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Genesis 44

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Genesis 44
1¶ And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill these men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth;
2and put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, with the money of his wheat. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.
3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.
4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Rise up, follow after those men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Why have ye rewarded evil for good?
5 Is this not the one in which my lord drinks and in which indeed he divines? Ye have done evil in so doing.
6When he overtook them, he spoke unto them these same words.
7And they said unto him, Why saith my lord these words? In no wise should thy slaves do according to this thing.
8Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan; how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold?
9With whoever of thy slaves it is found, both let him die and we also will be my lord’s bond slaves.
10And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and ye shall be blameless.
11Then they made haste, and each one took his sack down to the ground, and each one opened his sack.
12And he searched and began at the eldest and finished at the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.
13Then they rent their clothes, and each one laded his ass, and they returned to the city.
14And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house, for he was yet there; and they fell before him on the ground.
15And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? Know ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?
16Then Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? What shall we speak or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of thy slaves; behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup is found.
17And he said, in no wise should I do so; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my slave; and as for you, go up in peace unto your father.
18¶ Then Judah came near unto him and said, Oh my lord, let thy slave, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy slave; for thou art even as Pharaoh.
19My lord asked his slaves, saying, Have ye a father or a brother?
20And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a young man of his old age, yet a lad; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.
21And thou didst say unto thy slaves, Bring him down unto me that I may set my eyes upon him.
22And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father; for if he should leave his father, his father would die.
23And thou didst say unto thy slaves, Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, ye shall see my face no more.
24And it came to pass when we came up unto thy slave my father, we told him the words of my lord.
25And our father said, Go again and buy us a little food.
26And we said, We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then will we go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.
27Then thy slave my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bore me two sons;
28and the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces, and I have not seen him since;
29and if ye take this one also from me and some disaster should befall him, ye shall bring my gray hairs with sorrow down to Sheol.
30Now therefore when I come to thy slave my father, and the lad is not with us, seeing that his soul is bound up in the lad’s soul,
31it shall come to pass when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy slaves shall bring the gray hairs of thy slave our father down with sorrow to Sheol.
32For thy slave became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the sin before my father for ever.
33Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy slave remain instead of the lad as a bond slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren.
34For how shall I go up to my father and the lad not be with me? I cannot go lest I see the evil that shall come on my father.
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Joseph’s Plan to Trap His Brothers
1Joseph commanded the man in charge of his house,
“Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry. Put each man’s money in his sack. 2Then put my silver cup in the youngest brother’s sack along with the money for his grain.” He did what Joseph told him.
3At dawn the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to the man in charge of his house, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you paid me back with evil when I was good to you? 5Isn’t this the cup that my master drinks from and that he uses for telling the future? What you have done is evil!’ ”
6When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7They answered him, “Sir, how can you say such things? We would never think of doing anything like that! 8We brought the money we found in our sacks back from Canaan. So why would we steal any silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If one of us has it, he will die, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“I agree,” he said. “We’ll do what you’ve said. The man who has the cup will be my slave, and the rest of you can go free.”
11Each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12Then the man made a thorough search. He began with the oldest and ended with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13When they saw this, they tore their clothes in grief. Then each one loaded his donkey and went back into the city.
14Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house while Joseph was still there. Immediately, they bowed with their faces touching the ground. 15Joseph asked them, “What have you done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out because he knows the future?”
16“Sir, what can we say to you?” Judah asked. “How else can we explain it? How can we prove we’re innocent? God has uncovered our guilt. Now all of us are your slaves, including the one who had the cup.”
17But Joseph said, “I would never think of doing that! Only the man who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you can go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Defends Benjamin
18Then Judah went up to Joseph and said, “Please, sir, let me speak openly with you. Don’t be angry with me, although you are equal to Pharaoh. 19Sir, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother born to him when he was already old. The boy’s brother is dead, so he’s the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21“Then you said to us, ‘Bring him here to me so that I can see him myself.’ 22We replied, ‘The boy can’t leave his father. If the boy leaves him, his father will die.’ 23Then you told us, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come here with you, you will never be allowed to see me again.’ 24When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said.
25“Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little more food.’ 26We answered, ‘We can’t go back. We can only go back if our youngest brother is with us. The man won’t see us unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then our father said to us, ‘You know that my wife ⌞Rachel⌟ gave me two sons. 28One is gone, and I said, “He must have been torn to pieces!” I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take this one away from me too and anything happens to him, you’ll drive this gray-haired old man to his grave.’
30“Our father’s life is wrapped up with the boy’s life. If I come ⌞home⌟ without the boy 31and he sees that the boy isn’t ⌞with me⌟, he’ll die. The grief would drive our gray-haired old father to his grave.
32“I guaranteed my father that the boy would come back. I said, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, then you can blame me the rest of my life, Father.’ 33Sir, please let me stay and be your slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34How could I go back to my father if the boy isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father’s misery!”