Genesis 44:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 44:10, NIV: Very well, then,' he said, 'let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.'

Genesis 44:10, ESV: He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.”

Genesis 44:10, KJV: And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.

Genesis 44:10, NASB: So he said, 'Now let it indeed be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, but the rest of you shall be considered innocent.'

Genesis 44:10, NLT: 'That's fair,' the man replied. 'But only the one who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go free.'

Genesis 44:10, CSB: The steward replied, "What you have said is right, but only the one who is found to have it will be my slave, and the rest of you will be blameless."

What does Genesis 44:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph's brothers have been defending themselves from what seemed like wild accusations. Joseph's steward has accused them of stealing his lord's personal silver cup (Genesis 44:4–8). They insist that they would never do such a thing, rashly offering that if any of them is found with the cup, that man will die. More, all the rest will become servants of the Egyptian ruler (Genesis 44:9). They have no idea that the Egyptian governor is their own estranged brother (Genesis 42:7–8).

The steward knows the silver cup is in Benjamin's sack, because he placed it there on Joseph's own order (Genesis 44:1–3). Probably in accordance with Joseph's wishes, he pounces on their foolish offer, but changes the terms. Instead of killing the man found with the cup, that man shall stay behind as a slave of his master. The rest of them will be free to go.

Taken in full context, this seems to be yet another test by Joseph. He seems interested to know if the men will once again abandon a younger brother to meet their own selfish ends. That's exactly what they—other than Benjamin—had done some twenty years prior (Genesis 37:24–28).