x b 44:1-13. Feigned Dismissal. c 44:14-34. Brethren's explanation to Joseph. c 45:1-16. Joseph's explanation to Brethren. b 45:17-24. Actual Dismissal.
b d 1,2. The Cup concealed. e 3. The sending away. d 4-12. The Cup found. e 13,14. The return.
1 And he commanded the steward of his house, saying,
"Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
2 And put my cup (out of which wine was poured: distinguishing from the smaller cups from which it was drunk. Jer.35:5), the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest (this was the 4th step to try them, and to prove whether they were the same brothers still, and would treat Benjamin as they had treated Joseph), and his corn money." And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.
3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.
4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet
far off, Joseph said to his steward, "Get up, follow after the men; and when you do overcome them, say to them, "Why then have you all the silver cup? have you all rewarded evil for good?
5 Is not this it in which my lord drinks, and whereby indeed he divines? (This was to confirm their belief that Joseph was an Egyptian) you all have done wickedness in so doing."
6 And he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words.
7 And they said to him, "Why does my lord say these words? far be it from your servants should do according to this thing:
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 out of your lord's house silver or gold?
9 With whomsoever of your servants it be found, both let him die (This was the penalty in the "Code", with which they were acquainted with in Canaan, death for stealing from a palace. Property more sacred than life), and we also will be my lord's bondmen."
10 And he said, "Now also let it be according to your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and you all shall be blameless."
11 Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.
12 And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
13 Then they tore their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.
14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.
c f 15. Joseph. g 16. Judah. f 17. Joseph. g 18-34. Judah.
15 And Joseph said to them, "What deed is this that you all have done? know you all not that such a man as I can certainly divine?" (= diligently observe)
16 And Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity (= a course of bad conduct flowing from the evil desires of fallen nature, rather than breaches of the law as such) of your servants (this confession was what Joseph had been laboring to procure): behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found."
17 And he said, "Far be it from me that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace to your father."
18 Then Judah came near to him (he who proposed to sell Joseph and save his life-37:26,27-now proposes to remain a bondman for Benjamin. He had already become surety for his safety-43:8,9), and said, "Oh my lord, let your servant, I pray you, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant: for you are even as Pharaoh.
19 My lord asked his servants, saying, 'Have you all a father, or a brother?'
20 And we said to my lord, 'We have a father, an aged father, 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.'
21 And you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes upon him.'
22 And we said to my lord, 'The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.'
23 And you said to your servants, 'Except your youngest brother come down with you, you all shall see my face no more.'
24 And it came to pass when we came up to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
25 And our father said, 'Go again, and buy us a little food.'
26 And we said, 'We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us.'
27 And your servant my father said to us, 'You all know that my wife bare me two sons:
28 And the one went out from me, and I said (here Joseph learned what happened after they sold him; and how they had deceived their father-37:31,32), 'Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:
29 And if you all take this also from me, and mischief befall him, you all shall bring down my gray hairs (= me, in my old age) with sorrow to the grave.' (The whole phrase is a Euphemism for "You all will kill me" so v.31, "he will die")
30 Now therefore when I come to your servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life (soul);
31 It shall come to pass, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and your servants shall bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
32 For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, 'If I bring him not to you, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.'
33 Now therefore, I pray you, let your servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.
34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest perhaps I see and grieve over the evil that shall come on my father." (Evil is thus personified, by Fig. Personification)