1. Jacob’s sons left their uncomfortable environment; it is possible that when they left their discomfort was somewhat dissipating. Whether this was the case or not, it was not long after they left that Joseph, who was still in the midst of teaching his brothers a lesson, sprang the trap he placed them in.
2. When the trap is sprung the brothers of Joseph was greatly surprised and, no doubt, perplexed. Hearing the accusations, with great emphasis the brothers are not only surprised, but they deny any wrong-doing at all; so sure are they that the guilty one will be given over to the death penalty while the others go into servitude (44:7-9). As search was made the “stolen” item was found with Benjamin.
3. One can only imagine Benjamin’s horror at such a find, but add to that what Judah was now facing (failure), he felt no other compulsion but to step forward, putting himself at physical risk, and asked for Pharaoh’s mercy (44:18). Coffman cites the words of John Skinner (ICC) about what Judah said to Joseph, “It is the finest specimen of dignified and persuasive eloquence in the OT” (Coffman, p. 517).
4. Application: As has been previously stated, the brothers are feeling the guilt/shame/sin of their actions against their younger brother over two decades previous. As Judah and his brothers prostrates themselves before their governmental superior, it is then that Judah confesses openly that “God has found out the iniquity of your servants” (or “God has exposed the sin of your servants” NET; 44:16). Of course, the sin of Jacob’s sons was long ago known by the Lord (it had been “found out”), now there was an experiential and heavy load carried all these years that loosed. In this we, too, can learn. Confess sin to the Lord, resolves to do right, and be sure to stay on the Lord’s path of righteousness.