Genesis 44:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 44:22, NIV: And we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.'

Genesis 44:22, ESV: We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’

Genesis 44:22, KJV: And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.

Genesis 44:22, NASB: But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’

Genesis 44:22, NLT: But we said to you, 'My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.'

Genesis 44:22, CSB: But we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave, his father would die.'

What does Genesis 44:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This is part of an impassioned plea from Judah (Genesis 44:18–21). He is begging a powerful Egyptian governor not to keep his youngest brother, Benjamin, as a slave (Genesis 44:15–17). That governor is yet another son of Jacob: Joseph, sold by Judah and the other ten oldest brothers twenty years earlier (Genesis 37:24–28). Joseph has maintained his secret to test his brothers (Genesis 42:7–8).

Judah reminds Joseph that he had demanded that the brothers bring Benjamin to him so that he could look at him. At the time, the brothers resisted. They told Joseph that they could not bring Benjamin because it would literally kill their father to lose the boy (Genesis 42:38). Jacob was never afraid to show blatant favoritism (Genesis 37:3–4), and Benjamin has become his preferred child (Genesis 43:14–15).