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Genesis 42:15-16

42:15 You will be tested in this way: As surely as Pharaoh lives, 1  you will not depart from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 42:16 One of you must go and get 2  your brother, while 3  the rest of you remain in prison. 4  In this way your words may be tested to see if 5  you are telling the truth. 6  If not, then, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”

1 tn Heb “[By] the life of Pharaoh.”

sn As surely as Pharaoh lives. Joseph uses an oath formula to let the brothers know the certainty of what he said. There is some discussion in the commentaries on swearing by the life of Pharaoh, but since the formulation here reflects the Hebrew practice, it would be hard to connect the ideas exactly to Egyptian practices. Joseph did this to make the point in a way that his Hebrew brothers would understand. See M. R. Lehmann, “Biblical Oaths,” ZAW 81 (1969): 74-92.

2 tn Heb “send from you one and let him take.” After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose.

3 tn The disjunctive clause is here circumstantial-temporal.

4 tn Heb “bound.”

5 tn The words “to see” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “the truth [is] with you.”

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