Genesis 43:29
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.
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(29) Is this your younger brother?Rather, your youngest brother. Joseph’s question was one of surprise. Can this young man, now nearly thirty, be the little Benjamin, who was but a child of eight or nine when last I saw him!

Genesis 43:29-30. God be gracious to thee, my son — So he terms him, not from special affection, which he did not yet intend to discover; but because it is a courteous appellation, whereby superiors were wont to salute those below them. Joseph’s favour, although he was the lord of the land, would do Benjamin little good, unless God were gracious to him. His bowels did yearn — His heart and inward parts were vehemently moved, as they commonly are upon occasion of any excessive passion of love, pity, grief, or joy.

43:26-34 Observe the great respect Joseph's brethren paid to him. Thus were Joseph's dreams more and more fulfilled. Joseph showed great kindness to them. He treated them nobly; but see here the early distance between Jews and gentiles. In a day of famine, it is enough to be fed; but they were feasted. Their cares and fears were now over, and they ate their bread with joy, reckoning they were upon good terms with the lord of the land. If God accept our works, our present, we have reason to be cheerful. Joseph showed special regard for Benjamin, that he might try whether his brethren would envy him. It must be our rule, to be content with what we have, and not to grieve at what others have. Thus Jesus shows those whom he loves, more and more of their need. He makes them see that he is their only refuge from destruction. He overcomes their unwillingness, and brings them to himself. Then, as he sees good, he gives them some taste of his love, and welcomes them to the provisions of his house, as an earnest of what he further intends for them.They are now entertained by Joseph. They brought the present, and made a lowly obeisance before him. "They bent the head." See Genesis 24:26. "God be gracious unto thee, my son." His kind treatment of Benjamin, on whose presence he had so much insisted, was calculated to reassure the brothers. The latter was born in his thirteenth year, and therefore, he was entitled to assume the paternal style in regard to him. Joseph still appeals with a natural and unconstrained reverence to his own God. "And Joseph hastened away." The little touch of tenderness he had involuntarily thrown into his address to Benjamin, is too much for his feelings, which yearn toward his brother, and he is obliged to retreat to his chamber to conceal his tears and compose his countenance. "They set for him by himself." As the governor, or as connected by affinity with the priestly caste, Joseph does not eat with the other Egyptians. The Egyptians cannot eat with the Hebrews. "That is an abomination to the Mizrites." For the Hebrews partook of the flesh of kine, both male and female.

But Herodotus informs us (ii. 41), that "male kine, if clean, are used by the Egyptians, but the females they are not allowed to sacrifice, since they are sacred to Isis." And he adds that "a native of Egypt will not kiss a Greek, use his knife, his spit, or his cauldron, or taste the flesh cut with a Greek knife." They considered all foreigners unclean, and therefore, refused to eat with them (see Rawlinson's Herodotus on p. q.). They sat in his presence; arranged according to the order of their birth, to their great amazement. Egypt was to them a land of wonders, and Egypt's sultan a man of wonder. "Benjamin's mess." The honored guest was distinguished by a larger or daintier portion of the fare (1 Samuel 9:23-24; Homer, ii. 7,321). A double portion was assigned to the Spartan kings. The fivefold division was prominent in Egyptian affairs Genesis 41:34; Genesis 45:22; Genesis 47:2, Genesis 47:24, Genesis 47:26. "And were merry." They drank freely, so as to be exhilarated, because their cares were dissipated by the kindness they were receiving, the presence of Simon, and the attention paid to Benjamin.

- The Ten Brothers Were Tested

Joseph has had the satisfaction of seeing his brother Benjamin safe and well. He has heard his brothers acknowledging their guilt concerning himself. He resolves to put their attachment to Benjamin, and the genuineness of their change of disposition, to a test that will at the same time expose Benjamin to no hazard.

18. the men were afraid—Their feelings of awe on entering the stately mansion, unaccustomed as they were to houses at all, their anxiety at the reasons of their being taken there, their solicitude about the restored money, their honest simplicity in communicating their distress to the steward and his assurances of having received their money in "full weight," the offering of their fruit present, which would, as usual, be done with some parade, and the Oriental salutations that passed between their host and them—are all described in a graphic and animated manner. Saw his brother, i.e. more narrowly observed him, having now more leisure than he seems to have had when he saw him first, Genesis 43:16.

My son; so he calls him, not from special affection, which he intended not yet to discover; but because this compellation is commonly used when a man speaks to another who is his inferior in age or dignity.

And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin,.... He had seen him before when his brethren first presented themselves to him, but then took no particular and special notice of him, only gave him a side look as it were, but now he looked wistly at him:

his mother's son; the son of Rachel his mother, and who was his only brother by his mother's side, the rest, though his brethren, yet only by his father's side, not his mother's sons:

and said, is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? he knew he was the same, but was willing to have it from their mouths, to lead on to what he had further to say:

and he said; after they had answered his question, and told him it was he:

God be gracious unto thee, my son; speaking as a superior, a governor, in which capacity he was a father to his inferiors; and as a man, a relation, a brother, though not as yet discovered; he spoke in the most tender and affectionate manner, and, as a religious good man, he wishes the best thing he could for his brother, the grace and goodness of God; and which may be understood in the largest and most expressive sense, as including all good things, temporal, spiritual, and eternal.

And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his {g} 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.

(g) For only these two were born of Rachel.

29. his mother’s son] The words are added to augment the pathos of the situation. Joseph and Benjamin are the only two children of Rachel, the favourite wife of Jacob.

God be gracious] Joseph, in his dignified greeting of benediction, is made to use the word Elohim in its general sense of “the Divine Being,” as it would be used by an Egyptian. Cf. Genesis 39:9. The Sacred Name, Jehovah, is avoided.

my son] Indicating the great disparity of age between Joseph and Benjamin. Possibly J regarded Benjamin as having been born since Joseph’s disappearance.

Verse 29. - And he (i.e. Joseph) 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 (without waiting for an answer), God be gracious unto thee, my son. The tenderness of this language was much fitted to encourage the brethren. Genesis 43:29Joseph first of all inquired after their own and their father's health (שׁלום first as substantive, then as adjective equals שׁלם Genesis 33:18), whether he was still living; which they answered with thanks in the affirmative, making the deepest bow. His eyes then fell upon Benjamin, the brother by his own mother, and he asked whether this was their youngest brother; but without waiting for their reply, he exclaimed, "God be gracious to thee, my son!" יחנך for יחנך as in Isaiah 30:19 (cf. Ewald, 251d). He addressed him as "my son," in tender and, as it were, paternal affection, and with special regard to his youth. Benjamin was 16 years younger than Joseph, and was quite an infant when Joseph was sold.
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