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Genesis 44

44
Joseph’s Cup
1And he commanded the #Gen. 43:16steward of his house, saying, #Gen. 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. 2Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you #1 Sam. 25:21repaid evil for good? 5Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”
6So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. 8Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan #Gen. 43:21the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9With whomever of your servants it is found, #Gen. 31:32let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”
10And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you shall be blameless.” 11Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12So he searched. He began with the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they #Gen. 37:29, 34; Num. 14:6; 2 Sam. 1:11tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.
14So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they #Gen. 37:7, 10fell before him on the ground. 15And Joseph said to them, “What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”
16Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has #(Num. 32:23)found out the iniquity of your servants; here #Gen. 44:9we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”
17But he said, #Prov. 17:15“Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
Judah Intercedes for Benjamin
18Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and #Gen. 18:30, 32; Ex. 32:22do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 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, and #Gen. 37:3; 43:8; 44:30a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is #Gen. 42:38dead, and he #Gen. 46:19alone is left of his mother’s children, and his #Gen. 42:4father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, #Gen. 42:15, 20‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22And we said to my lord, #Gen. 43:3, 5‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’
24“So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25And #Gen. 43:2our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26But we said, ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that #Gen. 30:22–24; 35:16–18; 46:19my wife bore me two sons; 28and the one went out from me, and I said, #Gen. 37:31–35“Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. 29But if you #Gen. 42:36, 38; 44:31take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’
30“Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since #(1 Sam. 18:1; 25:29)his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, #Gen. 43:9‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Now therefore, please #Ex. 32:32let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”
44
The missing cup
1-2Later, Joseph told the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men's grain sacks with as much as they can hold and put their money in the sacks. Also put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother.” The servant did as he was told.
3Early the next morning, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4But they had not gone far from the city when Joseph told the servant, “Go after those men! When you catch them, say, ‘My master has been good to you. So why have you stolen his silver cup? 5Not only does he drink from his cup, but he also uses it to learn about the future. You have done a terrible thing.’ ”
6When the servant caught up with them, he said exactly what Joseph had told him to say. 7But they replied, “Sir, why do you say such things? We would never do anything like that! 8We even returned the money we found in our grain sacks when we got back to Canaan. So why would we want to steal any silver or gold from your master's house? 9If you find that one of us has the cup, then kill him, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“Good!” the man replied, “I'll do what you have said. But only the one who has the cup will become my slave. The rest of you can go free.”
11Each of the brothers quickly put his sack on the ground and opened it. 12Joseph's servant started searching the sacks, beginning with the one that belonged to the eldest brother. When he came to Benjamin's sack, he found the cup. 13This upset the brothers so much that they began tearing their clothes in sorrow. Then they loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers got there, Joseph was still at home. So they bowed down to Joseph, 15who asked them, “What have you done? Didn't you know I could find out?”
16“Sir, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we prove we are innocent? God has shown that we are guilty. And now all of us are your slaves, especially the one who had the cup.”
17Joseph told them, “I would never punish all of you. Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home to your father.”
Judah pleads for Benjamin
18Judah went over to Joseph and said:
Sir, you have as much power as the king#44.18 the king: See the note at 12.15. himself, and I am only your slave. Please don't get angry if I speak. 19You asked us if our father was still alive and if we had any more brothers. 20So we told you, “Our father is a very old man. In fact, he was already old when Benjamin was born. Benjamin's brother is dead. Now Benjamin is the only one of the two brothers who is still alive, and our father loves him very much.”
21You ordered us to bring him here, so you could see him for yourself. 22We told you that our father would die if Benjamin left him. 23But you warned us that we could never see you again, unless our youngest brother came with us. 24So we returned to our father and reported what you had said.
25Later our father told us to come back here and buy more grain. 26But we answered, “We can't go back to Egypt without our youngest brother. We will never be let in to see the governor, unless he is with us.”
27Sir, our father then reminded us that his favourite wife had given birth to two sons. 28One of them was already missing and had not been seen for a long time. My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal, 29and he said, “I am an old man. If you take Benjamin from me, and something happens to him, I will die of a broken heart.”
30That's why Benjamin must be with us when I go back to my father. He loves him so much 31that he will die if Benjamin doesn't come back with me. 32I promised my father that I would bring him safely home. If I don't, I told my father he could blame me the rest of my life.
33Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers. 34How can I face my father if Benjamin isn't with me? I couldn't bear to see my father in such sorrow.