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Genesis 43

43
Joseph’s Brothers Return With Benjamin
1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2When they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3#Ge 44:23; 43:5Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you will 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.’ ”
6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?”
7#Ge 43:3And they said, “The man asked us directly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we even know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8#Ge 42:2And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, both we and you, and also our little ones. 9#Ge 42:37; Phm 1:18–19I will be a surety for him. You may hold me personally responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10For if we had not delayed, we could have returned twice.”
11#Ge 37:25; Jer 8:22; Pr 18:16Their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, do this. Take some of the best fruits in the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man: a little balm and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12#Ge 42:25; 42:35Take double the money with you, along with the money that was brought back in the mouths of your sacks. Carry it with you again. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Also, take your brother and arise, return to the man. 14#Ge 17:1; Est 4:16And may God Almighty give you mercy before the man, so that he may send away your other brother, along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15The men took the gift, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16#Ge 44:1; 43:19When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the house steward, “Bring these men home, slaughter an animal and prepare it, for these men will dine with me at noon.”
17The man did as Joseph ordered, so the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. 18#Ge 42:35The men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house. They said, “We have been brought in because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time, so that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us and take us for slaves with our donkeys.”
The Feast With Joseph
19They approached the steward of Joseph’s house, and they spoke with him at the entrance of the house. 20#Ge 42:3; 42:10They said, “My lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food. 21#Ge 43:12When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks and realized every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us. 22We have also brought additional money with us to buy food. We cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.”
23#Ge 42:24He said, “Be at peace; 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 Simeon out to them.
24#Ge 18:4; 24:32The man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and gave feed to their donkeys. 25#Ge 43:11Then they made ready the gift for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would be eating a meal there.
26#Ge 37:7–10; 42:6When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed themselves to him to the ground. 27#Ge 42:11; 42:13He asked them about their well-being and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28#Ge 37:7; 43:26And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health. He is still alive.” And they bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves.
29#Ge 42:13; Nu 6:25He lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30#Ge 42:24; 1Ki 3:26Joseph hurried out, for he was deeply moved over his brother and sought a place to weep. So he entered into his chamber and wept there.
31#Ge 45:1Then he washed his face and came out. Controlling himself, he said, “Serve the food.”
32#Ge 46:34; Ex 8:26They served him by himself and them by themselves and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat a meal with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34#Ge 45:22; 2Sa 11:8He gave them portions from his own table, but Benjamin’s serving was five times more than any of theirs. So they drank and feasted with him.
43
Chapter 43
Joseph's brothers return to Egypt
1The famine was still bad in Canaan. 2Jacob's family ate all the food that they had brought from Egypt. So Jacob said to his sons, ‘Go back to Egypt, and buy some more food for us.’ #43:2 God had changed Jacob's name to ‘Israel’, but the Bible continues to use both names for the same person. We are using the name ‘Jacob’ here. 3But Judah said, ‘The man told us many times, “Unless your brother is with you, I will not let you see me again.” 4So, you must send Benjamin with us. Then we will go and buy food for you. 5But if you do not send Benjamin, we will not go. The man clearly said to us, “Unless your brother is with you, you will not see me again.”’
6Jacob said to them, ‘You have brought great trouble to me! You should not have told the man that you had another brother.’ 7The brothers replied, ‘The man asked us many questions about our family. He asked us, “Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?” We only answered his questions. We did not know that he would say, “Bring your brother here.”’
8Then Judah said to his father Jacob, ‘Agree to send the boy with me. Then we will go to Egypt at once. Then all our family can continue to live. We will not die. #43:8 Judah says we will not die because he would bring back food from Canaan. The famine would not kill them. 9I promise you to keep Benjamin safe. I myself will take care of him and I will bring him back to you. If I do not bring him back home, then you should say that I am guilty. I will be guilty for all of my life. 10We must go now! We have already talked for too long. By now, we could have gone to Egypt and returned twice!’
11Then their father Jacob said to them, ‘If you must take Benjamin, do what I tell you. Put some of the best things from our land in your bags. Take them to the man as a gift. Take some oil, some honey and some spices. Also take some myrrh, and some nuts. #43:11 All these gifts were things that Egyptian people usually had to buy from other countries. 12Also take twice the amount of money with you. You must give back the money that they put back into your bags last time. It may have been a mistake. 13Take your brother Benjamin too. Go back to the man at once. 14I pray that God Almighty will help you. I pray that God will cause the man to be kind to you. Then he will let your older brother go free. He and Benjamin will return here with you. As for me, if I must lose my sons, then I will lose them. There is nothing that I can do to stop it.’
15So the brothers took the gifts, and they took twice as much money with them. They took Benjamin and they hurried to Egypt. When they arrived there, they went to meet Joseph.
16Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them. So he said to his servant who took care of his house, ‘Take these men to my house. Kill an animal and prepare it for a meal. These men will eat with me at noon.’ 17The servant did as Joseph told him. He took the men to Joseph's house.
18The brothers were frightened when the servant took them to Joseph's house. They thought, ‘He has brought us here because of the money that we found in our bags last time. Someone put it there before we returned home. Now he wants to punish us. He will take us to be his slaves. He will take our donkeys too.’
19So the brothers went to Joseph's servant. They spoke to him at the door of Joseph's house before they went in. 20They said, ‘Please sir. The first time we came here, we came to buy food. 21But on our journey back, we stopped at a place to sleep for the night. When we opened our bags, each of us found our money there. It was the same amount of money that each of us had taken to buy food in Egypt. The money was in the top of our bags. Now we have brought the money back here. 22We have also brought more money so that we can buy more food. We do not know who put the money back into our bags.’
23The servant replied, ‘Do not worry. Everything is all right. Your God, the God of your father, put the valuable silver coins there. I received your money. No problem!’ Then the servant brought Simeon out to see his brothers.
24The servant took the men into Joseph's house. He gave them water to wash their feet. He also gave food to their donkeys. 25The brothers prepared their gifts to give to Joseph when he would arrive at noon. The servant had told them that they were going to eat a meal there.
26When Joseph arrived home, the brothers gave him the gifts that they had brought with them. They bent down low to the ground in front of him. 27Joseph asked them if they were well. Then he said, ‘You told me last time about your old father. How is he? Is he still alive?’ 28The brothers replied, ‘Your servant, our father, is still alive. And he is well.’ They bent down to the ground again, to respect Joseph.
29Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother's son. #43:29 Only Joseph and Benjamin were sons of Rachel. Jacob's other wives had given birth to the other brothers. Joseph asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother? Is he the one that you told me about?’ Joseph said to Benjamin, ‘I pray that God will bless you, my son.’ 30Joseph loved Benjamin very much. He quickly went out of the room because he wanted to weep. Joseph went into his own room and he wept there. 31After that, he washed his face. He returned to his brothers. He controlled himself and he said, ‘Prepare the food for them to eat.’ 32The servants gave food to Joseph at his own table. The brothers sat together at a different table. And the Egyptians who ate there also sat together. The Egyptians could not eat a meal with Hebrews, because that would make the Egyptians ashamed. 33The brothers sat in a place where Joseph could see them. The servants told each of them where to sit, by their age. The oldest brother was at one end, all along to the youngest brother at the other end. The brothers were very surprised to see this. #43:33 The brothers were surprised because Joseph knew their ages.
34Then the servants took food from Joseph's table and they gave it to the brothers. Benjamin received the biggest amount of food. It was 5 times more than any of his brothers. The brothers also drank wine with Joseph and they were all very happy.