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Genesis 44

44
Joseph Tests His Brothers
1Then he commanded the one over his household saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they are able to carry and put money in the opening of each man’s sack.
2Put my cup, the silver cup, in the opening of the sack of the youngest along with his grain money.” So he did as Joseph told him.
3When the morning dawned, the men were sent off, they and their donkeys.
4They left the city and did not get far, when Joseph said to the one over his household, “Get up, go after the men. When you catch up to them, say to them, “Why have you repaid evil for good?
5Isn’t this the one from which my lord drinks? He even uses it especially to discern by divination. What you’ve done is evil!”
6So he caught up to them and spoke these words to them.
7They said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing as this.
8Look, the money we found in the opening of our bags, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. So how could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house?
9Whoever among your servants is found with it, let him die! And we, we’ll also be my lord’s slaves.”
10“Even now let it be according to your words,” he said. “The one with whom it is found shall be my slave. But the rest of you shall be innocent.”
11Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack.
12He searched them beginning with the eldest and finishing with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.
13Then they tore their clothing, and each one loaded up his donkey and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers entered Joseph’s house, he was still there. They fell to the ground before him.
15“What’s this deed you’ve done?” Joseph said to them, “Didn’t you know that a man like me can discern by divination?”
16Then Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—both we as well as the one in whose hand the cup was found.”
17But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The one in whose hand the cup was found—he will be my slave. But you, go up to your father in peace.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah approached him and said, “I beg your pardon, my lord. Please let your servant say a word in my lord’s ears, and don’t be angry with your servant, since you are like Pharaoh.
19My lord asked his servants saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’
20So we said to my lord, ‘We have a father who is old, a child born to him of his old age is young. Now his brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left, and his father loves him.’
21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I can look at him.’
22But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave his father, he would die.’
23Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you won’t see my face again.’
24“Now when we went up to your servant, my father, we told him my lord’s words.
25Then our father said, ‘Go back, buy us a little grain for food.’
26So we said, ‘We won’t go down unless we have our youngest brother with us—then we’ll go down. For we won’t see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore me two sons.
28One went out from me, so I said, “He must have been torn to shreds,” and I haven’t seen him since.
29And if you also take this one away from before me and an accident happens to him, then you’ll bring my grey hair down to the evil of Sheol.’
30“Now if I come to your servant my father and the boy isn’t with us, since his life is bound to his life,
31when he sees that the boy is no more, he’ll die. Then your servants will bring the grey hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief.
32For your servant became pledge for the boy with my father saying, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before my father all my days.’
33So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go up with his brothers.
34For how can I go up to my father and the boy is not with me? Else I must see the evil that would come upon my father!”
44
Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to his servant. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry. Then put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put the youngest brother’s money in his sack too. But also put my special silver cup in his sack.” So the servant obeyed Joseph.
3Early the next morning the brothers and their donkeys were sent back to their country. 4After they had left the city, Joseph said to his servant, “Go and follow the men. Stop them and say to them, ‘We were good to you! So why have you been bad to us? Why did you steal my master’s silver cup?#44:4 Why did … silver cup This is from the ancient Greek version. 5My master drinks from that cup, and he uses it to learn secret things. What you did was wrong!’”
6So the servant obeyed. He rode out to the brothers and stopped them. The servant said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why does the governor say these things? We wouldn’t do anything like that! 8We brought back the money that we found in our sacks before. So surely we wouldn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find the silver cup in any of our sacks, let that man die. You can kill him, and we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “I agree, except that only the man who is found to have the cup will be my slave. The others will be free.”
The Trap Is Sprung; Benjamin Is Caught
11Then every brother quickly opened his sack on the ground. 12The servant started looking in the sacks. He started with the oldest brother and ended with the youngest. He found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers were very sad. They tore their clothes to show their sadness. They put their sacks back on the donkeys and went back to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there. The brothers fell to the ground and bowed down before him. 15Joseph said to them, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know that I have a special way of learning secrets? No one is better at this than I am!”
16Judah said, “Sir, there is nothing we can say. There is no way to explain. There is no way to show that we are not guilty. God has judged us guilty for something else we have done. So all of us, even Benjamin, will be your slaves.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. You others can go in peace to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Sir, please let me speak plainly with you. Please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are like Pharaoh himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have a father—he is an old man. And we have a younger brother. Our father loves him because he was born while our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only son who is left from that mother. Our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot come. He cannot leave his father. If his father loses him, his father will be so sad that he will die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘You must bring your youngest brother, or I will not sell you grain again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. The governor said he will not sell us grain again until he sees our youngest brother.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28I let one son go away, and he was killed by a wild animal. And I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take my other son away from me, and something happens to him, I will be sad enough to die.’ 30Now, imagine what will happen when we go home without our youngest brother—he is the most important thing in our father’s life! 31Our father will die if he sees that the boy isn’t with us—and it will be our fault. We will send our father to his grave a very sad man.
32“I took responsibility for the young boy. I told my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me for the rest of my life.’ 33So now I beg you, please let the boy go back with his brothers, and I will stay and be your slave. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I am very afraid of what would happen to my father.”