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Genesis 43

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.
43
The Return to Egypt
1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2So it came about, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” 3Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man sternly warned #Lit us, sayingus, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, #Lit to tellby telling the man whether you still had another brother?” 7But they said, “The man specifically asked about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we #Lit told him according to these wordsanswered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8So Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. 9I myself will take responsibility for him! You may demand him back from #Lit my handme. If I do not bring him back to you and present him to you, then #Lit I will be culpable before you all the daysyou can let me take the blame forever. 10For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your #Or vesselsbags, and carry down to the man as a gift, a little balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and #Or resinous barkmyrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14and may #Heb El ShaddaiGod Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved!” 15So the men took this gift, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they set out and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make preparations; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17So the man did as Joseph said, and #Lit the man broughtbrought the men to Joseph’s house. 18Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, so that he may #Lit roll himself upon usattack us and #Lit fall uponoverpower us, and take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19So they approached Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21and it happened when we came to the campsite, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the opening of his sack, our money in #Lit its weightfull. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23But he said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; your #Lit your money had come to memoney was in my possession.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25So they prepared the gift #Lit untilfor Joseph’s arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat #Lit breada meal there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the gift which was in their hand, and they bowed down to the ground before him. 27Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” Then they bowed down again #I.e., great respect and honor to a superiorin homage. 29And as he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph then hurried out, for #Lit his compassion grew warmhe was deeply stirred over his brother, and he looked for a place to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, “#Lit Set on breadServe the meal.” 32Then they served him by himself, and #Lit themJoseph’s brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33Now they #Lit satwere seated before him, from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34Then he took portions to them from #Lit his facehis own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank freely with him.