21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.
23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.
Joseph had shown favoritism to Benjamin when he hosted all the brothers for a meal, and at the time I had wondered whether this was only to test whether the other sons of Jacob would feel jealous. But now, with every guise and pretense discarded, he continues to show Benjamin a special preference, giving him a wealth of silver and five times the clothing that he gave to the other brothers. Obviously Joseph’s own life was incredibly deprived for a very long time, and perhaps his indulgence of Benjamin was a form of giving to his past self all the things he never had.
He also sends a great gift to his father, twenty donkeys weighed with the spoil of Egypt, including the life-sustaining grain that is in such short supply. Finally the entourage is ready to return to Canaan and come back with all the brothers’ households and their father.
Or rather, it is ready except for one thing. Joseph has some final parting words to his brothers that I find very intriguing. We will examine them tomorrow.