While Yosef recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.

I heard a Rosh Yeshiva suggest that Binyamin, who wasn't so absorbed in the soap opera, was able to recognize Yosef, but played along the whole time.

The verses really don't seem to address it. Benyamin is a total sock monkey through the whole story; he doesn't say or do anything, he's just acted upon.

(Yes there's the midrash how Benyamin tells Tzofnas Paaneach that he has ten sons, all named after his long-lost brother; but of course you could read that one either way too ...)

Has anyone ever heard this before? Any commentaries suggest it? Any arguments for or against the possibility?

  • He just gets shlepped around, he doesn't do anything ...
    – Shalom
    Dec 10, 2010 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Sefer Hayashar says that during the banquet (described at the end of Parshas Miketz) Binyamin discovered Tzofnas Paaneach's identity, and that Yosef confirmed it but then asked him to keep it a secret and play along during the accusation about the goblet, in order to see what the brothers would do (whether they'd be willing to fight to save Binyamin, or - G-d forbid - just abandon him to his fate).

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