(Gen 43:1 NASB) Now the famine was severe in the land.
(Gen 43:2 NASB) So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.”
Gen 43:2: They ran out of the food they brought back the last trip. They were going to have to swallow their pride and go back to Egypt to get more grain.
(Gen 43:3 NASB) Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’
(Gen 43:4 NASB) “If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.
(Gen 43:5 NASB) “But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.'”
Gen 43:5: Judah is protesting his father’s desire to send them back. Judah is now the spokesman for group and Reuben is not heard from again.
They were told that they had to bring their little brother or else they could not get Simeon back nor could they get any food.
They had to prove that they are a family as they first claimed, and not a sovereign nation spying on Egypt in order to later attack.
(Gen 43:6 NASB) Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?”
(Gen 43:7 NASB) But they said, “The man questioned particularly about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
Gen 43:7: Jacob is angry and is rehashing the whole incident. He wanted to know why they had to bring up the fact they had another brother and a father.
They told him that they had no idea what he was getting at, so they just spoke the truth to him. They had no way of knowing anything different.
(Gen 43:8 NASB) And Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones.
(Gen 43:9 NASB) “I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever.
(Gen 43:10 NASB) “For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”
Gen 43:10: Judah says that he himself will be surety for Benjamin. He is using himself as a personal guarantee over this situation. The only problem is that Judah does not have control over this situation that would allow him to fully guarantee it (Prov. 17:18).
(Gen 43:11 NASB) Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a present, a little balm and a little honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.
(Gen 43:12 NASB) “And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake.
(Gen 43:13 NASB) “Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man;
Gen 43:13: They are going to take gifts to the man to show their sincerity. Jacob is going to let them take Benjamin. He is not happy about this.
(Gen 43:14 NASB) and may God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
Gen 43:14: Jacob is praying that El Shaddai (God Almighty) give them mercy before the man. Jacob says he will be desolate and left alone if anything happens to Benjamin.
(Gen 43:15 NASB) So the men took this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
(Gen 43:16 NASB) When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon.”
(Gen 43:17 NASB) So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
Gen 43:17: They took double the money with them because they are apparently going to buy twice as much food this time.
When they arrived, Joseph invited his brothers to dine with him. He ordered the fatted calf to be killed. They are going to have a feast.
(Gen 43:18 NASB) Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys.”
Gen 43:18: They were the only ones invited in to Joseph’s house. It is a fact that Egyptian officials had dungeons in their own homes. That is why they were frightened.
(Gen 43:19 NASB) So they came near to Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house,
(Gen 43:20 NASB) and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food,
(Gen 43:21 NASB) and it came about when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full. So we have brought it back in our hand.
(Gen 43:22 NASB) “We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
Gen 43:22: They wanted to get a head start on their excuses. They think they are fighting for their lives..
(Gen 43:23 NASB) And he said, “Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
Gen 43:23: Joseph said that he received all the money they paid and that they owe him nothing. He said they could credit their Elohim and the Elohim of their father for their extra money, no matter how it was conveyed.
This is how Elohim desires to work in the world. He wants His people to do His wishes. When we give money, food, shelter, clothing, or anything to our brother in need, then we are doing the work of our Father in Heaven. It boils down to the fact that if we do truly love our neighbor, we are only doing what is commanded. If we do what He commands (and He supplies it all), then we are acting as faithful servants if His.
(Gen 43:24 NASB) Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder.
(Gen 43:25 NASB) So they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.
(Gen 43:26 NASB) When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him.
Gen 43:26: They were treated like royalty, or at least as distinguished guests.
When Joseph arrived, they bowed down to him again. This was in fulfillment of the dreams of Joseph.
(Gen 43:27 NASB) Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
(Gen 43:28 NASB) And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed down in homage.
Gen 43:28: Joseph desperately wanted to see his father again. He hoped that he was still alive.
(Gen 43:29 NASB) As he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
(Gen 43:30 NASB) And Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there.
Gen 43:30: He had not seen his only true full brother in many years and he was only a little boy at that time.
(Gen 43:31 NASB) Then he washed his face, and came out; and he controlled himself and said, “Serve the meal.”
(Gen 43:32 NASB) So they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, who ate with him, by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is loathsome to the Egyptians.
Gen 43:32: Joseph did not want to reveal himself at this time, so he observed the Egyptian custom of not eating with the Hebrews. Why was this a custom? Scripture tells us that in that day, “For every shepherd is Loathsome (an abomination) to the Egyptians.” (Gen 46:34)
(Gen 43:33 NASB) Now they were seated before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment.
(Gen 43:34 NASB) And he took portions to them from his own table; but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
Gen 43:34: They were seated at the table from the oldest to the youngest in that order. They had to wonder how Joseph could know this without inquiry. Then Joseph showed favoritism to Benjamin. This had to give them a hint as to his identity, but it never crossed their minds.
It could also be that Joseph was testing his brothers again to see if they would be resentful of Benjamin.
They “drank and were merry with him.” The Hebrew literally means “they drank largely” together. They had a good time.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas