43:3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned 1 us, ‘You will not see my face 2 unless your brother is with you.’ 43:4 If you send 3 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 6 thoroughly 7 about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ 8 So we answered him in this way. 9 How could we possibly know 10 that he would say, 11 ‘Bring your brother down’?”
43:8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. 12 Then we will live 13 and not die – we and you and our little ones. 43:9 I myself pledge security 14 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. 15 43:10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back 16 twice by now!”
44:16 Judah replied, “What can we say 19 to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? 20 God has exposed the sin of your servants! 21 We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”
44:18 Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you. 24 Please do not get angry with your servant, 25 for you are just like Pharaoh. 26 44:19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 44:20 We said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young boy who was born when our father was old. 27 The boy’s 28 brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, 29 and his father loves him.’
44:21 “Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see 30 him.’ 31 44:22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father 32 will die.’ 33 44:23 But you said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 44:24 When we returned to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
44:25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 44:26 But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. 34 If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, 35 for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’
44:27 “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons. 36 44:28 The first disappeared 37 and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since. 44:29 If you take 38 this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair 39 in tragedy 40 to the grave.’ 41
44:30 “So now, when I return to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us – his very life is bound up in his son’s life. 42 44:31 When he sees the boy is not with us, 43 he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father in sorrow to the grave. 44:32 Indeed, 44 your servant pledged security for the boy with my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame before my father all my life.’
44:33 “So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave instead of the boy. As for the boy, let him go back with his brothers. 44:34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see 45 my father’s pain.” 46
1 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.
2 tn The idiom “see my face” means “have an audience with me.”
3 tn Heb “if there is you sending,” that is, “if you send.”
4 tn The verb may even have a moral connotation here, “Why did you do evil to me?”
5 tn The infinitive construct here explains how they brought trouble on Jacob.
6 tn The word “us” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
7 tn The infinitive absolute with the perfect verbal form emphasizes that Joseph questioned them thoroughly.
8 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.
9 tn Heb “and we told to him according to these words.”
10 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).
11 tn Once again the imperfect verbal form is used as a historic future (that is, future from the perspective of past time).
12 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.”
13 tn After the preceding cohortatives, the prefixed verbal form (either imperfect or cohortative) with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose or result.
14 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.
15 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.
16 tn Heb “we could have returned.”
17 sn Judah and his brothers. The narrative is already beginning to bring Judah to the forefront.
18 tn The disjunctive clause here provides supplemental information.
19 tn The imperfect verbal form here indicates the subject’s potential.
20 tn The Hitpael form of the verb צָדֵק (tsadeq) here means “to prove ourselves just, to declare ourselves righteous, to prove our innocence.”
21 sn God has exposed the sin of your servants. The first three questions are rhetorical; Judah is stating that there is nothing they can say to clear themselves. He therefore must conclude that they have been found guilty.
22 tn The words “the rest of” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
23 tn Heb “up” (reflecting directions from their point of view – “up” to Canaan; “down” to Egypt).
24 tn Heb “Please my lord, let your servant speak a word into the ears of my lord.”
25 tn Heb “and let not your anger burn against your servant.”
26 sn You are just like Pharaoh. Judah’s speech begins with the fear and trembling of one who stands condemned. Joseph has as much power as Pharaoh, either to condemn or to pardon. Judah will make his appeal, wording his speech in such a way as to appeal to Joseph’s compassion for the father, whom he mentions no less than fourteen times in the speech.
27 tn Heb “and a small boy of old age,” meaning that he was born when his father was elderly.
28 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the boy just mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
29 tn Heb “he, only he, to his mother is left.”
30 tn The cohortative after the imperative indicates purpose here.
31 tn Heb “that I may set my eyes upon him.”
32 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the boy’s father, i.e., Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
33 tn The last two verbs are perfect tenses with vav consecutive. The first is subordinated to the second as a conditional clause.
34 tn The direct object is not specified in the Hebrew text, but is implied; “there” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
35 tn Heb “go down.”
36 tn Heb “that two sons my wife bore to me.”
37 tn Heb “went forth from me.”
38 tn The construction uses a perfect verbal form with the vav consecutive to introduce the conditional clause and then another perfect verbal form with a vav consecutive to complete the sentence: “if you take…then you will bring down.”
39 sn The expression bring down my gray hair is figurative, using a part for the whole – they would put Jacob in the grave. But the gray head signifies a long life of worry and trouble. See Gen 42:38.
41 tn Heb “to Sheol,” the dwelling place of the dead.
42 tn Heb “his life is bound up in his life.”
43 tn Heb “when he sees that there is no boy.”
44 tn Or “for.”
45 tn The Hebrew text has “lest I see,” which expresses a negative purpose – “I cannot go up lest I see.”
46 tn Heb “the calamity which would find my father.”
47 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
48 tn Heb “to direct before him to Goshen.”