Genesis 44:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 44:23, NIV: But you told your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.'

Genesis 44:23, ESV: Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’

Genesis 44:23, KJV: And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.

Genesis 44:23, NASB: You said to your servants, however, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’

Genesis 44:23, NLT: But you told us, 'Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you will never see my face again.'

Genesis 44:23, CSB: Then you said to your servants, 'If your younger brother does not come down with you, you will not see me again.'

What does Genesis 44:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Judah is making a plea to the Egyptian ruler on behalf of his father Jacob and his youngest brother Benjamin (Genesis 44:14–22). Unknown to Judah, this governor is his estranged brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:7–8), who had been sold into slavery by the ten older sons of Jacob (Genesis 37:24–28; 42:21–23). Judah reminds Joseph that he had demanded that the brothers bring Benjamin to him so that he could look at him. The brothers were hesitant at first. They feared that losing Benjamin would kill their elderly father (Genesis 42:38).

Joseph, the Egyptian ruler, had insisted on Benjamin coming back (Genesis 42:19–20). The brothers would not be allowed to see him if they did not bring their youngest brother with them. If they could not see the Egyptian ruler, they would not be able to buy grain. If they could not buy grain, their family would starve. By repeating these details, Judah seeks to emphasize the high stakes involved for Jacob's family.