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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
Judah Pledges for Benjamin
1Now the famine was severe in the land.
2When they finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt their father said to them, “Go back. Buy us a little food.”
3But Judah said to him, “The man warned us firmly saying, ‘You won’t see my face unless your brother is with you.’
4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy grain for you for food.
5But if you won’t send him, we won’t go down, because the man said to us, ‘You won’t see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
6Then Israel said, “Why did you do evil to me by telling the man that you have another brother?”
7They said, “The man questioned particularly about us and about our relatives saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we spoke to him on the basis of these words. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’”?
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Please, send the boy with me and we’ll get up and go, so that we’ll live and not die—we and you, and our children.
9I myself will be his pledge. You can demand him back from my own hand. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him before you, then you can blame me all my days.
10If we had not delayed, we could have returned twice by now.”
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 bring an offering down to the man—a little balsam and a little honey, gum and myrrh, pistachios and almonds.
12Also take in your hand a double portion of silver, and bring back in your hand the silver that had been returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.
13Take your brother too—now, get up, go back to the man!
14May El Shaddai grant you mercy before the man, so that he may release your other brother to you, along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
The Brothers Return With Benjamin
15Then the men took this offering. They also took the double portion of silver in their hand, as well as Benjamin. So they got up and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the one over his house, “Bring the men into the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me this afternoon.
17So the man did as Joseph said, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18But the men were afraid, because they had been brought into Joseph’s house. They said, “It’s because of the silver that was returned to our sacks the first time that we are being brought in—to pounce on us and fall on us and take us as slaves, along with our donkeys.”
19So they approached the man who was over Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the entrance of the house.
20“I beg your pardon, my lord!” they said. “We indeed came down on the previous occasion to buy grain for food.
21When we came to the lodge and opened our sacks, behold, there was each man’s money at the opening of the sack, the full amount of our money. So we’ve returned it in our hand.
22Moreover, we’ve brought down other money in our hand to buy grain for food. We didn’t know who put our money into our sacks.”
23“Be at peace,” he replied. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. Your money had come to me.” Then he brought Simeon out to them,
24and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water and they washed their feet. He also provided fodder for their donkeys.
25So they prepared the offering for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they had heard that they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought him the offering in their hand into the house, and they bowed down to the ground to him.
27Then he asked if they were well, and said, “Is he well—your elderly father that you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28“Your servant, our father, is well,” they said. “He’s still alive.” Then they knelt and bowed down.
29Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother whom you mentioned to me?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
30Then Joseph hurried out because his compassion grew warm and tender toward his brother so that he wanted to cry. So he went into an inner room and wept there.
31Then he washed his face, came out, and controlled himself. “Serve the food,” he said.
32So they served him by himself, them by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves (for Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews because it was an abomination to Egyptians).
33They were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. The men looked at each other in astonishment.
34Then portions were brought to them from before him—and Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of their portions. Yet they drank and made merry with him.