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Genesis 44

44
Joseph Detains Benjamin
1#Ge 42:25; 43:16Then he commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2Put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, along with his grain money.” And he did according to what Joseph had spoken.
3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4#Ps 35:12When they were gone out of the city, but not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men. When you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you rewarded evil for good? 5#Ge 30:27; 44:15Is this not the one from which my lord drinks and uses as he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’ ”
6So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7They said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing. 8Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the top of our sacks. Why then would we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9#Ge 31:32Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.”
10He said, “Now let it also be according to your words. He with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you will be blameless.”
11Then every man hurriedly took down his sack to the ground, and every man opened his sack. 12He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13#Nu 14:6; 2Sa 1:11Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”
16#Ge 44:9; Da 9:7And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. Here we are, my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose possession the cup was found.”
17But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so. The man in whose possession the cup was found shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
Judah’s Plea for Benjamin
18#Ex 32:22; Ge 18:30Then Judah approached him and said, “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and do not be angry with your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh. 19#Ge 43:7My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20#Ge 37:3; 42:38And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.’
21#Ge 42:15; 42:20“You said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, so that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23#Ge 43:3; 43:5You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24When we went back to your servant, my father, we told him the words of my lord.
25#Ge 43:2“Our father said, ‘Go again and buy us a little food.’ 26We 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.’
27#Ge 46:19“Your servant, my father, said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28#Ge 37:33And the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he was torn in pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29#Ge 42:38; 42:36; 44:31And if you take this one also from me and he is harmed, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.’
30#1Sa 18:1“Now therefore when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31#Ge 44:29; 37:35when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant, our father, with sorrow to the grave. 32For your servant became surety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I fail to bring him to you, then I shall bear the blame to my father forever.’
33“Now therefore, please let your servant stay as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34#Est 8:6For how can I go up to my father if the boy is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would find my father?”
44
Joseph tests his brothers
1Joseph gave commands to his household manager: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they’ll hold, and put each man’s silver at the top of his sack. 2Put my cup, the silver cup, on top of the youngest brother’s sack, together with the silver for his grain.” So he did just as Joseph told him to do.
3At dawn, the men and their donkeys were sent off. 4They had left the city but hadn’t gone far when Joseph said to his household manager, “Get ready, go after the men and catch up with them! Ask them, ‘Why have you repaid hospitality with ingratitude?#44.4 LXX adds Why have you stolen my silver cup? 5Isn’t this the cup#44.5 Syr; MT lacks cup. my master drinks from and uses to discover God’s plans?#44.5 Or uses for divination What you’ve done is despicable.’”
6When he caught up to them, he repeated these words. 7They replied, “Why does my master talk to us like this? Your servants would never do such a thing. 8The silver that we found at the top of our sacks, we’ve just brought back to you from the land of Canaan. We didn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9Whoever of your servants is found with it will be put to death, and we’ll be my master’s slaves.”
10He said, “Fine. We’ll do just as you’ve said. Whoever is found with it will be my slave, and the rest of you will go free.” 11Everyone quickly lowered their sacks down to the ground and each opened his sack. 12He searched the oldest first and the youngest last, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13At this, they tore their clothing. Then everyone loaded their donkeys, and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground in front of him. 15Joseph said to them, “What’s this you’ve done? Didn’t you know someone like me can discover God’s plans?”#44.15 Or can practice divination
16Judah replied, “What can we say to my master? What words can we use? How can we prove we are innocent? God has found your servants guilty. We are now your slaves, all of us, including the one found with the cup.”
17Joseph said, “I’d never do such a thing. Only the man found with the cup will be my slave. As for the rest of you, you are free to go back to your father.”
Judah appeals for Benjamin
18Judah approached him and said, “Please, my master, allow your servant to say something to my master without getting angry with your servant since you are like Pharaoh himself. 19My master asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or brother?’ 20And we said to my master, ‘Yes, we have an elderly father and a young brother, born when he was old. His brother is dead and he’s his mother’s only child. But his father loves him.’ 21You told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him.’ 22And we said to my master, ‘The young man can’t leave his father. If he leaves, his father will die.’ 23You said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come down with you, you’ll never see my face again.’
24“When we went back to my father your servant, we told him what you said. 25Our father told us, ‘Go back and buy for us a little food.’ 26But we said, ‘We can’t go down. We will go down only if our youngest brother is with us. We won’t be able to gain an audience with the man without our youngest brother with us.’ 27Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave birth to two sons for me. 28One disappeared and I said, “He must have been torn up by a wild animal,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29And if you take this one from me too, something terrible will happen to him, and you will send me—old as I am—to my grave in despair.’ 30When I now go back to your servant my father without the young man—whose life is so bound up with his— 31and when he sees that the young man isn’t with us,#44.31 Sam, LXX; MT lacks with us. he will die, and your servants will have sent our father your servant—old as he is—to his grave in grief. 32I, your servant, guaranteed the young man’s safety to my father, telling him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, it will be my fault forever.’ 33Now, please let your servant stay as your slave instead of the young man so that he can go back with his brothers. 34How can I go back to my father without the young man? I couldn’t bear to see how badly my father would be hurt.”