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Genesis 43

43
Joseph’s brothers return with Benjamin
1The famine was severe in the land, 2and when they had eaten all the grain that they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3Judah said to him, “The man was absolutely serious when he said, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’ 4If you agree to send our brother with us, then we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you don’t agree to send him, then we can’t go down because the man said to us, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’”
6Israel said, “Why have you caused me such pain by telling the man you had another brother?”
7They said, “The man asked us pointedly about our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we told him just what we’ve said. How were we to know he’d say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the young man with me. Let’s get ready to leave so that we can stay alive and not die—we, you, and our children. 9I will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, it will be my fault forever. 10If we hadn’t waited so long, we would’ve returned twice by now.”
11Their father Israel said to them, “If it has to be, then do this. Take in your bags some of the land’s choice produce, and bring it down to the man as a gift: a little medicinal resin, a little honey, gum, resin, pistachios, and almonds. 12Take twice as much silver with you, and take back the silver returned in the top of your sacks. It might have been a mistake. 13And take your brother, get ready, and go back to the man. 14May God Almighty#43.14 Heb El Shaddai or God of the Mountain make the man compassionate toward you so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin with you. But me, if I’m left childless, then I’m left childless.”
15So the men took this gift. They took twice as much silver with them, together with Benjamin. They left, traveled down to Egypt, and received an audience with Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “Bring the men to the house and slaughter an animal and prepare it because the men will have dinner with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18When they were brought to Joseph’s house, the men were frightened and said, “We’ve been brought here because of the silver put back in our sacks on our first trip so he can overpower us, capture us, make slaves of us, and take our donkeys.”
19They approached the man who was Joseph’s household manager and spoke to him at the house’s entrance: 20“Please, Master, we came down the first time just to buy food, 21but when we stopped to spend the night and opened our sacks, there was the exact amount of each man’s silver at the top of his sack. We’ve brought it back with us, 22and we’ve brought down with us additional silver to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23He said, “You are fine. Don’t be afraid. Your God and your father’s God must have hidden a treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24The manager brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and feed for their donkeys. 25They prepared the gift, anticipating Joseph’s arrival at noon, since they had heard that they would have a meal there. 26When Joseph came into the house, they presented him the gift they had brought with them into the house, and they bowed low in front of him. 27He asked them how they were and said, “How is your elderly father, about whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28They said, “Your servant our father is fine. He’s still alive.” And they bowed down again with deep respect.
29Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, and he said, “Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about? God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph’s feelings for his brother were so strong he was about to weep, so he rushed to another room and wept there. 31He washed his face, came back, pulled himself together, and said, “Set out the dinner.” 32So they set out his food by himself, their food by themselves, and the Egyptians’ who ate with him by themselves because Egyptians don’t allow themselves to eat with Hebrews; the Egyptians think it beneath their dignity. 33They were seated in front of him from the oldest to the youngest in their exact birth order, and the men looked at each other with amazement. 34Portions of food from Joseph’s table were brought to them, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as theirs. So they drank together and were at ease.
43
Chapter 43
Joseph's brothers return to Egypt
1The famine was still bad in Canaan. 2Jacob's family ate all the food that they had brought from Egypt. So Jacob said to his sons, ‘Go back to Egypt, and buy some more food for us.’ #43:2 God had changed Jacob's name to ‘Israel’, but the Bible continues to use both names for the same person. We are using the name ‘Jacob’ here. 3But Judah said, ‘The man told us many times, “Unless your brother is with you, I will not let you see me again.” 4So, you must send Benjamin with us. Then we will go and buy food for you. 5But if you do not send Benjamin, we will not go. The man clearly said to us, “Unless your brother is with you, you will not see me again.”’
6Jacob said to them, ‘You have brought great trouble to me! You should not have told the man that you had another brother.’ 7The brothers replied, ‘The man asked us many questions about our family. He asked us, “Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?” We only answered his questions. We did not know that he would say, “Bring your brother here.”’
8Then Judah said to his father Jacob, ‘Agree to send the boy with me. Then we will go to Egypt at once. Then all our family can continue to live. We will not die. #43:8 Judah says we will not die because he would bring back food from Canaan. The famine would not kill them. 9I promise you to keep Benjamin safe. I myself will take care of him and I will bring him back to you. If I do not bring him back home, then you should say that I am guilty. I will be guilty for all of my life. 10We must go now! We have already talked for too long. By now, we could have gone to Egypt and returned twice!’
11Then their father Jacob said to them, ‘If you must take Benjamin, do what I tell you. Put some of the best things from our land in your bags. Take them to the man as a gift. Take some oil, some honey and some spices. Also take some myrrh, and some nuts. #43:11 All these gifts were things that Egyptian people usually had to buy from other countries. 12Also take twice the amount of money with you. You must give back the money that they put back into your bags last time. It may have been a mistake. 13Take your brother Benjamin too. Go back to the man at once. 14I pray that God Almighty will help you. I pray that God will cause the man to be kind to you. Then he will let your older brother go free. He and Benjamin will return here with you. As for me, if I must lose my sons, then I will lose them. There is nothing that I can do to stop it.’
15So the brothers took the gifts, and they took twice as much money with them. They took Benjamin and they hurried to Egypt. When they arrived there, they went to meet Joseph.
16Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them. So he said to his servant who took care of his house, ‘Take these men to my house. Kill an animal and prepare it for a meal. These men will eat with me at noon.’ 17The servant did as Joseph told him. He took the men to Joseph's house.
18The brothers were frightened when the servant took them to Joseph's house. They thought, ‘He has brought us here because of the money that we found in our bags last time. Someone put it there before we returned home. Now he wants to punish us. He will take us to be his slaves. He will take our donkeys too.’
19So the brothers went to Joseph's servant. They spoke to him at the door of Joseph's house before they went in. 20They said, ‘Please sir. The first time we came here, we came to buy food. 21But on our journey back, we stopped at a place to sleep for the night. When we opened our bags, each of us found our money there. It was the same amount of money that each of us had taken to buy food in Egypt. The money was in the top of our bags. Now we have brought the money back here. 22We have also brought more money so that we can buy more food. We do not know who put the money back into our bags.’
23The servant replied, ‘Do not worry. Everything is all right. Your God, the God of your father, put the valuable silver coins there. I received your money. No problem!’ Then the servant brought Simeon out to see his brothers.
24The servant took the men into Joseph's house. He gave them water to wash their feet. He also gave food to their donkeys. 25The brothers prepared their gifts to give to Joseph when he would arrive at noon. The servant had told them that they were going to eat a meal there.
26When Joseph arrived home, the brothers gave him the gifts that they had brought with them. They bent down low to the ground in front of him. 27Joseph asked them if they were well. Then he said, ‘You told me last time about your old father. How is he? Is he still alive?’ 28The brothers replied, ‘Your servant, our father, is still alive. And he is well.’ They bent down to the ground again, to respect Joseph.
29Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother's son. #43:29 Only Joseph and Benjamin were sons of Rachel. Jacob's other wives had given birth to the other brothers. Joseph asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother? Is he the one that you told me about?’ Joseph said to Benjamin, ‘I pray that God will bless you, my son.’ 30Joseph loved Benjamin very much. He quickly went out of the room because he wanted to weep. Joseph went into his own room and he wept there. 31After that, he washed his face. He returned to his brothers. He controlled himself and he said, ‘Prepare the food for them to eat.’ 32The servants gave food to Joseph at his own table. The brothers sat together at a different table. And the Egyptians who ate there also sat together. The Egyptians could not eat a meal with Hebrews, because that would make the Egyptians ashamed. 33The brothers sat in a place where Joseph could see them. The servants told each of them where to sit, by their age. The oldest brother was at one end, all along to the youngest brother at the other end. The brothers were very surprised to see this. #43:33 The brothers were surprised because Joseph knew their ages.
34Then the servants took food from Joseph's table and they gave it to the brothers. Benjamin received the biggest amount of food. It was 5 times more than any of his brothers. The brothers also drank wine with Joseph and they were all very happy.