"How old was Benjamin when his clan migrated to Egypt?" (Alleged Contradiction #E7789)
And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one [Benjamin]; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.
And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. … And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.
Genesis 46:8, 21
Joseph’s brothers were not necessarily truthful men. They are the ones who called Benjamin a “child,” “little one,” and “lad.” They may have been exaggerating Benjamin’s youngness so Joseph would accept their excuse not to bring him on their next trip, since they knew Jacob would most likely not let him go with them.
- Benjamin was the child of Jacob and the “baby brother” of the others. Even in our culture, “young,” “lad,” and “little brother” are relative terms depending on who is using them. Since many of Benjamin’s brothers were considerably older, they still viewed Benjamin as their little brother.
- The reason that Benjamin could not leave his father is not that he was too young but that “his father would die” because “his father loveth him.” 1
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- http://www.lookinguntojesus.net/ata20040620.htm, accessed 8 July 2014 ↩