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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
Joseph’s Cup
1And he commanded the #Gen. 43:16steward of his house, saying, #Gen. 42:25“Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you #1 Sam. 25:21repaid evil for good? 5Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”
6So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. 8Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan #Gen. 43:21the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9With whomever of your servants it is found, #Gen. 31:32let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”
10And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you shall be blameless.” 11Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12So he searched. He began with the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they #Gen. 37:29, 34; Num. 14:6; 2 Sam. 1:11tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.
14So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they #Gen. 37:7, 10fell before him on the ground. 15And Joseph said to them, “What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”
16Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has #(Num. 32:23)found out the iniquity of your servants; here #Gen. 44:9we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”
17But he said, #Prov. 17:15“Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
Judah Intercedes for Benjamin
18Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and #Gen. 18:30, 32; Ex. 32:22do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and #Gen. 37:3; 43:8; 44:30a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is #Gen. 42:38dead, and he #Gen. 46:19alone is left of his mother’s children, and his #Gen. 42:4father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, #Gen. 42:15, 20‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22And we said to my lord, #Gen. 43:3, 5‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’
24“So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25And #Gen. 43:2our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26But we said, ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that #Gen. 30:22–24; 35:16–18; 46:19my wife bore me two sons; 28and the one went out from me, and I said, #Gen. 37:31–35“Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. 29But if you #Gen. 42:36, 38; 44:31take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’
30“Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since #(1 Sam. 18:1; 25:29)his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, #Gen. 43:9‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Now therefore, please #Ex. 32:32let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”