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Berĕshith (Genesis) 44

44
1And he commanded the one over his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as they are able to bear, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack.
2And put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and the silver for his grain. And he did according to the word of Yosĕph which he spoke.
3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys.
4And when they had gone out of the city, not having gone far, Yosĕph said to the one over his house, “Rise up, follow the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?
5Is this not the one from which my master drinks, and with which he indeed divines? You have done evil in what you have done.’ ”
6So he overtook them and spoke these words to them.
7And they said to him, “Why does my master say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do according to this word.
8“See, we brought back to you from the land of Kena‛an the silver which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then should we steal silver or gold from your master’s house?
9“With whomever of your servants it is found – he shall die and we shall become my master’s slaves as well.”
10And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words: he with whom it is found becomes my slave, and you are innocent.”
11And they hurried, each man let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack.
12And he searched, with the oldest first and with the youngest last, and the cup was found in Binyamin’s sack.
13And they tore their garments, and each man loaded his donkey and went back to the city.
14And Yehuḏah and his brothers came to Yosĕph’s house, and he was still there. And they fell before him on the ground.
15And Yosĕph said to them, “What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that a man like me indeed divines?”
16And Yehuḏah said, “What do we say to my master? What do we speak? Or how do we clear ourselves? Elohim has found out the crookedness of your servants. See, we are my master’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”
17But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose hand the cup was found, he becomes my slave. And you, go up in peace to your father.”
18And Yehuḏah came near to him and said, “O my master, please let your servant speak a word in my master’s hearing, and do not let your displeasure burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh.
19“My master asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’
20And we said to my master, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young child of his old age, and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ ”
21“And you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, and let me set my eyes on him.’
22And we said to my master, ‘The boy is not able to leave his father, for if he leaves his father, his father shall die.’ ”
23“But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you do not see my face again.’
24“And it came to be, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my master.
25“And our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’
26But we said, ‘We are not able to go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we shall go down, for we are not able to see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ ”
27“Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons,
28and the one went out from me, and I said, “Truly, he is torn, torn to pieces!” And I have not seen him since.
29And if you take this one from me too, and harm comes to him, you shall bring down my grey hair with evil to She’ol.’
30“And now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us – since his own life is bound up in his life –
31then it shall be, when he sees that the boy is not with us, that he shall die. So your servants shall bring down the grey hair of your servant our father with evil to She’ol.
32For your servant went guaranty for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall be a sinner before my father forever.’ ”
33“And now, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a slave to my master, and let the boy go up with his brothers.
34“For how do I go up to my father if the boy is not with me, lest I see the evil that would come upon my father?”
44
Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to the servant in charge of his house. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother, along with his money for the grain.” The servant did what Joseph told him.
3At dawn the brothers were sent away with their donkeys. 4They were not far from the city when Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Go after the men. When you catch up with them, say, ‘Why have you paid back evil for good? 5The cup you have stolen is the one my master uses for drinking and for explaining dreams. You have done a very wicked thing!’ ”
6So the servant caught up with the brothers and said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why do you say these things? We would not do anything like that! 8We brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money we found in our sacks. So surely we would not steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find that silver cup in the sack of one of us, then let him die, and we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “We will do as you say, but only the man who has taken the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
11Then every brother quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12The servant searched the sacks, going from the oldest brother to the youngest, and found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers tore their clothes to show they were afraid. Then they put their sacks back on the donkeys and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there, so the brothers bowed facedown on the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know that a man like me can learn things by signs and dreams?”
16Judah said, “Master, what can we say? And how can we show we are not guilty? God has uncovered our guilt, so all of us will be your slaves, not just Benjamin.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back safely to your father.”
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Master, please let me speak plainly to you, and please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are as powerful as the king of Egypt himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have an old father. And we have a younger brother, who was born when our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left alive, and 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 leave his father, because if he leaves him, his father would die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘If you don’t bring your youngest brother, you will not be allowed to see me again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you had said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go again and buy us a little more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. Without our youngest brother, we will not be allowed to see the governor.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28When one son left me, I thought, “Surely he has been torn apart by a wild animal,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29Now you want to take this son away from me also. But something terrible might happen to him, and I would be miserable until the day I die.’ 30Now what will happen if we go home to our father without our youngest brother? He is so important in our father’s life that 31when our father sees the young boy is not with us, he will die. And it will be our fault. We will cause the great sorrow that kills our father.
32“I gave my father a guarantee that the young boy would be safe. I said to my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life.’ 33So now, please allow me to stay here and be your slave, and let the young boy go back home with his brothers. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I couldn’t stand to see my father that sad.”