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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.
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1-2The famine got worse. When they had eaten all the food they had brought back from Egypt, their father said, “Go back and get some more food.”
3-5But Judah said, “The man warned us most emphatically, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’ If you’re ready to release our brother to go with us, we’ll go down and get you food. But if you’re not ready, we aren’t going. What would be the use? The man told us, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’”
6Israel said, “Why are you making my life so difficult! Why did you ever tell the man you had another brother?”
7They said, “The man pressed us hard, asking pointed questions about our family: ‘Is your father alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How did we know that he’d say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8-10Judah pushed his father Israel. “Let the boy go; I’ll take charge of him. Let us go and be on our way—if we don’t get going, we’re all going to starve to death—we and you and our children, too! I’ll take full responsibility for his safety; it’s my life on the line for his. If I don’t bring him back safe and sound, I’m the guilty one; I’ll take all the blame. If we had gone ahead in the first place instead of procrastinating like this, we could have been there and back twice over.”
11-14Their father Israel gave in. “If it has to be, it has to be. But do this: stuff your packs with the finest products from the land you can find and take them to the man as gifts—some balm and honey, some spices and perfumes, some pistachios and almonds. And take plenty of money—pay back double what was returned to your sacks; that might have been a mistake. Take your brother and get going. Go back to the man. And may The Strong God give you grace in that man’s eyes so that he’ll send back your other brother along with Benjamin. For me, nothing’s left; I’ve lost everything.”
15-16The men took the gifts, double the money, and Benjamin. They lost no time in getting to Egypt and meeting Joseph. When Joseph saw that they had Benjamin with them, he told his house steward, “Take these men into the house and make them at home. Butcher an animal and prepare a meal; these men are going to eat with me at noon.”
17-18The steward did what Joseph had said and took them inside. But they became anxious when they were brought into Joseph’s home, thinking, “It’s the money; he thinks we ran off with the money on our first trip down here. And now he’s got us where he wants us—he’s going to turn us into slaves and confiscate our donkeys.”
19-22So they went up to Joseph’s house steward and talked to him in the doorway. They said, “Listen, master. We came down here one other time to buy food. On our way home, the first night out we opened our bags and found our money at the mouth of the bag—the exact amount we’d paid. We’ve brought it all back and have plenty more to buy more food with. We have no idea who put the money in our bags.”
23The steward said, “Everything’s in order. Don’t worry. Your God and the God of your father must have given you a bonus. I was paid in full.” And with that, he presented Simeon to them.
24-25He then took them inside Joseph’s house and made them comfortable—gave them water to wash their feet and saw to the feeding of their donkeys. The brothers spread out their gifts as they waited for Joseph to show up at noon—they had been told that they were to have dinner with him.
26When Joseph got home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought and bowed respectfully before him.
27Joseph welcomed them and said, “And your old father whom you mentioned to me, how is he? Is he still alive?”
28They said, “Yes—your servant our father is quite well, very much alive.” And they again bowed respectfully before him.
29Then Joseph picked out his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son. He asked, “And is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
30-31Deeply moved on seeing his brother and about to burst into tears, Joseph hurried out into another room and had a good cry. Then he washed his face, got a grip on himself, and said, “Let’s eat.”
32-34Joseph was served at his private table, the brothers off by themselves and the Egyptians off by themselves (Egyptians won’t eat at the same table with Hebrews; it’s repulsive to them). The brothers were seated facing Joseph, arranged in order of their age, from the oldest to the youngest. They looked at one another wide-eyed, wondering what would happen next. When the brothers’ plates were served from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s plate came piled high, far more so than his brothers. And so the brothers feasted with Joseph, drinking freely.