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Genesis 43:7

They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’

When were these questions asked? I didn't come across these questions in Genesis 42. All Joseph said in Genesis 42:14-15

But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. By this, you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here.

But then Joseph asks out his father only in Genesis 43:27

And he inquired about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”

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The question is predicated on the implicit assumption that Gen 42:8-16 is a complete record of the conversation between Joseph and the 10 brothers.

The above assumption is clearly untrue for two reasons:

  • As evidenced by the record in Gen 43:7, 27, and
  • The very common Bible practice of providing a shortened summary of events for the sake of brevity, avoiding tedium and repetition, and to provide dramatic literary effect.

I am also sure that the record of the conversation between the Joseph and his brothers was much longer than is recorded in Gen 43 as well.

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