It says in Beraishis 43(2), “…when they finished eating the grain that they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, "Go back [and] buy us a little food."”

What were they to eat until the delegation had gone down to and returned from Egypt?

Is it possible that they were to survive on some of the edible products of which they were taking a small quantity down to Egypt as a gift, (Beraishis 43(11)) “a little honey, (wax and lotus), pistachios and almonds.”?

2 Answers 2


The Ohr Hachaim answers that either this means that there was just enough left for a return trip to Egypt which is considered "finished" because they needed more, or alternatively what they brought from the previous trip to Egypt was finished but they still had some food that Yaakov saved for times of famine.


They had sheep (Beraishis 46:6) which can provide meat and milk, but apparently not for an indefinite amount of time (you milk at the expense of the next generation of sheep, etc.). I think that is what you have to say according to Rashi, who is very clear that all the bread was finished in the house.

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