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Genesis 43

43
1The famine continued to be really bad in Canaan, 2so once they had finished the grain they'd brought from Egypt, their father told them, “You have to go back and buy some more grain for us.”
3But Judah responded, “The man was adamant when he warned us, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother Benjamin with us then we'll go and buy food for you. 5But if you won't send him, then we won't go, because the man was very clear, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why have you made things so bad for me by telling the man you had another brother?” Israel asked.
7“The man kept on asking direct questions about us and our family like ‘Is your father still alive?’ and ‘Do you have another brother?’” they replied. “We just answered his questions. How were we to know he'd say, ‘Bring your brother here!’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy in my care, and we'll leave immediately, so that we can stay alive and not die—and that includes you and us and our children! 9I promise to take care of him—I'll be personally responsible for bringing him back to you. If I don't, then I will always carry the blame! 10Now let's go, because if we hadn't hesitated, we could have gone there and come back twice by now.”
11“If it has to be, then this is what you'll do,” Israel replied. “Take with you the best our country produces. Pack your bags with gifts for the man—balm, a little honey, spices, myrrh, pistachios, and almonds. 12Take double the money that was returned to you in your sacks—maybe it was a mistake. 13Take your brother and go back to the man right away. 14May God Almighty make the man treat you kindly so when you come before him he'll release your other brother and send Benjamin back. As for me, if I am to lose all my children, then so be it.”
15So they packed the gifts, took double the money, and set off, accompanied by Benjamin. They arrived in Egypt and went to have an audience with Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin was with them, he told his household supervisor, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and make a meal, for they are going to eat with me at noon.”
17The man did as Joseph ordered and took them to Joseph's house. 18They were really worried that they were being taken to Joseph's house. “It's because of the money that was put in our sacks the first time we came,” they said to each other. “That's why we're being brought in—so he can accuse us and attack us! He'll make us his slaves and take our donkeys!”
19So they went and spoke to Joseph's household supervisor at the entrance to the house. 20“Please excuse us, my lord,” they said. “We came down the first time to buy food, 21and when we stopped for the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found our money—the exact amount—at the top of our sacks. So we've brought it back with us. 22We've also brought more money to buy food. We've no idea who put our money in our sacks!”
23“Everything's fine!” he told them. “Don't worry! Your God, the God of your father, must have given you the treasure#43:23. “Treasure”: the word refers of course to the money, and is one used to describe money that is hidden or buried. hidden in your sacks. I got your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to meet them. 24The steward took them inside Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet, and supplied food for their donkeys. 25They got their gifts ready for when Joseph would come at noon, because they had found out that they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph arrived at the house they gave him the gifts they had brought for him, and bowed low to the ground before him. 27He asked how they were, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father doing that you spoke of? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes, your servant our father is still alive, and is well,” they replied and bowed low in respect.
29Then Joseph looked over at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” he asked. “God be gracious to you, my son,” he said.
30Joseph had to run out quickly because he was becoming so emotional at seeing his brother.#43:30. He hadn't seen Benjamin for more than 20 years. He looked for a place to cry, and went to his room to weep there. 31Then he washed his face, got his emotions under control, and went back out. “Serve the food,” he ordered.
32Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians were also served at another table, because Egyptians cannot eat with Hebrews because they find this repulsive.#43:32. It appears that since the Egyptians revered the cow goddess Isis they viewed anyone (including Hebrews) who ate such meat as unclean. 33The brothers had been seated in front of him in order by age, from the firstborn, the oldest, down to the youngest, and they looked at each other in complete surprise.#43:33. It would of course have been impossible for anyone without intimate family knowledge to do this. 34The food was served to them from Joseph's table, and Benjamin received five times as much as anyone else. So they ate and drank plenty with him.
43
Joseph’s Brothers Return With Benjamin
1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2When they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3#Ge 44:23; 43:5Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You will not see my face 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 down. For the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ”
6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?”
7#Ge 43:3And they said, “The man asked us directly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we even know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8#Ge 42:2And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, both we and you, and also our little ones. 9#Ge 42:37; Phm 1:18–19I will be a surety for him. You may hold me personally responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10For if we had not delayed, we could have returned twice.”
11#Ge 37:25; Jer 8:22; Pr 18:16Their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, do this. Take some of the best fruits in the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man: a little balm and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12#Ge 42:25; 42:35Take double the money with you, along with the money that was brought back in the mouths of your sacks. Carry it with you again. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Also, take your brother and arise, return to the man. 14#Ge 17:1; Est 4:16And may God Almighty give you mercy before the man, so that he may send away your other brother, along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15The men took the gift, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16#Ge 44:1; 43:19When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the house steward, “Bring these men home, slaughter an animal and prepare it, for these men will dine with me at noon.”
17The man did as Joseph ordered, so the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. 18#Ge 42:35The men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house. They said, “We have been brought in because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time, so that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us and take us for slaves with our donkeys.”
The Feast With Joseph
19They approached the steward of Joseph’s house, and they spoke with him at the entrance of the house. 20#Ge 42:3; 42:10They said, “My lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food. 21#Ge 43:12When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks and realized every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us. 22We have also brought additional money with us to buy food. We cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.”
23#Ge 42:24He said, “Be at peace; do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24#Ge 18:4; 24:32The man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and gave feed to their donkeys. 25#Ge 43:11Then they made ready the gift for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would be eating a meal there.
26#Ge 37:7–10; 42:6When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed themselves to him to the ground. 27#Ge 42:11; 42:13He asked them about their well-being and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28#Ge 37:7; 43:26And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health. He is still alive.” And they bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves.
29#Ge 42:13; Nu 6:25He lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30#Ge 42:24; 1Ki 3:26Joseph hurried out, for he was deeply moved over his brother and sought a place to weep. So he entered into his chamber and wept there.
31#Ge 45:1Then he washed his face and came out. Controlling himself, he said, “Serve the food.”
32#Ge 46:34; Ex 8:26They served him by himself and them by themselves and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat a meal with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34#Ge 45:22; 2Sa 11:8He gave them portions from his own table, but Benjamin’s serving was five times more than any of theirs. So they drank and feasted with him.