33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. 34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
Joseph sends portions of food to his brothers, but the portion to Benjamin is vastly larger than what is given to all the other brothers. It is so much more that I feel it could not have gone overlooked. What did Benjamin and the others think by this clear display of favoritism?
And for Joseph’s part, was this really just favoritism towards his blood brother, or was he conducting a calculated experiment on his older brothers? Showing preference towards a son of Rachel may have been meant as a callback to the preference Jacob had had for Joseph. Would the other brothers be made jealous of Benjamin just as they had been of Joseph? And when Joseph moved into the next part of his plan, in which there would be an opportunity for the other brothers to get rid of this “golden child,” would they happily take it?