Thursday, March 31, 2011

Genesis 44:18-29 Judah's Story

"Then Judah went up to him and said, 'Please, my lord, let your servant speak a word to my lord.  Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself.  My lord asked his servants, 'Do you have a father, or a brother?'  And we answered, 'We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age.  His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother's sons left, and his father loves him.'

'Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down here so that I can see him for myself.'  And we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.'  But you told your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.'  When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.

Then our father said, 'Go back and buy a little more food.'  But we said, 'We cannot go down.  Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go.  We cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.'

Your servant my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons.  One of them went away from me, and I said, "He has surely been torn to pieces."  And I have not seen him since.  If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my grey head down to the grave in misery.'

So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy's life, sees that the boy isn't there, he will die.  Your servants will bring the grey head of our father down to the grave in sorrow.  Your servant guaranteed the boy's safety to my father.  I said, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!'

Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord's slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.  How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me?  No!  Do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father.' " (Genesis 44:18-34 NIV)

Judah's impassioned plea is truly amazing.  He manages to tell the whole series of events in a concise way, and yet the tale is full of drama and emotion.  We see a new Judah here.  No longer is he the jealous brother of past years, greedy for gain at his brother's expense.  Now he is the protective leader of all of the brothers, selflessly willing to give his own life for the life of his youngest brother, and deeply concerned that his father will be able to live out his last days in peace.

Judah can tell by the strange expression on his listener's face that this Egyptian official is clearly moved by his speech.  However, I imagine that he is also somewhat frightened when that same official orders everybody else besides the brothers to clear the room. (Genesis 45:1)

No comments:

Post a Comment