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Genesis 43

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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.
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1-2The famine got worse. When they had eaten all the food they had brought back from Egypt, their father said, “Go back and get some more food.”
3-5But Judah said, “The man warned us most emphatically, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’ If you’re ready to release our brother to go with us, we’ll go down and get you food. But if you’re not ready, we aren’t going. What would be the use? The man told us, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’”
6Israel said, “Why are you making my life so difficult! Why did you ever tell the man you had another brother?”
7They said, “The man pressed us hard, asking pointed questions about our family: ‘Is your father alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How did we know that he’d say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8-10Judah pushed his father Israel. “Let the boy go; I’ll take charge of him. Let us go and be on our way—if we don’t get going, we’re all going to starve to death—we and you and our children, too! I’ll take full responsibility for his safety; it’s my life on the line for his. If I don’t bring him back safe and sound, I’m the guilty one; I’ll take all the blame. If we had gone ahead in the first place instead of procrastinating like this, we could have been there and back twice over.”
11-14Their father Israel gave in. “If it has to be, it has to be. But do this: stuff your packs with the finest products from the land you can find and take them to the man as gifts—some balm and honey, some spices and perfumes, some pistachios and almonds. And take plenty of money—pay back double what was returned to your sacks; that might have been a mistake. Take your brother and get going. Go back to the man. And may The Strong God give you grace in that man’s eyes so that he’ll send back your other brother along with Benjamin. For me, nothing’s left; I’ve lost everything.”
15-16The men took the gifts, double the money, and Benjamin. They lost no time in getting to Egypt and meeting Joseph. When Joseph saw that they had Benjamin with them, he told his house steward, “Take these men into the house and make them at home. Butcher an animal and prepare a meal; these men are going to eat with me at noon.”
17-18The steward did what Joseph had said and took them inside. But they became anxious when they were brought into Joseph’s home, thinking, “It’s the money; he thinks we ran off with the money on our first trip down here. And now he’s got us where he wants us—he’s going to turn us into slaves and confiscate our donkeys.”
19-22So they went up to Joseph’s house steward and talked to him in the doorway. They said, “Listen, master. We came down here one other time to buy food. On our way home, the first night out we opened our bags and found our money at the mouth of the bag—the exact amount we’d paid. We’ve brought it all back and have plenty more to buy more food with. We have no idea who put the money in our bags.”
23The steward said, “Everything’s in order. Don’t worry. Your God and the God of your father must have given you a bonus. I was paid in full.” And with that, he presented Simeon to them.
24-25He then took them inside Joseph’s house and made them comfortable—gave them water to wash their feet and saw to the feeding of their donkeys. The brothers spread out their gifts as they waited for Joseph to show up at noon—they had been told that they were to have dinner with him.
26When Joseph got home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought and bowed respectfully before him.
27Joseph welcomed them and said, “And your old father whom you mentioned to me, how is he? Is he still alive?”
28They said, “Yes—your servant our father is quite well, very much alive.” And they again bowed respectfully before him.
29Then Joseph picked out his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son. He asked, “And is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
30-31Deeply moved on seeing his brother and about to burst into tears, Joseph hurried out into another room and had a good cry. Then he washed his face, got a grip on himself, and said, “Let’s eat.”
32-34Joseph was served at his private table, the brothers off by themselves and the Egyptians off by themselves (Egyptians won’t eat at the same table with Hebrews; it’s repulsive to them). The brothers were seated facing Joseph, arranged in order of their age, from the oldest to the youngest. They looked at one another wide-eyed, wondering what would happen next. When the brothers’ plates were served from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s plate came piled high, far more so than his brothers. And so the brothers feasted with Joseph, drinking freely.