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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 eldest 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 grey 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 grey 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 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.”