Genesis 42:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 42:3, NIV: Then ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.

Genesis 42:3, ESV: So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.

Genesis 42:3, KJV: And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.

Genesis 42:3, NASB: So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.

Genesis 42:3, NLT: So Joseph's ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain.

Genesis 42:3, CSB: So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.

What does Genesis 42:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The whole world—every civilization anywhere near Egypt—is deep into a terrible famine (Genesis 41:54–57). Many are facing starvation. News reaches Jacob and his clan that grain is available to purchase in Egypt. Apparently, no other options are available. Among those beginning to starve are the family of Jacob, living in Canaan (Genesis 37:1). Jacob had twelve sons (Genesis 35:23–26), but jealousy led the oldest ten to sell the eleventh, Joseph, into slavery (Genesis 37:28). Jacob was fooled into thinking Joseph was dead (Genesis 37:31–34).

It is these ten sons of Jacob who head to Egypt to buy food. They cannot know, however, that the one in charge of selling the food is the very same brother they sold into slavery over twenty years earlier (Genesis 41:44). For his part, Jacob is unwilling to lose another son of his late wife, Rachel (Genesis 35:16–19), so he refuses to send the youngest, Benjamin (Genesis 42:4).