Genesis 42:23

23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

Genesis 42:23 in Other Translations

KJV
23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
ESV
23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them.
NLT
23 Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.
MSG
23 Joseph had been using an interpreter, so they didn't know that Joseph was understanding every word.
CSB
23 They did not realize that Joseph understood them, since there was an interpreter between them.

Genesis 42:23 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 42:23

And they knew not that Joseph understood [them]
For what is above related they spoke in his presence and hearing; but speaking to one another in the Hebrew language, and he being an Egyptian, as they took him to be, they did not imagine that he could understand them, and therefore were not at all upon their guard in what they said: and what confirmed them in this was, for he spake unto them by an interpreter;
which he the rather chose to do, that they might have no suspicion of him; and which shows, that though there was a likeness between the Hebrew language and the Egyptian in many things, yet in some they differed, and the difference was such that there was need of an interpreter, where the parties did not understand both languages: this interpreter between Joseph and his brethren, according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, was Manasseh, the eldest son of Joseph, and so Jarchi; which is very improbable, he being but a child at this time, if not an infant; see ( Genesis 41:50 Genesis 41:51 ) .

Genesis 42:23 In-Context

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.
25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them,

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