8 Here we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the mouths of our bags. How then could we have stolen any silver or gold from your master’s house!
HAYN KE-sef a-SHER ma-TZA-nu b’-FEE am-t’-kho-TAY-nu he-shee-VO-nu ay-LE-kha may-E-retz k’-NA-an v’-AYKH nig-NOV mi-BAYT a-do-NE-kha KE-sef O za-HAV
ח הֵן כֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר מָצָאנוּ בְּפִי אַמְתְּחֹתֵינוּ הֱשִׁיבֹנוּ אֵלֶיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וְאֵיךְ נִגְנֹב מִבֵּית אֲדֹנֶיךָ כֶּסֶף אוֹ זָהָב׃
44:8 From the land of Canaan
The brothers attempt to exonerate themselves from the accusations of theft by mentioning that they had already returned the extra money they found in their sacks after the previous trip. Why must the brothers specify that they returned the money from the land of Canaan? It seems that in the brothers’ minds, this detail adds a further verification of their honesty. As they brought the money back from the Land of Israel, known for its spiritual heights, they must surely have noble intentions. Since antiquity, Eretz Yisrael has been synonymous with morality, and the land itself demands a high level of ethical responsibility from its inhabitants.