Genesis 43:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 43:14, NIV: And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.'

Genesis 43:14, ESV: May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

Genesis 43:14, KJV: And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

Genesis 43:14, NASB: and may God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved!'

Genesis 43:14, NLT: May God Almighty give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.'

Genesis 43:14, CSB: May God Almighty cause the man to be merciful to you so that he will release your other brother and Benjamin to you. As for me, if I am deprived of my sons, then I am deprived."

What does Genesis 43:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Ten of Jacob's sons, including his beloved Benjamin, are assembled and ready to begin the trip back to Egypt to buy food for their family (Genesis 43:1–2). They likely also hope to see their brother Simeon released from prison (Genesis 42:24) to return with them. Only by bringing Benjamin can they hope to obtain food and avoid starvation (Genesis 42:19–20; 43:3–5). Jacob only agreed to this with great reluctance and after much delay (Genesis 43:10–13).

Before they go, Jacob offers a brief prayer for them. It is surprisingly rare to hear the prayers of the patriarchs in Genesis. Jacob is shown to pray in his most fearful and troubled moments, such as when he was about to be reunited with his brother Esau (Genesis 32:9–12). It is a measure of exactly how fearful Jacob is that he prays aloud to God in this moment.

He begins by addressing "God Almighty," from the Hebrew 'ēl Sad'day or El Shaddai. This is a reference to God as the absolute, supreme Power of the universe. Jacob prays God would grant his sons mercy before this Egyptian ruler who gave them so much trouble before. He prays that the man would send back both Benjamin and Simeon, the "other brother."

Jacob concludes with a kind of prayer of resignation. If the worst happens, he seems to say, then it happens. If I lose my children, I lose them. This could be read as wallowing in self-pity and a loss of hope. Or it could be read as accepting that God's will might be for his children to be lost. In either case, Jacob is clearly sending off his sons with a heavy heart and all his hope in God to control the outcome. He doesn't realize that his lost son, Joseph (Genesis 42:8) is behind all of this.