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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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1In the mean time the famine was heavy upon all the land.
2And when they had eaten up all the corn, which they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said to his sons: Go again and buy us a little food.
3Juda answered: The man declared unto us with the attestation of an oath, saying: You shall not see my face, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.
4If therefore thou wilt send him with us, we will set out together, and will buy necessaries for thee.
5But if thou wilt not, we will not go: for the man, as we have often said, declared unto us, saying: You shall not see my face without your youngest brother.
6Israel said to them: You have done this for my misery in that you told him you had also another brother.
7But they answered: The man asked us in order concerning our kindred: if our father lived: if we had a brother: and we answered him regularly, according to what he demanded. Could we know what he would say: Bring hither your brother with you?
8And Juda said to his father: Send the boy with me, that we may set forward, and may live: lest both we and our children perish.
9I take the boy upon me; require him at my hand. Unless I bring him again, and restore him to thee, I will be guilty of sin against thee for ever.
10If delay had not been made, we had been here again the second time.
11Then Israel said to them: If it must needs be so, do what you will. Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down presents to the man, a little balm, and honey, and storax, myrrh, turpentine, and almonds.
12And take with you double money; and carry back what you found in your sacks, lest perhaps it was done by mistake.
13And take also your brother, and go to the man.
14And may my almighty God make him favourable to you; and send back with you your brother, whom he keepeth, and this Benjamin. And as for me I shall be desolate without children.
15So the men took the presents, and double money, and Benjamin: and went down into Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16And when he had seen them, and Benjamin with them, he commanded the steward of his house, saying: Bring in the men into the house, and kill victims, and prepare a feas;: because they shall eat with me at noon.
17He did as he was commanded, and brought the men into the house.
18And they being much afraid, said there one to another: Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we are brought in: that he may bring upon us a false accusation, and by violence make slaves of us and our asses.
19Wherefore going up to the steward of the house, at the door,
20They said: Sir, we desire thee to hear us: We came down once before to buy food.
21And when we had bought, and come to the inn, we opened our sacks, and found our money in the mouths of the sacks: which we have now brought again in the same weight.
22And we have brought other money besides, to buy what we want: we cannot tell who put it in our bags.
23But he answered: Peace be with you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father hath given you treasure in your sacks. For the money, which you gave me, I have for good. And he brought Simeon out to them.
24And having brought them into the house, he fetched water; and they washed their feet, and he gave provender to their asses.
25But they made ready the presents, against Joseph came at noon: for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26Then Joseph came into his house, and they offered him the presents holding them in their hands: and they bowed down with their face to the ground.
27But he, courteously saluting them again, asked them, saying: Is the old man your father in health, of whom you told me? Is he yet living?
28And they answered: Thy servant, our father, is in health; he is yet living. And bowing themselves they made obeisance to him.
29And Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin his brother, by the same mother, and said: Is this your young brother, of whom you told me? And he said: God be gracious to thee, my son.
30And he made haste because his heart was moved upon his brother, and tears gushed out. And going into his chamber he wept.
31And when he had washed his face, coming out again, he refrained himself, and said: Set bread on the table.
32And when it was set on, for Joseph apart, and for his brethren apart, for the Egyptians also that ate with him, apart, (for it is unlawful for the Egyptians to eat with the Hebrews, and they think such a feast profane).
33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his age. And they wondered very much:
34Taking the messes which they received of him: and the greater mess came to Benjamin, so that it exceeded by five parts. And they drank, and were merry with him.