And he searched, and began at the oldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Began at the eldest, to take off all their suspicion of his fraud.
The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. He found doubtless the money there, but he accused them not about that matter, both because they had an answer ready to that charge from his own mouth, Genesis 43:23, and because the greater crime, the stealing of the cup which Joseph so much prized and used, might seem to extinguish the less, or at least cause him to neglect it.
and began at the oldest; at Reuben, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it: the steward might know their different ages in course, by the order in which they were placed at Joseph's table when they dined with him:
and left off at the youngest; at Benjamin, he ended his scrutiny with him; this method he took partly to hold them in fear as long as he could, and partly to prevent any suspicion of design, which might have been entertained had he went directly to Benjamin's sack:And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. searched] There is no mention of the money in the sacks’ mouths (Genesis 44:1). The interest centres on the cup. That the search is made in order of age is a dramatic touch adding to the excitement of the scene described, and probably carried out by the directions of Joseph himself, as if it might be assumed that the youngest was the least likely to be the thief. Cf. Genesis 43:33.Genesis 44:15).
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