Genesis 44:18-34

Talks for Growing Christians

Judah’s Plea For Benjamin

Genesis 44:18-34

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Lesson Number 97

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s discipline can change a person’s character.
  2. God’s discipline can change a nation’s character.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t misinterpret God’s providence.


  1. The brothers had no idea who they were dealing with. Who was this man?
  2. Who became the spokesman for the brothers?
  3. Where in this story do we see a picture of substitutionary atonement?
  4. How was Judah changed by God’s discipline?
  5. How is God’s discipline changing a nation’s character?


  1. They thought they were dealing with an Egyptian, the Prime Minister of Egypt. In reality, he was their brother Joseph.
  2. Judah, not Reuben who was the firstborn. It was Judah who persuaded Jacob to let Benjamin go with them to Egypt. It was Judah who was willing to take the place of Benjamin and become a slave so Benjamin could go free.
  3. When Judah offered to take the place of Benjamin so he could go free, we see a parallel between Judah and Christ, who was a willing sacrifice for us.
  4. He was the brother who hated Joseph and came up with the plan to sell him for money to the Midianite traders. But now he tells Jacob that he will become surety for Benjamin and that he will bear full responsibility for anything that might happen to him. From disregard for his father and from hatred for his brother Joseph, he now shows love for his father and concern for his brother Benjamin’s welfare. God disciplined him with famine and rough treatment. God’s discipline let Judah reap what he had sown.
  5. God has been disciplining the nation of Israel and will continue to do so until there is a change in it’s attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ. In Judah’s impassioned speech, we see a picture of the changed character of the future believing remnant of Israel. See Zechariah 13:9, Isaiah 59:20 and Romans 11:26.


  1. What does Hebrews 12:11 say to you? Do you need changes in your own character? Expect discipline from God. If you are undergoing discipline, submit to it, so that your character can be more conformed to Christ.
  2. If God can change Joseph’s brothers and if God can change Israel, can God change America?


  1. God is not only in full control of every event, but He accomplishes His good plans and purposes through these events. This was true in Joseph’s story. Have confidence in God that He is doing the same in your life today.

Key Verses

  • “Judah said, ‘Please let your servant remain, instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers.” Genesis 44:33

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