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Genesis 44

44
A Silver Cup in a Sack
1Joseph told the manager of his house what to do. “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry,” he said. “Put each man’s money in his sack. 2Then put my silver cup in the youngest one’s sack. Put it there along with the money he paid for his grain.” So the manager did what Joseph told him to do.
3When morning came, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They hadn’t gone very far from the city when Joseph spoke to his manager. “Go after those men right away,” he said. “Catch up with them. Say to them, ‘My master was good to you. Why have you paid him back by doing evil? 5Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from? Doesn’t he also use it to find things out? You have done an evil thing.’ ”
6When the manager caught up with them, he told them what Joseph had said. 7But they said to him, “Why do you say these things? We would never do anything like that! 8We even brought back to you from Canaan the money we found in our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If you find out that any of us has the cup, he will die. And the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“All right, then,” he said. “As you wish. The one found to have the cup will become my slave. But the rest of you will not be blamed.”
11Each of them quickly put his sack down on the ground and opened it. 12Then the manager started to search. He began with the oldest and ended with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13When that happened, they were so upset they tore their clothes. Then all of them loaded their donkeys and went back to the city.
14Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in. They threw themselves down on the ground in front of him. 15Joseph said to them, “What have you done? Don’t you know that a man like me has ways to find things out?”
16“What can we say to you?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove we haven’t done anything wrong? God has shown you that we are guilty. We are now your slaves. All of us are, including the one found to have the cup.”
17But Joseph said, “I would never do anything like that! Only the man found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
18Then Judah went up to him. He said, “Please, sir. Let me speak a word to you. Don’t be angry with me, even though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19You asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have an old father. A young son was born to him when he was old. His brother is dead. He’s the only one of his mother’s sons left. And his father loves him.’
21“Then you said to us, ‘Bring him down to me. I want to see him for myself.’ 22We said to you, ‘The boy can’t leave his father. If he does, his father will die.’ 23But you told us, ‘Your youngest brother must come down here with you. If he doesn’t, you won’t see my face again.’ 24So we went back to my father. We told him what you had said.
25“Then our father said, ‘Go back. Buy a little more food.’ 26But we said, ‘We can’t go down. We’ll only go if our youngest brother goes there with us. We can’t even see the man’s face unless our youngest brother goes with us.’
27“Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife had two sons by me. 28One of them went away from me. And I said, “He must have been torn to pieces.” I haven’t seen him since. 29What if you take this one from me too and he is harmed? Then you would cause me to die as a sad old man. I would go down into the grave full of pain and suffering.’
30“So now, what will happen if the boy isn’t with us when I go back to my father? His life depends on the boy’s life. 31When he sees that the boy isn’t with us, he’ll die. Because of us, he’ll go down into the grave as a sad old man. 32I promised my father I would keep the boy safe. I said, ‘Father, I’ll bring him back to you. If I don’t, you can put the blame on me for the rest of my life.’
33“Now then, please let me stay here. Let me be your slave in place of the boy. Let the boy return with his brothers. 34How can I go back to my father if the boy isn’t with me? No! Don’t let me see the pain and suffering that would come to my father.”
44
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!”