Genesis 42:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 42:33, NIV: Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, 'This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go.

Genesis 42:33, ESV: Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way.

Genesis 42:33, KJV: And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone:

Genesis 42:33, NASB: But the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go.

Genesis 42:33, NLT: 'Then the man who is governor of the land told us, 'This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home.

Genesis 42:33, CSB: The man who is the lord of the country said to us, 'This is how I will know if you are honest: Leave one brother with me, take food to relieve the hunger of your households, and go.

What does Genesis 42:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

During a famine, ten of Jacob's sons were sent to buy food in Egypt (Genesis 42:1–5). The governor of the land accused them of being spies (Genesis 42:12). In attempting to convince him they were honest men, they told him about their youngest brother and father back in Canaan (Genesis 42:13). The men don't realize that this governor is their lost brother, Joseph, whom they sold into slavery twenty years earlier (Genesis 37:28, 31–33).

This is a difficult conversation for the men to have with their father. Their lie about Joseph many years ago was devastating to Jacob (Genesis 37:34–35). In this case, the governor of Egypt ordered them to leave one brother behind and return with the youngest, to prove their innocence (Genesis 42:19–20). They have come back with grain, but Simeon has not returned (Genesis 42:24). In the following verse, Jacob's sons will tell him why Simeon is being held as collateral (Genesis 42:34).