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Genesis 44

44
Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to the servant in charge of his house. Joseph said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry. And put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother. Also put his money for the grain in that sack.” The servant did what Joseph told him.
3At dawn the brothers were sent away with their donkeys. 4They were not far from the city when Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Go after the men. When you catch up with them, say, ‘Why have you paid back evil for good? 5The cup you have stolen is the one my master uses for drinking. And he uses it for explaining dreams. You have done a very wicked thing!’”
6So the servant caught up with the brothers. He said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why do you say these things? We would not do anything like that! 8We brought back to you the money we found in our sacks. We brought it back from the land of Canaan. So surely we would not steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find that silver cup in the sack of one of us, then let him die. And we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “We will do as you say. But only the man who has taken the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
11Then every brother quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12The servant searched the sacks, going from the oldest brother to the youngest. He found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers tore their clothes to show they were sad. Then they put their sacks back on the donkeys. And they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there. The brothers bowed facedown on the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know that a man like me can learn things by signs and dreams?”
16Judah said, “Sir, what can we say? And how can we show we are not guilty? God has uncovered our guilt. So all of us will be your slaves, not just Benjamin.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back safely to your father.”
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Sir, please let me speak plainly to you. Please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are as powerful as the king of Egypt himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have an old father. And we have a younger brother. He was born when our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead. So he is the only one of his mother’s children left alive. And our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves him, his father would die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘You must bring your youngest brother. If you don’t, you will not be allowed to see me again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you had said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go again. Buy us a little more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. Without our youngest brother, we will not be allowed to see the governor.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28One son left me. I thought, “Surely he has been torn apart by a wild animal.” And I haven’t seen him since. 29Now you want to take this son away from me also. But something terrible might happen to him. Then I would be sad until the day I die.’ 30Now what will happen if we go home to our father without our youngest brother? He is the most important thing in our father’s life. 31When our father sees that the young boy is not with us, he will die. And it will be our fault. We will cause the great sorrow that kills our father.
32“I gave my father a guarantee that the young boy would be safe. I said to my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life.’ 33So now, please allow me to stay here and be your slave. And let the young boy go back home with his brothers. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I couldn’t stand to see my father that sad.”
44
Joseph’s Cup
1And he commanded the #Gen. 43:16steward of his house, saying, #Gen. 42:25“Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you #1 Sam. 25:21repaid evil for good? 5Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”
6So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. 8Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan #Gen. 43:21the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9With whomever of your servants it is found, #Gen. 31:32let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”
10And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you shall be blameless.” 11Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12So he searched. He began with the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they #Gen. 37:29, 34; Num. 14:6; 2 Sam. 1:11tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.
14So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they #Gen. 37:7, 10fell before him on the ground. 15And Joseph said to them, “What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”
16Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has #(Num. 32:23)found out the iniquity of your servants; here #Gen. 44:9we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”
17But he said, #Prov. 17:15“Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
Judah Intercedes for Benjamin
18Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and #Gen. 18:30, 32; Ex. 32:22do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and #Gen. 37:3; 43:8; 44:30a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is #Gen. 42:38dead, and he #Gen. 46:19alone is left of his mother’s children, and his #Gen. 42:4father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, #Gen. 42:15, 20‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22And we said to my lord, #Gen. 43:3, 5‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’
24“So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25And #Gen. 43:2our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26But we 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.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that #Gen. 30:22–24; 35:16–18; 46:19my wife bore me two sons; 28and the one went out from me, and I said, #Gen. 37:31–35“Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. 29But if you #Gen. 42:36, 38; 44:31take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’
30“Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since #(1 Sam. 18:1; 25:29)his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, #Gen. 43:9‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Now therefore, please #Ex. 32:32let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”