Genesis 43

1707-1701 B.C.

Genesis 43:1 And the famine was sore in the land.

(The famine is getting very bad, and the food is starting to run short, Simeon is still sitting in prison in Egypt, and no one in Jacob's house seems to care.)

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."


3. Judah's words.
4. Jacob's act.
5-. Jacob's act.
-5. Joseph's words.

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.'

4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:

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.' "

(They felt that they had lost Simeon, and if they reappeared in Egypt without Benjamin even their lives would be in danger. Joseph had told them there would be no more food without their little brother coming with them.)

6 And Israel said,

(Note the name. Jacob is used in weakness-42:36 &c., Israel of his resignation to God's will. In the use of the names Jacob and Israel, men might well invent a Jacobite and Israelite authorship.)

"Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?"

(Israel is asking them now why they thought so little of their father that they should even mention the fact that they had a younger brother at home.)

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?"

(When Joseph asked them a straight out question about their father, and if there is any other brothers, they simply could not see how it would hurt to tell them. When we told him of our other brother, How were we to know that he would ask us to bring our other brother down. At the time they all felt their lives were on the line, as they were being charged as spies.)

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.

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:

10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time."

(Judah is saying we have already put off the second trip already, for we should have been back. It seemed they were not thinking one bit about Simeon, they were more in fear of their father, and that he wouldn't allow them all to go back.)

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:

(Jacob is thinking, well if we have to do this, lets do it up right. During the famine years these items would be very scarce and would be a real treat for him.)

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:

13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:

14 And God Almighty (El Shaddai) 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."

(After all this time, Jacob finally mentions Simeon, his son in jail back in Egypt.)

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.

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."

17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house.

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."

(Joseph's brothers are trying to think of a logical reason why they should be invited to the palace of the ruler of Egypt. They still do not know that this ruler is Joseph, nor that he can understand everything that they are saying.)

19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

20 And said, "O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:

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.

22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks."

(They did not want to enter into the house and enter into a trap, so they are trying to set the record straight, by explaining the circumstances to this servant that talked their language. The confession is good for the soul.)

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.

(This was not spoken in the Hebrew, but the servant is setting their minds at rest. He is saying don't worry about it, and put your minds at peace. Don't worry about your money, for it was given to you by your God, for I have the money that you paid for the other grain. At the same time they are bringing Simeon our to his brothers. So the brothers are all together and there is no problems at this time.)

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.

25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

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.

(Remember the vision that God gave Joseph many years prior, when he was just a boy? It has come true at this moment.)

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?"

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.

(Here again are the brothers fulfilling the vision that God gave Joseph. All the time Joseph is watching, and wanting to give his little brother a big hug, yet it is not time to reveal who he is. The test is not complete yet.)

29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin,

(Now 22, and father of 10 sons. Cp. 46:21.)

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."

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.

(Joseph is about to cry in front of his brothers, and he can't do that until he has tested to see if his brothers would sell his only brother out. Though Joseph wants to tell them, he can not reveal himself until he finds out if his half brothers would sell his little brother out first. Joseph knew that God was in their selling of him, but he had to know the true nature of all his brothers.)

31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, "Set on bread."

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.

33 And they sat before him,

(Egyptian pictures show that it was the custom to sit at meals.)

the firstborn according to his birthright,

(Joseph thus showing that he knew their ages and order, and causing them to marvel.)

and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.

(This was to try them, and see whether they were still "moved with envy". Cp. 37:4,8,11,18. It was also a type of the coming day, when the True Joseph will be able to do for the scattered and mingled tribes what was done here for the tribal heads.)

34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of their's. And they drank, and were merry with him.

(It was Joseph himself that served the food and the drink, and all of Joseph's brothers now were very much at ease. the act of giving Benjamin's mess five time greater, was to show favoritism for the younger brother, and it was a custom in Egypt. There is also an spiritual lesson in this for five in Biblical numerics is the number for grace. Would the brothers now be jealous over Benjamin, as they were jealous over him and his colorful coat years ago.

That coat symbolized the firstborn, and Joseph wasn't, yet Joseph still has to set up a similar situation that will give a accurate test of his brothers. That final test is about to be sprung on them.)

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