Genesis 43

1 The famine was severe in the land. 2 When they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.” 3 Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you’ll send our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy you food, 5 but if you’ll not send him, we’ll not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’” 6 Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?” 7 They said, “The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’” 8 Judah said to Israel, his father, “Send the boy with me, and we’ll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones. 9 I’ll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don’t bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever, 10 for if we hadn’t delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now.” 11 Their father, Israel, said to them, “If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds; 12 and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man. 14 May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 15 The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and prepare; for the men will dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph commanded, and the man brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we’re brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys.” 19 They came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food. 21 When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand. 22 We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don’t know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He said, “Peace be to you. Don’t be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” He brought Simeon out to them. 24 The man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder. 25 They prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there. 26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to him to the earth. 27 He asked them of their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” They bowed down humbly. 29 He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” He said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there. 31 He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, “Serve the meal.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with him, by themselves, because the Egyptians don’t eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled one with another. 34 He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–14

Jacob urges his sons to go and buy a little food; now, in time of dearth, a little must suffice. Judah urges that Benjamin should go with them. It is not against the honour and duty children owe their parents, humbly to advise them, and when needful, to reason with them. Jacob saw the necessity of the case, and yielded. His prudence and justice appeared in three things. 1. He sent back the money they had found in the sack. Honesty obliges us to restore not only that which comes to us by our own fault, but that which comes to us by the mistakes of others. Though we get it by oversight, if we keep it when the oversight is discovered, it is kept by deceit. 2. He sent as much again as they took the time before; the price of corn might be risen, or they might have to pay a ransom for Simeon. 3. He sent a present of such things as the land afforded, and as were scarce in Egypt, balm, and honey, &c. Providence dispenses not its gifts to all alike. But honey and spice will never make up the want of bread-corn. The famine was sore in Canaan, yet they had balm and myrrh, &c. We may live well enough upon plain food, without dainties; but we cannot live upon dainties without plain food. Let us thank God that what is most needful and useful, generally is most cheap and common. Though men value very highly their gold and silver, and the luxuries which are counted the best fruits of every land, yet in a time of famine they willingly barter them for bread. And how little will earthly good things stand us in stead in the day of wrath! How ready should we be to renounce them all, as loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ! Our way to prevail with man is by first prevailing with the Lord in fervent prayer. But, Thy will be done, should close every petition for the mercies of this life, or against the afflictions of this life.

Verses 15–25

Jacob’s sons went down the second time into Egypt to buy corn. If we should ever know what a famine of the word means, let us not think it much to travel as far for spiritual food, as they did for bodily food. Joseph’s steward had orders from his master to take them to his house. Even this frightened them. Those that are guilty make the worst of every thing. But the steward encouraged them. It appears, from what he said, that by his good master he was brought to the knowledge of the true God, the God of the Hebrews. Religious servants should take all fit occasions to speak of God and his providence, with reverence and seriousness.

Verses 26–34

Observe the great respect Joseph’s brethren paid to him. Thus were Joseph’s dreams more and more fulfilled. Joseph showed great kindness to them. He treated them nobly; but see here the early distance between Jews and gentiles. In a day of famine, it is enough to be fed; but they were feasted. Their cares and fears were now over, and they ate their bread with joy, reckoning they were upon good terms with the lord of the land. If God accept our works, our present, we have reason to be cheerful. Joseph showed special regard for Benjamin, that he might try whether his brethren would envy him. It must be our rule, to be content with what we have, and not to grieve at what others have. Thus Jesus shows those whom he loves, more and more of their need. He makes them see that he is their only refuge from destruction. He overcomes their unwillingness, and brings them to himself. Then, as he sees good, he gives them some taste of his love, and welcomes them to the provisions of his house, as an earnest of what he further intends for them.

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