Judah’s Plea For Benjamin

Ken Bailey was a laborer on the Alaska Pipeline back in the mid 70’s. He worked up in the icy cold for a year and came back home and decided to visit church. The first Sunday he walked through the doors and sat in the back seat. He had a beard, looked like a Grizzly bear an … More


One of the brothers, Judah, who had told their father that he would be responsible for Benjamin steps forward and begs Joseph to be allowed to stay in Benjamin’s place (vv. 18-34). He tearfully tells Joseph that their old father Jacob will die if anything happens to Benjamin (v. 23). This was certainly a very moving scene and demonstrates his concern for his father who would surely die if Benjamin did not return with them. This truly shows a change of heart when just a few years  prior to this these same brothers were willing to break the heart of Jacob when they showed him Joseph’s bloodstained robe (v, 29). His plea also reminds us of the Lord Jesus who later was willing to be offered up for the sins of His people.

Up until this moment there was insufficient evidence of repentance. Previous chapters have indicated that Joseph’s brothers recognized their suffering as the result of their sin, but at best they felt only regret. Regret is no more than what we would expect from anyone who is faced with the unpleasant consequences of sin. Every prisoner regrets their crime, or at least the fact that they were caught. But repentance is more than regret. The regrets of Judah and his brothers had not brought them to the point of confessing their sin to Jacob nor of making any attempt to learn of Joseph’s fate. But now, given the opportunity to repeat of their sin, there is a significant change of heart and action on the part of Joseph’s brothers. Judah was willing to become the slave of Joseph, even though he was declared innocent of the theft of the silver cup (v. 33). He could not stand the thought of causing any further suffering. That, my friend, is genuine repentanceRepentance recognizes sin and is genuinely sorry for it, so much so that this sin will be shunned and a new course of action will be sought.


If someone you are close to was accused of something and had to go to jail  would you be willing to offer your life in their place? This is what Judah offered to do for his brothers and this is what Jesus did for us.

Genesis 44:18-34 (English Standard Version)

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