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Genesis 43

43
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.
43
1And the famine was grievous in the land. 2And it came to pass, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, Go again, buy us a little food. 3And Judah spoke to him, saying, The man did positively testify to us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, unless your brother be with you. 4If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food; 5but if thou do not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, Ye shall not see my face, unless your brother be with you. 6And Israel said, Why did ye deal so ill with me as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother? 7And they said, The man asked very closely after us, and after our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye a brother? And we told him according to the tenor of these words. Could we at all know that he would say, Bring your brother down? 8And Judah said to 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 our little ones. 9I will be surety for him: of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not to thee, and set him before thy face, then shall I be guilty toward thee for ever. 10For had we not lingered, we should now certainly have returned already twice.
11And their father Israel said to them, If it is then so, do this: take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a gift: a little balsam and a little honey, tragacanth and ladanum, pistacia-nuts and almonds. 12And take other money in your hand, and the money that was returned to you in the mouth of your sacks, carry back in your hand: perhaps it is an oversight. 13And take your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14And the Almighty ·God#GodHebrew: El give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother and Benjamin! And I, if I be bereaved of children, am bereaved.
15And the men took that gift, and took double money in their hand, and Benjamin, and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and came before Joseph. 16And Joseph saw Benjamin with them, and said to the man who was over his house, Bring the men into the house, and slaughter cattle, and make ready; for the men shall eat with me at noon. 17And the man did as Joseph had said; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. 18And the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph's house, and said, Because of the money that was returned to us in our sacks at the beginning are we brought in, that he may turn against us, and fall upon us and take us for bondmen, and our asses. 19And they came up to the man that was over Joseph's house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house, 20and said, Ah! my lord, we came indeed down at the first to buy food. 21And it came to pass when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money according to its weight; and we have brought it again in our hand. 22And other money have we brought down in our hand to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks. 23And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God#GodHebrew: Elohim and the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; your money came to me. And he brought Simeon out to them. 24And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses food. 25And they made ready the gift for Joseph's coming at noon; for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought him the gift that was in their hand, into 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 said, Thy servant our father is well; he is yet alive. And they bowed, 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 to me? And he said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim be gracious to thee, my son! 30And Joseph made haste, for his bowels burned for his brother; and he sought a place to weep, and he went into the chamber, and wept there. 31And he washed his face, and came out, and controlled himself, and said, Set on bread. 32And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians might 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 had portions carried to them from before him. And Benjamin's portion was five times greater than the portions of them all. And they drank, and made merry with him.