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Genesis 43

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Judah Pledges for Benjamin
1Now the famine was severe in the land.
2When they finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt their father said to them, “Go back. Buy us a little food.”
3But Judah said to him, “The man warned us firmly saying, ‘You won’t see my face unless your brother is with you.’
4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy grain for you for food.
5But if you won’t send him, we won’t go down, because the man said to us, ‘You won’t see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
6Then Israel said, “Why did you do evil to me by telling the man that you have another brother?”
7They said, “The man questioned particularly about us and about our relatives saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we spoke to him on the basis of these words. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’”?
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Please, send the boy with me and we’ll get up and go, so that we’ll live and not die—we and you, and our children.
9I myself will be his pledge. You can demand him back from my own hand. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him before you, then you can blame me all my days.
10If we had not delayed, we could have returned twice by now.”
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 bags, and bring an offering down to the man—a little balsam and a little honey, gum and myrrh, pistachios and almonds.
12Also take in your hand a double portion of silver, and bring back in your hand the silver that had been returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.
13Take your brother too—now, get up, go back to the man!
14May El Shaddai grant you mercy before the man, so that he may release your other brother to you, along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
The Brothers Return With Benjamin
15Then the men took this offering. They also took the double portion of silver in their hand, as well as Benjamin. So they got up and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the one over his house, “Bring the men into the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me this afternoon.
17So the man did as Joseph said, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18But the men were afraid, because they had been brought into Joseph’s house. They said, “It’s because of the silver that was returned to our sacks the first time that we are being brought in—to pounce on us and fall on us and take us as slaves, along with our donkeys.”
19So they approached the man who was over Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the entrance of the house.
20“I beg your pardon, my lord!” they said. “We indeed came down on the previous occasion to buy grain for food.
21When we came to the lodge and opened our sacks, behold, there was each man’s money at the opening of the sack, the full amount of our money. So we’ve returned it in our hand.
22Moreover, we’ve brought down other money in our hand to buy grain for food. We didn’t know who put our money into our sacks.”
23“Be at peace,” he replied. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. Your money had come to me.” Then he brought Simeon out to them,
24and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water and they washed their feet. He also provided fodder for their donkeys.
25So they prepared the offering for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they had heard that they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought him the offering in their hand into the house, and they bowed down to the ground to him.
27Then he asked if they were well, and said, “Is he well—your elderly father that you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28“Your servant, our father, is well,” they said. “He’s still alive.” Then they knelt and bowed down.
29Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother whom you mentioned to me?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
30Then Joseph hurried out because his compassion grew warm and tender toward his brother so that he wanted to cry. So he went into an inner room and wept there.
31Then he washed his face, came out, and controlled himself. “Serve the food,” he said.
32So they served him by himself, them by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves (for Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews because it was an abomination to Egyptians).
33They were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. The men looked at each other in astonishment.
34Then portions were brought to them from before him—and Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of their portions. Yet they drank and made merry with him.
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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.