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Genesis 42:25-35

Context

42:25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill 1  their bags with grain, to return each man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. His orders were carried out. 2  42:26 So they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left. 3 

42:27 When one of them 4  opened his sack to get feed for his donkey at their resting place, 5  he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 6  42:28 He said to his brothers, “My money was returned! Here it is in my sack!” They were dismayed; 7  they turned trembling one to another 8  and said, “What in the world has God done to us?” 9 

42:29 They returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying, 42:30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us 10  as if we were 11  spying on the land. 42:31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies! 42:32 We are from a family of twelve brothers; we are the sons of one father. 12  One is no longer alive, 13  and the youngest is with our father at this time 14  in the land of Canaan.’

42:33 “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain 15  for your hungry households and go. 42:34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know 16  that you are honest men and not spies. 17  Then I will give your brother back to you and you may move about freely in the land.’” 18 

42:35 When they were emptying their sacks, there was each man’s bag of money in his sack! When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were afraid.

1 tn Heb “and they filled.” The clause appears to be elliptical; one expects “Joseph gave orders to fill…and they filled.” See GKC 386 §120.f.

2 tn Heb “and he did for them so.” Joseph would appear to be the subject of the singular verb. If the text is retained, the statement seems to be a summary of the preceding, more detailed statement. However, some read the verb as plural, “and they did for them so.” In this case the statement indicates that Joseph’s subordinates carried out his orders. Another alternative is to read the singular verb as passive (with unspecified subject), “and this was done for them so” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV).

3 tn Heb “and they went from there.”

4 tn Heb “and the one.” The article indicates that the individual is vivid in the mind of the narrator, yet it is not important to identify him by name.

5 tn Heb “at the lodging place.”

6 tn Heb “and look, it [was] in the mouth of his sack.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to look through the eyes of the character and thereby draws attention to the money.

7 tn Heb “and their heart went out.” Since this expression is used only here, the exact meaning is unclear. The following statement suggests that it may refer to a sudden loss of emotional strength, so “They were dismayed” adequately conveys the meaning (cf. NRSV); NIV has “Their hearts sank.”

8 tn Heb “and they trembled, a man to his neighbor.”

9 tn Heb “What is this God has done to us?” The demonstrative pronoun (“this”) adds emphasis to the question.

10 tn Heb “made us.”

11 tn The words “if we were” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

12 tn Heb “twelve [were] we, brothers, sons of our father [are] we.”

13 tn Heb “the one is not.”

14 tn Heb “today.”

15 tn The word “grain” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

16 tn After the imperative, the cohortative with prefixed vav indicates purpose/result.

17 tn Heb “that you are not spies, that you are honest men.”

18 sn Joseph’s brothers soften the news considerably, making it sound like Simeon was a guest of Joseph (Leave one of your brothers with me) instead of being bound in prison. They do not mention the threat of death and do not at this time speak of the money in the one sack.



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