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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
The Brothers Return to Egypt
1But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan. 2When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”
3But Judah said, “The man was serious when he warned us, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy more food. 5But if you don’t let Benjamin go, we won’t go either. Remember, the man said, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why were you so cruel to me?” Jacob#43:6 Hebrew Israel; also in 43:11. See note on 35:21. moaned. “Why did you tell him you had another brother?”
7“The man kept asking us questions about our family,” they replied. “He asked, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation—and not only we, but you and our little ones. 9I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever. 10If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.”
11So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts—balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Also take double the money that was put back in your sacks, as it was probably someone’s mistake. 13Then take your brother, and go back to the man. 14May God Almighty#43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai. give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.”
15So the men packed Jacob’s gifts and double the money and headed off with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.” 17So the man did as Joseph told him and took them into Joseph’s palace.
18The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken into Joseph’s house. “It’s because of the money someone put in our sacks last time we were here,” they said. “He plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.”
A Feast at Joseph’s Palace
19The brothers approached the manager of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace. 20“Sir,” they said, “we came to Egypt once before to buy food. 21But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money—the exact amount paid—was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us. 22We also have additional money to buy more food. We have no idea who put our money in our sacks.”
23“Relax. Don’t be afraid,” the household manager told them. “Your God, the God of your father, must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment.” Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.
24The manager then led the men into Joseph’s palace. He gave them water to wash their feet and provided food for their donkeys. 25They were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon.
26When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him. 27After greeting them, he asked, “How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes,” they replied. “Our father, your servant, is alive and well.” And they bowed low again.
29Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Joseph asked. “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept. 31After washing his face, he came back out, keeping himself under control. Then he ordered, “Bring out the food!”
32The waiters served Joseph at his own table, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians who ate with Joseph sat at their own table, because Egyptians despise Hebrews and refuse to eat with them. 33Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age, from oldest to youngest. 34And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.