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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
1-2Joseph ordered his house steward: “Fill the men’s bags with food—all they can carry—and replace each one’s money at the top of the bag. Then put my chalice, my silver chalice, in the top of the bag of the youngest, along with the money for his food.” He did as Joseph ordered.
3-5At break of day the men were sent off with their donkeys. They were barely out of the city when Joseph said to his house steward, “Run after them. When you catch up with them, say, ‘Why did you pay me back evil for good? This is the chalice my master drinks from; he also uses it for divination. This is outrageous!’”
6He caught up with them and repeated all this word for word.
7-9They said, “What is my master talking about? We would never do anything like that! Why, the money we found in our bags earlier, we brought back all the way from Canaan—do you think we’d turn right around and steal it back from your master? If that chalice is found on any of us, he’ll die; and the rest of us will be your master’s slaves.”
10The steward said, “Very well then, but we won’t go that far. Whoever is found with the chalice will be my slave; the rest of you can go free.”
11-12They outdid each other in putting their bags on the ground and opening them up for inspection. The steward searched their bags, going from oldest to youngest. The chalice showed up in Benjamin’s bag.
13They ripped their clothes in despair, loaded up their donkeys, and went back to the city.
14Joseph was still at home when Judah and his brothers got back. They threw themselves down on the ground in front of him.
15Joseph accused them: “How can you have done this? You have to know that a man in my position would have discovered this.”
16Judah as spokesman for the brothers said, “What can we say, master? What is there to say? How can we prove our innocence? God is behind this, exposing how bad we are. We stand guilty before you and ready to be your slaves—we’re all in this together, the rest of us as guilty as the one with the chalice.”
17“I’d never do that to you,” said Joseph. “Only the one involved with the chalice will be my slave. The rest of you are free to go back to your father.”
18-20Judah came forward. He said, “Please, master; can I say just one thing to you? Don’t get angry. Don’t think I’m presumptuous—you’re the same as Pharaoh as far as I’m concerned. You, master, asked us, ‘Do you have a father and a brother?’ And we answered honestly, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother who was born to him in his old age. His brother is dead and he is the only son left from that mother. And his father loves him more than anything.’
21-22“Then you told us, ‘Bring him down here so I can see him.’ We told you, master, that it was impossible: ‘The boy can’t leave his father; if he leaves, his father will die.’
23“And then you said, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come with you, you won’t be allowed to see me.’
24-26“When we returned to our father, we told him everything you said to us. So when our father said, ‘Go back and buy some more food,’ we told him flatly, ‘We can’t. The only way we can go back is if our youngest brother is with us. We aren’t allowed to even see the man if our youngest brother doesn’t come with us.’
27-29“Your servant, my father, told us, ‘You know very well that my wife gave me two sons. One turned up missing. I concluded that he’d been ripped to pieces. I’ve never seen him since. If you now go and take this one and something bad happens to him, you’ll put my old gray, grieving head in the grave for sure.’
30-32“And now, can’t you see that if I show up before your servant, my father, without the boy, this son with whom his life is so bound up, the moment he realizes the boy is gone, he’ll die on the spot. He’ll die of grief and we, your servants who are standing here before you, will have killed him. And that’s not all. I got my father to release the boy to show him to you by promising, ‘If I don’t bring him back, I’ll stand condemned before you, Father, all my life.’
33-34“So let me stay here as your slave, not this boy. Let the boy go back with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? Oh, don’t make me go back and watch my father die in grief!”