Genesis 44:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 44:32, NIV: Your servant guaranteed the boy's safety to my father. I said, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!'

Genesis 44:32, ESV: For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’

Genesis 44:32, KJV: For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.

Genesis 44:32, NASB: For your servant accepted responsibility for the boy from my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then my father can let me take the blame forever.’

Genesis 44:32, NLT: My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, 'If I don't bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.'

Genesis 44:32, CSB: Your servant became accountable to my father for the boy, saying, 'If I do not return him to you, I will always bear the guilt for sinning against you, my father.'

What does Genesis 44:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Egyptian leader to whom Judah speaks is secretly Joseph: the other son of Rachel (Genesis 35:24) who was lost from his father Jacob (Genesis 44:18–31). That loss is what Judah has been explaining, including how the loss of Rachel's other son, Benjamin, would simply kill their elderly father. Judah makes clear that he himself will be responsible for the loss of Benjamin for the rest of his life. He made himself a pledge of safety for the return of Benjamin. This pledge was a serious and binding agreement. Judah would be formally responsible all his days for the loss of the boy and the resulting death of his father.

This impassioned plea is not without a purpose. Judah has acknowledged his own guilt—at least in an indirect way (Genesis 44:16)—and knows he is being punished for what he did to Joseph many years before (Genesis 37:24–28). Demonstrating that he has learned something from all this, Judah makes a selfless proposition in the following verse (Genesis 44:33).