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Genesis 44

44
Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to the servant in charge of his house. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother, along with his money for the grain.” The servant did what Joseph told him.
3At dawn the brothers were sent away with their donkeys. 4They were not far from the city when Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Go after the men. When you catch up with them, say, ‘Why have you paid back evil for good? 5The cup you have stolen is the one my master uses for drinking and for explaining dreams. You have done a very wicked thing!’ ”
6So the servant caught up with the brothers and said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why do you say these things? We would not do anything like that! 8We brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money we found in our sacks. So surely we would not steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find that silver cup in the sack of one of us, then let him die, and we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “We will do as you say, but only the man who has taken the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
11Then every brother quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12The servant searched the sacks, going from the oldest brother to the youngest, and found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers tore their clothes to show they were afraid. Then they put their sacks back on the donkeys and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there, so the brothers bowed facedown on the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know that a man like me can learn things by signs and dreams?”
16Judah said, “Master, what can we say? And how can we show we are not guilty? God has uncovered our guilt, so all of us will be your slaves, not just Benjamin.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back safely to your father.”
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Master, please let me speak plainly to you, and please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are as powerful as the king of Egypt himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have an old father. And we have a younger brother, who was born when our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left alive, and our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot leave his father, because if he leaves him, his father would die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘If you don’t bring your youngest brother, you will not be allowed to see me again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you had said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go again and buy us a little more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. Without our youngest brother, we will not be allowed to see the governor.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28When one son left me, I thought, “Surely he has been torn apart by a wild animal,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29Now you want to take this son away from me also. But something terrible might happen to him, and I would be miserable until the day I die.’ 30Now what will happen if we go home to our father without our youngest brother? He is so important in our father’s life that 31when our father sees the young boy is not with us, he will die. And it will be our fault. We will cause the great sorrow that kills our father.
32“I gave my father a guarantee that the young boy would be safe. I said to my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life.’ 33So now, please allow me to stay here and be your slave, and let the young boy go back home with his brothers. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I couldn’t stand to see my father that sad.”
44
CHAPTER 44
1Forsooth Joseph commanded the dispenser of his house, and said, Fill thou their sacks with wheat, as much as they may take, and put thou the money of each in the height [or the top] of the sack;
2forsooth put thou in the sack’s mouth of the youngest my silver cup, and the price of the wheat which he gave; and it was done so.
3And when the morrowtide arose, they were delivered with their asses.
4And now they had gone out of the city, and had gone forth a little; then Joseph said, when the dispenser of his house was called, Rise thou, pursue the men, and say thou when they be taken, Why have ye yielded evil for good?
5The cup, which ye have stolen, is that in which my lord drinketh, and in which he is wont to divine; ye have done a full wicked thing.
6He did as Joseph commanded, and when they were overtaken, he spake by order these things;
7the which answered, Why speaketh our lord so, that thy servants have done so great a trespass?
8We brought again to thee from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the height [or the top] of our sacks, and how is it pursuing [or following] that we have stolen from thy lord’s house gold or silver?
9At whomever of thy servants this that thou seekest is found, die he, and we shall be servants of my lord.
10Which said to them, Be it done by your sentence; at whom it is found, be he my servant; forsooth ye shall be guiltless.
11And so they did down hastily their sacks on the earth, and all they opened them,
12the which he sought through; and he began at the most till to the least, and he found the cup in Benjamin’s sack.
13And when they had rent their clothes, and had charged again their asses, they turned again into the city.
14And Judah entered with his brethren to Joseph; for Joseph had not gone yet from the place; and all they fell together on the earth before him.
15To whom he said, Why would ye do so? whether ye wot not, that none is like me in the knowing of divining?
16To whom Judah said, What shall we answer to my lord, or what shall we speak, either what may we justly against-say? God hath found the wickedness of thy servants; lo! all we be the servants of my lord, both we and he at whom the cup is found.
17Joseph answered, Far be it from me, that I do so; he be my servant that stole the cup; forsooth go ye free to your father.
18Soothly Judah nighed near, and said trustily, My lord, I pray thee, thy servant speak a word in thine ears, and be thou not wroth to thy servant; for after Pharaoh thou art my lord.
19Thou askedest first thy servants, Have ye a father, or a brother?
20And we answered to my lord, An eld [or old] father is to us, and a little child that was born in his eld age, whose brother of the same womb is dead, and his mother hath him alone; forsooth his father loveth him tenderly.
21And thou saidest to thy servants, Bring ye him to me, and I shall set mine eyes on him.
22We made suggestion to thee, my lord, the child may not forsake his father; for if he shall leave his father, his father shall die.
23And thou saidest to thy servants, If your youngest brother shall not come down with you, ye shall no more see my face.
24Therefore when we had gone up to thy servant, our father, we told to him all things which my lord spake to us;
25and our father said, Turn ye again, and buy ye to you a little of wheat;
26to whom we said, We may not go; only if our least brother shall go down with us, we shall go forth together; else, if he is absent, we dare not see the lord’s face.
27To which things our father answered, Ye know that my wife childed two sons to me;
28one went out, and ye said, A beast [hath] devoured him, and hither-to he appeareth not;
29if ye take also this son, and anything befall to him in the way, ye shall lead forth mine hoar hairs with mourning to hells [or to hell].
30Therefore if I enter again to thy servant, our father, and the child fail to be with us, since his life hangeth of the life of the child,
31and he see that the child is not with us, he shall die, and thy servants shall lead forth his hoar hairs with sorrow to hells [or to hell].
32Be I properly thy servant, which received this child on my faith, and I promised, and said, If I shall not bring again him to thee, I shall be guilty of sin against my father in all time;
33and so I shall dwell thy servant for the child into the service of my lord, and the child go up with his brethren;
34for I may not go again to my father, if the child be absent, lest I stand a witness of the wretchedness that shall oppress my father.