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Genesis as DialogueA Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary$
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Thomas L. Brodie

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195138368.001.0001

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Back to Egypt: The Generosity That Brings Conversion (Chaps. 43–44)

Back to Egypt: The Generosity That Brings Conversion (Chaps. 43–44)

An Initial Turningand Joseph's Generous Meal (Chap. 43)

The Final TurningBack, Led by Judah (Chap. 44)

(p.380) 38 Back to Egypt: The Generosity That Brings Conversion (Chaps. 43–44)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

The brothers’ conversion advances in two stages. First, following a courageous decision to return to Egypt, they are reassured by a generous meal (Genesis 43). Then, when Joseph's cup is found in Benjamin's sack, Judah lays his life on the line to save the youngest brother – thus completely reversing the sinfulness that was once directed against Joseph (Genesis 44). The conversion is complete. Judah's speech (44:18–34) is long, second only to that of Abraham's servant in Genesis 24. The splendid meal implies that, as in the prophets, Joseph's form of justice is based on generosity (not on the weighing‐scale precision of the Greeks).

Keywords:   Benjamin, conversion, generosity, Genesis, Greek, Joseph, Judah, justice, prophetic

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