What does Genesis 43:29 mean?
ESV: And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!”
NIV: As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother's son, he asked, 'Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?' And he said, 'God be gracious to you, my son.'
NASB: And as he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, 'Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?' Then he said, 'May God be gracious to you, my son.'
CSB: When he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, he asked, "Is this your youngest brother that you told me about? " Then he said, "May God be gracious to you, my son."
NLT: Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. 'Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?' Joseph asked. 'May God be gracious to you, my son.'
KJV: And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
NKJV: Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “ Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
Verse Commentary:
The eleven men laying flat on the floor before him are Joseph's own brothers. They have been summoned (Genesis 43:16–17) during their second trip to buy grain in Egypt (Genesis 43:1–2). Twenty years earlier, Joseph prophesied his entire family would one day bow before him (Genesis 37:5–10). This was part of what motivated his ten older brothers to sell him into slavery (Genesis 37:24–28). Now Joseph—unrecognized by his family (Genesis 42:8)—is the second-in-command over the entire nation of Egypt (Genesis 41:44). As the men bow, they fully complete the prediction from Joseph's first dream.

Joseph has asked them the men about their father—his father Jacob (Genesis 43:27–28). Now he sets his eyes fully on Benjamin. This is the youngest son of Jacob, and Joseph's only full-blooded brother, the other son of their mother, Rachel (Genesis 35:18–19, 24). Joseph had insisted the men not return unless they brought Benjamin with them (Genesis 42:19–20). Still hiding his identity, he asks if this is the brother mentioned in their first visit (Genesis 42:13).

Benjamin is the only one of Joseph's eleven brothers not involved in his sale into slavery. Unlike the harsh response Joseph used when he first saw the others (Genesis 42:7), he speaks kindly to Benjamin. Though Joseph has further tests in mind for his brothers (Genesis 43:34; 44:1–2), the blessing he offers here strains his self-control. In the following verse (Genesis 43:30), it becomes clear the dam holding back Joseph's joy is beginning to crack.
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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