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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’s Silver Cup
1When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph gave these instructions to his palace manager: “Fill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money back into his sack. 2Then put my personal silver cup at the top of the youngest brother’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” So the manager did as Joseph instructed him.
3The brothers were up at dawn and were sent on their journey with their loaded donkeys. 4But when they had gone only a short distance and were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you repaid my kindness with such evil? 5Why have you stolen my master’s silver cup,#44:5 As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks this phrase. which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have done!’”
6When the palace manager caught up with the men, he spoke to them as he had been instructed.
7“What are you talking about?” the brothers responded. “We are your servants and would never do such a thing! 8Didn’t we return the money we found in our sacks? We brought it back all the way from the land of Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If you find his cup with any one of us, let that man die. And all the rest of us, my lord, will be your slaves.”
10“That’s fair,” the man replied. “But only the one who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
11They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and opened them. 12The palace manager searched the brothers’ sacks, from the oldest to the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 13When the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded their donkeys again and returned to the city.
14Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him. 15“What have you done?” Joseph demanded. “Don’t you know that a man like me can predict the future?”
16Judah answered, “Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves—all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack.”
17“No,” Joseph said. “I would never do such a thing! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Speaks for His Brothers
18Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
19“My lord, previously you asked us, your servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we responded, ‘Yes, my lord, we have a father who is an old man, and his youngest son is a child of his old age. His full brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him very much.’
21“And you said to us, ‘Bring him here so I can see him with my own eyes.’ 22But we said to you, ‘My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.’ 23But you told us, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you will never see my face again.’
24“So we returned to your servant, our father, and told him what you had said. 25Later, when he said, ‘Go back again and buy us more food,’ 26we replied, ‘We can’t go unless you let our youngest brother go with us. We’ll never get to see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife had two sons, 28and one of them went away and never returned. Doubtless he was torn to pieces by some wild animal. I have never seen him since. 29Now if you take his brother away from me, and any harm comes to him, you will send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.#44:29 Hebrew to Sheol; also in 44:31.
30“And now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father’s life is bound up in the boy’s life. 31If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, your servants, will indeed be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave. 32My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.’
33“So please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!”