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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
The Brothers Return to Egypt
1But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan. 2When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”
3But Judah said, “The man was serious when he warned us, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy more food. 5But if you don’t let Benjamin go, we won’t go either. Remember, the man said, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why were you so cruel to me?” Jacob#43:6 Hebrew Israel; also in 43:11. See note on 35:21. moaned. “Why did you tell him you had another brother?”
7“The man kept asking us questions about our family,” they replied. “He asked, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation—and not only we, but you and our little ones. 9I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever. 10If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.”
11So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts—balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Also take double the money that was put back in your sacks, as it was probably someone’s mistake. 13Then take your brother, and go back to the man. 14May God Almighty#43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai. give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.”
15So the men packed Jacob’s gifts and double the money and headed off with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.” 17So the man did as Joseph told him and took them into Joseph’s palace.
18The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken into Joseph’s house. “It’s because of the money someone put in our sacks last time we were here,” they said. “He plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.”
A Feast at Joseph’s Palace
19The brothers approached the manager of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace. 20“Sir,” they said, “we came to Egypt once before to buy food. 21But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money—the exact amount paid—was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us. 22We also have additional money to buy more food. We have no idea who put our money in our sacks.”
23“Relax. Don’t be afraid,” the household manager told them. “Your God, the God of your father, must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment.” Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.
24The manager then led the men into Joseph’s palace. He gave them water to wash their feet and provided food for their donkeys. 25They were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon.
26When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him. 27After greeting them, he asked, “How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes,” they replied. “Our father, your servant, is alive and well.” And they bowed low again.
29Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Joseph asked. “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept. 31After washing his face, he came back out, keeping himself under control. Then he ordered, “Bring out the food!”
32The waiters served Joseph at his own table, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians who ate with Joseph sat at their own table, because Egyptians despise Hebrews and refuse to eat with them. 33Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age, from oldest to youngest. 34And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.