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Genesis 43

43
The Return to Egypt with Benjamin
1Now the famine was still severe in the land. 2So when Jacob’s sons had eaten 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 solemnly warned us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go; for the man told us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why did you bring this trouble upon me?” Israel asked. “Why did you tell the man you had another brother?”
7They replied, “The man questioned us in detail about ourselves and our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8And Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and we will go at once, so that we may live and not die—neither we, nor you, nor our children. 9I will guarantee his safety. You may hold me personally responsible. If I do not bring him back and set him before you, then may I bear the guilt before you all my life. 10If we had not delayed, we could have come and gone twice by now.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and carry them down as a gift for the man—a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 12Take double the silver with you so that you may return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother as well, and return to the man at once. 14May God Almighty #43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai grant you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15So the men took these gifts, along with double the amount of silver, and Benjamin as well. Then they hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph’s Hospitality to His Brothers
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with his brothers, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they shall dine with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph had commanded and took the brothers to Joseph’s house.
18But the brothers were frightened that they had been taken to Joseph’s house. “We have been brought here because of the silver that was returned in our bags the first time,” they said. “They intend to overpower us and take us as slaves, along with our donkeys.”
19So they approached Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20“Please, sir,” they said, “we really did come down here the first time to buy food. 21But when we came to the place we lodged for the night, we opened our sacks and, behold, each of us found his silver in the mouth of his sack! It was the full amount of our silver, and we have brought it back with us. 22We have brought additional silver with us to buy food. We do not know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23“It is fine,” said the steward. “Do not be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, gave you the treasure that was in your sacks. I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24And the steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet, and provided food for their donkeys.
25Since the brothers had been told that they were going to eat a meal there, they prepared their gift for Joseph’s arrival at noon. 26When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought, and they bowed to the ground before him.
27He asked if they were well, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28“Your servant our father is well,” they answered. “He is still alive.” And they bowed down to honor him.
29When Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Then he declared, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
30Joseph hurried out because he was moved to tears for his brother, and he went to a private room to weep. 31Then he washed his face and came back out. Regaining his composure, he said, “Serve the meal.”
32They separately served Joseph, his brothers, and the Egyptians. They ate separately because the Egyptians would not eat with the Hebrews, since that was detestable to them. 33They were seated before Joseph in order by age, from the firstborn to the youngest, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34When the portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of the others. So they feasted and drank freely with Joseph.

Genesis 43

43
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.