Gen. 43:1 And the famine was sore in the land.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
Gen. 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?
Time passed, and the time came when they had eaten all the grain gotten on their first trip to Egypt. So Jacob told his sons to go back and get more food. Judah reminded Jacob that they could not go with Benjamin. Then Israel complained that they had even told the man about their brother. They told him that the man had questioned them closely about their family. He asked if their father was living and if they had another brother. They had just answered his questions. They had no idea that he would ask them to bring Benjamin back with them.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 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:
Gen. 43:10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
Gen. 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:
Gen. 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:
Gen. 43:13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:
Gen. 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.
Judah begged his father to let Benjamin go so they would not starve. He had already delayed them so long that they could have been there and back two times. Judah would personally bear the blame for the rest of his life if Benjamin did not return safely. Israel finally agreed that it had to be done. He made them take balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds as gifts to the ruler. Then he had them take double the amount of silver to cover what had been returned to them before. Then he prayed for GodÕs mercy on them and for the safe return of Benjamin and Simeon. He was a man with no choice but to trust them to GodÕs care, but I think JacobÕs faith was a bit weak at this point.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into JosephÕs house.
Gen. 43:18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into JosephÕs 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.
They hurried to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. When Joseph saw Benjamin, he had the steward take them to his home. He was to prepare a dinner for them to eat with him at noon. When the steward took them to JosephÕs home, they really got scared. They just knew they were going to be taken as slaves—probably because of the silver that was put back in their sacks the first time.
Gen. 43:19 And they came near to the steward of JosephÕs house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
Gen. 43:20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:
Gen. 43:21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every manÕs money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
Gen. 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.
They got up the courage to speak to the steward. They explained how they had found their silver in their bags after the last trip. They didnÕt know how it had gotten there, and they had brought it back along with more to buy food this time. They didnÕt know who had put the money in their sacks.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:24 And the man brought the men into JosephÕs house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.
Gen. 43:25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
The steward told them not to be afraid—that the God of their father had given them the treasure in their sacks. He had taken their silver personally. Then he brought Simeon out to them. (He must have wondered if they were ever coming back.) The steward then took them into JosephÕs house, gave them water to wash their feet, and fed their donkeys. They heard they were going to eat with Joseph and got out their gifts for him.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 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?
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his motherÕs son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
When Joseph came home, they gave him their gifts and bowed to the ground before him. He asked them how they were and how their father was doing. They told him that their father was alive and well and bowed low to pay him honor. He spotted Benjamin and asked if this was the younger brother they had told him about. The sight of Benjamin was too much for Joseph. He had to quickly leave the room because he couldnÕt hold back the tears. Finally, he washed his face and got control of his emotions. Then he returned to his brothers and gave the command for the food to be served.
Gen. 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.
Gen. 43:33 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.
Gen. 43:34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but BenjaminÕs mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
Joseph was served separately. The brothers had been seated together from the oldest to the youngest—which really astonished them. The Egyptians were seated apart from the Hebrews so as not to offend the Egyptians. The brothers were served portions from JosephÕs table, but BenjaminÕs portion was five times as much as anyone elseÕs. I donÕt think that bothered anyone since they all seemed to have more than enough; they ÒfeastedÓ and drank freely and had a good time.