New International Version
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?"
King James Bible
And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
Darby Bible Translation
And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, If now Joseph should be hostile to us, and should indeed requite us all the evil that we did to him!
World English Bible
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all of the evil which we did to him."
Young's Literal Translation
And the brethren of Joseph see that their father is dead, and say, 'Peradventure Joseph doth hate us, and doth certainly return to us all the evil which we did with him.'
Genesis 50:15 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Saw that their father was dead - This at once argues both a sense of guilt in their own consciences, and a want of confidence in their brother. They might have supposed that hitherto he had forborne to punish them merely on their father's account; but now that he was dead, and Joseph having them completely in his power, they imagined that he would take vengeance on them for their former conduct towards him.
Thus conscience records criminality; and, by giving birth to continual fears and doubtfulness, destroys all peace of mind, security, and confidence. On this subject an elegant poet has spoken with his usual point and discernment: -
Exemplo quodcumque malo committitur, ipsi
Displicet auctori. Prima est haec ultio, quod se
Judice nemo nocens absolvitur, improba quamvis
Gratia fallaci Praetoris vicerit urna.
Juv. Sat. xiii. 1, etc.
Happily metaphrased by Mr. Dryden: -
He that commits a fault shall quickly find The pressing guilt lie heavy on his mind. Though bribes, or favor shall assert his cause, Pronounce him guiltless, and elude the laws, None quits himself; his own impartial thought Will damn, and conscience will record the fault. This, first, the wicked feels.
We have seen this in the preceding history often exemplified in the case of Joseph's brethren.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
'Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.'--GENESIS l. 25. This is the one act of Joseph's life which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews selects as the sign that he too lived by faith. 'By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.' It was at once a proof of how entirely he believed God's promise, and of how earnestly he longed …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Worst Things Work for Good to the Godly
So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
They said to one another, "Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that's why this distress has come on us."
Reuben replied, "Didn't I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn't listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood."
After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.
So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died:
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