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Genesis 44

44
1 Then Joseph instructed the steward of his house, saying: "Fill their sacks with grain, as much as they are able to hold. And place each one's money at the top of the sack.
2 But place my silver bowl, and the price that he gave for the wheat, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest." And so it was done.
3 And when morning arose, they were sent away with their donkeys.
4 And now they had departed from the city and had set out a short distance. Then Joseph, sending for the steward of his house, said: "Rise up and pursue the men. And when you have overtaken them, say: 'Why have you returned evil for good?
5 The cup that you have stolen, it is that from which my lord drinks, and in which he is accustomed to discern signs. You have done a very sinful thing.' "
6 He did as he had been ordered. And having overtaken them, he spoke to them according to the order.
7 And they responded: "Why does our lord speak in this way, as though your servants had committed such a shameful act?
8 The money, which we found at the top of our sacks, we carried back to you from the land of Canaan. So in what way does it follow that we would steal, from the house of your lord, gold or silver?
9 Whichever of your servants will be found to have what you seek, may he die, and we shall be the servants of my lord."
10 And he said to them: "Let it be according to your verdict. With whomever it will be found, let him be my servant, but you will be unharmed."
11 And so, they quickly placed their sacks down to the ground, and each one was opened.
12 And when he had searched, beginning with the oldest, all the way to the youngest, he found the cup in Benjamin's sack.
13 But they, tearing their garments and burdening their donkeys again, returned to the town.
14 And Judah, first among his brothers, entered to Joseph (for he had not yet departed from the place) and together they all fell down before him to the ground.
15 And he said to them: "Why would you choose to act in this way? Could you be ignorant that there is no one like me in the knowledge of discerning signs?"
16 And Judah said to him, "What could we answer to my lord? And what would we be able to say, or to justly claim? God has discovered the iniquity of your servants. See, we have all become servants to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found."
17 Joseph responded: "Far be it from me that I should act in this way. He who stole the cup, he will be my servant. But you may go away free to your father."
18 Then Judah, approaching closer, said confidently: "I beg you, my lord, let your servant speak a word in your ears, and do not be angry with your servant. For you are next to Pharaoh.
19 My lord, you questioned your servants before: 'Do you have a father or a brother?'
20 And we answered you, my lord: 'There is our father, an old man, and a young boy, who was born in his old age. His brother of the same womb has died, and he alone is left to his mother and father, who truly love him tenderly.'
21 And you said to your servants, 'Bring him to me, and I will set my eyes on him.'
22 We suggested to my lord: 'The boy is not able to leave his father. For if he sends him away, he will die.'
23 And you said to your servants: 'Unless your youngest brother arrives with you, you will not see my face any more.'
24 Therefore, when we had gone up to your servant our father, we explained to him all that my lord had spoken.
25 And our father said: 'Return and buy us a little wheat.'
26 And we said to him: 'We cannot go. If our youngest brother descends with us, we will set out together. Otherwise, in his absence, we do not dare to see the face of the man.'
27 To which he responded: 'You know that my wife conceived twice by me.
28 One went out, and you said, "A beast devoured him." And since then, he has not appeared.
29 If you take this one also, and anything happens to him on the way, you will lead my grey hairs down with grief to the grave.'
30 Therefore, if I would have gone to your servant, our father, with the boy not present, (though his life depends upon the life of him)
31 and if he were to see that he is not with us, he would die, and your servants will lead his grey hairs down with sorrow to the grave.
32 Let me be your very own servant, for I accepted this one into my trust, and I promised, saying: 'Unless I lead him back, I will be guilty of a sin against my father for all time.'
33 And so I, your servant, will remain in place of the boy, in ministry to my lord, and then let the boy go up with his brothers.
34 For I cannot return to my father without the boy, lest I appear as a witness to the calamity that will oppress my father."
44
The Missing Cup
1Joseph commanded the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men's sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man's money in the top of his sack. 2Put my silver cup in the top of the youngest brother's sack, together with the money for his grain.” He did as he was told. 3Early in the morning the brothers were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4When they had gone only a short distance from the city, Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Hurry after those men. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you paid back evil for good? 5Why did you steal my master's silver cup?#44.5: One ancient translation Why did you steal my master's silver cup?; Hebrew does not have these words. It is the one he drinks from, the one he uses for divination. You have committed a serious crime!’”
6When the servant caught up with them, he repeated these words. 7They answered him, “What do you mean, sir, by talking like this? We swear that we have done no such thing. 8You know that we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money we found in the top of our sacks. Why then should we steal silver or gold from your master's house? 9Sir, if any one of us is found to have it, he will be put to death, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10He said, “I agree; but only the one who has taken the cup will become my slave, and the rest of you can go free.” 11So they quickly lowered their sacks to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12Joseph's servant searched carefully, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13The brothers tore their clothes in sorrow, loaded their donkeys, and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, he was still there. They bowed down before him, 15and Joseph said, “What have you done? Didn't you know that a man in my position could find you out by practicing divination?”
16“What can we say to you, sir?” Judah answered. “How can we argue? How can we clear ourselves? God has uncovered our guilt. All of us are now your slaves and not just the one with whom the cup was found.”
17Joseph said, “Oh, no! I would never do that! Only the one who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back safe and sound to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Judah went up to Joseph and said, “Please, sir, allow me to speak with you freely. Don't be angry with me; you are like the king himself. 19Sir, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or another brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother, born to him in his old age. The boy's brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother's children still alive; his father loves him very much.’ 21Sir, you told us to bring him here, so that you could see him, 22and we answered that the boy could not leave his father; if he did, his father would die. 23Then you said, ‘You will not be admitted to my presence again unless your youngest brother comes with you.’
24“When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said. 25Then he told us to return and buy a little food. 26We answered, ‘We cannot go; we will not be admitted to the man's presence unless our youngest brother is with us. We can go only if our youngest brother goes also.’ 27Our father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel bore me only two sons. 28One of them has already left me. He must have been torn to pieces by wild animals, because I have not seen him since he left. 29If you take this one from me now and something happens to him, the sorrow you would cause me would kill me, as old as I am.’
30-31“And now, sir,” Judah continued, “if I go back to my father without the boy, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with me, he will die. His life is wrapped up with the life of the boy, and he is so old that the sorrow we would cause him would kill him. 32What is more, I pledged my life to my father for the boy. I told him that if I did not bring the boy back to him, I would bear the blame all my life. 33And now, sir, I will stay here as your slave in place of the boy; let him go back with his brothers. 34How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I cannot bear to see this disaster come upon my father.”