What does Genesis 43:16 mean?
ESV: When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon."
NIV: When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon."
NASB: When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, 'Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make preparations; for the men are to dine with me at noon.'
CSB: When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, "Take the men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they will eat with me at noon."
NLT: When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, 'These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.'
KJV: And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
NKJV: When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.”
Verse Commentary:
Ten of Joseph's eleven brothers arrive from Canaan and stand before him. They have come to buy grain, bringing their youngest brother Benjamin with them at Joseph's command (Genesis 42:19–20; 24). They still don't know who this Egyptian ruler is (Genesis 42:8) or why he is treating them this way.

Joseph has received what he asked for. He sees his younger brother Benjamin, the only other son born to their mother Rachel (Genesis 35:18–19; 42:38). Benjamin would have been quite young when Joseph was taken. He must be in his 20s by this point. Seeing him does something to Joseph. Instead of addressing his brothers, he tells his house steward to bring the men to his home. The steward is to slaughter an animal and prepare a noon meal for all of them. This is certainly not what any of the brothers were expecting.
Verse Context:
Genesis 43:16–34 finds Joseph's estranged brothers returning once more to Egypt and appearing before him. They still fail to recognize the person they sold into slavery some twenty years before. After he orders them taken to his home, the brothers are afraid they will be ambushed for a false charge of theft due to their prior visit (Genesis 42:25–28). Joseph's steward assures them God arranged those events, and all is well. Joseph shares a meal with them, honoring them as guests in his home and giving special attention to Benjamin. The meal turns into a time of merriment for them all.
Chapter Summary:
Jacob must send Benjamin with his brothers, back to Egypt, to buy more grain for the family. Without it, they will starve, but the Egyptian ruler will not sell them grain if they don't bring Benjamin as agreed. Speaking on behalf of his brothers, Judah finally convinces his father. Arriving in Egypt, they are honored as guests in Joseph's house. They present a gift to him—still not recognizing him as their estranged brother—and Joseph, after being overwhelmed with emotion, pays special attention to Benjamin.
Chapter Context:
In Genesis chapter 37, Jacob sends his favorite son, Joseph, to visit his brothers. Joseph does not come home. In chapter 42, Jacob sends ten of his sons on a mission, and once again the group returns short one son. The Egyptian governor keeps Simeon as collateral and commands the family to return with Benjamin. Only when forced with starvation does Jacob risk his youngest son. Joseph, still unrecognized by his brothers as the governor of Egypt, honors the men as guests in his home, paying special attention to Benjamin. After further tests in chapter 44, Joseph will finally reveal himself in chapter 45.
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 6/14/2024 8:22:38 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com