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Genesis 44:5

    Genesis 44:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Is not this it in which my lord drinks, and whereby indeed he divines? you have done evil in so doing.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Is not this that in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he indeed divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Is not this the cup from which my lord takes wine and by which he gets knowledge of the future? Truly, you have done evil.

    Webster's Revision

    Is not this that in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he indeed divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

    World English Bible

    Isn't this that from which my lord drinks, and by which he indeed divines? You have done evil in so doing.'"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he indeed divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 44:5

    Whereby - he divineth? - Divination by cups has been from time immemorial prevalent among the Asiatics; and for want of knowing this, commentators have spent a profusion of learned labor upon these words, in order to reduce them to that kind of meaning which would at once be consistent with the scope and design of the history, and save Joseph from the impeachment of sorcery and divination. I take the word נחש nachash here in its general acceptation of to view attentively, to inquire. Now there has been in the east a tradition, the commencement of which is lost in immemorial time, that there was a Cup, which had passed successively into the hands of different potentates, which possessed the strange property of representing in it the whole world, and all the things which were then doing in it. The cup is called jami Jemsheed, the cup of Jemsheed, a very ancient king of Persia, whom late historians and poets have confounded with Bacchus, Solomon, Alexander the Great, etc. This Cup, filled with the elixir of immortality, they say was discovered when digging to lay the foundations of Persepolis. The Persian poets are full of allusions to this cup, which, from its property of representing the whole world and its transactions, is styled by them jam jehan nima, "the cup showing the universe;" and to the intelligence received by means of it they attribute the great prosperity of their ancient monarchs, as by it they understood all events, past, present, and to come. Many of the Mohammedan princes and governors affect still to have information of futurity by means of a cup. When Mr. Norden was at Derri in the farthest part of Egypt, in a very dangerous situation, an ill-natured and powerful Arab, in a threatening way, told one of their people whom they sent to him that "he knew what sort of people they were, for he had consulted his cup, and found by it that they were those of whom one of their prophets had said, that Franks (Europeans) would come in disguise; and, passing everywhere, examine the state of the country; and afterwards bring over a great number of other Franks, conquer the country, and exterminate all." By this we see that the tradition of the divining cup still exists, and in the very same country too in which Joseph formerly ruled. Now though it is not at all likely that Joseph practiced any kind of divination, yet probably, according to the superstition of those times, (for I suppose the tradition to be even older than the time of Joseph), supernatural influence might be attributed to his cup; and as the whole transaction related here was merely intended to deceive his brethren for a short time, he might as well affect divination by his cup, as he affected to believe they had stolen it. The steward therefore uses the word נחש nachash in its proper meaning: Is not this it out of which my lord drinketh, and in which he inspecteth accurately? Genesis 44:5. And hence Joseph says, Genesis 44:15 : Wot ye not - did ye not know, that such a person as I((having such a cup) would accurately and attentively look into it? As I consider this to be the true meaning, I shall not trouble the reader with other modes of interpretation.

    Wesley's Notes on Genesis 44:5

    44:5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh? And for which he would search thoroughly - So it may be rendered.