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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
The Second Journey to Egypt.#The second journey to Egypt. Joseph the sage has carefully prepared the brothers for a possible reconciliation. In this chapter and the following one Judah steps forward as the hero, in contrast to chaps. 37 and 42 where Reuben was the hero. Here Judah serves as guarantee for Benjamin. 1Now the famine in the land grew severe. 2So when they had used up all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.” 3But Judah replied: “The man strictly warned us, ‘You shall not see me unless your brother is with you.’#Gn 44:23. 4If you are willing to let our brother go with us, we will go down to buy food for you. 5But if you are not willing, we will not go down, because the man told us, ‘You shall not see me unless your brother is with you.’”#Gn 42:20. 6Israel demanded, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man that you had another brother?” 7They answered: “The man kept asking about us and our family: ‘Is your father still living? Do you have another brother?’ We answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Then Judah urged his father Israel: “Let the boy go with me, that we may be off and on our way if you and we and our children are to keep from starving to death.#Gn 42:37. 9I myself will serve as a guarantee for him. You can hold me responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back and set him before you, I will bear the blame before you forever.#Gn 44:32. 10Had we not delayed, we could have been there and back twice by now!”
11Israel their father then told them: “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the land’s best products in your baggage and take them down to the man as gifts: some balm and honey, gum and resin, and pistachios and almonds.#Gn 45:23. 12Also take double the money along, for you must return the amount that was put back in the mouths of your bags; it may have been a mistake. 13Take your brother, too, and be off on your way back to the man. 14May God Almighty grant you mercy in the presence of the man, so that he may let your other brother go, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to suffer bereavement, I shall suffer it.”
15So the men took those gifts and double the money and Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt and presented themselves before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw them and Benjamin, he told his steward, “Take the men into the house, and have an animal slaughtered and prepared, for they are to dine with me at noon.” 17Doing as Joseph had ordered, the steward conducted the men to Joseph’s house. 18But they became apprehensive when they were led to his house. “It must be,” they thought, “on account of the money put back in our bags the first time, that we are taken inside—in order to attack us and take our donkeys and seize us as slaves.” 19So they went up to Joseph’s steward and talked to him at the entrance of the house. 20“If you please, sir,” they said, “we came down here once before to buy food.#Gn 42:3. 21But when we arrived at a night’s encampment and opened our bags, there was each man’s money in the mouth of his bag—our money in the full amount! We have now brought it back.#Gn 42:27–28. 22We have brought other money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our bags.” 23He replied, “Calm down! Do not fear! Your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags for you. As for your money, I received it.” With that, he led Simeon out to them.
24The steward then brought the men inside Joseph’s house. He gave them water to wash their feet, and gave fodder to their donkeys. 25Then they set out their gifts to await Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were to dine there. 26When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, while they bowed down before him to the ground. 27After inquiring how they were, he asked them, “And how is your aged father, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”#Tb 7:4. 28“Your servant our father is still alive and doing well,” they said, as they knelt and bowed down. 29Then Joseph looked up and saw Benjamin, his brother, the son of his mother. He asked, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you told me?” Then he said to him, “May God be gracious to you, my son!”#Gn 42:13. 30With that, Joseph hurried out, for he was so overcome with affection for his brother that he was on the verge of tears. So he went into a private room and wept there.
31After washing his face, he reappeared and, now having collected himself, gave the order, “Serve the meal.” 32It was served separately to him,#Separately to him: that Joseph did not eat with the other Egyptians was apparently a matter of rank. to the brothers, and to the Egyptians who partook of his board. Egyptians may not eat with Hebrews; that is abhorrent to them. 33When they were seated before him according to their age, from the oldest to the youngest, they looked at one another in amazement; 34and as portions were brought to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as#Five times as large as: probably an idiomatic expression for “much larger than.” Cf. 45:22. anyone else’s. So they drank freely and made merry with him.