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Genesis 42:21-22

Context

42:21 They said to one other, 1  “Surely we’re being punished 2  because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was 3  when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress 4  has come on us!” 42:22 Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t sin against the boy,’ but you wouldn’t listen? So now we must pay for shedding his blood!” 5 

1 tn Heb “a man to his neighbor.”

2 tn Or “we are guilty”; the Hebrew word can also refer to the effect of being guilty, i.e., “we are being punished for guilt.”

3 tn Heb “the distress of his soul.”

4 sn The repetition of the Hebrew noun translated distress draws attention to the fact that they regard their present distress as appropriate punishment for their refusal to ignore their brother when he was in distress.

5 tn Heb “and also his blood, look, it is required.” God requires compensation, as it were, from those who shed innocent blood (see Gen 9:6). In other words, God exacts punishment for the crime of murder.



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