Genesis 43:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 43:8, NIV: Then Judah said to Israel his father, 'Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die.

Genesis 43:8, ESV: And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.

Genesis 43:8, KJV: And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.

Genesis 43:8, NASB: So Judah said to his father Israel, 'Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones.

Genesis 43:8, NLT: Judah said to his father, 'Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation--and not only we, but you and our little ones.

Genesis 43:8, CSB: Then Judah said to his father Israel, "Send the boy with me. We will be on our way so that we may live and not die--neither we, nor you, nor our dependents.

What does Genesis 43:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Jacob's ten oldest sons went to buy grain during a famine (Genesis 42:1–2), they came back with a missing brother (Genesis 42:24) and a command from the Egyptian governor. To prove they were not liars, they had to return with their youngest brother, Benjamin (Genesis 42:19–20). Judah and his brothers know any trip to Egypt to buy grain will fail if they don't take Benjamin along. Jacob has resisted this, preferring to abandon Simeon rather than risk his favorite son. He continues to blame his older sons for putting him into this situation (Genesis 42:6).

Jacob doesn't want to risk losing the only remaining son of his beloved late wife Rachel. However, the only alternative is to allow the family to starve to death. So, Judah asks outright that Jacob entrust Benjamin—"the boy"—to his personal safekeeping in order that all of them might survive this famine. In the following verse, Judah will offer his own life as a pledge of safety for Benjamin (Genesis 43:9).

This is an interesting turn of events, as Judah was among the brothers who wanted to kill Joseph, Jacob's former favorite son, out of jealousy, some twenty years prior (Genesis 37:18–20). Judah then hit on the idea of selling Joseph as a slave, instead (Genesis 37:26–28). What neither Judah nor the other brothers know is that the Egyptian governor is that very Joseph (Genesis 42:8).