Genesis 44:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"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."

New Living Translation
Judah answered, "Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves--all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack."

English Standard Version
And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.”

New American Standard Bible
So Judah said, "What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord's slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found."

King James Bible
And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What can we say to my lord?" Judah replied. "How can we plead? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed your servants' iniquity. We are now my lord's slaves--both we and the one in whose possession the cup was found."

International Standard Version
"What can we say, Your Excellency?" Judah replied. "How can we explain this or justify ourselves? God has discovered the sin of your servants, and now we've become slaves to you, Your Excellency, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been discovered."

NET Bible
Judah replied, "What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? God has exposed the sin of your servants! We are now my lord's slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Sir, what can we say to you?" Judah asked. "How else can we explain it? How can we prove we're innocent? God has uncovered our guilt. Now all of us are your slaves, including the one who had the cup."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? What shall we speak or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of thy slaves; behold, we are my lord's slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup is found.

King James 2000 Bible
And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

American King James Version
And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

American Standard Version
And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Juda said to him: What shall we answer my lord? or what shall we say, or be able justly to allege? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are all bondmen to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found.

Darby Bible Translation
And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak, and how justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of thy servants; behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he in whose hand the cup has been found.

English Revised Version
And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

World English Bible
Judah said, "What will we tell my lord? What will we speak? Or how will we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. Behold, we are my lord's bondservants, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found."

Young's Literal Translation
And Judah saith, 'What do we say to my lord? what do we speak? and what -- do we justify ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; lo, we are servants to my lord, both we, and he in whose hand the cup hath been found;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

44:1-17 Joseph tried how his brethren felt towards Benjamin. Had they envied and hated the other son of Rachel as they had hated him, and if they had the same want of feeling towards their father Jacob as heretofore, they would now have shown it. When the cup was found upon Benjamin, they would have a pretext for leaving him to be a slave. But we cannot judge what men are now, by what they have been formerly; nor what they will do, by what they have done. The steward charged them with being ungrateful, rewarding evil for good; with folly, in taking away the cup of daily use, which would soon be missed, and diligent search made for it; for so it may be read, Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, as having a particular fondness for it, and for which he would search thoroughly? Or, By which, leaving it carelessly at your table, he would make trial whether you were honest men or not? They throw themselves upon Joseph's mercy, and acknowledge the righteousness of God, perhaps thinking of the injury they had formerly done to Joseph, for which they thought God was now reckoning with them. Even in afflictions wherein we believe ourselves wronged by men, we must own that God is righteous, and finds out our sin.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Judah said, what shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak?.... Signifying that they were nonplussed, confounded, knew not what to say; they could not acknowledge guilt, for they were not conscious of any, and yet could not deny the fact, the cup being found on one of them; and though they might have a suspicion of fraud, yet were afraid to speak out what they suspected, and therefore were at the utmost loss to express themselves:

or how shall we clear ourselves? to assert their innocence signified nothing, here was full proof against them, at least against their brother Benjamin:

God hath found the iniquity of thy servants; brought it to their remembrance, fastened the guilt of it on their consciences, and in his providence was bringing them to just punishment for it; meaning not the iniquity of taking away the cup, which they were not conscious of, but some other iniquity of theirs they had heretofore been guilty of, and now God was contending with them for it; particularly the iniquity of selling Joseph; this was brought to their minds before, when in distress, and now again, see Genesis 42:21,

behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found; hereby fulfilling his dream more manifestly than ever; for, by bowing down to the earth to him, they might be thought to do no other than what all did, that came to buy corn of him; but here they own themselves to be his servants, and him to be lord over them, and to have dominion over them all, and them to be his slaves and bondmen.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16-34. Judah said, What shall we say?—This address needs no comment—consisting at first of short, broken sentences, as if, under the overwhelming force of the speaker's emotions, his utterance were choked, it becomes more free and copious by the effort of speaking, as he proceeds. Every word finds its way to the heart; and it may well be imagined that Benjamin, who stood there speechless like a victim about to be laid on the altar, when he heard the magnanimous offer of Judah to submit to slavery for his ransom, would be bound by a lifelong gratitude to his generous brother, a tie that seems to have become hereditary in his tribe. Joseph's behavior must not be viewed from any single point, or in separate parts, but as a whole—a well-thought, deep-laid, closely connected plan; and though some features of it do certainly exhibit an appearance of harshness, yet the pervading principle of his conduct was real, genuine, brotherly kindness. Read in this light, the narrative of the proceedings describes the continuous, though secret, pursuit of one end; and Joseph exhibits, in his management of the scheme, a very high order of intellect, a warm and susceptible heart, united to a judgment that exerted a complete control over his feelings—a happy invention in devising means towards the attainment of his ends and an inflexible adherence to the course, however painful, which prudence required.

Genesis 44:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
Benjamin and the Silver Cup
15Joseph said to them, "What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can indeed practice divination?" 16So Judah said, "What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord's slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found." 17But he said, "Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father."
Cross References
Genesis 44:9
If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord's slaves."

Genesis 44:17
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."

Numbers 32:23
"But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
Treasury of Scripture

And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

Judah.

Genesis 44:32 For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, …

Genesis 43:8,9 And Judah said to Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we …

What shall we say.

Deuteronomy 25:1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, …

Ezra 9:10,15 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken …

Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? I will lay my hand on my mouth.

Proverbs 17:15 He that justifies the wicked, and he that comdemns the just, even …

Isaiah 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray …

Daniel 9:7 O LORD, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of faces, …

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said …

God hath.

Genesis 37:18-28 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near to them, …

Genesis 42:21,22 And they said one to another, We are truly guilty concerning our …

Numbers 32:23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD: …

Joshua 7:1,18 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: …

Judges 1:7 And Adonibezek said, Three score and ten kings, having their thumbs …

Proverbs 28:17 A man that does violence to the blood of any person shall flee to …

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what …

Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither …

iniquity.

Genesis 43:9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shall you require him: if I …

Isaiah 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this …

Daniel 9:7 O LORD, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of faces, …

behold.

Genesis 44:9 With whomsoever of your servants it be found, both let him die, and …

Genesis 37:7,9 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, see, my sheaf …

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