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Berĕshith (Genesis) 43

43
1But the scarcity of food was severe in the land.
2And it came to be, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Mitsrayim, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.”
3But Yehuḏah spoke to him, saying, “The man vehemently warned us, saying, ‘You do not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ”
4“If you let our brother go with us, we go down and buy you food.
5“But if you do not let him go, we do not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You do not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ”
6And Yisra’ĕl said, “Why did you do evil to me to inform the man that you still had another brother?”
7And they said, “The man kept asking about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we informed him according to these words. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8And Yehuḏah said to Yisra’ĕl his father, “Send the boy with me, and let us arise and go, and live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.
9“I myself shall stand guaranty for him – from my hand you are to require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.
10“For if we had not delayed, truly by now we could have returned this second time.”
11And their father Yisra’ĕl said to them, “If so, then do this: Take some of the best fruit of the land in your vessels and bring a present down for the man, a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds.
12“And take double silver in your hand, and take back in your hand the silver that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. It could have been a mistake.
13“And take your brother, and arise, go back to the man.
14And Ěl Shaddai give to you compassion before the man, so that he shall release your other brother and Binyamin. And I, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved!
15And the men took that present and Binyamin, and they took double the amount of silver in their hand, and arose and went down to Mitsrayim, and stood before Yosĕph.
16And Yosĕph saw Binyamin with them, and said to the one over his house, “Bring the men home, and make a great slaughter, and prepare, for these men are to eat with me at noon.”
17And the man did as Yosĕph said, and the man brought the men into Yosĕph’s house.
18And the men were afraid because they were brought into Yosĕph’s house. And they said, “It is because of the silver, which was put back into our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, to throw himself upon us and fall upon us, to take us as slaves, our donkeys too.”
19So they came near to the man over the house of Yosĕph, and spoke to him at the door of the house,
20and said, “O my master, we indeed came down the first time to buy food,
21but it came to be, when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks and saw each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack, our silver in its weight. And we have brought it back in our hand.
22And we have brought down other silver in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our silver in our sacks.
23But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your Elohim and the Elohim of your father has given you treasure in your sacks – your silver had come to me!” And he brought Shim‛on out to them.
24And the man brought the men into Yosĕph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet. And he gave their donkeys fodder.
25And they made the present ready for Yosĕph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they were to eat there.
26And when Yosĕph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand, into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth.
27And he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28And they said, “Your servant our father is in good health, he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and did obeisance.
29And he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Binyamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “Elohim show favour to you, my son.”
30And Yosĕph hurried, for his emotions were deeply moved towards his brother, and he looked for a place to weep, and went into his room and wept there.
31Then he washed his face and came out, and controlled himself, and said, “Serve the food.”
32And they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Mitsrites who ate with him by themselves, for the Mitsrites could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Mitsrites.
33And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at each other in astonishment.
34And he took portions to them from before him, but Binyamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they feasted and they drank with him.
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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.