full of tenderness, and there was such a flow of love and joy at the sight of his brother. And the little conversation he had with him, that he was ready to burst out, and must have discovered himself if he had not immediately turned and got out of the room.
“And he sought where to weep”: Joseph was overcome with emotion seeing Benjamin. He did not want them to see him weep, so he went into his bedroom, apart from them, and wept.
“And he entered into his chamber, and wept there”: Where he could be the most retired, and not likely to be overheard. Joseph was moved to tears on several occasions (42:24; 45:2, 14-15; 46:29).
Genesis 43:31 “And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.”
“And he washed his face”: From the tears on it, that it might not be discerned that he had been weeping.
“And went out”: Of his chamber into the room again, where his brethren were.
“And refrained himself”: From weeping, or showing any excess of passion, love, joy, etc.
“And said, set on bread”: Gave orders to his servants to bring in dinner, and set it upon the table; bread, as before, being put for all kind of food.
Genesis 43:32 “And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that [is] an abomination unto the Egyptians.”
“Not eat bread with the Hebrews”: Exclusivism kept the Egyptians sensitive to the social stigma attached to sharing a meal table with foreigners (46:34). Discrimination prevailed at another level too: Joseph ate alone, his rank putting him ahead of others and giving him his own meal-table and setting.
The fact that Joseph had the brothers separated from the Egyptians (verse 32), it would have been “an abomination unto the Egyptians” had they not been separated, suggests that his was a native Egyptian Pharaoh. If it were a Hyksos king, most likely he would not have demanded such discrimination.
Evidently, the Egyptians had a deep hatred for Asiatic shepherds (46:34; Exodus 8:26).
These separate tables, as you can see, were because Egyptians and Hebrews never eat at the same table. Joseph still had not revealed to his brothers who he was.
Genesis 43:33 “And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marveled one at another.”
“The firstborn … the youngest”: To be seated at the table in birth order in the house of an Egyptian official was startling, how did he know this of them? Enough clues had been given in Joseph’s previous questions about the family and his use of God’s name for them to wonder about him and his personal knowledge of them.
Obviously, they simply did not believe Joseph was alive (44:20), and certainly not as a personage of such immense influence and authority. They had probably laughed though the years at the memory of Joseph’s dreams of superiority.
“And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marveled one at another:”
As they ate they failed to leap to the one logical explanation of his behavior, considering his concern for Jacob (verse 27), his affectionate favoritism for Benjamin (verses 29-34), and the exact knowledge of the interlocking sequence of births of these sons of four mothers (verse 33).
Genesis 43:34 “And he took [and sent] messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.”
“Benjamin’s mess”: Favoritism shown to Rachel’s son silently tested their attitudes; any longstanding envy, dislike, or animosity could not be easily masked. None surfaced.
Verse 34 suggests that the brothers were not jealous or resentful toward Benjamin because of the preferential treatment; thus, they seemingly had a change of heart.
But Joseph was going to test them (chapter 44).
This seating arrangement should tell them who this ruler was, but they were blinded from the truth. If the seating arrangement didn’t tell them anything, certainly the portions, five times as much for Benjamin should have.
Genesis Chapter 43 Questions
1. When did Jacob decide to send them back to Egypt?
2. Which of Jacob’s sons was still in captivity in Egypt?
3. They could not see the ruler in Egypt, until they brought ____________?
4. Why did the sons refuse to go?
5. What questions did Joseph ask them?
6. Who offered to be surety for Benjamin?
7. How could God’s plan be carried out to detain Israel for 400 years in Egypt?
8. Jacob told his sons to take the ruler, Joseph presents. What were they?
9. How much money were they to take with them?
10. What did Jacob ask God to do for the brothers?
11. Jacob said whatever comes from this, he would accept it as what?
12. Who did the brothers appear before?
13. What was their attitude?
14. When Joseph saw Benjamin, what did he tell his servant to do?
15. Why did Hebrews and Egyptians not eat together?
16. When the brothers were taken to Joseph’s house, how did they feel?
17. Who did the brothers tell about their plight?
18. What answer did they get?
19. Where did he say the money came from?
20. The servant of Joseph did what for his brothers?
21. When did the brothers give the presents to Joseph?
22. When Joseph saw Benjamin, what did he do?
23. How were they seated?
24. How much more food did Joseph give Benjamin than the others?