Exit Parallel Mode
 

Genesis 44

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 corn.” 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 eldest 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 practising 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, ‘Have you got 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, 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.”
44
1And Joseph commanded the steward of his house, saying: Fill their sacks with corn, as much as they can hold; and put the money of every one in the top of his sack.
2And in the mouth of the younger's sack put my silver cup, and the price which he gave for the wheat. And it was so done.
3And when the morning arose, they were sent away with their asses.
4And when they were now departed out of the city, and had gone forward a little way, Joseph sending for the steward of his house, said: Arise, and pursue after the men. And when thou hast overtaken them, say to them: Why have you returned evil for good?
5The cup which you have stolen is that in which my lord drinketh, and in which he is wont to divine: you have done a very evil thing.
6He did as he had commanded him. And having overtaken them, he spoke to them the same words.
7And they answered: Why doth our lord speak so, as though thy servants had committed so heinous a fact?
8The money, that we found in the top of our sacks, we brought back to thee from the land of Chanaan: How then should it be that we should steal out of thy lord's house, gold or silver?
9With whomsoever of thy servants shall be found that which thou seekest, let him die, and we will be the bondmen of my lord.
10And he said to them: Let it be according to your sentence. With whomsoever it shall be found, let him be my servant, and you shall be blameless.
11Then they speedily took down their sacks to the ground, and every man opened his sack.
12Which when he had searched, beginning at the eldest, and ending at the youngest, he found the cup in Benjamin's sack.
13Then they rent their garments, and loading their asses again, returned into the town.
14And Juda at the head of his brethren went in to Joseph (for he was not yet gone out of the place): and they altogether fell down before him on the ground.
15And he said to them: Why would you do so? Know you not that there is no one like me in the science of divining.
16And Juda said to him: What shall we answer my lord? Or what shall we say, or be able justly to allege? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: Behold, we are all bondmen to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found.
17Joseph answered: God forbid that I should do so. He that stole the cup, he shall be my bondman. And go you away free to your father.
18Then Juda coming nearer, said boldly: I beseech thee, my lord, let thy servant speak a word in thy ears, and be not angry with thy servant; for after Pharao thou art
19My lord. Thou didst ask thy servants the first time: Have you a father or a brother?
20And we answered thee, my lord: We have a father an old man, and a young boy, that was born in his old age; whose brother by the mother is dead: and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him tenderly.
21And thou saidst to thy servants: Bring him hither to me, and I will set my eyes on him.
22We suggested to my lord: The boy cannot leave his father; for if he leave him, he will die.
23And thou saidst to thy servants: Except your youngest brother come with you, you shall see my face no more.
24Therefore when we were gone up to thy servant our father, we told him all that my lord had said.
25And our father said: Go again, and buy us a little wheat.
26And we said to him: We cannot go. If our youngest brother go down with us, we will set out together; otherwise, without him we dare not see the man's face.
27Whereunto he answered: You know that my wife bore me two.
28One went out, and you said: A beast devoured him. And hitherto he appeareth not.
29If you take this also, and any thing befall him in the way, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow unto hell.
30Therefore if I shall go to thy servant our father, and the boy be wanting (whereas his life dependeth upon the life of him):
31And he shall see that he is not with us, he will die, and thy servants shall bring down his gray hairs with sorrow unto hell.
32Let me be that proper servant, who took him into my trust, and promised, saying: If I bring him not again, I will be guilty of sin against my father for ever.
33Therefore I thy servant will stay instead of the boy in the service of my lord, and let the boy go up with his brethren.
34For I cannot return to my father without the boy, lest I be a witness of the calamity that will oppress my father.