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Genesis 43

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Decision to Return to Egypt
1Now the famine in the land was severe.#Gn 12:10; 41:56–57; 47:20 2When they had used up the grain they had brought back from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3But Judah said to him, “The man specifically warned us, ‘You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go, for the man said to us, ‘You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.’”#Gn 42:18–20; 44:23
6“Why have you caused me so much trouble?” Israel asked. “Why did you tell the man that you had another brother?”
7They answered, “The man kept asking about us and our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me. We will be on our way so that we may live and not die — neither we, nor you, nor our dependents. 9I will be responsible for him. You can hold me personally accountable!#43:9 Lit can seek him from my hand If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I will be guilty before you forever.#Gn 42:37; 44:32 10If we had not delayed, we could have come back twice by now.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and take them down to the man as a gift — a little balsam and a little honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.#Gn 37:25; Jr 8:22; Ezk 27:17 12Take twice as much silver with you. Return the silver that was returned to you in the top of your bags. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and go back at once to the man. 14May God Almighty cause the man to be merciful to you so that he will release your other brother and Benjamin to you. As for me, if I am deprived of my sons, then I am deprived.”#Gn 42:36
The Return to Egypt
15The men took this gift, double the amount of silver, and Benjamin. They immediately went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, “Take the men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they will eat with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph had said and brought them to Joseph’s house.
18But the men were afraid because they were taken to Joseph’s house. They said, “We have been brought here because of the silver that was returned in our bags the first time. They intend to overpower us, seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.” 19So they approached Joseph’s steward#43:19 Lit approached the one who was over the house and spoke to him at the doorway of the house.
20They said, “My lord, we really did come down here the first time only to buy food. 21When we came to the place where we lodged for the night and opened our bags of grain, each one’s silver was at the top of his bag!#Gn 42:27,35 It was the full amount of our silver, and we have brought it back with us. 22We have brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in the bags.”
23Then the steward said, “May you be well. Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags. I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24The steward brought the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet,#Gn 18:4; 19:2; 24:32 and got feed for their donkeys. 25Since the men had heard that they were going to eat a meal there, they prepared their gift for Joseph’s arrival at noon. 26When Joseph came home, they brought him the gift they had carried into the house, and they bowed to the ground before him.
27He asked if they were well, and he said, “How is your elderly father that you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28They answered, “Your servant our father is well. He is still alive.” And they knelt low and paid homage to him.
29When he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph hurried out because he was overcome with emotion for his brother, and he was about to weep. He went into an inner room and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out. Regaining his composure,#Gn 45:1 he said, “Serve the meal.”
32They served him by himself, his brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, since that is detestable to them.#Gn 46:34; Ex 8:26 33They were seated before him in order by age, from the firstborn to the youngest. The men looked at each other in astonishment. 34Portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, and Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of theirs.#Gn 35:24; 45:22 They drank and became drunk with Joseph.
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Genesis 43
1¶ And the famine was sore in the land.
2And it came to pass when they had eaten up the wheat which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.
3And Judah spoke unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.
4If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
5But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down; for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.
6And Israel said, Why did ye such evil unto me as to tell the man that ye had another brother?
7And they said, The man asked us expressly of our state and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? Have ye another brother? And we told him according to the tenor of these words. Could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
8Then Judah said unto Israel, his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live, and not die, both we and thou and also our little ones.
9I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him; if I do not bring him unto thee and set him before thee, then let me bear the sin for ever;
10for if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.
11¶ Then their father Israel answered them, If it must be so now, do this: take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and take the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, aromas, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds.
12And take double money in your hands and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks; carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight.
13Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man.
14And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may let your other brother go, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved.
15¶ Then the men took the present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin, and rose up and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home and slay an animal and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
17And the man did as Joseph bade, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18And the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house, and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time we are brought in here that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us and take us for slaves and our asses.
19And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they spoke with him at the door of the house
20and said, my lord, we came indeed down the first time to buy food;
21and it came to pass when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; and we have brought it again in our hand.
22And we brought down other money in our hands to buy food; we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
23And he said, Peace be to you, fear not; your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
24And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet, and he gave their asses fodder.
25And they made ready the present waiting until Joseph came at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26¶ And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which they had in their hand in the house and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
27And he asked them of their welfare and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spoke? Is he yet alive?
28And they answered, Thy slave our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads and made obeisance.
29And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spoke unto me? And he said, God be merciful unto thee, my son.
30Then Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother; and he sought where to weep, and he entered into his chamber and wept there.
31And he washed his face and went out and refrained himself and said, Serve bread.
32And they served for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, who ate with him, by themselves; because the Egyptians may not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
33And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men marvelled one at another.
34And he took and sent portions unto them from before him; but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were drunk with him.