I love this portion of Scripture for several reasons:
- Judah steps up to the plate and takes leadership in a situation which has stalled and has become critical. (they had eaten all their grain!-v.1) This is especially significant because (although Jacob doesn't know it) it had been Judah's idea to sell Joseph into slavery in the first place.
- Judah reminds his father that the survival of the entire family depends upon taking immediate action. If they have eaten all their supplies, it is evident that Jacob has been unwilling to make a decision up until now.
- Judah assumes personal responsibility for Benjamin. It's just the right thing to do. No nonsense about 'you can kill my sons if I fail' like Reuben gave (for Jacob would never kill his grandsons anyway). Judah just puts himself out there.
- It's interesting that this fourth son of Jacob rises to prominence in the family affairs. Normally he would have been expected to play only a supporting role, but in the wisdom and plan of God, Judah will be the son whose family line will lead to the Messiah.
- I love the bickering.(v.10). Oddly, it serves to reinforce the idea of the accuracy of the Biblical text. Otherwise who else would include such family squabbling?!