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Genesis 44

44
The Brothers Are Brought Back
1Then he commanded his house steward, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the opening of his sack. 2And put my cup, the silver cup, in the opening of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain.” And he did #Or according to the wordas Joseph had told him. 3#Lit The morning was lightAs soon as it was light, the men were sent away, they with their donkeys. 4They had just left the city, and were not far away, when Joseph said to his house steward, “Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 5Is this not that from which my lord drinks, and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this!’ ”
6So #I.e., the stewardhe overtook them and spoke these words to them. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Behold, the money which we found in the opening of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9With whomever of your servants it is found, he shall die, and we also shall be my lord’s slaves.” 10So he said, “Now let it indeed be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, but the rest of you shall be considered innocent.” 11Then they hurried, each man lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12And he searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they tore their clothes in grief, and when each man had loaded his donkey, they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell down to the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What is this thing that you have done? Do you not know that a man who is like me can indeed practice divination?” 16So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What words can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose #Lit handpossession the cup has been found.” 17But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose #Lit handpossession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
18Then Judah approached him and said, “Oh my lord, may your servant please speak a word in my lord’s ears, and #Lit let not your anger burn againstdo not be angry with your servant; for you are equal to Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and a little boy born in our father’s old age. Now his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, #Lit he wouldhis father would die.’ 23You said to your servants, however, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24So it came about when we went up to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25And our father said, ‘Go back, buy us a little food.’ 26But we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons; 28and the one left me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29If you also take this one from #Lit my faceme, and harm happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in #Lit evilsorrow.’ 30So now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us—since #Lit his soul is bound with his soulour father’s life is so attached to the boy’s life— 31when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die. So your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant, our father, down to Sheol in sorrow. 32For your servant accepted responsibility for the boy from my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then #Lit I will be culpable for all the days before my fathermy father can let me take the blame forever.’ 33So now, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34For how shall I go up to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear that I may see the evil that would #Lit findovertake my father.”
44
The missing cup
1-2Later, Joseph told the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men's grain sacks with as much as they can hold and put their money in the sacks. Also put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother.” The servant did as he was told.
3Early the next morning, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4But they had not gone far from the city when Joseph told the servant, “Go after those men! When you catch them, say, ‘My master has been good to you. So why have you stolen his silver cup? 5Not only does he drink from his cup, but he also uses it to learn about the future. You have done a terrible thing.’ ”
6When the servant caught up with them, he said exactly what Joseph had told him to say. 7But they replied, “Sir, why do you say such things? We would never do anything like that! 8We even returned the money we found in our grain sacks when we got back to Canaan. So why would we want to steal any silver or gold from your master's house? 9If you find that one of us has the cup, then kill him, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“Good!” the man replied, “I'll do what you have said. But only the one who has the cup will become my slave. The rest of you can go free.”
11Each of the brothers quickly put his sack on the ground and opened it. 12Joseph's servant started searching the sacks, beginning with the one that belonged to the eldest brother. When he came to Benjamin's sack, he found the cup. 13This upset the brothers so much that they began tearing their clothes in sorrow. Then they loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers got there, Joseph was still at home. So they bowed down to Joseph, 15who asked them, “What have you done? Didn't you know I could find out?”
16“Sir, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we prove we are innocent? God has shown that we are guilty. And now all of us are your slaves, especially the one who had the cup.”
17Joseph told them, “I would never punish all of you. Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home to your father.”
Judah pleads for Benjamin
18Judah went over to Joseph and said:
Sir, you have as much power as the king#44.18 the king: See the note at 12.15. himself, and I am only your slave. Please don't get angry if I speak. 19You asked us if our father was still alive and if we had any more brothers. 20So we told you, “Our father is a very old man. In fact, he was already old when Benjamin was born. Benjamin's brother is dead. Now Benjamin is the only one of the two brothers who is still alive, and our father loves him very much.”
21You ordered us to bring him here, so you could see him for yourself. 22We told you that our father would die if Benjamin left him. 23But you warned us that we could never see you again, unless our youngest brother came with us. 24So we returned to our father and reported what you had said.
25Later our father told us to come back here and buy more grain. 26But we answered, “We can't go back to Egypt without our youngest brother. We will never be let in to see the governor, unless he is with us.”
27Sir, our father then reminded us that his favourite wife had given birth to two sons. 28One of them was already missing and had not been seen for a long time. My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal, 29and he said, “I am an old man. If you take Benjamin from me, and something happens to him, I will die of a broken heart.”
30That's why Benjamin must be with us when I go back to my father. He loves him so much 31that he will die if Benjamin doesn't come back with me. 32I promised my father that I would bring him safely home. If I don't, I told my father he could blame me the rest of my life.
33Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers. 34How can I face my father if Benjamin isn't with me? I couldn't bear to see my father in such sorrow.