Genesis 44:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 44:18, NIV: Then Judah went up to him and said: 'Pardon your servant, my lord, let me speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself.

Genesis 44:18, ESV: Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.

Genesis 44:18, KJV: Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.

Genesis 44:18, NASB: Then Judah approached him and said, 'Oh my lord, may your servant please speak a word in my lord’s ears, and do not be angry with your servant; for you are equal to Pharaoh.

Genesis 44:18, NLT: Then Judah stepped forward and said, 'Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.

Genesis 44:18, CSB: But Judah approached him and said, "My lord, please let your servant speak personally to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh.

What does Genesis 44:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Egyptian ruler has made his position clear. For the crime of stealing his silver cup (Genesis 44:14–15), only Benjamin—youngest of the eleven brothers who came to Egypt—would be kept as his slave. The others would be free to go (Genesis 44:17). The men have no idea that this powerful man is their own estranged brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:7–8), whom the ten older brothers had cruelly sold as a slave twenty years earlier (Genesis 27:24–28).

Now Judah boldly stands up and begins to plead for Benjamin to be released. More than just recapping what has come before, Judah's eloquent speech is intended to soften this Egyptian ruler's heart toward Benjamin and their father. In truth, it will break Joseph's heart to hear Judah's words about their family.

Judah begins by addressing Joseph once more with great respect, pleading to be allowed to speak and for Joseph not to be angry with him. He also acknowledges that Joseph's power is like that of the Pharaoh of Egypt himself (Genesis 41:44), implying that Joseph may condemn and pardon whomever he wants as he sees fit.