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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’s Silver Cup
1When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph gave these instructions to his palace manager: “Fill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money back into his sack. 2Then put my personal silver cup at the top of the youngest brother’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” So the manager did as Joseph instructed him.
3The brothers were up at dawn and were sent on their journey with their loaded donkeys. 4But when they had gone only a short distance and were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you repaid my kindness with such evil? 5Why have you stolen my master’s silver cup,#44:5 As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks this phrase. which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have done!’”
6When the palace manager caught up with the men, he spoke to them as he had been instructed.
7“What are you talking about?” the brothers responded. “We are your servants and would never do such a thing! 8Didn’t we return the money we found in our sacks? We brought it back all the way from the land of Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If you find his cup with any one of us, let that man die. And all the rest of us, my lord, will be your slaves.”
10“That’s fair,” the man replied. “But only the one who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
11They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and opened them. 12The palace manager searched the brothers’ sacks, from the oldest to the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 13When the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded their donkeys again and returned to the city.
14Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him. 15“What have you done?” Joseph demanded. “Don’t you know that a man like me can predict the future?”
16Judah answered, “Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves—all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack.”
17“No,” Joseph said. “I would never do such a thing! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Speaks for His Brothers
18Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
19“My lord, previously you asked us, your servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we responded, ‘Yes, my lord, we have a father who is an old man, and his youngest son is a child of his old age. His full brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him very much.’
21“And you said to us, ‘Bring him here so I can see him with my own eyes.’ 22But we said to you, ‘My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.’ 23But you told us, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you will never see my face again.’
24“So we returned to your servant, our father, and told him what you had said. 25Later, when he said, ‘Go back again and buy us more food,’ 26we replied, ‘We can’t go unless you let our youngest brother go with us. We’ll never get to see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife had two sons, 28and one of them went away and never returned. Doubtless he was torn to pieces by some wild animal. I have never seen him since. 29Now if you take his brother away from me, and any harm comes to him, you will send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.#44:29 Hebrew to Sheol; also in 44:31.
30“And now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father’s life is bound up in the boy’s life. 31If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, your servants, will indeed be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave. 32My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.’
33“So please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!”