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Genesis 43

43
The Brothers Go Back to Egypt
1Still no food grew in the land of Canaan. 2Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt. So Jacob said to them, “Go to Egypt again. Buy a little more grain for us to eat.”
3But Judah said to Jacob, “The governor of that country strongly warned us. He said, ‘Bring your brother back with you. If you don’t, you will not be allowed to see me.’ 4If you will send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The governor of that country warned us. He said we would not see him if we didn’t bring Benjamin with us.”
6Jacob, also called Israel, said, “Why did you tell the man you had another brother? You have caused me a lot of trouble.”
7The brothers answered, “He questioned us carefully about ourselves and our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ We just answered his questions. How could we know he would ask us to bring our other brother to him?”
8Then Judah said to his father Jacob, “Send Benjamin with me. Then we will go at once. Do this so that we, you and our children may live and not die. 9I will guarantee you that he will be safe. I will be personally responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life. 10If we had not wasted all this time, we could have already made two trips.”
11Then their father Jacob said to them, “If it has to be that way, then do this: Take some of the best foods in our land in your packs. Give them to the man as a gift: some balm, some honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take twice as much money with you this time. Take back the money that was returned to you in your sacks last time. Maybe it was a mistake. 13And take Benjamin with you. Now leave and go to the man. 14I pray that God All-Powerful will cause the governor to be merciful to you. I pray that he will allow Simeon and Benjamin to come back with you. If I am robbed of my children, then I am robbed of them!”
15So the brothers took the gifts. They also took twice as much money as they had taken the first time. And they took Benjamin. They hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16In Egypt Joseph saw Benjamin with them. Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Bring those men into my house. Kill an animal and prepare a meal. Those men will eat with me today at noon.” 17The servant did as Joseph told him. He brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18The brothers were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the money that was put in our sacks on the first trip. He wants to attack us, make us slaves and take our donkeys.” 19So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house. They spoke to him at the door of the house. 20They said, “Sir, we came here once before to buy food. 21While we were going home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Each of us found all his money in his sack. We brought that money with us to give it back to you. 22And we have brought more money. It is to pay for the food we want to buy this time. We don’t know who put that money in our sacks.”
23But the servant answered, “It’s all right. Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sacks. I got the money you paid me for the grain last time.” Then the servant brought Simeon out to them.
24The servant led the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave their donkeys food to eat. 25The men prepared their gift to give to Joseph when he arrived at noon. They had heard they were going to eat with him there.
26When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gift they had brought into the house. Then they bowed down to the ground to him. 27Joseph asked them how they were doing. He said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28The brothers answered, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” And they bowed low before Joseph to show him respect.
29Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, who had the same mother as he. Joseph asked, “Is this your youngest brother you told me about?” Then Joseph said to Benjamin, “God be good to you, my son!” 30Then Joseph hurried off. He had to hold back the tears when he saw his brother Benjamin. So Joseph went into his room and cried there. 31Then he washed his face and came out. He controlled himself and said, “Serve the meal.”
32So they served Joseph at one table. They served his brothers at another table. And they served the Egyptians who ate with him at another table. This was because Egyptians did not like Hebrews and never ate with them. 33Joseph’s brothers were seated in front of him. They were in order of their ages, from oldest to youngest. And they looked at each other because they were so amazed. 34Food from Joseph’s table was taken to them. But Benjamin was given five times more food than the others. Joseph’s brothers drank with him until they were very drunk.
43
The Second Journey to Egypt.#The second journey to Egypt. Joseph the sage has carefully prepared the brothers for a possible reconciliation. In this chapter and the following one Judah steps forward as the hero, in contrast to chaps. 37 and 42 where Reuben was the hero. Here Judah serves as guarantee for Benjamin. 1Now the famine in the land grew severe. 2So when they had used up all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.” 3But Judah replied: “The man strictly warned us, ‘You shall not see me unless your brother is with you.’#Gn 44:23. 4If you are willing to let our brother go with us, we will go down to buy food for you. 5But if you are not willing, we will not go down, because the man told us, ‘You shall not see me unless your brother is with you.’”#Gn 42:20. 6Israel demanded, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man that you had another brother?” 7They answered: “The man kept asking about us and our family: ‘Is your father still living? Do you have another brother?’ We answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Then Judah urged his father Israel: “Let the boy go with me, that we may be off and on our way if you and we and our children are to keep from starving to death.#Gn 42:37. 9I myself will serve as a guarantee for him. You can hold me responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back and set him before you, I will bear the blame before you forever.#Gn 44:32. 10Had we not delayed, we could have been there and back twice by now!”
11Israel their father then told them: “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the land’s best products in your baggage and take them down to the man as gifts: some balm and honey, gum and resin, and pistachios and almonds.#Gn 45:23. 12Also take double the money along, for you must return the amount that was put back in the mouths of your bags; it may have been a mistake. 13Take your brother, too, and be off on your way back to the man. 14May God Almighty grant you mercy in the presence of the man, so that he may let your other brother go, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to suffer bereavement, I shall suffer it.”
15So the men took those gifts and double the money and Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt and presented themselves before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw them and Benjamin, he told his steward, “Take the men into the house, and have an animal slaughtered and prepared, for they are to dine with me at noon.” 17Doing as Joseph had ordered, the steward conducted the men to Joseph’s house. 18But they became apprehensive when they were led to his house. “It must be,” they thought, “on account of the money put back in our bags the first time, that we are taken inside—in order to attack us and take our donkeys and seize us as slaves.” 19So they went up to Joseph’s steward and talked to him at the entrance of the house. 20“If you please, sir,” they said, “we came down here once before to buy food.#Gn 42:3. 21But when we arrived at a night’s encampment and opened our bags, there was each man’s money in the mouth of his bag—our money in the full amount! We have now brought it back.#Gn 42:27–28. 22We have brought other money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our bags.” 23He replied, “Calm down! Do not fear! Your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags for you. As for your money, I received it.” With that, he led Simeon out to them.
24The steward then brought the men inside Joseph’s house. He gave them water to wash their feet, and gave fodder to their donkeys. 25Then they set out their gifts to await Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were to dine there. 26When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, while they bowed down before him to the ground. 27After inquiring how they were, he asked them, “And how is your aged father, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”#Tb 7:4. 28“Your servant our father is still alive and doing well,” they said, as they knelt and bowed down. 29Then Joseph looked up and saw Benjamin, his brother, the son of his mother. He asked, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you told me?” Then he said to him, “May God be gracious to you, my son!”#Gn 42:13. 30With that, Joseph hurried out, for he was so overcome with affection for his brother that he was on the verge of tears. So he went into a private room and wept there.
31After washing his face, he reappeared and, now having collected himself, gave the order, “Serve the meal.” 32It was served separately to him,#Separately to him: that Joseph did not eat with the other Egyptians was apparently a matter of rank. to the brothers, and to the Egyptians who partook of his board. Egyptians may not eat with Hebrews; that is abhorrent to them. 33When they were seated before him according to their age, from the oldest to the youngest, they looked at one another in amazement; 34and as portions were brought to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as#Five times as large as: probably an idiomatic expression for “much larger than.” Cf. 45:22. anyone else’s. So they drank freely and made merry with him.