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BENJAMIN ALSO COMES INTO JOSEPH’S PRESENCE

Genesis 43

Victor M. Eskew

 

I.           The Title of Genesis 43

 

A.   The Second Appearance before Joseph

B.    From Fear to Merriment before Joseph

C.   Benjamin Also Comes into Joseph’s Presence

1.     The word “brother” in reference to Benjamin is found 10 times (Gen 43:3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (2), 13, 29(2), 30).

2.     The word “lad” references Benjamin one time (Gen. 43:8).

3.     “…his mother’s son” is found once describing Benjamin (Gen. 43:29).

4.     The name “Benjamin” is found five times (Gen. 43:14, 15, 16, 29, 34).

 

II.         The Key Verse of Genesis 43:  Genesis 43:29

 

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.

 

Why this verse?  Benjamin is the focus of this entire chapter.  Jacob did not want him to go.  The brothers understand he had to go.  When Joseph sees Benjamin he brings them all to his house.  He pronounced a blessing upon his brother.  He wept upon seeing Benjamin.  He gave Benjamin five times more food than the other brothers.

 

III.       The Outline of Genesis 43

 

i.               JACOB RELEASES BENJAMIN (Gen. 43:1-14)

ii.              JOSEPH SEES BENJAMIN (Gen. 43:15-25)

iii.            JOSEPH BLESSES BENJAMIN (Gen. 43:26-34)

 

IV.        The Lessons of Genesis 43

 

A.   Household supplies always need to be replenished (Gen. 43:2).

 

And it came to pass when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.

 

B.    It is possible to teach others that we “mean business” (Gen. 43:3-5).

 

And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.  If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and by food:  but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down:  for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.

 

 

C.   Innocent acts can turn into charges of blame (Gen. 43:6-7).

 

And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man ye had yet a brother?  And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive?  Have ye another brother?  And we told him according to the tenor of these words:  could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?

 

D.   Judah takes the lead in offering protection for Benjamin (Gen. 43:8-9).

1.     Judah was the one who devised the plan to sell Joseph rather than killing him (Gen. 37:26-27).

2.     Earlier, Reuben had made a similar offer to his father (Gen. 42:37).

3.     Since Reuben had not protected Joseph Jacob may not have trusted him with his younger son.

4.     Judah’s brotherly concern may have been what prompted him to make this offer to his father.

 

E.    We sometimes put off decisions for too long (Gen. 43:10).

 

For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.

 

F.     A gift for a leader can be of great benefit (Gen 43:11).

 

And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds.

 

1.     Proverbs 18:16

 

A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

 

2.     Proverbs 21:14

 

A gift in secret pacifieth anger:  and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.

 

G.   Honesty is the best policy (Gen. 43:12).

 

And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight.

 

H.   There are times when we must resolve ourselves to difficult decisions (Gen. 43:13-14).

 

Take also your brother and arise, go again unto the man:  and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin.  If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

 

1.     See Genesis 43:8

 

I.     The good actions of others can be perceived as evil (Gen.43:18).

 

And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house, and they said, Because the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.

 

J.    Most believe that quick confession will spare one from the worst punishment (Gen. 43:20-21).

 

And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first to buy food:  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.

 

K.   Was there some truth in the steward’s words in Genesis 43:23?

 

And he said, Peace be unto you, fear not:  your God, and the God of your father, hath given your treasure in your sacks:  I had your money…

 

1.     Yes, God had brought Joseph into Egypt through His providence.

2.     It was Joseph acting as God’s agent that had given their money back.

 

L.    Joseph seems to give them numerous hints as to his identity.

1.     He brings them to his house for a meal (Gen. 43:16).

2.     He asks about their father and refers to him as “the old man” (Gen. 43:27).

3.     He blesses Benjamin (Gen. 43:29).

4.     He set them in order of their age at his table (Gen. 43:33).

5.     He gave Benjamin five times the amount of food as the others (Gen. 43:34).

6.     They all had a joyous time around Joseph’s table as families should (Gen. 43:34).