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Genesis 44

44
Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to his servant. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry. Then put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put the youngest brother’s money in his sack too. But also put my special silver cup in his sack.” So the servant obeyed Joseph.
3Early the next morning the brothers and their donkeys were sent back to their country. 4After they had left the city, Joseph said to his servant, “Go and follow the men. Stop them and say to them, ‘We were good to you! So why have you been bad to us? Why did you steal my master’s silver cup?#44:4 Why did … silver cup This is from the ancient Greek version. 5My master drinks from that cup, and he uses it to learn secret things. What you did was wrong!’”
6So the servant obeyed. He rode out to the brothers and stopped them. The servant said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why does the governor say these things? We wouldn’t do anything like that! 8We brought back the money that we found in our sacks before. So surely we wouldn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find the silver cup in any of our sacks, let that man die. You can kill him, and we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “I agree, except that only the man who is found to have the cup will be my slave. The others will be free.”
The Trap Is Sprung; Benjamin Is Caught
11Then every brother quickly opened his sack on the ground. 12The servant started looking in the sacks. He started with the oldest brother and ended with the youngest. He found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers were very sad. They tore their clothes to show their sadness. They put their sacks back on the donkeys and went back to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there. The brothers fell to the ground and bowed down before him. 15Joseph said to them, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know that I have a special way of learning secrets? No one is better at this than I am!”
16Judah said, “Sir, there is nothing we can say. There is no way to explain. There is no way to show that we are not guilty. God has judged us guilty for something else we have done. So all of us, even Benjamin, will be your slaves.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. You others can go in peace to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Sir, please let me speak plainly with you. Please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are like Pharaoh himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have a father—he is an old man. And we have a younger brother. Our father loves him because he was born while our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only son who is left from that mother. Our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot come. He cannot leave his father. If his father loses him, his father will be so sad that he will die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘You must bring your youngest brother, or I will not sell you grain again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. The governor said he will not sell us grain again until he sees our youngest brother.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28I let one son go away, and he was killed by a wild animal. And I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take my other son away from me, and something happens to him, I will be sad enough to die.’ 30Now, imagine what will happen when we go home without our youngest brother—he is the most important thing in our father’s life! 31Our father will die if he sees that the boy isn’t with us—and it will be our fault. We will send our father to his grave a very sad man.
32“I took responsibility for the young boy. I told my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me for the rest of my life.’ 33So now I beg you, please let the boy go back with his brothers, and I will stay and be your slave. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I am very afraid of what would happen to my father.”

Genesis 44

44
1Joseph ordered his household supervisor, “Fill the men's sacks with as much grain as they can hold and put each man's money at the top of his sack. 2Then put my special silver cup at the top of the sack of the youngest, along with the money for his grain.” He did as Joseph told him. 3At sunrise they were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They had hardly left the city when Joseph told his household supervisor, “Go after those men, and when you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you paid back good with evil by stealing my master's silver cup?#44:4. “By stealing my master's silver cup”: Septuagint addition, used for clarity. 5This is the cup he personally drinks from, and which he uses for divination.#44:5. “Divination”: a way of discovering secrets or hidden knowledge. Sometimes this is close to magic, but, in this case, it may be that Joseph is using a common superstition to cover up his plan. What you've done is really evil!’”
6When he caught up with them, he told them what Joseph had said.
7“My lord, what are you saying?” they replied. “We your servants wouldn't do anything like that! 8Remember that we brought back the money we found at the top of our sacks when we returned from Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master's house? 9If any one of us is found with it, he shall die, and all of us will become your slaves.”
10“Whatever you say,” the man replied, “but only the one found with it will become my slave since the rest of you will be free of any blame.” 11They all unloaded their sacks and put them on the ground. They each opened their own sacks. 12The household supervisor searched the sacks, beginning with the oldest and working his way down to the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13The brothers tore their clothes in grief. Then they loaded their sacks back on their donkeys and headed back to the city.
14Joseph was still at home when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him. 15“Why did you do this?” Joseph asked. “Don't you know a man like me can find out things through divination?”
16“My lord, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we explain this to you? In what way can we prove our innocence? God has exposed the guilt of your servants. My lord, we are your slaves—all of us, including the one who was found with the cup.”
17“I wouldn't do anything like that!” Joseph replied. “Only the man who was found with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to return to your father.”
18Judah came closer and said to him, “If you please, my lord, let your servant just say a word. Please don't become angry with your servant, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself. 19My lord, previously you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20We told you, my lord, ‘We have an elderly father, and a younger brother, born when our father was already old. The boy's brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother's children left, and his father loves him dearly.’
21Then you ordered us, ‘Bring him here to me so I can see him.’ 22We told you, ‘The boy can't leave his father; if he did, his father would die.’ 23But you told us, ‘If your youngest brother doesn't come with you, you won't see me again.’
24So when we went back to your servant, our father, we explained to him everything you had told us. 25However, later on, our father told us, ‘Go back and buy some more food.’ 26But we said, ‘There's no way we can go back unless Benjamin our youngest brother goes with us, because we won't be able to see the man if Benjamin isn't with us.’
27Then my father said to us, ‘You realize that my wife#44:27. “My wife”: referring to Rachel. Evidently Jacob considered her as his one true wife. had two sons for me. 28One is no more, ripped to pieces no doubt,#44:28. See 37:33. for I've never seen him since. 29If you take this one away from me too, and something bad happens to him, you'll send this old man to his grave in grief.’
30So if the boy isn't with us when I go back to my father, whose life depends on the life of the boy, 31as soon as he sees the boy isn't there he'll die, and we will really send this old man, our father, to his grave in grief. 32In fact I gave myself as the guarantee for the boy to my father. I told him, ‘If I don't bring him back to you, then I will always carry the blame!’
33So please let me stay here as my lord's slave instead of the boy. Let him go back home with his brothers. 34For how could I ever go back to my father if the boy wasn't with me? I couldn't stand seeing the anguish that would cause my father.”