The Brothers Go Back to Egypt
1Still no food grew in the land of Canaan. 2When Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, Jacob said to them, “Go to Egypt again and buy a little more grain for us to eat.”
3But Judah said to Jacob, “The governor of that country strongly warned us, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back with you, you will not be allowed to see me.’ 4If you will send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The governor of that country warned us that we would not see him if we didn’t bring Benjamin with us.”
6Israel said, “Why did you tell the man you had another brother? You have caused me a lot of trouble.”
7The brothers answered, “He questioned us carefully about ourselves and our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ We just answered his questions. How could we know he would ask us to bring our other brother to him?”
8Then Judah said to his father Jacob, “Send Benjamin with me, and we will go at once so that we, you, and our children may live and not die. 9I will guarantee you that he will be safe, and I will be personally responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life. 10If we had not wasted all this time, we could have already made two trips.”
11Then their father Jacob said to them, “If it has to be that way, then do this: Take some of the best foods in our land in your packs. Give them to the man as a gift: some balm, some honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take twice as much money with you this time, and take back the money that was returned to you in your sacks last time. Maybe it was a mistake. 13And take Benjamin with you. Now leave and go to the man. 14I pray that God Almighty will cause the governor to be merciful to you and that he will allow Simeon and Benjamin to come back with you. If I am robbed of my children, then I am robbed of them!”
15So the brothers took the gifts. They also took twice as much money as they had taken the first time, and they took Benjamin. They hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant in charge of his house, “Bring those men into my house. Kill an animal and prepare a meal. Those men will eat with me today at noon.” 17The servant did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18The brothers were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house and thought, “We were brought here because of the money that was put in our sacks on the first trip. He wants to attack us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.” 19So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the door of the house. 20They said, “Master, we came here once before to buy food. 21While we were going home, we stopped for the night and when we opened our sacks each of us found all his money in his sack. We brought that money with us to give it back to you. 22And we have brought more money to pay for the food we want to buy this time. We don’t know who put that money in our sacks.”
23But the servant answered, “It’s all right. Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sacks. I got the money you paid me for the grain last time.” Then the servant brought Simeon out to them.
24The servant led the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave their donkeys food to eat. 25The men prepared their gift to give to Joseph when he arrived at noon, because they had heard they were going to eat with him there.
26When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gift they had brought into the house and bowed down to the ground in front of him. 27Joseph asked them how they were doing. He said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28The brothers answered, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” And they bowed low before Joseph to show him respect.
29When Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, who had the same mother as he, Joseph asked, “Is this your youngest brother you told me about?” Then he said to Benjamin, “God be good to you, my son!” 30Then Joseph hurried off because he had to hold back the tears when he saw his brother Benjamin. So Joseph went into his room and cried there. 31Then he washed his face and came out. He controlled himself and said, “Serve the meal.”
32So they served Joseph at one table, his brothers at another table, and the Egyptians who ate with him at another table. This was because Egyptians did not like Hebrews and never ate with them. 33Joseph’s brothers were seated in front of him in order of their ages, from oldest to youngest. They looked at each other because they were so amazed. 34Food from Joseph’s table was taken to them, but Benjamin was given five times more food than the others. Joseph’s brothers ate and drank freely with him.