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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
Joseph Tests His Brothers
1Then he commanded the one who was over his household, saying, “Fill the sacks of the men with food as much as they are able to carry, and put each one’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2And my cup—the cup of silver—you shall put into the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and the money for his grain. And he did according to the word of Joseph that he had commanded. 3When the morning light came the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4They went out of the city, and had not gone far when Joseph said to the one who was over his house, “Arise! Pursue after the men and overtake them. Then you shall say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 5Is this not that from which my master drinks? Now he himself certainly practices divination with it. You have done evil in what you have done.’ ” 6When he overtook them he spoke these words to them. 7And they said to him, “Why has my lord spoken according to these words? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Behold, the money that we found in the mouth of our sacks we returned to you from the land of Canaan. Now why would we steal silver or gold from the house of my lord? 9Whoever is found with it from among your servants shall die. And moreover, we will become slaves to my lord.” 10Then he said, “Now also according to your words, thus will it be. He who is found with it shall be my slave, but you shall be innocent.” 11Then each man quickly brought down his sack to the ground, and each one opened his sack. 12And he searched, beginning with the oldest and finishing with the youngest. And the cup was found in the sack of Benjamin. 13Then they tore their clothes, and each one loaded his donkey and they returned to the city.
14And Judah and his brothers came to the house of Joseph—now he was still there—they fell before him to the ground. 15Then Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Did you not know that a man who is like me surely practices divination?” 16And Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? Now how can we show ourselves innocent? God has found the guilt of your servants! Behold, we are slaves to my lord, both we and also he in whose hand the cup was found.” 17But he said, “Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose hand the cup was found, he will become my slave. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.” 18But Judah drew near to him and said, “Please my lord, let your servant speak a word in the ears of my lord, and let not your anger burn#Literally “let not your nose become hot” against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.#Literally “like you like Pharaoh” 19My lord had asked his servants, saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a younger brother, the child of his old age, and his brother died, and he alone remains from his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may set my eyes upon him.’ 22Then we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he should leave his father, then he#That is, the father (Jacob/Israel) would die.’ 23Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not again see my face.’ 24And it happened that we went up to your servant, my father, and told him the words of my lord. 25And when our father said, ‘Buy a little food for us,’ 26then we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we shall go down. For we will not be able to see the face of the man unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant, my father, said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore two sons to me. 28One went out from me, and I said, “Surely he must have been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29And if you take this one also from me, and he encounters harm, you will bring down my gray head in sorrow to Sheol.’ 30So now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us—now his life is bound up with his life—31it shall happen that when he sees that the boy is gone, he will die. And your servants will bring down the gray head of your servant, our father, to Sheol with sorrow. 32For your servant is pledged as surety for the boy by my father, saying, If I do not bring him to you, then I shall be culpable to my father forever. 33So then, please let your servant remain in place of the boy as a slave to my lord, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34For how can I go up to my father if the boy is not with me? I do not want to see#Literally “lest I see” the misery which will find my father.”