What does Genesis 42:36 mean?
ESV: And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me.”
NIV: Their father Jacob said to them, 'You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!'
NASB: And their father Jacob said to them, 'You have deprived me of my sons: Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone, and now you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.'
CSB: Their father Jacob said to them, "It's me that you make childless. Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything happens to me! "
NLT: Jacob exclaimed, 'You are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!'
KJV: And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
Verse Commentary:
The nine sons who came back from Egypt (Genesis 42:1–5) would have expected their father, Jacob, to take their news badly (Genesis 42:29–35). One brother, Simeon, had been left behind and the youngest, Benjamin, has been demanded to be brought back to Egypt. In Egypt, the men recognized their prior guilt in selling their brother Joseph (Genesis 37:28) was a likely cause of their trouble (Genesis 42:21–22). They don't realize the trouble is a rebuking test from that same brother, Joseph, who is now the governor of the entire nation of Egypt (Genesis 42:7–8).

And yet, they likely did not expect this reaction. Jacob lashes out at the nine of them, holding them responsible for the loss of both Simeon and Joseph (Genesis 37:31–33). Some scholars suggest seeing the money in the sacks made Jacob suspicious that Simeon had been sold, not lost. That suggests he was suspicious when Joseph—whom the brothers clearly hated (Genesis 37:4)—did not come back twenty years earlier. At the very least, he is angry with them for once again being assigned a task only to return missing one of his sons.

Whatever Jacob believes, he has decided that bereavement of two of his children is his other sons' fault. And now his beloved son Benjamin is wanted in Egypt. He mourns the situation "has come against" him.
Verse Context:
Genesis 42:29–38 explains the results of Jacob's sons first trip to Egypt to buy food during a famine. There, the governor allowed them to leave only after keeping leaving Simeon as security, and demanding they return with Benjamin, the youngest, to prove their honesty. They also discovered—to their horror—that the money they paid the governor for grain was still in their bags. They do not know the governor is their own brother, Joseph (Genesis 37:28). However, Jacob refuses to risk losing yet another son and forbids the men to take Benjamin to Egypt.
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.
Accessed 4/22/2024 8:17:23 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.