23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

Other Translations of Genesis 42:23

New International Version

23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

English Standard Version

23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them.

The Message

23 Joseph had been using an interpreter, so they didn't know that Joseph was understanding every word.

New King James Version

23 But they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter.

New Living Translation

23 Of course, they didn't know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Genesis 42:23

Commentary on Genesis 42:21-24

(Read Genesis 42:21-24)

The office of conscience is to bring to mind things long since said and done. When the guilt of this sin of Joseph's brethren was fresh, they made light of it, and sat down to eat bread; but now, long afterward, their consciences accused them of it. See the good of afflictions; they often prove the happy means of awakening conscience, and bringing sin to our remembrance. Also, the evil of guilt as to our brethren. Conscience now reproached them for it. Whenever we think we have wrong done us, we ought to remember the wrong we have done to others. Reuben alone remembered with comfort, that he had done what he could to prevent the mischief. When we share with others in their sufferings, it will be a comfort if we have the testimony of our consciences for us, that we did not share in their evil deeds, but in our places witnessed against them. Joseph retired to weep. Though his reason directed that he should still carry himself as a stranger, because they were not as yet humbled enough, yet natural affection could not but work.