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Genesis 44

44
A Silver Cup in a Sack
1Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack. 2Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.
3As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’ ”
6When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7But they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that! 8We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.”
10“Very well, then,” he said, “let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.”
11Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”
16“What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.”
17But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.”
18Then Judah went up to him and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, let me speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21“Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.’ 22And we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.’ 23But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
25“Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy a little more food.’ 26But we said, ‘We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go. We cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28One of them went away from me, and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” And I have not seen him since. 29If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in misery.’
30“So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy’s life, 31sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die. Your servants will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave in sorrow. 32Your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father. I said, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!’
33“Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”
44
Joseph Tests His Brothers
1Then he commanded #ver. 4; See ch. 43:16 the steward of his house, #ch. 42:25“Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, 2and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.
3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his #ver. 1steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?#44:4 Septuagint (compare Vulgate) adds Why have you stolen my silver cup? 5Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and #ver. 15; ch. 30:27; [2 Kgs. 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6]by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”
6When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. 7They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Behold, #ch. 43:21the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9#[ch. 31:32] Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be #ver. 16my lord’s servants.” 10He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” 11Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they #ch. 37:29tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there. They #ch. 37:7, 9, 10; 42:6; 43:26, 28fell before him to the ground. 15Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me #ver. 5can indeed practice divination?” 16And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out #ch. 37:18; [Num. 32:23] the guilt of your servants; behold, we are #ver. 9my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” 17But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
18Then Judah went up to him and said, #ch. 43:20 “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and #Ex. 32:22 let not your anger burn against your servant, for #ch. 41:40you are like Pharaoh himself. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, #ver. 30; [ch. 43:8] and a young brother, #[ch. 37:3]the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, #ch. 42:15, 20; 43:3, 5‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, #[ver. 31]his father would die.’ 23Then you said to your servants, #ch. 43:3‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’
24“When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25And when #ch. 43:2our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me #ch. 46:19two sons. 28One left me, and I said, #ch. 37:33“Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29If you #ch. 42:36, 38 take this one also from me, #ch. 42:4, 38and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’
30“Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, #ch. 43:9‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”