Gen 42:37-38 Reuben offers his sons as collateral
Genesis 42:37-38 NASB
Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, "You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you." But Jacob said, "My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow."
This passage says a lot about Reuben and Jacob. Reuben is willing to sacrifice his sons if he is not able to protect Benjamin. In essence he is willing to risk them for the sake of his brother Simeon. On the other hand, Jacob never seem to acknowledge Reuben's sacrifice, but focus on him losing Benjamin. Is the risk of losing Reuben's sons not worth consideration? To me this is another selfish act by a biblical character (i say this because in the past I have looked at most old testament believers as very spiritual people and ignored their 'human-ness').
Yet God loves Jacob and He loves sinning believers today. If we had to work our salvation, nobody could ever make it to heaven. What an awesomely gracious God we serve. Amen.
One more thought as reread this passage. "Benjamin is not going to Egypt, because his brother is dead, and he alone is alive." What about the other ten brothers, don't they count in Jacob's eyes. Another evidence of Jacob's unequal treatment among his sons. This was likely no surprise to the ten brothers, but that must still hurt...
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