43:3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned 2 us, ‘You will not see my face 3 unless your brother is with you.’ 43:4 If you send 4 our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you. 43:5 But if you will not send him, we won’t go down there because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
43:7 They replied, “The man questioned us 7 thoroughly 8 about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ 9 So we answered him in this way. 10 How could we possibly know 11 that he would say, 12 ‘Bring your brother down’?”
43:8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. 13 Then we will live 14 and not die – we and you and our little ones. 43:9 I myself pledge security 15 for him; you may hold me liable. If I do not bring him back to you and place him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 16 43:10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back 17 twice by now!”
43:11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and take a gift down to the man – a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 43:12 Take double the money with you; 18 you must take back 19 the money that was returned in the mouths of your sacks – perhaps it was an oversight. 43:13 Take your brother too, and go right away 20 to the man. 21 43:14 May the sovereign God 22 grant you mercy before the man so that he may release 23 your other brother 24 and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.” 25
1 tn The disjunctive clause gives supplemental information that is important to the storyline.
2 tn The infinitive absolute with the finite verb stresses the point. The primary meaning of the verb is “to witness; to testify.” It alludes to Joseph’s oath, which was tantamount to a threat or warning.
3 tn The idiom “see my face” means “have an audience with me.”
4 tn Heb “if there is you sending,” that is, “if you send.”
5 tn The verb may even have a moral connotation here, “Why did you do evil to me?”
6 tn The infinitive construct here explains how they brought trouble on Jacob.
7 tn The word “us” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
8 tn The infinitive absolute with the perfect verbal form emphasizes that Joseph questioned them thoroughly.
9 sn The report given here concerning Joseph’s interrogation does not exactly match the previous account where they supplied the information to clear themselves (see 42:13). This section may reflect how they remembered the impact of his interrogation, whether he asked the specific questions or not. That may be twisting the truth to protect themselves, not wanting to admit that they volunteered the information. (They admitted as much in 42:31, but now they seem to be qualifying that comment.) On the other hand, when speaking to Joseph later (see 44:19), Judah claims that Joseph asked for the information about their family, making it possible that 42:13 leaves out some of the details of their first encounter.
10 tn Heb “and we told to him according to these words.”
11 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the imperfect verbal form, which here is a historic future (that is, future from the perspective of a past time).
12 tn Once again the imperfect verbal form is used as a historic future (that is, future from the perspective of past time).
13 tn Heb “and we will rise up and we will go.” The first verb is adverbial and gives the expression the sense of “we will go immediately.”
14 tn After the preceding cohortatives, the prefixed verbal form (either imperfect or cohortative) with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose or result.
15 tn The pronoun before the first person verbal form draws attention to the subject and emphasizes Judah’s willingness to be personally responsible for the boy.
16 sn I will bear the blame before you all my life. It is not clear how this would work out if Benjamin did not come back. But Judah is offering his life for Benjamin’s if Benjamin does not return.
17 tn Heb “we could have returned.”
18 tn Heb “in your hand.”
19 tn Heb “take back in your hand.” The imperfect verbal form probably has an injunctive or obligatory force here, since Jacob is instructing his sons.
20 tn Heb “arise, return,” meaning “get up and go back,” or “go back immediately.”
23 tn Heb “release to you.” After the jussive this perfect verbal form with prefixed vav (ו) probably indicates logical consequence, as well as temporal sequence.
24 sn Several Jewish commentators suggest that the expression your other brother refers to Joseph. This would mean that Jacob prophesied unwittingly. However, it is much more likely that Simeon is the referent of the phrase “your other brother” (see Gen 42:24).
25 tn Heb “if I am bereaved I am bereaved.” With this fatalistic sounding statement Jacob resolves himself to the possibility of losing both Benjamin and Simeon.