The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis chapter 43

written by
Kraig J. Rice

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(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter forty three
 Chapter 43 Joseph's brothers return again to Egypt
 Gen. 43:1 - 18 Christ is a Guarantor for us
 A word about age and maturity
 You and I will receive royal treatment
 Gen. 43:19 - 34 Joseph meets his brother, Benjamin
 Let us enjoy fellowship with God
 Sometimes you and I can be closely watched
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I mostly quote scriptures from the Old King James Translation of the Bible (the authorized 1611 version)
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize His royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.

Genesis Chapter 43
The brothers of Joseph return again to Egypt

"And the famine was sore in the land. And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, go again, buy us a little food. And Judah spake unto him, saying, the man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. And Israel said, wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother? And they said, the man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, bring your brother down? And Judah said unto Israel his father, send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: for except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time. And their father Israel said unto them, if it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: and take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses"
(Genesis 43:1-18).

Judah was a guarantor for Benjamin (Christ is a Guarantor for you and I):
Judah told his father, Jacob, that he would be surety for Benjamin. What does that word mean? The word for surety in Hebrew is arab. It is a verb meaning "to give a pledge in exchange for". Judah gave his guarantee to his father that he would bring Benjamin back to him from Egypt when he stated: "if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever." In other words, Judah gave a pledge to his father- backed by his word of honor and his integrity. The person who gives a guarantee is a guarantor in the English language. Therefore, Judah was a guarantor for Benjamin. Why is that significant? As Judah, personally, was a guarantor for Benjamin, so also, Christ, from the tribe of Judah, is personally a Guarantor for every willing and true believer. Christ gives a guarantee to His Father, that He will bring us safely home to Heaven.

If you love the Lord, you can have the assurance of your salvation and know that Christ gives a surety to His Father for us. Christ is a Guarantor for you and I as believers. Why? Because, like with Benjamin, we are highly favored and loved. Why are we so special? Is it because of something we have done? No, it is because of who we are. Who are we? We are a peculiar and redeemed people by the blood of the Lamb. Our Owner is God- He is our Savior. He took your place and my place on that old Roman cross. In other words, He gave His life for you and I. He did that because He loves us and that makes us special...and He will see us safely home to Heaven to be forever with Him: "...but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light"
(1 Peter 2:9, also see 1:18-25).

A word about age and maturity (how old was Benjamin?):
Judah referred to Benjamin as a lad. How old was a lad? The word for lad in Hebrew is Na`ar meaning "young man". Benjamin was thought to have been between twenty to thirty years old at that time but it is not known how mature he was. Does the bible say anything about spiritual age, physical age, or maturity? Yes. Usually, a spiritually mature person in age should be feasting on the meat of the Word of God. However, the writer to the Hebrews (in the New Testament) chides his readers for being spiritual weaklings- babes because they were still only consuming the milk of God's Word.
"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil"
(Hebrews 5:11-14).

And here are a few more scriptures concerning age:
"Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity"
(Psalm 39:5).
"Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth"
(Psalm 71:9).
"They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing"
(Psalm 92:14).

No matter what your spiritual or physical age is, I encourage you to continue to worship God and bring forth fruit to further His Kingdom. One time there was an old Russian lady who only had the use of one finger on her hands. A missionary presented a challenge to her church congregation to translate the bible into the Russian language. She accepted the challenge and dedicated her one finger to God. Over a period of time she finished the task. The missionary asked her how she had done it. She replied: "I took the finger that was dedicated to God and hit one key on the typewriter at a time until the work was done". If you are a young person, I encourage you to "burn out" for Jesus. If you are an older person, I encourage you to find something to do for the Lord. We live in a big harvest field and there is much to do in sharing God's Word with others.

You and I will receive royal treatment (Joseph's brothers were treated royally):
Joseph's brothers went to Egypt and were treated royally. They were ushered into Joseph's palace. They did not think they were worthy and felt a little fearful because of it. Another time, the prophet, Isaiah, was ushered into God's palace throne room in Heaven. He was a little fearful too:
"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts"
(Isaiah 6:1-5).

Likewise, you and I, as redeemed children of the King, will be ushered into God's palace in Heaven to receive our rewards and eat at the royal table (the marriage supper of the Lamb). Joseph's brothers were admitted into the palace because of their relationship to him. You and I will be admitted into the Lord's palace because of our relationship to Him. You and I are sons and daughters of the great King by adoption
(Romans 8:15, 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). We are King's Kids!

We are not worthy to be admitted into the Lord's presence based on our own merits but are only worthy based on the imputed (transferred) righteousness of the Lord to us
(Romans chapter 4). We don't have to be fearful because our Lord loves us and is delighted to eat with us and have fellowship with us. What a wonderful time that will be.

"And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, and said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: and it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. And he said, peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there. And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth. And he asked them of their welfare, and said: is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? And they answered, thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son. And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, set on bread. And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians. And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him"
(Genesis 43:19-34).

Let us enjoy fellowship with God (the brothers of Joseph ate with him):
To eat with a person is a sign of having fellowship with that person. We eat with Christ on this earth, in spirit, every time that we celebrate Holy Communion and partake of the unleavened bread and grape juice. And we are going to eat with the Lord in Heaven and have fellowship with Him there. Do you have any scripture on that, preacher? Yes. The church, as the Lord's bride, will be presented to Him in Heaven. It will be a great time of love, feasting, and celebration:
"And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, write, blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God"
(Revelation 19:4-9).

So, let us have fellowship with the Lord while we are on this earth. And I encourage you to get ready for that wonderful event in Heaven- an event where we will enjoy literal fellowship with God. In the meantime, while we are waiting for Christ to take us up in the rapture, let's do what Christ has suggested: "occupy till I come"
(Luke 19:13).

Sometimes you and I can be closely watched
(Joseph observed his brothers while they were feasting
The bible says: "...and they drank, and were merry with him". These brothers ate and drank with Joseph but they did not know it was Joseph. Why would anybody want to watch Joseph's brothers? Joseph's brothers probably got all of the wine that they could drink. It was only noon, but how would they act if they had a lot to drink? Would they be happy, or would they be loud, insulting, mean, and violent? Joseph wanted to know what each of them was really like. Was he observing them for that reason?

One time when I was in officer's flight school in the U.S. Navy, the school decided to have a beach party for the cadet officers. There was a keg of cold beer there- all you could drink free. There was a commissioned officer there, who we did not know and who was in charge. In order to get a paper cup for the beer, each cadet had to give that officer his name. The officer wrote his name down. It seemed innocent enough until I figured out that the officer was there to put a check mark next to the name of any cadet officer who he thought was drinking too much and who had a problem with alcohol. Then that cadet officer would be "weeded out" and dropped from officer's flight school.

Joseph could see his brothers from his own table. It probably seemed innocent enough. His brothers probably got a small single portion- and maybe they went away from the table somewhat hungry. However, Joseph gave his brother, Benjamin, five times more food than the rest. He did not go away hungry. Joseph was deliberately favoring him in front of his brothers. Later, this act could provoke Joseph's brothers to be envious, hostile, angry, and violent at Benjamin. Would they persecute Benjamin like they did Joseph many years earlier? Joseph was observing them, and at the same time, he was showing his love for Benjamin, who was his own true brother.

As Christians, we are closely watched by others. Let us always be a good witness and act like Jesus did. Let us put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. If we do that we will find JOY.

Genesis chapter 44

Celebrate Christ's Resurrection

Genesis chapter 42

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As of August 10, 2013