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Genesis 43

43
The Return to Egypt
1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2So it came about, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” 3Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man sternly warned #Lit us, sayingus, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you do 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.’ ” 6Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, #Lit to tellby telling the man whether you still had another brother?” 7But they said, “The man specifically asked about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we #Lit told him according to these wordsanswered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8So Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. 9I myself will take responsibility for him! You may demand him back from #Lit my handme. If I do not bring him back to you and present him to you, then #Lit I will be culpable before you all the daysyou can let me take the blame forever. 10For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your #Or vesselsbags, and carry down to the man as a gift, a little balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and #Or resinous barkmyrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14and may #Heb El ShaddaiGod Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved!” 15So the men took this gift, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they set out and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make preparations; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17So the man did as Joseph said, and #Lit the man broughtbrought the men to Joseph’s house. 18Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, so that he may #Lit roll himself upon usattack us and #Lit fall uponoverpower us, and take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19So they approached Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21and it happened when we came to the campsite, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the opening of his sack, our money in #Lit its weightfull. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23But he said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; your #Lit your money had come to memoney was in my possession.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25So they prepared the gift #Lit untilfor Joseph’s arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat #Lit breada meal there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the gift which was in their hand, and they bowed down to the ground before him. 27Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” Then they bowed down again #I.e., great respect and honor to a superiorin homage. 29And as he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph then hurried out, for #Lit his compassion grew warmhe was deeply stirred over his brother, and he looked for a place to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, “#Lit Set on breadServe the meal.” 32Then they served him by himself, and #Lit themJoseph’s brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33Now they #Lit satwere seated before him, from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34Then he took portions to them from #Lit his facehis own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank freely with him.
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.