Genesis 43:9
I will be surety for him; of my hand shall you require him: if I bring him not to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Then let me bear the blame for ever.—This is much more manly and therefore more persuasive than Reuben’s talk about pledging the lives of his children. For it was real, nor would it be a slight matter to stand in his father’s presence all the rest of his life as one guilty of a grievous crime.

Genesis 43:9. Let me bear the blame for ever — Hebrew, Be an offender to thee: let me bear the guilt, and shame, and punishment due to so great an offender — Judah’s conscience had lately smitten him for what he had done a great while ago against Joseph; and as an evidence of the truth of his repentance, he is ready to undertake, as far as a man could do it, for Benjamin’s security. He will not only not wrong him, but will do all he can to protect him. This is such restitution as the case will admit: when he knew not how he could retrieve Joseph, he would make some amends for the irreparable injury he had done him, by doubling his care concerning Benjamin.43:1-14 Jacob urges his sons to go and buy a little food; now, in time of dearth, a little must suffice. Judah urges that Benjamin should go with them. It is not against the honour and duty children owe their parents, humbly to advise them, and when needful, to reason with them. Jacob saw the necessity of the case, and yielded. His prudence and justice appeared in three things. 1. He sent back the money they had found in the sack. Honesty obliges us to restore not only that which comes to us by our own fault, but that which comes to us by the mistakes of others. Though we get it by oversight, if we keep it when the oversight is discovered, it is kept by deceit. 2. He sent as much again as they took the time before; the price of corn might be risen, or they might have to pay a ransom for Simeon. 3. He sent a present of such things as the land afforded, and as were scarce in Egypt, balm, and honey, &c. Providence dispenses not its gifts to all alike. But honey and spice will never make up the want of bread-corn. The famine was sore in Canaan, yet they had balm and myrrh, &c. We may live well enough upon plain food, without dainties; but we cannot live upon dainties without plain food. Let us thank God that what is most needful and useful, generally is most cheap and common. Though men value very highly their gold and silver, and the luxuries which are counted the best fruits of every land, yet in a time of famine they willingly barter them for bread. And how little will earthly good things stand us in stead in the day of wrath! How ready should we be to renounce them all, as loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ! Our way to prevail with man is by first prevailing with the Lord in fervent prayer. But, Thy will be done, should close every petition for the mercies of this life, or against the afflictions of this life.The famine was severe. The pressure began to be felt more and more. The twelve households had at length consumed all the corn they had purchased, and the famine still pressed heavily upon them. Jacob directs them to return. "And Judah said." Reuben had offended, and could not come forward. Simon and Levi had also grieved their father by the treacherous slaughter of the Shekemites. Judah therefore, speaks. "Is your father yet alive?" "Have ye a brother?" These questions do not come out in the previous narrative, on account of its brevity. But how pointed they are, and how true to Joseph's yearnings! They explain how it was that these particulars came out in the replies of the brothers to Joseph. For the charge of being spies did not call for them in exculpation. Judah now uses all the arguments the case would admit of, to persuade his father to allow Benjamin to go with them. He closes with the emphatic sentence, If I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me have sinned against thee all my days; that is, let me bear the blame, and of course the penalty of having sinned against thee in so tender a point. Both Judah and his father knew that this was a matter that touched the interest of the former very deeply. Reuben was bearing the blame of a grievous sin, and had no hope of the birthright. Simon and Levi were also bearing blame, and, besides, had not the natural right, which belonged only to Reuben. Judah came next, and a failure in securing the safe return of Benjamin might set him also aside. He undertakes to run this risk.2. their father said, … Go again, buy us a little food—It was no easy matter to bring Jacob to agree to the only conditions on which his sons could return to Egypt (Ge 42:15). The necessity of immediately procuring fresh supplies for the maintenance of themselves and their families overcame every other consideration and extorted his consent to Benjamin joining in a journey, which his sons entered on with mingled feelings of hope and anxiety—of hope, because having now complied with the governor's demand to bring down their youngest brother, they flattered themselves that the alleged ground of suspecting them would be removed; and of apprehension that some ill designs were meditated against them. Let me bear the blame; Heb. be an offender to thee. Let me bear the guilt, and shame, and punishment due to so great an offence. I will be surety for him,.... Engage for his safe return:

of my hand shall thou require him; I will be answerable for him:

if I bring him not to thee, and set him before thee: do not return him from Egypt, and bring him to Canaan, into his father's house and presence safe, and sound:

then let me bear the blame for ever; of persuading his father to let him go with him; all this he said, to show what care he would take of him, and what confidence he had that no evil would befall him, that he would be returned with them in safety; which he might ground upon the assurance that Joseph had given, that they should not die if they brought their brother with them, Genesis 42:20; and perhaps Judah, as Schmidt thinks, might be under a special instinct of divine Providence, which directed him to say these things: and it may be added, that Jacob also might be under a divine impulse, which influenced him to regard what Judah said, or otherwise his suretyship was but a poor security, and of little avail.

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:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. I will be surety] i.e. I will guarantee to bring him back. In Genesis 42:37 Reuben had been ready to pledge the lives of his two sons for Benjamin’s safety. Here Judah is ready to pledge his own life; see Genesis 44:32. The versions fairly reproduce the original: LXX ἐκδέχομαι αὐτόν; Lat. suscipio puerum.

let me bear the blame for ever] R.V. marg. gives the literal rendering I shall have sinned against thee for ever, LXX ἡμαρτηκὼς ἔσομαι, Lat. peccati reus ero. Compare the same idiom in Genesis 31:39, “I bare the loss,” and 1 Kings 1:21, “I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders” (Heb. sinners). The penalty will be proportioned to the failure.Judah then declared, that they would not go there again unless their father sent Benjamin with them; for the man (Joseph) had solemnly protested (העד העד) that they should not see his face without their youngest brother. Judah undertook the consultation with his father about Benjamin's going, because Reuben, the eldest son, had already been refused, and Levi, who followed Reuben and Simeon, had forfeited his father's confidence through his treachery to the Shechemites (Genesis 34).
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