Genesis 42:31
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies.

King James Bible
And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:

American Standard Version
And we said unto him, We are true men; and we are no spies:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And we answered him: We are peaceable men, and we mean no plot.

English Revised Version
And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:

Webster's Bible Translation
And we said to him, We are true men; we are no spies:

Genesis 42:31 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

On the third day Joseph modified his severity. "This do and live," i.e., then ye shall live: "I fear God." One shall remain in prison, but let the rest of you take home "corn for the famine of your families," and fetch your youngest brother, that your words may be verified, and ye may not die, i.e., may not suffer the death that spies deserve. That he might not present the appearance of despotic caprice and tyranny by too great severity, and so render his brethren obdurate, Joseph stated as the reason for his new decision, that he feared God. From the fear of God, he, the lord of Egypt, would not punish or slay these strangers upon mere suspicion, but would judge them justly. How differently had they acted towards their brother! The ruler of all Egypt had compassion on their families who were in Canaan suffering from hunger; but they had intended to leave their brother in the pit to starve! These and similar thoughts could hardly fail to pass involuntarily through their minds at Joseph's words, and to lead them to a penitential acknowledgement of their sin and unrighteousness. The notion that Joseph altered his first intention merely from regard to his much afflicted father, appears improbable, for the simple reason, that he can only have given utterance to the threat that he should keep them all in prison till one of them had gone and fetched Benjamin, for the purpose of giving the greater force to his accusation, that they were spies. But as he was not serious in making this charge, he could not for a moment have thought of actually carrying out the threat. "And they did so:" in these words the writer anticipates the result of the colloquy which ensued, and which is more fully narrated afterwards. Joseph's intention was fulfilled. The brothers now saw in what had happened to them a divine retribution: "Surely we atone because of our brother, whose anguish of soul we saw, when he entreated us and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." And Reuben reminded them how he had warned them to no purpose, not to sin against the boy - "and even his blood...behold it is required" (cf. Genesis 9:5); i.e., not merely the sin of casting him into the pit and then selling him, but his death also, of which we have been guilty through that sale. Thus they accused themselves in Joseph's presence, not knowing that he could understand; "for the interpreter was between them." Joseph had conversed with them through an interpreter, as an Egyptian who was ignorant of their language. "The interpreter," viz., the one appointed for that purpose; בּינות like Genesis 26:28. But Joseph understood their words, and "turned away and wept" (Genesis 42:24), with inward emotion at the wonderful leadings of divine grace, and at the change in his brothers' feelings. He then turned to them again, and, continuing the conversation with them, had Simeon bound before their eyes, to be detained as a hostage (not Reuben, who had dissuaded them from killing Joseph, and had taken no part in the sale, but Simeon, the next in age). He then ordered his men to fill their sacks with corn, to give every one (אישׁ as in Genesis 15:10) his money back in his sack, and to provide them with food for the journey.

Genesis 42:31 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

true.

Genesis 42:11 We are all one man's sons; we are true men, your servants are no spies.

Cross References
Genesis 42:11
We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies."

Genesis 42:32
We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.'

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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