The Cup in the Sack
Genesis 44:1-15
And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry…


1. Its nature. All" the money to be returned, and the silver cup to be placed in the sack belonging to Benjamin. It may seem strange that the steward was to charge them with stealing a cup wherein Joseph divined (if indeed the cup was not used for that purpose, as we believe), knowing that Joseph was a servant of God. We may not, with the higher standard of morality of these Christian times, approve this pretence; but it is in keeping with the whole transaction, which is a feint throughout.

2. Motive. Doubtless to test the feeling of the rest towards Benjamin. Did they envy this favourite as they did the other? If so, it was very likely that on being overtaken they would abandon the man with whom the cup was found — Benjamin — to his fate. Make no effort to procure his release. Return home without him, as they had once gone without Joseph. Before he proceeded further in helping his family in the famine, he would see if they had improved morally all these years.

II. THY OBNOXIOUS CHARGE. The confidential servant having received the command, but most likely being ignorant of all his master's plans and of the relation of these guests, proceeds to put it in execution.

1. The brethren set off. Their journey. How unlike the last, when they were full of perplexity, and had left Simeon behind. Now they talk of their good treatment, and are accompanied by Simeon, and that Benjamin whom they had feared to lose.

2. They are pursued. Their astonishment at seeing the steward, who (Genesis 43:28) had not long before spoken assuring words, hastening after them.

3. The charge. The steward faithfully, but to their great amazement, repeats the command of his master.

4. Their indignant denial, Such conduct would be opposed to the will of God (ver. 7). The idea was inconsistent with their proved honesty (ver. 8). They are quite willing to abide by the results of search. And that the punishment should be greater than hinted.


1. The search commences. They are willing. The steward begins as far as possible from where he knows it is concealed. Thus they do not suspect him of any complicity, and their confidence increases as he proceeds.

2. They see Benjamin's sack opened, and there, shining in all its beauty, is the cup! What could they think, or say, or do? They did not suffer Benjamin to return alone. The test was successful. There was another discovery — an altered feeling towards the old man and his favourite son. This discovery Joseph made.

3. They could only regard it as a plot of some one — perhaps the Lord of Egypt — to find a pretext for keeping them in bondage. What would become now of their father, and their wives and little ones. Learn:

I. That our religion admits not of pretences.

II. The time of confidence may be the hour of peril.

(J. C. Gray.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.

WEB: He commanded the steward of his house, saying, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in his sack's mouth.

Money in the Sack
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