Quran 12:61-68 Did Jacob know?


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Quran 12: 61. They said, “We will solicit him from his father. We will surely do.”
62. He said to his servants, “Put their goods in their saddlebags; perhaps they will recognize them when they return to their families, and maybe they will come back.”
63. When they returned to their father, they said, “O father, we were denied measure, but send our brother with us, and we will obtain measure. We will take care of him.”
64. He said, “Shall I trust you with him, as I trusted you with his brother before? God is the Best Guardian, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.”
65. And when they opened their baggage, they found that their goods were returned to them. They said, “Father, what more do we want? Here are our goods, returned to us. We will provide for our family, and protect our brother, and have an additional camel-load. This is easy commerce.”
66. He said, “I will not send him with you, unless you give me a pledge before God that you will bring him back to me, unless you get trapped.” And when they gave him their pledge, he said, “God is witness to what we say.”
67. And he said, “O my sons, do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates. I cannot avail you anything against God. The decision rests only with God. On Him I rely, and on Him let the reliant rely.”
68. And when they entered as their father had instructed them, it did not avail them anything against God; it was just a need in the soul of Jacob, which he carried out. He was a person of knowledge inasmuch as We had taught him, but most people do not know.

69. And when they entered into the presence of Joseph, he embraced his brother, and said, “I am your brother; do not be saddened by what they used to do.”
Here's the commentary.

Jacob, it seems, had come to know by Divine revelation that Joseph was there, and therefore he ordered them to enter by different gates so that Joseph might find his brother. The next verse makes it clear when it says: And surely he was possessed of knowledge because We had given him knowledge.
The Bible narrative represents Jacob as being quite ignorant in the matter.
Jacob had more than one wife.

Leah was his first wife..... she gave him several sons. Rueben was the oldest. He wanted to keep Joseph from being left to die in a pit. He really didn't want Joseph to be sold to into slavery.... but it was a better alternative than certain death at the bottom of a well. It's also Rueben who does most of the negotiating with Joseph and with Jacob.

Rebecca was his favorite wife. As a matter of fact, Jacob wanted to marry Rachel first.... but Leah was older and she was substituted. Leah and her sons were never really fond of Rachel or her two sons. Yep, while Leah gave Jacob several sons.... Rachel only had two sons..... Joseph and Benjamin. Since Rebecca was his favorite wife, Joseph and Benjamin were his favorite sons.

Joseph was all full of himself. He told his brothers that he would see them bowing to him one day. Benjamin, it seems was just an average guy with an average attitude..... but since Joseph was gone.... Jacob was really protective of his only favorite son left.

Now Rueben and company had been charged with bringing Benjamin back to Egypt so that they could buy grain. Joseph was in charge and he was using that leverage to get even with his brothers who put him in the pit.... and then pulled him out to sell him into slavery. Bringing Benjamin would cause them to worry. Bringing Benjamin would be the way Jacob would find out about what they had done.

Jacob wasn't about to give up his last favorite son. Rueben guaranteed his father that Benjamin would be ok. Rueben made the guarantee, because the people needed food.

The commentary here says Jacob was aware that Joseph was in Egypt. I don't think so. Based on what I'm reading.... Jacob didn't want to send Benjamin. I can see Jacob was worried. He warned Rueben to change his trail and go in a different gate so as not to draw attention to the boys. I think Jacob was concerned that the guy in charge in Egypt would ask for his son specifically. That was not a "simple commerce".

Jacob was concerned the man in Egypt would say.... that man as a slave for your supplies.... and Rueben would say "sure". Rueben was afraid Benjamin was never going to return. I think the commentary is mistaken. Jacob was concerned for Benjamin's safety.... and I don't think he trusted his sons to bring Benjamin back without harm..... but they had to get the supplies or they would all die.

As I'm writing this... I'm thinking about how it use to be to go to the grocery store just a few months ago.... special hours for Seniors.... masks.... supplies were low..... toilet paper and paper towels, bleach and lysol were at a premium.... there was a pandemic.... there was no treatment or vaccine.... someone had to get supplies..... that wasn't so long ago. Oh it's still hard to find some supplies but no one had to give up their youngest son to get some grain. Jacob didn't want to send Benjamin with the other boys. I think the Bible got it right.... Jacob couldn't have known Joseph was in Egypt.... or he would not have let Rueben take Benjamin without him.

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