What does Genesis 43:21 mean?
ESV: And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man 's money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us,
NIV: But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us.
NASB: and it happened when we came to the campsite, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the opening of his sack, our money in full. So we have brought it back in our hand.
CSB: When we came to the place where we lodged for the night and opened our bags of grain, each one’s silver was at the top of his bag! It was the full amount of our silver, and we have brought it back with us.
NLT: But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money — the exact amount paid — was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us.
KJV: And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
NKJV: but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand.
Verse Commentary:
Joseph's brothers are urgently trying to explain to his house steward that they did not steal back their money the last time they came to buy grain from the Egyptians (Genesis 42:26–28). They have assumed they've been escorted to Joseph's home to be attacked and forced into slavery for this crime (Genesis 43:16–20). They don't know that it was Joseph—who they do not recognize as the Egyptian governor (Genesis 42:8)—who had ordered their money returned (Genesis 42:25).

They begin with great respect, addressing the servant as "lord." They tell him of coming to Egypt on a previous trip to buy grain. They describe the shocking moment, on their trip back home, when they found all the money they had used to buy the grain back in their packs. They assure the steward they have brought it with them to pay for the grain again, to ensure there is no misunderstanding.
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.
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