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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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CHAPTER 43
1In the meantime hunger oppressed greatly all the land,
2and when the meats were wasted or consumed, which they [had] brought from Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, Turn ye again, and buy ye a little of meats to us.
3Judah answered, That man announced to us, under witnessing of an oath, and said, Ye shall not see my face, if ye shall not bring with you your least brother;
4therefore if thou wilt send him with us, we shall go down together, and we shall buy necessaries to thee;
5else if thou wilt not, we shall not go down; for as we said oft, the man announced to us, and said, Ye shall not see my face without your least brother.
6Forsooth Israel said to them, Ye did this into my wretchedness, that ye showed to him, that ye had also another brother.
7And they answered, The man asked us by order our generation, if our father lived, if we had another brother; and we answered pursuingly to him, by that that he asked; whether we might know that he would say, Bring ye your brother with you?
8And Judah said to his father, Send the child with me#43:8 Benjamin would have been over 30 years old at this time., that we go, and may live, lest we die, and thou, and our little children;
9I shall take the child, require thou him again of mine hand; if I shall not bring him again, and betake him to thee, I shall be guilty of sin against thee in all time;
10if this delay, or tarrying, had not been, we had come thence now another time.
11Therefore Israel, their father, said to them, If it is need so to be, do ye that that ye will; take ye of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and bear ye gifts to the man, a little of gum, and of honey, and of storax, that is, a precious gum, and of myrrh, that is, a bitter gum, and of terebinth, that is, best resins, and of almonds;
12and bear ye with you double money, and bear ye again that money which ye found in [the] bags, lest peradventure it be done by error, or unwittingly, or by negligence;
13but also take ye your brother, and go ye to the man;
14forsooth my God Almighty make him peaceable or pleasable, or queme-ful, to you, and send he again your brother, whom he holdeth in bonds, and also this Benjamin; forsooth I shall be now as made bare without sons.
15Therefore the men took gifts, and double money, and Benjamin; and they went down into Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16And when he had seen them and Benjamin together, he commanded the dispenser of his house, and said, Lead these men into the house, and slay some beasts, and make a feast; for they shall eat with me today.
17He did as it was commanded or as it was bidden to him, and he led the men into the house;
18and there they were afeared, and they said together, We be brought in for the money which we bare again before in our sacks, that he put challenge against us, and make subject by violence to servage both us and our asses.
19Wherefore they nighed in the gates, and spake to the dispenser,
20Lord, we pray, that thou hear us; we came down now before that we should buy meats;
21when those were bought, and we headed home, when we came to the inn, we opened our bags, and we found the money in the mouths of our sacks, which money we have brought again now in the same weight;
22but also we have brought other silver, that we can buy those things that be needful to us; it is not in our knowing who put the money in our purses.
23And he answered, Peace be to you, do not ye dread; your God, and [the] God of your father, gave to you treasures in your bags; for I have the money proved, which ye gave to me. And he led out Simeon to them;
24and when they were brought into the house, he brought water, and they washed their feet, and he gave their asses meats.
25Soothly they made ready their gifts till Joseph entered at midday, for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26Therefore Joseph entered into his house, and they offered gifts to him, and held them in their hands, and worshipped low to the earth.
27And he greeted them again meekly; and he asked them, and said, Whether your father, the eld [or old] man, is safe, of whom ye said to me? liveth he yet?
28Which answered, He is whole, thy servant our father liveth yet; and they were bowed, and worshipped him.
29Forsooth Joseph raised [up] his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother of the same womb, and he said, Is this your youngest brother, of whom ye said to me? And again Joseph said, My son, God have mercy on thee.
30And Joseph hasted into another part of the house, for his entrails were moved on his brother, and tears burst out, and he entered into a closet, and wept.
31And again when his face was washed, he went out, and refrained himself from weeping, and said, Set ye forth loaves.
32Which were set forth to Joseph by himself, and to his brethren by themselves, and to the Egyptians that ate together by themselves; for it is unleaveful to Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, and they guess such a feast unholy.
33Therefore they sat before him, the first begotten by right of the first begotten, and so on down to the youngest by his age; and they wondered greatly,
34when the parts were taken which they had received of him, and the more part came to Benjamin, so that it passed the others in five parts; and they drank, and were [ful] filled with him.