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Genesis 43:12-23

Context
43:12 Take double the money with you; 1  you must take back 2  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 3  to the man. 4  43:14 May the sovereign God 5  grant you mercy before the man so that he may release 6  your other brother 7  and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.” 8 

43:15 So the men took these gifts, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they hurried down to Egypt 9  and stood before Joseph. 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant who was over his household, “Bring the men to the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me at noon.” 43:17 The man did just as Joseph said; he 10  brought the men into Joseph’s house. 11 

43:18 But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of 12  the money that was returned in our sacks last time. 13  He wants to capture us, 14  make us slaves, and take 15  our donkeys!” 43:19 So they approached the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 43:20 They said, “My lord, we did indeed come down 16  the first time 17  to buy food. 43:21 But when we came to the place where we spent the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found his money – the full amount 18  – in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it. 19  43:22 We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!”

43:23 “Everything is fine,” 20  the man in charge of Joseph’s household told them. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. 21  I had your money.” 22  Then he brought Simeon out to them.

1 tn Heb “in your hand.”

2 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.

3 tn Heb “arise, return,” meaning “get up and go back,” or “go back immediately.”

4 sn The man refers to the Egyptian official, whom the reader or hearer of the narrative knows is Joseph. In this context both the sons and Jacob refer to him simply as “the man” (see vv. 3-7).

5 tn Heb “El Shaddai.” See the extended note on the phrase “sovereign God” in Gen 17:1.

6 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.

7 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).

8 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.

9 tn Heb “they arose and went down to Egypt.” The first verb has an adverbial function and emphasizes that they departed right away.

10 tn Heb “the man.” This has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun “he” for stylistic reasons.

11 sn This verse is a summary statement. The next verses delineate intermediate steps (see v. 24) in the process.

12 tn Heb “over the matter of.”

13 tn Heb “in the beginning,” that is, at the end of their first visit.

14 tn Heb “to roll himself upon us and to cause himself to fall upon us.” The infinitives here indicate the purpose (as viewed by the brothers) for their being brought to Joseph’s house.

15 tn The word “take” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

16 tn The infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the finite verbal form.

17 tn Heb “in the beginning” (see the note on the phrase “last time” in v. 18).

18 tn Heb “in its weight.”

19 tn Heb “brought it back in our hand.”

20 tn Heb “and he said, ‘peace to you.’” Here the statement has the force of “everything is fine,” or perhaps even “calm down.” The referent of “he” (the man in charge of Joseph’ household) has been specified in the translation for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.

21 sn Your God and the God of your father…This is the first clear reference in the story to the theme of divine providence – that God works through the human actions to do his will.

22 tn Heb “your money came to me.”



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