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Genesis 43

43
Jacob Lets Benjamin Go to Egypt
1The famine was very bad in that country. 2The people ate all the grain they had brought from Egypt. When that grain was gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go to Egypt and buy some more grain for us to eat.”
3But Judah said to Jacob, “But the governor of that country warned us. He said, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back to me, I will refuse to talk to you.’ 4If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy grain. 5But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The man warned us to not come back without him.”
6Israel said, “Why did you tell him you had another brother? Why did you do such a bad thing to me?”
7The brothers answered, “He asked lots of questions. He wanted to know all about us and about our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother at home?’ We only answered his questions. We didn’t know he would ask us to bring our brother to him!”
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Let Benjamin go with me. I will take care of him. We have to go to Egypt to get food. If we don’t go, we will all die—including our children. 9I will make sure he is safe. I will be responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me forever. 10If you had let us go before, we could have already made two trips for food.”
11Then their father Israel said, “If it is really true, take Benjamin with you. But take some gifts to the governor. Take some of the things we have been able to gather in our land. Take him some honey, pistachio nuts, almonds, spices, and myrrh. 12Take twice as much money with you this time. Take the money that was given back to you after you paid last time. Maybe the governor made a mistake. 13Take Benjamin, and go back to the man. 14I pray that God All-Powerful will help you when you stand before the governor. I pray that he will let Benjamin, and also Simeon, come back safely. If not, I will again be sad from losing my children.”
15So the brothers took the gifts to give to the governor. And the brothers took twice as much money with them as they took the first time. This time Benjamin went with the brothers to Egypt.
The Brothers at Joseph’s House
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his servant, “Bring these men into my house. Kill an animal and cook it. They will eat with me at noon today.” 17The servant did as he was told. He brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18The brothers were afraid when they were taken to Joseph’s house and said, “We have been brought here because of the money that was put back in our sacks the last time. They will use this as proof against us and steal our donkeys and make us slaves.”
19So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house. 20They said, “Sir, I promise this is the truth. The last time we came, we came to buy food. 21-22On the way home, we opened our sacks and found our money in every sack. We don’t know how it got there, but we brought that money with us to give it back to you. And we have brought more money to pay for the food that we want to buy this time.”
23But the servant answered, “Don’t be afraid; believe me. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sack as a gift. I remember that you paid me for the grain the last time.”
Then the servant brought Simeon out of the prison. 24The servant led the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he fed their donkeys.
25The brothers heard that they were going to eat with Joseph, so they worked until noon preparing their gifts for him.
26When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gifts they had brought with them. Then they bowed down to the ground in front of him.
27Joseph asked them how they were doing. Then he said, “How is your elderly father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28The brothers answered, “Yes, sir, our father is still alive.” And they again bowed before Joseph.
29Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin. (Benjamin and Joseph had the same mother.) Joseph said, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then Joseph said to Benjamin, “God bless you, my son!”
30Joseph felt a strong desire to show his brother Benjamin that he loved him. He was about to cry and didn’t want his brothers to see him, so he ran into his private room and cried there. 31Then Joseph washed his face and came out. He regained control of himself and said, “Now it is time to eat.”
32The servants seated Joseph at a table by himself. His brothers were at another table by themselves, and the Egyptians were at a table by themselves. The Egyptians believed that it was wrong for them to eat with Hebrews.#43:32 The Egyptians … Hebrews The Egyptians would not eat with them because they were shepherds and ate meat from cattle, sheep, and goats. To the Egyptians, these animals represented some of their gods. See Gen. 46:34. 33Joseph’s brothers were seated at a table facing him. The brothers were looking at each other because, to their surprise, they had been seated in order, from the oldest to the youngest. 34Servants were taking food from Joseph’s table and bringing it to them. But the servants gave Benjamin five times more than the others. The brothers continued to eat and drink with Joseph until they were drunk.
43
1 Meanwhile, the famine pressed heavily on all the land.
2 And having consumed the provisions that they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, "Return and buy us a little food."
3 Judah answered: "The man himself declared to us, under the attestation of an oath, saying: 'You will not see my face, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.'
4 If therefore you are willing to send him with us, we will travel together, and we will buy necessities for you.
5 But if you are not willing, we will not go. For the man, as we have often said, declared to us, saying: 'You will not see my face without your youngest brother.' "
6 Israel said to them, "You have done this for my misery, in that you revealed to him that you also had another brother."
7 But they responded: "The man questioned us in order, concerning our family: whether our father lived, if we had a brother. And we answered him respectively, according to what he demanded. How could we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother with you?' "
8 Likewise, Judah said to his father: "Send the boy with me, so that we may set out and be able to live, lest we and our little ones should die.
9 I accept the boy; require him at my hand. Unless I lead him back and restore him to you, I will be guilty of a sin against you for all time.
10 If a delay had not intervened, by now we would have returned here a second time."
11 Therefore, their father Israel said to them: "If it is necessary to do so, then do what you will. Take, in your vessels, from the best fruits of the land, and carry down gifts to the man: a little resin, and honey, and storax ointment, oil of myrrh, turpentine, and almonds.
12 Also, take with you double the money, and carry back what you found in your sacks, lest perhaps it was done in error.
13 But also take your brother, and go to the man.
14 Then may my Almighty God cause him to be pleased by you. And send your brother, whom he holds, back with you, along with this one, Benjamin. But as for me, without my children, I will be like one who is bereaved."
15 Therefore, the men took the gifts, and double the money, and Benjamin. And they went down into Egypt, and they stood in the presence of Joseph.
16 And when he had seen them and Benjamin together, he instructed the steward of his house, saying: "Lead the men into the house, and kill victims, and prepare a feast, because they will be eating with me at midday."
17 He did what he had been ordered to do, and he brought the men into the house.
18 And there, being terrified, they said one to another: "Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we have been brought in, so that he may unleash a false accusation against us, and by violence subjugate both us and our donkeys into servitude."
19 For this reason, approaching the steward of the house at his door,
20 they said: "We beg you, lord, to hear us. We came down once before to buy food.
21 And having bought it, when we arrived at the inn, we opened our sacks and found the money in the mouths of the sacks, which we now have carried back in the same amount.
22 But we have also brought other silver, so that we may buy those things that are necessary for us. It is not on our conscience who had placed it in our bags."
23 But he responded: "Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you the treasure in your sacks. As for the money that you gave to me, I held it as a test." And he led Simeon out to them.
24 And having led them into the house, he brought water, and they washed their feet, and he gave fodder to their donkeys.
25 But they also prepared the gifts, until Joseph entered at midday. For they had heard that they would eat bread there.
26 And so Joseph entered his house, and they offered him the gifts, holding them in their hands. And they reverenced prone on the ground.
27 But he, gently greeting them again, questioned them, saying: "Is your father, the old man about whom you spoke to me, in good health? Is he still alive?"
28 And they answered: "Your servant, our father, is safe; he is still alive." And bowing, they reverenced him.
29 Then Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin, his brother of the same womb, and he said, "Is this your little brother, about whom you spoke to me?" And again, he said, "May God be compassionate to you, my son."
30 And he hurried out, because his heart had been moved over his brother, and tears gushed out. And going into his chamber, he wept.
31 And when he had washed his face, coming out again, he composed himself, and he said, "Set out bread."
32 And when it was set out, separately for Joseph, and separately for his brothers, likewise separately for the Egyptians, who ate at the same time, (for it is unlawful for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, and they consider feasting in this way to be profane)
33 they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his state of life. And they wondered exceedingly,
34 taking the portions that they received from him. And the greater portion went to Benjamin, so much so that it exceeded five parts. And they drank and became inebriated along with him.