Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 44

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Joseph (c 37-50)
Message: Joseph Sees Repentance (v 1-34)

Genesis 44 Commentary

(44:1-2) Joseph Plans a Reunion - Joseph's silver cup was a symbol of his authority. It was thought to have supernatural powers, and to steal it would be a serious crime. Such goblets were used for predicting the future. A person poured water into the cup and interpreted the reflections, ripples, and bubbles. Joseph wouldn't have needed his cup, since God told him everything he needed to know about the future.

(44:13) The Brothers are Sorry - Rending or ripping clothes was an expression of deep sorrow, a customary manner of showing grief. The brothers were terrified that Benjamin might be harmed
(44:16-34) Judah Repents - When Judah was younger, he had shown no regard for his brother Joseph or his father, Jacob. First he had convinced his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave (37:27); then he had joined his brothers in lying to his father about Joseph's fate (37:32). But what a change had taken place in Judah! The man who had sold one favored little brother into slavery now offered to become a slave himself to save another favored little brother. He was so concerned for his father and younger brother that he was willing to die for them. When you are ready to give up hope on yourself or someone else, remember that God can work a complete change in even the most selfish personality.

(44:18-34) Judah Steps Forward - Judah finally could take no more and stepped forward to plead their case. This was risky because Joseph could have had him killed. But Judah courageously defended himself and his brothers and pleaded for mercy. And he offered to put himself in Benjamin's place. At times we should be silent, but at times we should speak up, even if there could be serious repercussions. When faced with a situation that needs a strong voice and courageous action, remember Judah and speak up.

(44:32-33) Judah Sacrifices - Judah had promised Jacob that he would guarantee young Benjamin's safety (43:9). Now Judah had a chance to keep that promise. Becoming a slave was a terrible fate, but Judah was determined to keep his word to his father. He showed great courage in carrying out his promise. Accepting a responsibility means carrying it out with determination and courage, regardless of the personal sacrifice.

(44:33) Joseph Sees Repentance -  Joseph wanted to see if his brothers' attitudes had changed for the better, so he cleverly tested the way they treated each other. Judah, the brother who had stepped forward with the plan to sell Joseph (37:27), now stepped forward to take Benjamin's punishment so that Benjamin could return to their father. This courageous act convinced Joseph that his brothers had dramatically changed for the better.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Passing the Test

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 44, and in today's text, we see the Lord restore Jacob's family through the leadership of Joseph. Today we see Joseph place a test for his brothers to see how they would respond to each other and if they had truly changed. A test that they would eventually pass. In applying, we see that God has a will for our lives, and he uses "tests" in our lives through our needs and circumstances. These "tests" sift and change us, bringing us to repentance and obedience. I have had to take these "tests" and have seen the Lord humble me and sand off the rough edges of my life. Like the Potter and the Clay, our Lord is faithful to shape us through these "tests" in our lives as He never gives up on us. How about you? Do you see these "tests" the Lord allows in our lives to shape us? Let us learn from today's text with the account of Joseph and his brothers to see that the Lord is continually working in our lives and uses "tests" that we need to pass as the Lord shapes our lives.


Genesis 44

Genesis 44

 1And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.

 2And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

 3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.

 4And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet 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?

 5Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

 6And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.

 7And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing:

 8Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?

 9With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen.

 10And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.

 11Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.

 12And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.

 13Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

 14And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.

 15And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?

 16And 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.

 17And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.

 18Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh 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.

 19My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother?

 20And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.

 21And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.

 22And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.

 23And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.

 24And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.

 25And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.

 26And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us.

 27And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons:

 28And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:

 29And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

 30Now 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;

 31It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.

 32For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.

 33Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

 34For 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.