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Genesis - Chapter 43

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 43:1-2 The famine outlasting the grain that Jacob’s sons brought back from Egypt was gone. Jacob told his sons to go again and buy some more grain.

Genesis 43:3-5 Judah in so many words said that if they could not take Benjamin they would not return to Egypt for they will surely be put to death.

Genesis 43:6 Jacob blames his sons for telling the Egyptian about Benjamin in the first place.

Genesis 43:7 The brothers simply said they answered the Egyptian’s direct questions. How could they possibly think the Egyptian would make such a request as to bring their younger brother?

Genesis 43:8-10 Judah begs his father to put Benjamin under his care. Judah offered himself as a pledge for Benjamin if he didn’t return.

Genesis 43:11-15 Jacob finally agreed. He had them take gifts to the Egyptian along with doubling the money to return the original money he thought to be an oversight. He then asked for God’s mercy that He would guide all his sons back home safely. All the brothers left and stood before Joseph.

Genesis 43:17-18 Joseph saw his brother Benjamin and asked his steward to prepare a feast. When they were brought to Joseph’s house, the brothers feared it was because of the money that was replaced in their sacks.

Genesis 43:19-23 The brothers confessed to the steward that they had no idea how the money got back in their sacks. The steward simply said it must have been their God who put the money in their sacks for he received the money. Of course, this was not true, but this was said to keep the brothers in the dark. He then brought Simeon out to them.

Genesis 43:24-25 The brothers were well taken care of by the steward; washed their feet, gave them water, and fed their donkeys. The brothers then prepared their father’s gift for the Egyptian for when Joseph arrived at noon to eat with them.

Genesis 43:26-28 When Joseph arrived, the brothers again bowed down before him and presented to him their father’s gifts. Joseph asked about their father’s well being. They answered that Jacob was still alive, and again they bowed down to Joseph.

Genesis 43:29-31 Joseph inquired if Benjamin was the brother they spoke of that stayed home with their father. Joseph was moved with emotion over his brother and left the room to weep. After controlling himself, he returned and ordered the servants to prepare the meal. Twenty years had passed since Joseph saw his brother Benjamin.

Genesis 43:32-34 It was an abomination to eat with the foreigners, so the Egyptians and the eleven brothers ate separately. They seated the brothers according to their age and they were amazed by that the coincidence. Benjamin was given five times more than his brothers. Favoritism shown to Rachel’s son silently tested their attitudes; any longstanding envy, dislike, or animosity could not be easily masked. None surfaced.

Notes: To be seated at the table in birth order in the house of an Egyptian official was startling—how did he know this of them? Enough clues had been given in Joseph’s previous questions about the family and his use of God’s name for them to wonder about him and his personal knowledge of them. Obviously, they simply did not believe Joseph was alive and certainly not as a personage of such immense influence and authority.

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