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Genesis 44:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then 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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Judah approached him, and said, “Oh my lord, may your servant please speak a word in my lord’s ears, and do not be angry with your servant; for you are equal to Pharaoh.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then Judah came near to him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thy anger burn against thy servant; for thou [art] even as Pharaoh.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Then Judah came near to him, and said, Ah! 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.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then Judah drew near unto him, and said—Pardon, my lord! Pray let thy servant speak a word in the ears of my lord, and do not let thine anger be kindled against thy servant,—for, thus, art, thou, as Pharaoh!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Judah cometh nigh unto him, and saith, 'O, my lord, let thy servant speak, I pray thee, a word in the ears of my lord, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant—for thou art as Pharaoh.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Then Juda coming nearer, said boldly: I beseech thee, my lord, let thy servant speak a word in thy ears, and be not angry with thy servant: for after Pharao thou art.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then Iudah came neere vnto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy seruant, I pray thee, speake a word in my lords eares, & let not thine anger burne against thy seruant: for thou art euen as Pharaoh.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Judah{gr.Judas} drew near him, and said, I pray, Sir, let thy servant speak a word before thee, and be not angry with thy servant, for thou art next to Pharaoh{gr.Pharao}.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then Yehudah came near unto him, and said, Oh my adon, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my adon's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou [art] even as Paroh.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then Yh יְהוּדָה 3063
{3063} Prime
יְהוּדָה
Y@huwdah
{yeh-hoo-daw'}
From H3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.
came near 5066
{5066} Prime
נגשׁ
nagash
{naw-gash'}
A primitive root; to be or come (causatively bring) near (for any purpose); euphemistically to lie with a woman; as an enemy, to attack; religiously to worship; causatively to present; figuratively to adduce an argument; by reversal, to stand back.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto him, x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
and said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Oh 994
{0994} Prime
בִּי
biy
{bee}
Perhaps from H1158 (in the sense of asking); properly a request; used only adverbially (always with 'my Lord'); Oh that!; with leave, or if it please.
my n אֲדוֹן, 113
{0113} Prime
אָדוֹן
'adown
{aw-done'}
From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine).
let thy servant, 5650
{5650} Prime
עֶבֶד
`ebed
{eh'-bed}
From H5647; a servant.
I pray thee, x4994
(4994) Complement
נָא
na'
{naw}
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
speak 1696
{1696} Prime
דִּבֵּר
dabar
{daw-bar'}
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
a word 1697
{1697} Prime
דָּבָר
dabar
{daw-baw'}
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
in my n's אֲדוֹן 113
{0113} Prime
אָדוֹן
'adown
{aw-done'}
From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine).
ears, 241
{0241} Prime
אֹזֶן
'ozen
{o'-zen}
From H0238; broadness, that is, (concretely) the ear (from its form in man).
and let not x408
(0408) Complement
אַל
'al
{al}
A negative particle (akin to H3808); not (the qualified negation, used as a deprecative); once (Job 24:25) as a noun, nothing.
thine anger 639
{0639} Prime
אַף
'aph
{af}
From H0599; properly the nose or nostril; hence the face, and occasionally a person; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire.
burn 2734
{2734} Prime
חָרָה
charah
{khaw-raw'}
A primitive root (compare H2787); to glow or grow warm; figuratively (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
against thy servant: 5650
{5650} Prime
עֶבֶד
`ebed
{eh'-bed}
From H5647; a servant.
for x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
thou [art] even as x3644
(3644) Complement
כְמוֹ
k@mow
{kem-o'}
A form of the prefix K, but used separately (compare H3651); as, thus, so.
Par` פַּרעֹה. 6547
{6547} Prime
פַּרְעֹה
Par`oh
{par-o'}
Of Egyptian derivation; Paroh, a generic title of Egyptian kings.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Genesis 44:16-34.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 44:18-34

_ _ We have here a most ingenious and pathetic speech which Judah made to Joseph on Benjamin's behalf, to obtain his discharge from the sentence passed upon him. Perhaps Judah was a better friend to Benjamin than the rest were, and more solicitous to bring him off; or he thought himself under greater obligations to attempt it than the rest, because he had passed his word to his father for his safe return; or the rest chose him for their spokesman, because he was a man of better sense, and better spirit, and had a greater command of language than any of them. His address, as it is here recorded, is so very natural and so expressive of his present feelings that we cannot but suppose Moses, who wrote it so long after, to have written it under the special direction of him that made man's mouth.

_ _ I. A great deal of unaffected art, and unstudied unforced rhetoric, there is in this speech. 1. He addresses himself to Joseph with a great deal of respect and deference, calls him his lord, himself and his brethren his servants, begs his patient hearing, and ascribes sovereign authority to him: “Thou art even as Pharaoh, one whose favour we desire and whose wrath we dread as we do Pharaoh's.” Religion does not destroy good manners, and it is prudence to speak respectfully to those at whose mercy we lie: titles of honour to those that are entitled to them are not flattering titles. 2. He represented Benjamin as one well worthy of his compassionate consideration (Genesis 44:20); he was a little one, compared with the rest of them; the youngest, not acquainted with the world, nor ever inured to hardship, having always been brought up tenderly with his father. It made the case the more pitiable that he alone was left of his mother, and his brother was dead, namely, Joseph. Little did Judah think what a tender point he touched upon now. Judah knew that Joseph was sold, and therefore had reason enough to think that he was alive; at least he could not be sure that he was dead: but they had made their father believe he was dead; and now they had told that lie so long that they had forgotten the truth, and begun to believe the lie themselves. 3. He urged it very closely that Joseph had himself constrained them to bring Benjamin with them, had expressed a desire to see him (Genesis 44:21), and had forbidden them his presence unless they brought Benjamin with them (Genesis 44:23, Genesis 44:26), all which intimated that he designed him some kindness; and must he be brought with so much difficulty to the preferment of a perpetual slavery? Was he not brought to Egypt, in obedience, purely in obedience, to the command of Joseph? and would he not show him some mercy? Some observe that Jacob's sons, in reasoning with their father, had said, We will not go down unless Benjamin go with us (Genesis 43:5); but that when Judah comes to relate the story he expresses it more decently: “We cannot go down with any expectation to speed well.” Indecent words spoken in haste to our superiors should be recalled and amended. 4. The great argument he insisted upon was the insupportable grief it would be to his aged father if Benjamin should be left behind in servitude: His father loveth him, Genesis 44:20. This they had pleaded against Joseph's insisting on his coming down (Genesis 44:22): “If he should leave his father, his father would die; much more if now he be left behind, never more to return to him.” This the old man, of whom they spoke, had pleaded against his going down: If mischief befal him, you shall bring down my gray hairs, that crown of glory, with sorrow to the grave, Genesis 44:29. This therefore Judah presses with a great deal of earnestness: “His life is bound up in the lad's life (Genesis 44:30); when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will faint away, and die immediately (Genesis 44:31), or will abandon himself to such a degree of sorrow as will, in a few days, make an end of him.” And, lastly, Judah pleads that, for his part, he could not bear to see this: Let me not see the evil that shall come on my father, Genesis 44:34. Note, It is the duty of children to be very tender of their parents' comfort, and to be afraid of every thing that may be an occasion of grief to them. Thus the love that descended first must again ascend, and something must be done towards a recompense for their care. 5. Judah, in honour to the justice of Joseph's sentence, and to show his sincerity in this plea, offers himself to become a bondsman instead of Benjamin, Genesis 44:33. Thus the law would be satisfied; Joseph would be no loser (for we may suppose Judah a more able-bodied man than Benjamin, and fitter for service); and Jacob would better bear the loss of him than of Benjamin. Now, so far was he from grieving at his father's particular fondness for Benjamin, that he was himself willing to be a bondman to indulge it.

_ _ Now, had Joseph been, as Judah supposed him, an utter stranger to the family, yet even common humanity could not but be wrought upon by such powerful reasonings as these; for nothing could be said more moving, more tender; it was enough to melt a heart of stone. But to Joseph, who was nearer akin to Benjamin than Judah himself was, and who, at this time, felt a greater affection both for him and his aged father than Judah did, nothing could be more pleasingly nor more happily said. Neither Jacob nor Benjamin needed an intercessor with Joseph; for he himself loved them.

_ _ II. Upon the whole matter let us take notice, 1. How prudently Judah suppressed all mention of the crime that was charged upon Benjamin. Had he said any thing by way of acknowledgment of it, he would have reflected on Benjamin's honesty, and seemed too forward to suspect that; had he said any thing by way of denial of it, he would have reflected on Joseph's justice, and the sentence he had passed: therefore he wholly waives that head, and appeals to Joseph's pity. Compare with this that of Job, in humbling himself before God (Job 9:15), Though I were righteous, yet would I not answer; I would not argue, but petition; I would make supplication to my Judge. 2. What good reason dying Jacob had to say, Judah, thou art he whom they brethren shall praise (Genesis 49:8), for he excelled them all in boldness, wisdom, eloquence, and especially tenderness for their father and family. 3. Judah's faithful adherence to Benjamin, now in his distress, was recompensed long after by the constant adherence of the tribe of Benjamin to the tribe of Judah, when all the other ten tribes deserted it. 4. How fitly does the apostle, when he is discoursing of the mediation of Christ, observe, that our Lord sprang out of Judah (Hebrews 7:14); for, like his father Judah, he not only made intercession for the transgressors, but he became a surety for them, as it follows there (Genesis 44:22), testifying therein a very tender concern both for his father and for his brethren.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 44:18

And Judah said — We have here a most pathetic speech which Judah made to Joseph on Benjamin's behalf. Either Judah was a better friend to Benjamin than the rest, and more solicitous to bring him off; or he thought himself under greater obligations to endeavour it than the rest, because he had passed his word to his father for his safe return. His address, as it is here recorded, is so very natural, and so expressive of his present passion, that we cannot but suppose Moses, who wrote it so long after, to have written it under the special direction of him that made man's mouth. A great deal of unaffected art, and unstudied rhetoric there is in this speech. He addressed himself to Joseph with a great deal of respect calls him his lord, himself and his brethren his servants, begs his patient hearing, and passeth a mighty compliment upon him, Thou art even as Pharaoh, whose favour we desire, and whose wrath we dread as we do Pharaoh's. He represented Benjamin as one well worthy of his compassionate consideration, he was a little one, compared with the rest; the youngest, not acquainted with the world, nor inured to hardship, having been always brought up tenderly with his father. It made the case the more piteous that he alone was left of his mother, and his brother was dead, viz. Joseph; little did Judah think what a tender point he touched upon now. Judah knew that Joseph was sold, and therefore had reason enough to think that he was not alive. He urged it closely that Joseph had himself constrained them to bring Benjamin with them, had expressed a desire to see him, had forbidden them his presence, unless they brought Benjamin with them, all which intimated, that he designed him some kindness. And must he be brought with so much difficulty to the preferment of a perpetual slavery? Was he not brought to Egypt in obedience, purely in obedience to the command of Joseph, and would not he shew him some mercy? The great argument he insists upon was the insupportable grief it would be to his aged father, if Benjamin should be left behind in servitude. His father loves him, Genesis 44:20. Thus they had pleaded against Joseph's insisting on his coming down Genesis 44:22. If he should leave his father, his father would die, much more if he now be left behind, never to return. This the old man of whom they spake, had pleaded against his going down. If mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my grey hairs, that crown of glory, with sorrow to the grave. This therefore Judah presseth with a great deal of earnestness, his life is bound up in the lad's life, when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will faint away and die immediately, or will abandon himself to such a degree of sorrow, as will, in a few days, make an end of him, And (lastly) Judah pleads, that, for his part, he could not bear to see this. Let me not see the evil that shall come on my father. Judah, in honour to the justice of Joseph's sentence, and to shew his sincerity in this plea, offers himself to become a bond — man instead of Benjamin. Thus the law would be satisfied; Joseph would be no loser, for we may suppose Judah a more able bodied man than Benjamin; Jacob would better bear that than the loss of Benjamin. Now, so far was he from grieving at his father's particular fondness for Benjamin, than he is himself willing to be a bond — man to indulge it.

Now, had Joseph been, as Judah supposed, an utter stranger to the family, yet even common humanity could not but be wrought upon by such powerful reasonings as these; for nothing could be said more moving, more tender; it was enough to melt a heart of stone: but to Joseph, who was nearer a — kin to Benjamin than Judah himself, and who, at this time, felt a greater passion for him and his aged father, than Judah did, nothing could be more pleasingly nor more happily said. Neither Jacob nor Benjamin needed an intercessor with Joseph, for he himself loved them. Upon the whole, let us take notice, How prudently Judah suppressed all mention of the crime that was charged upon Benjamin. Had he said any thing by way of acknowledgment of it, he had reflected on Benjamin's honesty. Had he said any thing by way of denial of it, he had reflected on Joseph's justice; therefore he wholly waves that head, and appeals to Joseph's pity. What good reason dying Jacob had to say, Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise, Genesis 49:8, for he excelled them all in boldness, wisdom, eloquence, and especially tenderness for their father and family. Judah's faithful adherence to Benjamin now in his distress was recompensed long after, by the constant adherence of the tribe of Benjamin to the tribe of Judah, when all the other ten tribes deserted it.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 44:18

Then 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 (e) as Pharaoh.

(e) Equal in authority or, next to the king.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Oh my Lord:
"No paraphrase," says Dr. A. Clarke, "can heighten the effect of Judah's address to Joseph. To add, would be to diminish its excellence; to attempt to explain, would be to obscure its beauties; to clothe the ideas in other language than that of Judah, and his translators in our Bible, would ruin its energy, and destroy its influence. It is perhaps one of the most tender, affecting pieces of natural oratory ever spoken or penned, and we need not wonder to find that, when Joseph heard it, he could not refrain himself, but wept aloud. His soul must have been insensible beyond what is common to human nature, had he not immediately yielded to a speech so delicately tender, and so powerfully impressive."

let thy:

Genesis 18:30 And he said [unto him], Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do [it], if I find thirty there.
Genesis 18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for ten's sake.
2 Samuel 14:12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak [one] word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.
Job 33:31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.
Acts 2:29 Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

anger:

Exodus 32:22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they [are set] on mischief.
Esther 1:12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by [his] chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
Psalms 79:5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

as Pharaoh:

Genesis 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
Genesis 41:44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I [am] Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
Proverbs 19:12 The king's wrath [is] as the roaring of a lion; but his favour [is] as dew upon the grass.
Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Daniel 3:19-23 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: [therefore] he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. ... And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
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Gn 18:30, 32; 41:40, 44. Ex 32:22. 2S 14:12. Es 1:12. Jb 33:31. Ps 79:5. Pv 19:12. Dn 3:15, 19; 5:19. Jn 5:22. Ac 2:29.

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