And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves?…
The whole of this intercession, taken together, is not one twentieth part of the length which our best advocates would have made of it in a court of justice; yet the speaker finds room to expatiate upon those parts which are the most tender, and on which a minute description will heighten the general effect. We are surprised, delighted, and melted with his charming parenthesis: "Seeing his life is bound up with the lad's life." It is also remarkable how he repeats things which are the most tender; as, "when I come, and the lad be not with us... it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us ...." So also in describing the effect which this would produce: "When he seeth that the lad is not with us, he will die; and we shall bring down the grey hairs of thy servant, my father, with sorrow to the grave. And now, having stated his situation, he presumes to express his petition. His withholding that to the last was holding the mind of his judge in a state of affecting suspense, and preventing the objections which an abrupt introduction of it at the beginning might have created. Thus Esther, when presenting her petition to Ahasuerus, kept it back till she had, by holding him in suspense, raised his desire to the utmost height to know what it was, and induced in him a predisposition to grant it. And when we consider his petition, and the filial regard from which it proceeds, we may say, that if we except the grace of another and greater Substitute, never surely was there a more generous proposal!
Parallel VersesKJV: And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.
WEB: Judah said, "What will we tell my lord? What will we speak? Or how will we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. Behold, we are my lord's bondservants, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found."