a. Humility. In these verses, we have Judah’s plea on behalf of Benjamin. Let’s see what his argument is. First, he humbles himself before Joseph, recognizing the position that he has as second to the Pharaoh. He calls Joseph lord and says that they are his servants. This would be a proper way to address a man like Joseph. b. Deserving of compassion. Second, Judah represents Benjamin as someone that deserves compassion. He was the youngest brother and just a boy. Judah repeatedly calls Benjamin a boy or youth. But remember that he is close to 30 at this point so he is not a child. And if you were to flip forward a few pages to chapter 46 you will find Benjamin listed with his 10 sons that traveled with him into Egypt. Compared to the age of their ancestors, even Jacob, 30 would still be really young, yet he was a father of ten boys. So, Judah calling him a boy is meant to stir pity because of his inexperience. Not only is he the youngest but he is also the last of his mother’s sons. His brother is dead and his father loves him. The governor should have mercy on Benjamin because he is unique status in the family. Now, did the brothers really believe that Joseph was dead as Judah said? Maybe they did. They didn’t have proof except they haven’t heard from him in a couple of decades. But what is also possible is that they had lied about his death for decades that they just began to believe the lie themselves. c. Obedience. The third point that Judah makes, though not directly, is that it was Joseph that made Benjamin come to Egypt in the first place. You said bring him down to me. You said unless your youngest brother comes you will not see my face. We told our father that we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us. So Benjamin was only there because they were obedient to Joseph. That should score some pity points. They didn’t want him there and their father definitely didn’t want him there. So that needed to be factored into the situation. d. Death of their father. Fourth, Judah argues that if Benjamin were to be enslaved it would be the death of their aged father. This is his most extensive and direct argument for leniency. Judah says that his father loves Benjamin. Jacob said he would die if Benjamin would leave. He repeats what Jacob says, “If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.” Judah says that Jacob’s life is bound up in the boy’s life and as soon as he sees that Benjamin is not with them he will drop dead. If not for Benjamin’s sake, Joseph needed to have compassion for their old father. e. Pledge of safety. The fifth and final component of his argument is his pledge of safety. “Your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.” There is a life debt on this boy and so Judah asks that the governor honor this pledge of safety. Judah would be the substitute for Benjamin. He would take his place so that justice might be done. Judah has pledged his life and he cannot go back home without his brother. And with that Judah rest his case for leniency. The brothers bow before Joseph awaiting his decree.