Genesis 43:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 43:11, NIV: Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift--a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.

Genesis 43:11, ESV: Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.

Genesis 43:11, KJV: And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:

Genesis 43:11, NASB: Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a gift, a little balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.

Genesis 43:11, NLT: So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, 'If it can't be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts--balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds.

Genesis 43:11, CSB: Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and take them down to the man as a gift--a little balsam and a little honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.

What does Genesis 43:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Finally, after much delay (Genesis 43:10) Jacob reaches a decision. He resisted sending his youngest, Benjamin, on a second trip to Egypt to buy food, even though that was the only way to buy grain and free another son, Simeon (Genesis 42:19–20, 24). Until now, Jacob had resisted, even if it meant abandoning the older brother (Genesis 42:38). One of the risks of returning to Egypt included the return-trip discovery of money, meant to pay for grain, still in the brothers' bags (Genesis 42:26–28). None of the family realize, yet, that the governor is their long-lost brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:8), and he ordered their money returned (Genesis 42:25).

Judah's argument to Jacob was that the alternative is starvation for them all (Genesis 43:3–9). That, along with Judah's pledge to take personal responsibility for Benjamin's safety, leads Jacob to realize he has no other reasonable choice. He will allow his older sons to take his beloved Benjamin with them as ordered by the Egyptian ruler.

Now that the decision is made, Jacob lays out a plan. The brothers will take with them a gift of choice regional products from Canaan to try to win over the Egyptian governor. The gift package includes fruit, balm, honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Jacob's tactic of softening a potential enemy with gifts resembles his approach to the reunion with Esau in Genesis 32:20–21.