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Genesis 42:23

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

Read Genesis 42:23 Using Other Translations

And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them.
Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.

What does Genesis 42:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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 ) .

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