Genesis 43:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 43:4, NIV: "If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you."

Genesis 43:4, ESV: "If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food."

Genesis 43:4, KJV: "If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:"

Genesis 43:4, NASB: "If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food."

Genesis 43:4, NLT: "If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy more food."

Genesis 43:4, CSB: "If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you."

What does Genesis 43:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Earlier, an intense famine forced Jacob to send his sons into Egypt to buy food (Genesis 42:1–2). The governor accused them of being spies and insisted they return with their youngest brother to prove their honesty (Genesis 42:19–20). He also kept one of the brothers in custody as collateral (Genesis 42:24). Jacob's sons don't realize this governor is their own brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:8), whom they sold into slavery as a teenager (Genesis 37:24–28).

When the brothers returned, Jacob forbade them from going back with Benjamin (Genesis 42:38). Even if it meant abandoning Simeon, he would not risk his favorite and youngest son. But the famine continued, and Jacob has asked his sons to travel once again to buy food in Egypt (Genesis 43:1–2). He didn't mention Benjamin, however, and Judah is reminding him of the situation (Genesis 43:3).

Now Judah takes a reasonable and brave stand. He insists they will go, but only if they take Benjamin. He realizes that trying to accomplish the mission without Benjamin will only get them all killed or imprisoned. Their only chance of success is to follow the Egyptian governor—secretly their well-meaning brother Joseph—and hope for the best. Not going at all means starving; Judah is confronting Jacob with the dire choice which must be made (Genesis 43:5).