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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 Tests His Brothers
1Then he commanded #ver. 4; See ch. 43:16 the steward of his house, #ch. 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, 2and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.
3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his #ver. 1steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?#44:4 Septuagint (compare Vulgate) adds Why have you stolen my silver cup? 5Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and #ver. 15; ch. 30:27; [2 Kgs. 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6]by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”
6When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. 7They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Behold, #ch. 43:21the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9#[ch. 31:32] Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be #ver. 16my lord’s servants.” 10He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” 11Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they #ch. 37:29tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there. They #ch. 37:7, 9, 10; 42:6; 43:26, 28fell before him to the ground. 15Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me #ver. 5can indeed practice divination?” 16And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out #ch. 37:18; [Num. 32:23] the guilt of your servants; behold, we are #ver. 9my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” 17But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
18Then Judah went up to him and said, #ch. 43:20 “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and #Ex. 32:22 let not your anger burn against your servant, for #ch. 41:40you are like Pharaoh himself. 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, #ver. 30; [ch. 43:8] and a young brother, #[ch. 37:3]the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, #ch. 42:15, 20; 43:3, 5‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, #[ver. 31]his father would die.’ 23Then you said to your servants, #ch. 43:3‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’
24“When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25And when #ch. 43:2our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me #ch. 46:19two sons. 28One left me, and I said, #ch. 37:33“Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29If you #ch. 42:36, 38 take this one also from me, #ch. 42:4, 38and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’
30“Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, #ch. 43:9‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”