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Genesis 44

44
Chapter 44
Joseph tests his brothers
1Joseph told the servant who took care of his house, ‘Fill the men's bags. Give them as much food as their animals can carry. Put each man's money back in the top of his bag. 2Then take my silver cup and put it in the top of the youngest man's bag. Put it with the money that he brought to pay for his food.’ The servant did what Joseph had told him to do. 3When morning came, the men started their journey with their donkeys. 4They had travelled only a short way from the city. Then Joseph said to his servant, ‘Go now and follow those men. When you find them, say to them, “My master was kind to you. So why have you done this bad thing against us? 5You have taken my master's own special cup. It is the cup that he drinks from. He also uses it to find out about future things. You have done a very bad thing!” ’
6So Joseph's servant followed the men and he reached them. He told them Joseph's message. 7But the brothers said to him, ‘Sir, why do you say these things? We are your servants. We would not do anything like that! 8When we found the money in our bags last time, we brought it back to you from Canaan. So we would never take valuable silver or gold things from your master's house. 9If any one of us has this silver cup, he must die. We others will become your slaves, sir.’ 10The servant said, ‘What you say is fair. Whoever has the cup, will become my slave. The rest of you will go free.’
11Each of the brothers quickly put his bag on the ground and opened it. 12Then the servant began to look in the bags. He began with the oldest brother's bag and he finished with the youngest brother's bag. Then he found the cup in Benjamin's bag! 13When this happened, all the brothers were very upset. They tore their clothes. Then they put their bags back on their donkeys. They returned to the city.
14Joseph was still in his house when Judah and his brothers arrived. They threw themselves on the ground in front of Joseph. 15Joseph said, ‘Why have you done this bad thing? You should have known about an important man like me. I can use magic to find out what people do.’ 16Judah said, ‘We do not know what to say to you, my lord. We cannot say that we did not do this. God has shown that we are guilty of this sin. Now we are your slaves. We are all your slaves, as well as the one who had your cup in his bag.’
17But Joseph said, ‘I would not do a thing like that! Only the man who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you can return to your father. You may go as my friends.’
18Then Judah went and he spoke to Joseph. He said, ‘Please, my lord. Let me speak to you. You have all of Pharaoh's authority, but please do not be angry with me, your servant. 19You asked us, “Do you have a father or another brother?” 20And we replied, “We have a father who is very old. He has a young son who was born when our father was already old. That son's brother is dead. He is the only son of his mother who still lives. His father loves him.” 21Then you said, “Bring your youngest brother to me so that I can see him.” 22And we said, “The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves him, his father will die.” 23But you said to us, “Your youngest brother must come with you. If he does not come, I will not let you see me again.” 24We returned to our father and we told him what you said. 25After some time, our father said, “Go back to Egypt and buy some more food for us.” 26But we said, “We cannot go back there. We can only go if our youngest brother goes with us. If he is not with us, we will not be able to see the man again.” 27Then my father said to us, “My wife gave birth to two sons. 28One of them went away and he never returned. So I said, ‘A wild animal must have eaten him.’ I have not seen him since that happened. 29If you take my youngest son away from me too, something bad may happen to him. I am already an old man. If I lose Benjamin, I would be so sad that I would die.” ’
30Judah continued and he said, ‘So, my lord, I could not go back to my father without his youngest son. My father stays alive because of this boy. 31If my father sees that his son is not with us, he will die. Because we did not bring the boy back to him, he will be sad enough to die. 32I promised my father that I would take care of the boy. I said, “I will bring the boy back. If I do not, then you can say that I am guilty. I will be guilty for all of my life.” 33Please sir, let me stay here as your slave, instead of the boy. Let the boy return home with his brothers. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I never want to see how upset my father would be.’ #44:34 In chapter 44, Joseph wants to see if his brothers have changed. Will they leave Benjamin in Egypt, so that they can return to Canaan? Judah shows that he has changed. He says that he will stay in Egypt, as a slave. He will stay so that Benjamin can go home to his father.
44
Joseph Tests His Brothers
1Then he commanded the one who was over his household, saying, “Fill the sacks of the men with food as much as they are able to carry, and put each one’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2And my cup—the cup of silver—you shall put into the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and the money for his grain. And he did according to the word of Joseph that he had commanded. 3When the morning light came the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4They went out of the city, and had not gone far when Joseph said to the one who was over his house, “Arise! Pursue after the men and overtake them. Then you shall say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 5Is this not that from which my master drinks? Now he himself certainly practices divination with it. You have done evil in what you have done.’ ” 6When he overtook them he spoke these words to them. 7And they said to him, “Why has my lord spoken according to these words? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Behold, the money that we found in the mouth of our sacks we returned to you from the land of Canaan. Now why would we steal silver or gold from the house of my lord? 9Whoever is found with it from among your servants shall die. And moreover, we will become slaves to my lord.” 10Then he said, “Now also according to your words, thus will it be. He who is found with it shall be my slave, but you shall be innocent.” 11Then each man quickly brought down his sack to the ground, and each one opened his sack. 12And he searched, beginning with the oldest and finishing with the youngest. And the cup was found in the sack of Benjamin. 13Then they tore their clothes, and each one loaded his donkey and they returned to the city.
14And Judah and his brothers came to the house of Joseph—now he was still there—they fell before him to the ground. 15Then Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Did you not know that a man who is like me surely practices divination?” 16And Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? Now how can we show ourselves innocent? God has found the guilt of your servants! Behold, we are slaves to my lord, both we and also he in whose hand the cup was found.” 17But he said, “Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose hand the cup was found, he will become my slave. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.” 18But Judah drew near to him and said, “Please my lord, let your servant speak a word in the ears of my lord, and let not your anger burn#Literally “let not your nose become hot” against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.#Literally “like you like Pharaoh” 19My lord had asked his servants, saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a younger brother, the child of his old age, and his brother died, and he alone remains from his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may set my eyes upon him.’ 22Then we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he should leave his father, then he#That is, the father (Jacob/Israel) would die.’ 23Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not again see my face.’ 24And it happened that we went up to your servant, my father, and told him the words of my lord. 25And when our father said, ‘Buy a little food for us,’ 26then we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we shall go down. For we will not be able to see the face of the man unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant, my father, said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore two sons to me. 28One went out from me, and I said, “Surely he must have been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29And if you take this one also from me, and he encounters harm, you will bring down my gray head in sorrow to Sheol.’ 30So now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us—now his life is bound up with his life—31it shall happen that when he sees that the boy is gone, he will die. And your servants will bring down the gray head of your servant, our father, to Sheol with sorrow. 32For your servant is pledged as surety for the boy by my father, saying, If I do not bring him to you, then I shall be culpable to my father forever. 33So then, please let your servant remain in place of the boy as a slave to my lord, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34For how can I go up to my father if the boy is not with me? I do not want to see#Literally “lest I see” the misery which will find my father.”