What does Genesis 42:25 mean?
ESV: And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
NIV: Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man's silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them,
NASB: Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, but also to return every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And that is what was done for them.
CSB: Joseph then gave orders to fill their containers with grain, return each man's silver to his sack, and give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out.
NLT: Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men’s sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother’s payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them supplies for their journey home.
KJV: Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.
Verse Commentary:
Joseph's brothers still don't know who he is (Genesis 42:7–8). They came to Egypt to buy grain (Genesis 42:1–5), only to be accused of spying and forced to leave one of their number behind as collateral (Genesis 42:18–19). They've reached the conclusion that this Egyptian official (Genesis 41:41–45) is persecuting them as God's judgment on them for what they did to Joseph over twenty years earlier (Genesis 37:28). In a sense, they are right.

Simeon has been bound, with clear understanding that he will be held in captivity until the others return with their youngest brother. If they come back without Benjamin, they will die. If they never come back, Simeon will be imprisoned forever. Joseph seems desperately eager to see his only younger brother.

Now Joseph orders their bags filled with grain to carry back to their people. This was the original reason the men came to Egypt. However, in secret, he orders the money they used to pay for the grain placed back in their bags, as well. Once again, Genesis leaves us to guess at Joseph's exact motives. Perhaps he is moved with compassion and generosity for his family. Perhaps he is setting them up for further accusations. Perhaps he simply wants to bring them a taste of his own stress and fear. These passages show his ultimate intentions are good (Genesis 47:11–12), even if his exact thoughts are left unrecorded.
Verse Context:
Genesis 42:18–28 describes a powerful Egyptian governor sending nine of Jacob's sons home with purchased grain, while keeping Simeon as collateral. He commands the others to return only if they can prove their honesty by bringing along their youngest brother. The men tell each other they must be suffering for abusing another brother, Joseph (Genesis 37:28). They don't realize the governor is Joseph himself (Genesis 42:7) and that he understands their language. After leaving, the horrified brothers find the payment for the grain is still in their bags. They do not know Joseph secretly arranged to give it back to them.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 42 describes the moment Joseph sees his brothers for the first time since they sold him into slavery over 20 years earlier. They have come to Egypt to buy grain, and they do not recognize him. He keeps his secret, speaking roughly to them and hinting they may be spies. He allows them to leave only if they promise to return with their youngest brother Benjamin. He keeps Simeon as collateral but sends them off with full sacks of grain for their family. He also secretly returns their money, something they are terrified to discover on the way home. Back in Canaan, Jacob responds to this terrible news with bitterness and vindictive blame.
Chapter Context:
Twenty years prior to the events of this chapter, Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:28). Miraculously, Joseph is now the governor of the nation of Egypt (Genesis 41:44). His brothers, who know nothing of Joseph's fate, have come to buy food during a terrible famine (Genesis 41:56–57). Joseph, probably and justifiably angry at his brothers, keeps his identity a secret, at first. Over the next several chapters, he will test, challenge, and chasten them. Yet there is no revenge involved; everything Joseph does furthers a long-term goal of rescuing the family from starvation.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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