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B'resheet (Gen) 43

43
1But the famine was severe in the land; 2so when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” 3Y’hudah said to him, “The man expressly warned us, ‘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 you food; 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.’” 6Isra’el said, “Why did you bring such trouble my way by telling the man you had another brother?” 7They answered, “The man kept questioning us about ourselves and about our kinsmen. He asked, ‘Is your father still alive?’ ‘Do you have another brother?’ and we answered according to the literal meaning of his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8Y’hudah said to Isra’el his father, “Send the boy with me; and we will make preparations and leave; so that we may stay alive and not die, both we and you, and also our little ones. 9I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I fail to bring him to you and present him to your face, let me bear the blame forever. 10Except for our lengthy delay, we would have been there again by now.”
11Their father Isra’el answered them, “If that’s how it is, do this: take in your containers some of the land’s best products, and bring the man a gift — some healing resin, a little honey, aromatic gum, opium, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take twice the amount of money with you; and return the money that came back with you in your packs — it could have been an oversight. 13Yes, and take your brother too; and get ready; and go again to the man. 14May El Shaddai give you favor in the man’s sight, so that he will release to you your other brother as well as Binyamin. As for me, if I must lose my children, lose them I will.” 15The men took that gift, and they took twice the money with them, and Binyamin; then they prepared, went down to Egypt and stood before Yosef.
(vi) 16When Yosef saw Binyamin with them, he said to his household manager, “Take the men inside the house, kill the animals and prepare the meat. These men will dine with me at noon.” 17The man did as Yosef ordered and brought the men into Yosef’s house.
18Upon being ushered inside Yosef’s house, the men became fearful. They said, “It’s because of the money that was returned in our packs the first time that we have been brought inside — so that he can use it as an excuse to attack us, take us as slaves and seize our donkeys too.” 19So they approached the manager of Yosef’s household and spoke to him at the entrance of the house: 20“Please, my lord, the first time we indeed came down to buy food; 21but when we got to camp, we opened our packs, and there inside our packs was each man’s money, the full amount. We have brought it back with us; 22moreover, we have brought down other money to buy food. We have no idea who put our money in our packs.” 23“Stop worrying,” he replied, “don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father put treasure in your packs. As for your money — I was the one who received it.” Then he brought Shim‘on out to them.
24The man brought the men into Yosef’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet, and he provided fodder for their donkeys. 25Then they got their gift ready for Yosef’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were going to eat a meal there. 26When Yosef arrived home, they went in the house and presented him with the gift they had brought with them, then prostrated themselves before him on the ground. 27He asked them how they were and inquired, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28They answered, “Your servant our father is well; yes, he is still alive,” as they bowed in respect. 29He looked up and saw Binyamin his brother, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” and added, “May God be good to you, my son.”
(vii) 30Then Yosef hurried out, because his feelings toward his brother were so strong that he wanted to cry; he went into his bedroom and there he wept. 31Then he washed his face and came out, but he controlled himself as he gave the order to serve the meal. 32They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians included at the meal by themselves — Egyptians don’t eat with Hebrews, because that is abhorrent to them. 33So they sat there facing him, the firstborn in the place of honor, the youngest in last place; and the men expressed their amazement to each other. 34Each was given his serving there in front of him, but Binyamin’s portion was five times as large as any of theirs. So they drank and enjoyed themselves with him.
43
1The famine continued to be really bad in Canaan, 2so once they had finished the grain they'd brought from Egypt, their father told them, “You have to go back and buy some more grain for us.”
3But Judah responded, “The man was adamant when he warned us, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother Benjamin with us then we'll go and buy food for you. 5But if you won't send him, then we won't go, because the man was very clear, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why have you made things so bad for me by telling the man you had another brother?” Israel asked.
7“The man kept on asking direct questions about us and our family like ‘Is your father still alive?’ and ‘Do you have another brother?’” they replied. “We just answered his questions. How were we to know he'd say, ‘Bring your brother here!’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy in my care, and we'll leave immediately, so that we can stay alive and not die—and that includes you and us and our children! 9I promise to take care of him—I'll be personally responsible for bringing him back to you. If I don't, then I will always carry the blame! 10Now let's go, because if we hadn't hesitated, we could have gone there and come back twice by now.”
11“If it has to be, then this is what you'll do,” Israel replied. “Take with you the best our country produces. Pack your bags with gifts for the man—balm, a little honey, spices, myrrh, pistachios, and almonds. 12Take double the money that was returned to you in your sacks—maybe it was a mistake. 13Take your brother and go back to the man right away. 14May God Almighty make the man treat you kindly so when you come before him he'll release your other brother and send Benjamin back. As for me, if I am to lose all my children, then so be it.”
15So they packed the gifts, took double the money, and set off, accompanied by Benjamin. They arrived in Egypt and went to have an audience with Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin was with them, he told his household supervisor, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and make a meal, for they are going to eat with me at noon.”
17The man did as Joseph ordered and took them to Joseph's house. 18They were really worried that they were being taken to Joseph's house. “It's because of the money that was put in our sacks the first time we came,” they said to each other. “That's why we're being brought in—so he can accuse us and attack us! He'll make us his slaves and take our donkeys!”
19So they went and spoke to Joseph's household supervisor at the entrance to the house. 20“Please excuse us, my lord,” they said. “We came down the first time to buy food, 21and when we stopped for the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found our money—the exact amount—at the top of our sacks. So we've brought it back with us. 22We've also brought more money to buy food. We've no idea who put our money in our sacks!”
23“Everything's fine!” he told them. “Don't worry! Your God, the God of your father, must have given you the treasure#43:23. “Treasure”: the word refers of course to the money, and is one used to describe money that is hidden or buried. hidden in your sacks. I got your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to meet them. 24The steward took them inside Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet, and supplied food for their donkeys. 25They got their gifts ready for when Joseph would come at noon, because they had found out that they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph arrived at the house they gave him the gifts they had brought for him, and bowed low to the ground before him. 27He asked how they were, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father doing that you spoke of? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes, your servant our father is still alive, and is well,” they replied and bowed low in respect.
29Then Joseph looked over at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” he asked. “God be gracious to you, my son,” he said.
30Joseph had to run out quickly because he was becoming so emotional at seeing his brother.#43:30. He hadn't seen Benjamin for more than 20 years. He looked for a place to cry, and went to his room to weep there. 31Then he washed his face, got his emotions under control, and went back out. “Serve the food,” he ordered.
32Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians were also served at another table, because Egyptians cannot eat with Hebrews because they find this repulsive.#43:32. It appears that since the Egyptians revered the cow goddess Isis they viewed anyone (including Hebrews) who ate such meat as unclean. 33The brothers had been seated in front of him in order by age, from the firstborn, the oldest, down to the youngest, and they looked at each other in complete surprise.#43:33. It would of course have been impossible for anyone without intimate family knowledge to do this. 34The food was served to them from Joseph's table, and Benjamin received five times as much as anyone else. So they ate and drank plenty with him.