Genesis 43:34
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When portions were served to them from Joseph's table, Benjamin's portion was five times as much as anyone else's. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

King James Bible
And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.

Darby Bible Translation
And he had portions carried to them from before him. And Benjamin's portion was five times greater than the portions of them all. And they drank, and made merry with him.

World English Bible
He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.

Young's Literal Translation
and he lifteth up gifts from before him unto them, and the gift of Benjamin is five hands more than the gifts of all of them; and they drink, yea, they drink abundantly with him.

Genesis 43:34 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs - Sir John Chardin observes that "in Persia, Arabia, and the Indies, there are several houses where they place several plates in large salvers, and set one of these before each person, or before two or three, according to the magnificence of each house. This is the method among the Hindoos; the dishes are not placed on the table, but messes are sent to each individual by the master of the feast or by his substitute. The great men of the state are always served by themselves, in the feasts that are made for them; and with greater profusion, their part of each kind of provision being always Double, Treble, or a Larger proportion of each kind of meat." The circumstance of Benjamin's having a mess Five times as large as any of his brethren, shows the peculiar honor which Joseph designed to confer upon him. See several useful observations on this subject in Harmer's Observ., vol. ii., p. 101, etc., Edit. 1808.

1. The scarcity in Canaan was not absolute; though they had no corn, they had honey, nuts, almonds, etc. In the midst of judgment, God remembers mercy. If there was scarcity in Canaan, there was plenty in Egypt; and though his providence had denied one country corn, and accumulated it in the other, his bounty had placed in the former money enough to procure it from the latter. How true is the saying, "It is never ill with any but it might be worse!" Let us be deeply thankful to God that we have any thing, seeing we deserve no good at his hands.

2. If we examine our circumstances closely, and call to remembrance the dealings of God's providence towards us, we shall find that we can sing much both of mercy and of judgment. For one day of absolute unavoidable want, we shall find we had three hundred and sixty-four, if not of fullness, yet of a competency. Famines, though rarely happening, are everywhere recorded; innumerable years of abundance are scarcely ever registered! Such is the perverseness and ingratitude of man!

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

messes.

2 Samuel 11:8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house, and wash your feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house...

was five times. Sir John Chardin observes, that in Persia, Arabia, and the Indies, there are some houses where they place several plates in large salvers, and set one of these before each person, or before two or three, according to the magnificence of each house. The great men of the state are always served by themselves, in the feasts that are made for themselves; and with great profusion, their part of each kind of provision being always double, treble, or a larger proportion of each kind of meat.

Genesis 45:22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver...

1 Samuel 1:5 But to Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

1 Samuel 9:22-24 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlor...

were merry. Heb. drank largely.

Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts.

Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works.

Ecclesiastes 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things.

Songs 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey...

Habakkuk 1:6 For, see, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land...

Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners...

John 2:10 And said to him, Every man at the beginning does set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse...

Library
Genesis
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Genesis 43:33
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