Genesis 44:3

ESV As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys.
NIV As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
NASB As soon as it was light, the men were sent away, they with their donkeys.
CSB At morning light, the men were sent off with their donkeys.
NLT The brothers were up at dawn and were sent on their journey with their loaded donkeys.
KJV As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.

What does Genesis 44:3 mean?

On a second trip to Egypt (Genesis 42:1–2; 43:1–2), everything has gone much better than Jacob's eleven sons could have hoped. They were returning home having accomplished all three of their missions. They had the food they needed to keep the family from starving. Simeon had been released from prison (Genesis 42:24) and was with them. And Jacob's beloved Benjamin (Genesis 43:14) was safely with them on the way back to the waiting arms of their father.

The eleven men had even had an enjoyable meal as the honored guest of the once feared Egyptian ruler (Genesis 43:34). They must have been sighing with relief as they left the city behind them.

The brothers likely realize the Egyptian governor has once again returned the money they used to buy the food to their sacks (Genesis 44:1). They make no mention of this in their later conversations—they likely saw this as another unexpected gift. However, they have no idea that this man—still unknown to them as their estranged brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:8)—arranged for his own silver cup to be placed in Benjamin's sack.
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