Genesis 45:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 45:22, NIV: To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes.

Genesis 45:22, ESV: To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five changes of clothes.

Genesis 45:22, KJV: To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.

Genesis 45:22, NASB: To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.

Genesis 45:22, NLT: And he gave each of them new clothes--but to Benjamin he gave five changes of clothes and 300 pieces of silver.

Genesis 45:22, CSB: He gave each of the brothers changes of clothes, but he gave Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothes.

What does Genesis 45:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph is outfitting his brothers for their journey back to Canaan. Their mission, in part, is to convince their father Jacob to move the entire family to Egypt. There are good reasons for this, primarily to survive a devastating famine (Genesis 45:6). Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, has shown tremendous respect for Joseph and his family (Genesis 45:16). He commanded Joseph to send wagons to Canaan, promising that Jacob's family will have the best of everything when they resettle in Egypt (Genesis 45:17–20).

As a way of preparing them for the journey, and as an act of love, Joseph gives each of his brothers new clothes. Some scholars suggest the phrase found in this verse can be translated "change of cloaks." This act may have a subtle meaning as well. One reason Joseph's brothers had been jealous of him, years before, was their father Jacob's favoritism (Genesis 37:1–4). Jacob showed this by giving Joseph an expensive cloak. It may be a sign of Joseph's good will to give them new cloaks.

Joseph showers his younger brother Benjamin with even greater and more extravagant gifts. The only other son of his mother Rachel (Genesis 35:24) receives five changes of clothes and significant amounts of money. Three hundred shekels would have been about 120 ounces of silver. All these gifts, in addition to those listed in the following verse (Genesis 45:23), will serve as evidence to Jacob. He should be convinced that Joseph is as rich and powerful as his brothers will describe.