Genesis 44:4

4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil?

Genesis 44:4 in Other Translations

KJV
4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?
ESV
4 They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, "Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good?
NLT
4 But when they had gone only a short distance and were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you repaid my kindness with such evil?
MSG
4 They were barely out of the city when Joseph said to his house steward, "Run after them. When you catch up with them, say, 'Why did you pay me back evil for good?
CSB
4 They had not gone very far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, "Get up. Pursue the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good?

Genesis 44:4 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 44:4

[And] when they were gone out of the city, [and] not [yet] far
off
Which perhaps was Tanis, the Zoan of the Scriptures; see ( Ezekiel 30:14 ) , margin; Joseph said unto his steward, up, follow after the men;
who no doubt was ready provided with men and horses, to go out and pursue when Joseph should give the orders, he being privy to Joseph's intentions, and with whom the scheme was concerted, and the secret was. Joseph appears to have been up very early this morning, and had observed the exact time of his brethren's departure, and guessed whereabouts they might be when he sent his steward, and others after them; for it can hardly be thought he was sent alone after eleven men, and to charge them with a theft, and bring them back again: and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, wherefore have ye
rewarded evil for good?
in taking away the silver cup, when they had been so kindly and bountifully entertained. This he was to represent as base ingratitude, as it would have appeared, had it been fact. In much such manner was Esop used by the inhabitants of Delphos; they, being displeased with him, put a sacred cup or vial into his bags, which he, being ignorant of, went on his way towards Phocis; and they ran after him, and seized him, and charged him with sacrilege F8.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 Scholia ad Vespes Aristophanis, p. 534. Ed. Genev. 1607.

Genesis 44:4 In-Context

2 Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.
3 As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil?
5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’ ”
6 When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Genesis 43:16
  • 2. Psalms 35:12; Psalms 38:20; Psalms 109:5; Proverbs 17:13; Jeremiah 18:20