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Genesis 43

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The Second Journey to Egypt.#The second journey to Egypt. Joseph the sage has carefully prepared the brothers for a possible reconciliation. In this chapter and the following one Judah steps forward as the hero, in contrast to chaps. 37 and 42 where Reuben was the hero. Here Judah serves as guarantee for Benjamin. 1Now the famine in the land grew severe. 2So when they had used up all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.” 3But Judah replied: “The man strictly warned us, ‘You shall not see me unless your brother is with you.’#Gn 44:23. 4If you are willing to let our brother go with us, we will go down to buy food for you. 5But if you are not willing, we will not go down, because the man told us, ‘You shall not see me unless your brother is with you.’”#Gn 42:20. 6Israel demanded, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man that you had another brother?” 7They answered: “The man kept asking about us and our family: ‘Is your father still living? Do you have another brother?’ We answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Then Judah urged his father Israel: “Let the boy go with me, that we may be off and on our way if you and we and our children are to keep from starving to death.#Gn 42:37. 9I myself will serve as a guarantee for him. You can hold me responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back and set him before you, I will bear the blame before you forever.#Gn 44:32. 10Had we not delayed, we could have been there and back twice by now!”
11Israel their father then told them: “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the land’s best products in your baggage and take them down to the man as gifts: some balm and honey, gum and resin, and pistachios and almonds.#Gn 45:23. 12Also take double the money along, for you must return the amount that was put back in the mouths of your bags; it may have been a mistake. 13Take your brother, too, and be off on your way back to the man. 14May God Almighty grant you mercy in the presence of the man, so that he may let your other brother go, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to suffer bereavement, I shall suffer it.”
15So the men took those gifts and double the money and Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt and presented themselves before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw them and Benjamin, he told his steward, “Take the men into the house, and have an animal slaughtered and prepared, for they are to dine with me at noon.” 17Doing as Joseph had ordered, the steward conducted the men to Joseph’s house. 18But they became apprehensive when they were led to his house. “It must be,” they thought, “on account of the money put back in our bags the first time, that we are taken inside—in order to attack us and take our donkeys and seize us as slaves.” 19So they went up to Joseph’s steward and talked to him at the entrance of the house. 20“If you please, sir,” they said, “we came down here once before to buy food.#Gn 42:3. 21But when we arrived at a night’s encampment and opened our bags, there was each man’s money in the mouth of his bag—our money in the full amount! We have now brought it back.#Gn 42:27–28. 22We have brought other money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our bags.” 23He replied, “Calm down! Do not fear! Your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags for you. As for your money, I received it.” With that, he led Simeon out to them.
24The steward then brought the men inside Joseph’s house. He gave them water to wash their feet, and gave fodder to their donkeys. 25Then they set out their gifts to await Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were to dine there. 26When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, while they bowed down before him to the ground. 27After inquiring how they were, he asked them, “And how is your aged father, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”#Tb 7:4. 28“Your servant our father is still alive and doing well,” they said, as they knelt and bowed down. 29Then Joseph looked up and saw Benjamin, his brother, the son of his mother. He asked, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you told me?” Then he said to him, “May God be gracious to you, my son!”#Gn 42:13. 30With that, Joseph hurried out, for he was so overcome with affection for his brother that he was on the verge of tears. So he went into a private room and wept there.
31After washing his face, he reappeared and, now having collected himself, gave the order, “Serve the meal.” 32It was served separately to him,#Separately to him: that Joseph did not eat with the other Egyptians was apparently a matter of rank. to the brothers, and to the Egyptians who partook of his board. Egyptians may not eat with Hebrews; that is abhorrent to them. 33When they were seated before him according to their age, from the oldest to the youngest, they looked at one another in amazement; 34and as portions were brought to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as#Five times as large as: probably an idiomatic expression for “much larger than.” Cf. 45:22. anyone else’s. So they drank freely and made merry with him.
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1 Meanwhile, the famine pressed heavily on all the land.
2 And having consumed the provisions that they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, "Return and buy us a little food."
3 Judah answered: "The man himself declared to us, under the attestation of an oath, saying: 'You will not see my face, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.'
4 If therefore you are willing to send him with us, we will travel together, and we will buy necessities for you.
5 But if you are not willing, we will not go. For the man, as we have often said, declared to us, saying: 'You will not see my face without your youngest brother.' "
6 Israel said to them, "You have done this for my misery, in that you revealed to him that you also had another brother."
7 But they responded: "The man questioned us in order, concerning our family: whether our father lived, if we had a brother. And we answered him respectively, according to what he demanded. How could we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother with you?' "
8 Likewise, Judah said to his father: "Send the boy with me, so that we may set out and be able to live, lest we and our little ones should die.
9 I accept the boy; require him at my hand. Unless I lead him back and restore him to you, I will be guilty of a sin against you for all time.
10 If a delay had not intervened, by now we would have returned here a second time."
11 Therefore, their father Israel said to them: "If it is necessary to do so, then do what you will. Take, in your vessels, from the best fruits of the land, and carry down gifts to the man: a little resin, and honey, and storax ointment, oil of myrrh, turpentine, and almonds.
12 Also, take with you double the money, and carry back what you found in your sacks, lest perhaps it was done in error.
13 But also take your brother, and go to the man.
14 Then may my Almighty God cause him to be pleased by you. And send your brother, whom he holds, back with you, along with this one, Benjamin. But as for me, without my children, I will be like one who is bereaved."
15 Therefore, the men took the gifts, and double the money, and Benjamin. And they went down into Egypt, and they stood in the presence of Joseph.
16 And when he had seen them and Benjamin together, he instructed the steward of his house, saying: "Lead the men into the house, and kill victims, and prepare a feast, because they will be eating with me at midday."
17 He did what he had been ordered to do, and he brought the men into the house.
18 And there, being terrified, they said one to another: "Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we have been brought in, so that he may unleash a false accusation against us, and by violence subjugate both us and our donkeys into servitude."
19 For this reason, approaching the steward of the house at his door,
20 they said: "We beg you, lord, to hear us. We came down once before to buy food.
21 And having bought it, when we arrived at the inn, we opened our sacks and found the money in the mouths of the sacks, which we now have carried back in the same amount.
22 But we have also brought other silver, so that we may buy those things that are necessary for us. It is not on our conscience who had placed it in our bags."
23 But he responded: "Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you the treasure in your sacks. As for the money that you gave to me, I held it as a test." And he led Simeon out to them.
24 And having led them into the house, he brought water, and they washed their feet, and he gave fodder to their donkeys.
25 But they also prepared the gifts, until Joseph entered at midday. For they had heard that they would eat bread there.
26 And so Joseph entered his house, and they offered him the gifts, holding them in their hands. And they reverenced prone on the ground.
27 But he, gently greeting them again, questioned them, saying: "Is your father, the old man about whom you spoke to me, in good health? Is he still alive?"
28 And they answered: "Your servant, our father, is safe; he is still alive." And bowing, they reverenced him.
29 Then Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin, his brother of the same womb, and he said, "Is this your little brother, about whom you spoke to me?" And again, he said, "May God be compassionate to you, my son."
30 And he hurried out, because his heart had been moved over his brother, and tears gushed out. And going into his chamber, he wept.
31 And when he had washed his face, coming out again, he composed himself, and he said, "Set out bread."
32 And when it was set out, separately for Joseph, and separately for his brothers, likewise separately for the Egyptians, who ate at the same time, (for it is unlawful for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, and they consider feasting in this way to be profane)
33 they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his state of life. And they wondered exceedingly,
34 taking the portions that they received from him. And the greater portion went to Benjamin, so much so that it exceeded five parts. And they drank and became inebriated along with him.