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    Why was it Judah? – Vayyiggash

    Judah converses with Joseph, by James Tissot

    It was Judah who stepped forward on behalf of the family (Gen. 44:18) and made a proposal to Joseph, who he thought was an Egyptian without any sign that he was their long-lost brother.

    Rashi thinks that Judah spoke harshly to Joseph, but others say that Judah was a clever diplomat and preferred to have Joseph on side.

    The proposal he put before Joseph was that he, Judah, would stay behind in Egypt and be a servant in place of Benjamin.

    Why was it Judah who was the spokesman? Because he was the one who had promised Jacob that he would look after his brother Benjamin.

    Why should Joseph be willing to accept the proposal, since presumably he thought that all the brothers were of similar strength and capacity?

    It seems that Judah was making the point that Joseph would find it in his own interest to have Judah and not Benjamin as a slave since Judah was older, stronger and more experienced than the young and untried Benjamin.

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