SynopsisBefore you read this, if you haven’t already, you should probably read the entries for Genesis 42 and Genesis 43.
But then—and I have a mix of emotions, ranging from humor to frustration to anger to bewilderment, every time I read this—Joseph tells the brothers he couldn’t possibly be that cruel to them:
Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him. Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”
“What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.”
But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.” (verse 17)Judah isn’t giving up, though. He told his father that he would be responsible for Benjamin, and he’s going to do his best to live up to that promise. The chapter ends with Judah entreating Joseph to take Judah as his servant, rather than Benjamin, so that Benjamin can return to his father.