Genesis 44 Chapter Commentary:
Joseph Tests His Brothers
During a communal feast, Joseph instructed his servants to pack his brothers’ sacks with food and place a silver cup in Benjamin’s bag. Joseph’s steward pursued and accused the brothers of stealing the cup. The brothers denied stealing and offered to be taken as slaves.
The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack, causing Judah to plead with Joseph to let Benjamin go home, as he was the only surviving son of their father’s beloved wife, and their father would die from grief if Benjamin didn’t return. Joseph was moved by Judah’s compassion and allowed Benjamin to go home.
What’s the Main Point?
Joseph secretly placed a cup in his brother’s bag, intending to bring them all back to Egypt. When the cup was found in Benjamin’s bag, Judah pleaded with Joseph to allow him to take Benjamin’s place as a servant.
What Can We Learn from This Chapter?
We can learn the value of truthfulness and the repercussions of lying. Because of Joseph’s efforts in placing the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack, his brothers were wrongly accused of stealing and may have been sent into slavery. Judah couldn’t have been reconciled with Joseph until they showed integrity and accepted responsibility for their prior errors.
We might also discover the strength of forgiveness and compassion. Although Joseph had every right to be furious with his brothers and seek retribution for what they had done in the past, he chose to be kind to them and eventually forgave them. This made it possible for their relationships to be repaired and for them to get along again.
Ultimately, Genesis 44 instructs us on the value of truthfulness, the repercussions of lying, and the ability of compassion and forgiveness to mend shattered relationships.
Our Father in Heaven, thank you for the lessons we can learn from Genesis 44 about honesty, deceit, compassion, and forgiveness. Help us to always choose honesty and to avoid deceitful behavior that can lead to harm and broken relationships. Give us the strength to take responsibility for our mistakes and seek forgiveness when we have wronged others.
Teach us to show compassion to those who have wronged us, just as Joseph did with his brothers, and to have the courage to forgive them. May we be open to the possibility of reconciliation and restoration in our relationships, even when it seems impossible.
We ask for your guidance and wisdom as we navigate our relationships with others. May we always seek to honor you in our actions and interactions with those around us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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Featured image attribution:
Scenes from the Story of Joseph: The Discovery of the Stolen Cup. Francesco Ubertini called Bacchiacca, between 1515 and 1516. This image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.