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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.
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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.