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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.”
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CHAPTER 44
1Forsooth Joseph commanded the dispenser of his house, and said, Fill thou their sacks with wheat, as much as they may take, and put thou the money of each in the height [or the top] of the sack;
2forsooth put thou in the sack’s mouth of the youngest my silver cup, and the price of the wheat which he gave; and it was done so.
3And when the morrowtide arose, they were delivered with their asses.
4And now they had gone out of the city, and had gone forth a little; then Joseph said, when the dispenser of his house was called, Rise thou, pursue the men, and say thou when they be taken, Why have ye yielded evil for good?
5The cup, which ye have stolen, is that in which my lord drinketh, and in which he is wont to divine; ye have done a full wicked thing.
6He did as Joseph commanded, and when they were overtaken, he spake by order these things;
7the which answered, Why speaketh our lord so, that thy servants have done so great a trespass?
8We brought again to thee from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the height [or the top] of our sacks, and how is it pursuing [or following] that we have stolen from thy lord’s house gold or silver?
9At whomever of thy servants this that thou seekest is found, die he, and we shall be servants of my lord.
10Which said to them, Be it done by your sentence; at whom it is found, be he my servant; forsooth ye shall be guiltless.
11And so they did down hastily their sacks on the earth, and all they opened them,
12the which he sought through; and he began at the most till to the least, and he found the cup in Benjamin’s sack.
13And when they had rent their clothes, and had charged again their asses, they turned again into the city.
14And Judah entered with his brethren to Joseph; for Joseph had not gone yet from the place; and all they fell together on the earth before him.
15To whom he said, Why would ye do so? whether ye wot not, that none is like me in the knowing of divining?
16To whom Judah said, What shall we answer to my lord, or what shall we speak, either what may we justly against-say? God hath found the wickedness of thy servants; lo! all we be the servants of my lord, both we and he at whom the cup is found.
17Joseph answered, Far be it from me, that I do so; he be my servant that stole the cup; forsooth go ye free to your father.
18Soothly Judah nighed near, and said trustily, My lord, I pray thee, thy servant speak a word in thine ears, and be thou not wroth to thy servant; for after Pharaoh thou art my lord.
19Thou askedest first thy servants, Have ye a father, or a brother?
20And we answered to my lord, An eld [or old] father is to us, and a little child that was born in his eld age, whose brother of the same womb is dead, and his mother hath him alone; forsooth his father loveth him tenderly.
21And thou saidest to thy servants, Bring ye him to me, and I shall set mine eyes on him.
22We made suggestion to thee, my lord, the child may not forsake his father; for if he shall leave his father, his father shall die.
23And thou saidest to thy servants, If your youngest brother shall not come down with you, ye shall no more see my face.
24Therefore when we had gone up to thy servant, our father, we told to him all things which my lord spake to us;
25and our father said, Turn ye again, and buy ye to you a little of wheat;
26to whom we said, We may not go; only if our least brother shall go down with us, we shall go forth together; else, if he is absent, we dare not see the lord’s face.
27To which things our father answered, Ye know that my wife childed two sons to me;
28one went out, and ye said, A beast [hath] devoured him, and hither-to he appeareth not;
29if ye take also this son, and anything befall to him in the way, ye shall lead forth mine hoar hairs with mourning to hells [or to hell].
30Therefore if I enter again to thy servant, our father, and the child fail to be with us, since his life hangeth of the life of the child,
31and he see that the child is not with us, he shall die, and thy servants shall lead forth his hoar hairs with sorrow to hells [or to hell].
32Be I properly thy servant, which received this child on my faith, and I promised, and said, If I shall not bring again him to thee, I shall be guilty of sin against my father in all time;
33and so I shall dwell thy servant for the child into the service of my lord, and the child go up with his brethren;
34for I may not go again to my father, if the child be absent, lest I stand a witness of the wretchedness that shall oppress my father.