Genesis 43:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 43:19, NIV: So they went up to Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.

Genesis 43:19, ESV: So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house,

Genesis 43:19, KJV: And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

Genesis 43:19, NASB: So they approached Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house,

Genesis 43:19, NLT: The brothers approached the manager of Joseph's household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace.

Genesis 43:19, CSB: So they approached Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the doorway of the house.

What does Genesis 43:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph's brothers, still not aware of who he is (Genesis 42:8), fear they've been brought to his home to be attacked and forced into slavery (Genesis 43:16–18). In part, this would be God's vengeance on them for what they did to Joseph when he was a boy (Genesis 37:25–28; 42:21–22). It would also be punishment for not paying for the grain they purchased on their last visit (Genesis 42:26–28). They did pay, of course, but Joseph had the money secretly returned to their bags (Genesis 42:25). There's a deep irony in these men—who sold their hated brother as a slave—now fearing they will be forced into servanthood (Genesis 43:18).

Before anything violent can happen, the brothers rush to clear up matters with the steward of Joseph's house. They seem to hope they can convince him of their innocence before anything more happens.