Genesis 42:22

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.”

Genesis 42:22 in Other Translations

22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
22 And Reuben answered them, "Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood."
22 “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”
22 Reuben broke in. "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't hurt the boy'? But no, you wouldn't listen. And now we're paying for his murder."
22 But Reuben replied: "Didn't I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn't listen. Now we must account for his blood!"

Genesis 42:22 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 42:22

And Reuben answered them
Being the eldest, and who had been most concerned for the life of Joseph, and most tender and careful of him: saying, spake I not unto you, saying, do not sin against the child,
and ye would not hear?
it seems by this that Reuben endeavoured to dissuade his brethren from selling Joseph, when they first proposed it, to which they would not attend; since it is certain they did hearken to him as not to kill him directly, as they first consulted, and they hearkened to him to cast him into a pit, where he did not intend he should continue, but till he had an opportunity of taking him out, and returning him to his father: but it seems probable that Reuben was with them when they first spied the Ishmaelites, and proposed to sell Joseph to them, which he objected to, and entreated they would not do it; and perhaps he went out from them, and took a circuit, with a view to get to the pit and take Joseph out, but before he got thither his brethren had taken him out, and sold him: or this may refer to the general advice he always gave them, to do nothing that might endanger the life of Joseph, or be the means of his death, which selling him for a slave he supposed had been: therefore, behold, also, his blood is required;
the Targum of Jonathan adds, "of us"; they were accessary to his death, and guilty of it; for Reuben supposed he was dead, and now they must suffer for it, as a just retaliation, being threatened with death unless they could clear themselves.

Genesis 42:22 In-Context

20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.
21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”
22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.”
23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.
24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Genesis 37:21-22
  • 2. S Genesis 9:5
  • 3. Genesis 45:24; 1 Kings 2:32; 2 Chronicles 24:22; Psalms 9:12
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