|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.
Verses 7-10. - And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do (literally, for be thy seesaws from doing) according to s thing: behold, the money (literally, the silver), which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan (this was an irrefragable proof of their honesty): how then should we steal out of my lord's house silver or gold? They were even so confident of their innocence that they ventured on a rash proposition. With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen - literally, for servants to my lord. And he (the steward) said, Now also let it be according to your words. So LXX., Vulgate, and commentators generally; but Kalisch reads it as an interrogation, "Is it right according to your words?" meaning that strict justice demanded only the punishment of the thief, as he explained. He with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye (i.e. the others of you) shall be blameless.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they said unto him, wherefore saith my lord these words?.... One of them, in the name of the rest, perhaps Judah, made answer, as astonished at the charge laid against them, suggesting that there was not the least foundation for it, and were quite surprised to hear anything of this kind alleged against them:
God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing; expressing the utmost detestation of such a fact, as being what they could never be guilty of.
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