The Cup is Found; Judah Pleads

“…the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.” (Genesis 44:12)

The steward caught up to the brothers and accused them of stealing the cup. They were shocked at this accusation. They replied, “Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing.” (Genesis 44:7) They even replied, “With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen.” (Genesis 44:9)

The steward replied, “Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.” (Genesis 44:10) Only the one with the cup would be punished. The steward searched, “…and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.” (Genesis 44:12)

The brothers were no doubt stunned, but they didn’t desert Benjamin. “…they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.” (Genesis 44:13) They all went back to Egypt.

Genesis 44:15 says, “And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.” Judah said to Joseph, “…what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.” (Genesis 44:16)

Joseph replied that only Benjamin would be taken: “And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.” (Genesis 44:17)

“Then Judah came near unto him,” (Genesis 44:18) Judah recounted to the governor how he had asked about their father and brother, and they told of their father, youngest brother, and a brother who (they thought) was dead. Judah also recounted how the governor told them to bring the youngest brother next time or they would not see his face, and obviously not get more food.

Judah told how they told Jacob what he had said, and Jacob didn’t want to send Benjamin, but Judah said, “If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.” (Genesis 44:32) Jacob reluctantly agreed. Finally Judah pleaded to Joseph, “Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.” (Genesis 44:33)

Joseph saw his brothers had become God-fearing and had a change of heart. He saw that Judah loved Jacob enough to give up his life rather than break Jacob’s heart. Judah also loved Benjamin enough to pay his punishment so he could be free and be with his father; just like Jesus was willing to die for us on the cross so we could be freed from slavery to sin and eternal hell and be with God our heavenly Father.

Joseph kept his composure until Judah made his plea. “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.” (Genesis 45:1)

This is a great story, but it’s not just about family relationships. As we will see, it is an illustration of the love of the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice for us. If you want to see from the Bible how to have forgiveness of all your sins and a home in heaven by receiving Jesus, God the Son, as your personal Saviour, please go to, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 2/9/2023

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822