Back to Egypt: The Generosity That Brings Conversion (Chaps. 43–44)

Thomas L. Brodie

in Genesis as Dialogue

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780195138368
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834037 | DOI:
 								Back to Egypt: The Generosity That Brings Conversion (Chaps. 43–44)

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The brothers’ conversion advances in two stages. First, following a courageous decision to return to Egypt, they are reassured by a generous meal (Genesis 43). Then, when Joseph's cup is found in Benjamin's sack, Judah lays his life on the line to save the youngest brother – thus completely reversing the sinfulness that was once directed against Joseph (Genesis 44). The conversion is complete. Judah's speech (44:18–34) is long, second only to that of Abraham's servant in Genesis 24. The splendid meal implies that, as in the prophets, Joseph's form of justice is based on generosity (not on the weighing‐scale precision of the Greeks).

Keywords: Benjamin; conversion; generosity; Genesis; Greek; Joseph; Judah; justice; prophetic

Chapter.  4366 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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