v. 17 details the brothers made up command and Joseph's response. Say to Joseph, I beg you to forgive your brothers. Within this false story are some very revealing statements. The brothers believe they are in need of forgiveness. "Forgive" - נָשָׂא nasa' to carry; to lift, lift up; to raise; to take/take away. To forgive (lit. lift up) - to forgive conceived of as lifting up (or perhaps removing) something. This is a fascinating word. They want him to lift up, or remove the trespass. They recognize what they did to Joseph as an evil trespass and sin. "Trespass" - פֶּשַׁע pesha` wantonness; crime; wrongdoing; offence concerning property; misdemeanor. Evildoing - the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle. This is a violation of law. What's interesting here is that both this word and sin are used. Not that a trespass is not a sin, but that it is a different type of sin. "Sin" - חַטָּאָת chatta'ath sin; expiation, sin-offering. Sin (act) - an act or feeling that transgresses something forbidden or ignores something required by God's law or character; whether in thought, feeling, speech, or action. This is more general. A trespass is more specific. Saying someone is a criminal versus saying they are a thief. They broke a law but they also violated the standard of God's glory and holiness. "Evil" - רַע ra`a(h) evil, wickedness, depravity, misfortune, disaster. Evil (behavior) - morally objectionable behavior. Their deed also displayed moral depravity and wickedness. It's like they had a complete absence of conscience. That is what hatred does and why it is so dangerous! So they know what they did and the great wickedness that it was.