Now therefore when I come to your servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
"And Judah came near unto him." He is going to surrender himself as a slave for life, that Benjamin may go home with his brothers, who are permitted to depart. "Let thy servant now speak a word in the ears of my lord." There is nothing here but respectful calmness of demeanor. "And let not thine anger burn against thy servant." He intuitively feels that the grand vizier is a man of like feelings with himself. He will surmount the distinction of rank, and stand with him on the ground of a common humanity. "For so art thou as Pharaoh." Thou hast power to grant or withhold my request. This forms, the exordium of the speech. Then follows the plea. This consists in a simple statement of the facts, which Judah expects to have its native effect upon a rightly-constituted heart. We will not touch this statement, except to explain two or three expressions. A young lad - a comparative youth. "Let me set mine eyes upon him" - regard him with favor and kindness. "He shall leave his father and he shall die." If he were to leave his father, his father would die. Such is the natural interpretation of these words, as the paternal affection is generally stronger than the filial. "And now let thy servant now abide instead of the lad a servant to my lord." Such is the humble and earnest petition of Judah. He calmly and firmly sacrifices home, family, and birthright, rather than see an aged father die of a broken heart.
- Joseph Made Himself Known to His Brethren
10. גשׁן gôshen, Goshen, Gesem (Arabias related perhaps to גשׁם geshem "rain, shower"), a region on the borders of Egypt and Arabia, near the gulf of Suez.
The appeal of Judah is to Joseph irresistible. The repentance of his brothers, and their attachment to Benjamin, have been demonstrated in the most satisfactory manner. This is all that Joseph sought. It is evident, throughout the whole narrative, that he never aimed at exercising any supremacy over his brothers. As soon as he has obtained an affecting proof of the right disposition of his brothers, he conceals himself no longer. And the speech of Judah, in which, no doubt, his brothers concurred, does equal credit to his head and heart.
and the lad be not with us; his brother Benjamin, so called here, and in the following verses, though thirty years of age and upwards, see Genesis 43:8,
seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; he is as closely united to him in affection, and is as dear to him as his own soul; quite wrapped up in him, and cannot live without him; should he die, he must die too; see 1 Samuel 18:1; so it follows:Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)30. his life … the lad’s life] Better, as R.V. marg., his soul is knit with the lad’s soul. See 1 Samuel 18:1, “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” It is the affections, not the lives, of two loving persons which are intertwined.Jeremiah 39:12; Jeremiah 40:4).
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