OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 44

Victor M. Eskew


I.              The Title of Genesis 44


A.   Benjamin Is Found with Joseph’s Cup

B.    Benjamin Accused; Judah Appeals

C.   Judah Seeks Life for His Father


II.            The Key Verse of Genesis 44:  Genesis 44:12


And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest:  and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.


Why this verse?  This verse fulfills the plan of Joseph from the start.  It is what creates the remaining events of the chapter.


III.          The Outline of Genesis 44


i.               THE PLOT (Gen. 44:1-2)

ii.              THE PROBE (Gen. 44:3-14)

iii.            THE PUNISHMENT (Gen. 44:15-17)

iv.            THE PLEA (Gen. 44:18-34)


IV.          The Lessons of Genesis 44


A.   The work of a steward is to obey his master’s instructions (Gen. 44:1-2).


And he commanded the steward of his house….And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.


B.    Others can plot evil against us with our being aware of it (Gen. 44:1-5).


C.   Is it really possible to reward evil for good? (Gen. 44:4)


And when they were gone out of the city, and not far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up follow after the men:  and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?


1.     Children often reward their parents evil for good.

2.     Employees can reward their companies evil for good.

3.     Members of the local church reward their congregation evil for good.

4.     Churches can render evil for good to preachers.


D.   Some troubling situations do not ever seem to go away (Gen. 44:6).


And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.

1.     How did Joseph’s brothers feel when they saw the steward approaching and when he made his accusation?

2.     It seemed that every time they came to Egypt trouble befell them.


E.    Pleas of innocence, good deeds of the past, and a willingness to be subject to severe penalties will not overcome the plots of others against us (Gen. 44:7-9).

1.     Innocence (Gen. 44:7):  God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing.

2.     Good deeds of the past (Gen. 44:8):  Behold, the money which we found in our sack’s mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan.

3.     Severe punishment (Gen. 44:9):  With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondsmen.


F.     The plots of others against us can be successful (Gen. 44:12).


And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest:  and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.


G.   When we appear guilty before others, all we can do is throw ourselves upon the altar of their mercy (Gen. 44:14, 16).


And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there:  and they fell before him on the ground….and Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord, what shall we speak?  Or how shall we clear ourselves?  God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants:  behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.


H.   Appeals to those in authority should be made with humility and respect (Gen. 44:18).


Then Judah came near unto him, and said, O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant:  for thou art even as Pharaoh.


I.     An honorable man will keep his word.

1.     Judah had promised his father he would protect Benjamin.

2.     He steps up to the plate and makes his case to Joseph (Gen. 44:18, 33).


Then Judah came near unto him…Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad to up with his brethren.


J.    The bond that existed between Jacob and Benjamin is now referred to as co-dependency (Gen. 44:30).


Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life.



K.   Both love and guilt can cause us not to desire to see the affliction of another and do all we can to protect him therefrom.

1.     Judah had mentioned the demise of Joseph (Gen. 44:28).  Could guilt be associated with his desire to protect his father?

2.     Genesis 44:34 seems to indicate that his love was protecting his father.  He did not want to see his father’s suffering if Benjamin was not allowed to go home.


For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me?  Lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.


L.    The word “evil” in Genesis 44:34 is a strong word.  Note that it is used to describe the affliction Jacob would suffer in the loss of Benjamin.  It is translated with such terms as adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displeasure, distress, grief, harm, hurt, ill, misery, sad, sorrow, and wretchedness.


M.   What were some of the negotiation tactics Judah used to convince Joseph to take him instead of taking Benjamin?