Genesis 44:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 44:33, NIV: Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord's slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.

Genesis 44:33, ESV: Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.

Genesis 44:33, KJV: Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

Genesis 44:33, NASB: So now, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go up with his brothers.

Genesis 44:33, NLT: 'So please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.

Genesis 44:33, CSB: Now please let your servant remain here as my lord's slave, in place of the boy. Let him go back with his brothers.

What does Genesis 44:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Judah's youngest brother, Benjamin, is being held responsible for stealing the silver cup of an Egyptian ruler (Genesis 44:11–13). As punishment, he will be required to stay as a slave of the ruler while the rest of his brothers are free to go (Genesis 44:17). Though the brothers do not know it, yet, this Egyptian ruler is Joseph—the same brother they sold as a slave twenty years ago (Genesis 37:24–28; 42:7–8). He is testing them, checking to see if they have changed. Joseph's clever scheme (Genesis 44:1–6) has forced them to revisit the choice they made with him. Will they act selfishly, letting an innocent boy and an old man suffer? Or will they act with integrity and honor?

The solution Judah offers here comes at the end of a long, passionate plea from Judah (Genesis 44:18–32). He himself will be responsible in their father's eyes if Benjamin is not returned safely home. In fact, he will be responsible for his father's death, because the loss of Benjamin will kill the old man (Genesis 42:38).

Hoping he has softened this Egyptian ruler's heart, Judah now makes a selfless proposal: His life for Benjamin's. He formally requests that the Egyptian ruler keep him as the servant instead, and that he allows Benjamin to return home with his other brothers. This is a far cry from the man who once cruelly handed his hated younger brother over to slave traders in a fit of jealously (Genesis 42:21–23).