Genesis 43: Joseph Sees His Brothers Again

How long did the Egyptian grain last before more was needed?

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Genesis 43:1–2 The famine in Canaan was terrible.
After they had eaten all the grain bought in Egypt, Joseph said to his sons, “Go back and buy some food.”
Genesis 45:6 This famine has lasted for two years, and we’ll see another five years when plowing and planting will yield no harvest.
King James
Genesis 43:1–2 And the famine was sore in the land. 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.
Genesis 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

What kind of argument did Jacob have with his sons? What caused Jacob to allow Benjamin to leave?

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Genesis 43:3–9 Judah said, “The man swore we would not see his face if Benjamin is not with us. As long as you send our brother with us, we can go buy more food for you. But if not, we can’t go. The man said he would not see us without our brother.”
“Why have you made my life so difficult,” Jacob said. “Did you have to tell him you had another brother?”
“The man asked direct questions,” they said. “He wanted to know if our father was still alive. Did we have another brother? We just gave honest answers to his questions. How could we know he would ask to see our brother?”
“Let the young man go with me,” Judah said. “We must be on our way, or we will starve to death. I will be personally responsible for his safety. If I don’t bring him back, then I will bear the blame for as long as I live.
King James
Genesis 43:3–9 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. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: 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.
And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
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?
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. 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:

Why did Judah take personal responsibility for Benjamin’s safety?

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Genesis 43:8–9 “Let the young man go with me,” Judah said. “We must be on our way, or we will starve to death. I will be personally responsible for his safety. If I don’t bring him back, then I will bear the blame for as long as I live.”
King James
Genesis 43:8–9 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. 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:

Why did the brothers think they had wasted a lot of time? Could they have argued with Jacob for weeks, maybe months, about going? Why?

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Genesis 43:10 “If we had not wasted all this time, we would have already been there and back.”
King James
Genesis 43:10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.

Under what conditions was Jacob willing to accept the possible loss of more sons?

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Genesis 43:11–13 “If we have no choice,” Jacob said, “then fill your sacks with the good things of the land as presents: a little balm, honey, spices, myrrh, and almonds. Take double the grain money so you can hand back what was included in your sacks, perhaps by mistake. Take Benjamin and be on your way to see the man.”
King James
Genesis 43:11–13 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 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: Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:

Why didn’t Jacob have better trust in God for the safety of his children?

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Genesis 43:14 “May God Almighty give you favor in the man’s eyes so you can all return with Benjamin and Simeon. If I must grieve over the loss of my children, then I will grieve.”
King James
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.

For how long did Joseph anticipate the return of his brothers and seeing Benjamin? While waiting for that day, might he have talked to Simeon in prison? If so, what would Joseph have said to him? What would he not have said?

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Genesis 43:15 So the brothers took the gifts, double the money, and Benjamin with them to Egypt and appeared before Joseph.
King James
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.

While being led with their donkeys to Joseph’s house, what did the brothers anticipate happening?

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Genesis 43:16–18 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his chief butler, “Take these men to my house. Butcher an animal and cook it so they can dine with me at noon.”
So the butler did as he was told and took the men to Joseph’s house.
The brothers were terrified as they went to Joseph’s house. “We’re being taken there,” they said, “because of the money left in our sacks the first time we came. He will accuse us, make us his slaves, and take our donkeys.”
King James
Genesis 43:16–18 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 the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. 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.

How did the butler know how to answer the brothers when they told him about the money left in their sacks?

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Genesis 43:19–23 When they arrived at Joseph’s house, they stopped at the door to talk to the chief butler. “Sir, after we left with grain the first time, we stopped for the night at the inn and opened our sacks. Every man’s money was in the top of his sack, the exact amount that we paid. We have brought that money back to you. We have brought more money to buy food this time. We don’t how the money wound up in our sacks.”
“It’s all right,” the butler said. “Your God, the God of your father, put the money in your sacks. We received your money before.”
Then the butler brought Simeon out to them.
King James
Genesis 43:19–23 And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: 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 other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
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.

How did the brothers respond to Simeon when he was brought out of prison to join them?

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Genesis 43:23 “It’s all right,” the butler said. “Your God, the God of your father, put the money in your sacks. We received your money before.”
Then the butler brought Simeon out to them.
King James
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.

When the brothers learned that they would be dining with the chief official in Egypt, were they honored or fearful? Why?

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Genesis 43:24–25 He led them into the house, gave them water to wash their feet, and fed their donkeys.
When they heard they were to dine with Joseph at noon, the brothers unpacked the gifts to present to Joseph.
King James
Genesis 43:24–25 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 they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

What did the brothers say to Joseph as they bowed before him and presented their gifts?

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Genesis 43:26 After Joseph arrived, they presented the gifts to him and bowed to the ground before him.
King James
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.

Who was the interpreter when Joseph asked about his father?

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Genesis 43:27–28 Joseph asked how they were doing. “Is your father well, the old man you told me about? Is he still alive?”
“Your servant our father is alive and well.” They bowed before him again.
King James
Genesis 43:27–28 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 they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

What did the brothers think when they saw Joseph rush out of the room?

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Genesis 43:29–30 Joseph looked at Benjamin, his mother’s son. “Is this the younger brother you told me about? God bless you, my son.” About to explode with emotion, Joseph rushed into the next room, where he broke down and cried.
King James
Genesis 43:29–30 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 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.

Why was it repulsive for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews? Exactly where was Joseph seated?

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Genesis 43:31–32 After washing his face and regaining his composure, he went back. “Let’s eat,” he said.
People were served separately, Joseph by himself and the brothers by themselves. Egyptians with Joseph ate at another table, because eating with Hebrews was repulsive for them.
King James
Genesis 43:31–32 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. 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.

Why did Joseph have all the brothers seated according to their age? How did they feel about Benjamin being served a double portion?

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Genesis 43:33–34 The brothers marveled at the way they were seated in order, from the oldest to the youngest. As the food was placed before them, Benjamin’s portion was double that of everyone else. They feasted and drank until they could hold no more.
King James
Genesis 43:33–34 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. 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.