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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
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt
1Now the famine in the land was severe. 2And it happened that as they finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt their father said to them, “Return and buy a little food for us.” 3Then Judah said to him, “The man solemnly admonished us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send#Literally “if there is a sending” our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you, 5but if you will not send#Literally “if there is no sending” him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6Then Israel said, “Why did you bring trouble to me by telling the man you still had a brother?” 7And they said, “The man asked explicitly about us and about our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ And we answered him according to these words. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring down your brother’?” 8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us arise and go, so that we will live and not die—you, we, and our children. 9I myself will be surety for him. You may seek him from my hand. If I do not bring him back to you and present him before you, then I will stand guilty before you forever. 10Surely if we had not hesitated by this time we would have returned twice.” 11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so then do this. Take some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, and pistachios and almonds. 12And take double the money in your hands. Take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13And take your brother. Now arise and return to the man. 14And may El-Shaddai#Often translated “God Almighty” grant you compassion before the man that he may release your other brother to you and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15So the men took this gift, and they took double money in their hands, and Benjamin, and they rose up and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them he said to the one who was over his household, “Bring the men into the house and slaughter and prepare an animal, for the men shall eat with me at noon.” 17And the man did as Joseph had said, and the man brought the men into the house of Joseph. 18And the men were afraid when they were brought into the house of Joseph. And they said “We were brought here on account of the money that was returned to our sacks the first time, that he might attack us and fall upon us to take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19So they approached the man who was over Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the doorway of the house. 20And they said, “Please, my lord, we surely came down once before to buy food, 21but when we came to the place of lodging and we opened our sacks, then behold, each one’s money was in the mouth of his sack—our money in its full weight—so we have returned with it in our hands. 22Now, other money we have brought down in our hand to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23And he said, “Peace to you; do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father must have given you a treasure in your sacks; your money came to me.” And he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and he gave them water and washed their feet, and gave fodder to their donkeys. 25Then they laid out#Or “prepared” the gift until Joseph came at noon, for they had heard that they were to eat food there. 26And when Joseph came into the house they brought the gift that was in their hand into the house to him, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27And he greeted them#Literally “he asked peace for them” 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 well; he is still alive.” And they knelt and bowed down. 29Then he lifted up his eyes and saw Benjamin his brother, the son of his mother, and said, “Is this your youngest brother of whom you told me?” And he continued,#Or “said” “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Then Joseph hurried away,#Literally “made haste” being overcome with emotion#Literally “his compassion boiled up” toward his brother, and sought for a place to cry. Then he went into a room and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and went out, now controlling himself, and said, “Serve the food.” 32And they served him#That is, Joseph by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, for Egyptians could not dine#Literally “were not able to eat food” with Hebrews, because that was a detestable thing to Egyptians. 33And they were seated before him from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another#Literally “each to his companion” amazed. 34And portions were served to them from his table,#Literally “his presence” and the portion of Benjamin was five times greater than the portion of any of them. And they drank and became drunk with him.