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?”

2 Answers 2


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.


It’s very common to see ALOT of repetition in the Bible so it doesn’t make any sense to say it was cut short when his brothers specifically mentioned their younger brother but then told their father that they were asked if they had a brother when they were never asked. It’s not biblical.

Genesis 42:13 “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”

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