Joseph commanded that the brother’s sacks be filled with food, and once again the money be put back into the sacks. This time, however, he tells them to put a silver cup into Benjamin’s sack and the brothers are sent off.
After they had traveled a bit, Joseph tells his stewards to catch up with them, and accuse them of theft.
Genesis 44:5 – Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
Joseph is trying to give the impression to the brothers that he was able to divine the theft of the cup “which he drinketh”. The brothers vow no evil was done, and that there was no reason to steal from Joseph considering the money they intended to pay for the food was put back into their sacks. They also agree that whoever did steal the silver cup, would become a servant, and the others blameless.
Of course, the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack, so the brothers return to Joseph in Egypt to explain the situation. They explain to Joseph that there really is no explanation or way to clear themselves. They offer themselves up as servants, including the one with the cup in his sack.
44:17 – And he (Joseph) said, God forbid that I should do so…
Reason I point this verse out is because in the interlinear Hebrew translation, the “God” in this verse is not found, instead it is translated as “far be it from that I should do so”. Why throw God in there when in the original language there is no mention of God? Is this an example of man’s interference in Old Testament translation? Notice that none of the previously mentioned god names are found in the Hebrew text:
Note the various translations among the different Bible versions:
The only version that translates it as “God forbid” is the KJV. All others leave it out. Why is the KJV translator putting the word “God” into a verse it doesn’t belong? Also, are all these translations saying the same exact thing? I don’t think so:
- “the man who was found to have the cup” is NOT the same as “the man who stole the cup”
- “Far be it from me to do such a thing” is NOT the same as “I swear that I will not do this”
Now take such a distinction in meaning and translation and apply it to the entire Bible and every single verse and suddenly it becomes clear why people just can’t agree on what the Bible says (though they are 100% sure that their translation is the correct one.)
Back to the story, Judah asks for permission to speak to Joseph, and goes over the story of the first visit, the conditions they were given if they ever came back, the distress it all caused their father Jacob, and the distress that their current predicament would put on their father, “sorrow to the grave”. Judah begs for Joseph to let Benjamin go and return to his father, and Judah will take his place as servant. The more I look into this the more I realize that it’s not that Judah is concerned about his father’s distress, but that it all falls upon Judah himself.
44:34 – For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.
Interesting insight into the reasoning for Judah to offer himself up in Benjamin’s place.