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Genesis 43

43
Joseph’s Brothers Return with Benjamin
1Now the famine was #Gen. 41:54, 57; 42:5; 45:6, 11severe in the land. 2And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go #Gen. 42:2; 44:25back, buy us a little food.”
3But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your #Gen. 42:20; 43:5; 44:23brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ”
6And Israel said, “Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had still another brother?”
7But they said, “The man asked us pointedly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we told him according to these words. Could we possibly have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may #Gen. 42:2; 47:19live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. #Gen. 42:37; 44:32; Philem. 18, 19If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10For if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.”
11And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and #Gen. 32:20; 33:10; 43:25, 26; (Prov. 18:16)carry down a present for the man—a little #Gen. 37:25; Jer. 8:22; Ezek. 27:17balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money #Gen. 42:25, 35; 43:21, 22that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, and arise, go back to the man. 14And may God #Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 48:3Almighty #Gen. 39:21; Ps. 106:46give you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. #Gen. 42:36; Esth. 4:16If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!”
15So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went #Gen. 39:1; 46:3, 6down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the #Gen. 24:2; 39:4; 44:1steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.” 17Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18Now the men were #Gen. 42:28afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and seize us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”
19When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house, 20and said, “O sir, #Gen. 42:3, 10we indeed came down the first time to buy food; 21but #Gen. 42:27, 35it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand. 22And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
23But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought #Gen. 42:24Simeon out to them.
24So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and #Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 24:32gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there.
26And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and #Gen. 37:7, 10; 42:6; 44:14bowed down before him to the earth. 27Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man #Gen. 29:6; 42:11, 13; 43:7; 45:3; 2 Kin. 4:26of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” #Gen. 37:7, 10And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.
29Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, #Gen. 35:17, 18his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother #Gen. 42:13of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Now #1 Kin. 3:26his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and #Gen. 42:24; 45:2, 14, 15; 46:29wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the #Gen. 43:25bread.”
32So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the #Gen. 41:12; Ex. 1:15Hebrews, for that is #Gen. 46:34; Ex. 8:26an abomination to the Egyptians. 33And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his #Gen. 27:36; 42:7; Deut. 21:16, 17birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another. 34Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was #Gen. 35:24; 45:22five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.
43
1The famine continued to be really bad in Canaan, 2so once they had finished the grain they'd brought from Egypt, their father told them, “You have to go back and buy some more grain for us.”
3But Judah responded, “The man was adamant when he warned us, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother Benjamin with us then we'll go and buy food for you. 5But if you won't send him, then we won't go, because the man was very clear, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why have you made things so bad for me by telling the man you had another brother?” Israel asked.
7“The man kept on asking direct questions about us and our family like ‘Is your father still alive?’ and ‘Do you have another brother?’” they replied. “We just answered his questions. How were we to know he'd say, ‘Bring your brother here!’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy in my care, and we'll leave immediately, so that we can stay alive and not die—and that includes you and us and our children! 9I promise to take care of him—I'll be personally responsible for bringing him back to you. If I don't, then I will always carry the blame! 10Now let's go, because if we hadn't hesitated, we could have gone there and come back twice by now.”
11“If it has to be, then this is what you'll do,” Israel replied. “Take with you the best our country produces. Pack your bags with gifts for the man—balm, a little honey, spices, myrrh, pistachios, and almonds. 12Take double the money that was returned to you in your sacks—maybe it was a mistake. 13Take your brother and go back to the man right away. 14May God Almighty make the man treat you kindly so when you come before him he'll release your other brother and send Benjamin back. As for me, if I am to lose all my children, then so be it.”
15So they packed the gifts, took double the money, and set off, accompanied by Benjamin. They arrived in Egypt and went to have an audience with Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin was with them, he told his household supervisor, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and make a meal, for they are going to eat with me at noon.”
17The man did as Joseph ordered and took them to Joseph's house. 18They were really worried that they were being taken to Joseph's house. “It's because of the money that was put in our sacks the first time we came,” they said to each other. “That's why we're being brought in—so he can accuse us and attack us! He'll make us his slaves and take our donkeys!”
19So they went and spoke to Joseph's household supervisor at the entrance to the house. 20“Please excuse us, my lord,” they said. “We came down the first time to buy food, 21and when we stopped for the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found our money—the exact amount—at the top of our sacks. So we've brought it back with us. 22We've also brought more money to buy food. We've no idea who put our money in our sacks!”
23“Everything's fine!” he told them. “Don't worry! Your God, the God of your father, must have given you the treasure#43:23. “Treasure”: the word refers of course to the money, and is one used to describe money that is hidden or buried. hidden in your sacks. I got your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to meet them. 24The steward took them inside Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet, and supplied food for their donkeys. 25They got their gifts ready for when Joseph would come at noon, because they had found out that they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph arrived at the house they gave him the gifts they had brought for him, and bowed low to the ground before him. 27He asked how they were, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father doing that you spoke of? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes, your servant our father is still alive, and is well,” they replied and bowed low in respect.
29Then Joseph looked over at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” he asked. “God be gracious to you, my son,” he said.
30Joseph had to run out quickly because he was becoming so emotional at seeing his brother.#43:30. He hadn't seen Benjamin for more than 20 years. He looked for a place to cry, and went to his room to weep there. 31Then he washed his face, got his emotions under control, and went back out. “Serve the food,” he ordered.
32Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians were also served at another table, because Egyptians cannot eat with Hebrews because they find this repulsive.#43:32. It appears that since the Egyptians revered the cow goddess Isis they viewed anyone (including Hebrews) who ate such meat as unclean. 33The brothers had been seated in front of him in order by age, from the firstborn, the oldest, down to the youngest, and they looked at each other in complete surprise.#43:33. It would of course have been impossible for anyone without intimate family knowledge to do this. 34The food was served to them from Joseph's table, and Benjamin received five times as much as anyone else. So they ate and drank plenty with him.