Reading through the Bible together
The drama continues. Jacob does not want to send Benjamin to Egypt. We also see evidences of a change in the brothers. They sympathize with Jacob and seem to now support Benjamin as the favored son. Perhaps in an attempt to assuage a guilty conscience, Reuben offers to be responsible for Benjamin's safety by telling Jacob he can slay his "two son" if he fails to return Benjamin safe and sound (Gen 42:37). Perhaps Reuben is till trying to regain favor with his father as well.
The drive to survive, however, finally forces Jacob's hand. After Jacob chastises the boys for volunteering that there was one more brother at home, Judah intervenes. Judah the antagonist now begins to become Judah, co-hero. He makes himself surety to Jacob for the safety of Benjamin. This is not the same Judah we saw in Gen 37, scheming to gain power in the family.
The drama now thickens with Benjamin entering Egypt with his brothers. Joseph now tests the brothers for jealousy against Benjamin by giving him more gifts, bigger servings of food, etc. No indicators of jealousy erupt. They may merry with Joseph, not knowing who he is.
Professor of Theology and Ethics
Southern Adventist University
Collegedale, Tennessee, USA