Judah Offers Himself For Benjamin

“And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:” (Genesis 43:8-9)

When we consider what we know thus far about Judah, this offer on his part seems entirely out-of-character. This is the same Judah who made the suggestion to sell Joseph into slavery back in Genesis 37:27; the same man who ordered that his daughter-in-law, Tamar, be put to death for harlotry back in Genesis 38:24. This is the first truly selfless and noble gesture that we see him make. If there is any doubt that there has been a change in Joseph’s brothers, we are certainly beginning to see evidence of it. Judah confessed his guilt over what he intended to do to Tamar (Gen. 38:26) and, along with his other brothers, confessed his sin over what he did to Joseph (Gen. 42:21). But mere acknowledgment of wrong-doing does not always indicate a repentant heart. A change in behavior is a better sign that a genuine repentance has occurred. And it seems that such a change has happened in the heart of Judah.

That Judah’s offer is not merely so many idle words is proven when the time comes for him to make good on his surety (Gen. 44:33). The same man who callously sold one brother for twenty pieces of silver (Gen. 37:28) will later offer to give his very life to save another. What a fortunate young man Benjamin was to have someone willing to give himself for him. Yet we, too, have One Who not only offered to do the same, but indeed did so. A Descendant from the tribe of Judah would later come and offer Himself as a surety for anyone who would believe on Him (Mark 10:45).

4 responses

  1. You show us so much within this short section of scripture. I remember wondering how Joseph felt about Judah being willing to protect Benjamin, but not him at that earlier time. I think he was thankful and also noticed the behavior change you mentioned! :) And that Jesus would be of the tribe of Judah . . .I love how God works and teaches in everything! Thank you, Loren, for using your gift of teaching for Him and for us! :)

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  2. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4)

    It really is amazing to see the nuggets of spiritual truth that the Holy Spirit has woven into the stories of the Old Testament :) It is an absolute joy to write about these things. I have been learning so much through the study and preparation for these posts and am so happy and privileged to share it with others! Thanks so much for your comments, Deb, you have no idea how blessed I am by your encouragement :) God bless you.

    Loren

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  3. […] The answer, I believe, lies in the fact that Judah dealt with his sin and turned from it. We saw back in Chapter 43 that Judah was a changed man after his sins against Joseph and his own daughter-in-law. Therefore, […]

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  4. Hi Loren,

    A change in behavior is a better sign that a genuine repentance has occurred.

    That is so very true especially for today. Without a change in action, a mere acknowledgment that something is wrong/sin only means one has correct head knowledge. Confessing and changing one’s ways shows repentance.

    Great post Loren.

    Like

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