Genesis 44 Commentary

Genesis 44 Commentary

We have a game being played on the brothers. But it’s not purposeless. These events are transforming lives. The brothers who easily dispensed of Joseph, all and in unison tear their clothes as they lament their predicament. How can they stand the imprisonment of Benjamin? They all return to Egypt even when only Benjamin was at fault – according to the play. We can clearly see that there is a change of heart.

Verse 14 talks of Judah and his brothers arriving back at Joseph’s residence (Not Reuben and his brothers). Judah is a leader among his brothers but his role here is more than just leadership.

The fight is around Benjamin. Jacob may represent the LORD who suffers loss of a child. Joseph may present the LORD who seeks justice. Judah may represent the LORD who stands up to defend the guilty, hopeless and defenseless. And Benjamin? Well, Benjamin is you and me – loved but missing and in need of rescue.

It is a spiritual battle. Benjamin is innocent but not exactly innocent. The cup was found in his bag. It is this fact which is most important. The enemy plants sin in your bag and at inspection the LORD finds sin in your life. Justice is required. The thief (sinner) must be punished. But Judah shows up – the LORD Jesus is called the Lion of Judah with this reference in mind.

In a moving speech, Judah gives us details of the promise he had made. In an action reminiscent of the LORD’S work at Calvary, Judah offers himself to be jailed rather than Benjamin. You cannot read these pages without getting emotional! The bond between Judah and Benjamin is forged here. It’s a bond that would last the entire history of the peoples of Jacob as recorded in the Old Testament. It speaks of the bond formed between the savior and the saved. You cannot be saved and still lack a real bond with your savior.

The self-giving love of Judah is nothing but a symbol of realities that we see in the LORD JESUS. It is precisely at this point that Judah underlines an important part of the blessing. So we have two individuals, Joseph and Judah, highlighting the blessing of Abraham. Like mentioned earlier, several centuries would pass before Levi joins them to define how Jacob interacts with her God in temple worship.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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