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Genesis 43

43
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.
43
Jacob Lets Benjamin Go to Egypt
1The famine was very bad in that country. 2The people ate all the grain they had brought from Egypt. When that grain was gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go to Egypt and buy some more grain for us to eat.”
3But Judah said to Jacob, “But the governor of that country warned us. He said, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back to me, I will refuse to talk to you.’ 4If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy grain. 5But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The man warned us to not come back without him.”
6Israel said, “Why did you tell him you had another brother? Why did you do such a bad thing to me?”
7The brothers answered, “He asked lots of questions. He wanted to know all about us and about our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother at home?’ We only answered his questions. We didn’t know he would ask us to bring our brother to him!”
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Let Benjamin go with me. I will take care of him. We have to go to Egypt to get food. If we don’t go, we will all die—including our children. 9I will make sure he is safe. I will be responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me forever. 10If you had let us go before, we could have already made two trips for food.”
11Then their father Israel said, “If it is really true, take Benjamin with you. But take some gifts to the governor. Take some of the things we have been able to gather in our land. Take him some honey, pistachio nuts, almonds, spices, and myrrh. 12Take twice as much money with you this time. Take the money that was given back to you after you paid last time. Maybe the governor made a mistake. 13Take Benjamin, and go back to the man. 14I pray that God All-Powerful will help you when you stand before the governor. I pray that he will let Benjamin, and also Simeon, come back safely. If not, I will again be sad from losing my children.”
15So the brothers took the gifts to give to the governor. And the brothers took twice as much money with them as they took the first time. This time Benjamin went with the brothers to Egypt.
The Brothers at Joseph’s House
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his servant, “Bring these men into my house. Kill an animal and cook it. They will eat with me at noon today.” 17The servant did as he was told. He brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18The brothers were afraid when they were taken to Joseph’s house and said, “We have been brought here because of the money that was put back in our sacks the last time. They will use this as proof against us and steal our donkeys and make us slaves.”
19So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house. 20They said, “Sir, I promise this is the truth. The last time we came, we came to buy food. 21-22On the way home, we opened our sacks and found our money in every sack. We don’t know how it got there, but we brought that money with us to give it back to you. And we have brought more money to pay for the food that we want to buy this time.”
23But the servant answered, “Don’t be afraid; believe me. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sack as a gift. I remember that you paid me for the grain the last time.”
Then the servant brought Simeon out of the prison. 24The servant led the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he fed their donkeys.
25The brothers heard that they were going to eat with Joseph, so they worked until noon preparing their gifts for him.
26When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gifts they had brought with them. Then they bowed down to the ground in front of him.
27Joseph asked them how they were doing. Then he said, “How is your elderly father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28The brothers answered, “Yes, sir, our father is still alive.” And they again bowed before Joseph.
29Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin. (Benjamin and Joseph had the same mother.) Joseph said, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then Joseph said to Benjamin, “God bless you, my son!”
30Joseph felt a strong desire to show his brother Benjamin that he loved him. He was about to cry and didn’t want his brothers to see him, so he ran into his private room and cried there. 31Then Joseph washed his face and came out. He regained control of himself and said, “Now it is time to eat.”
32The servants seated Joseph at a table by himself. His brothers were at another table by themselves, and the Egyptians were at a table by themselves. The Egyptians believed that it was wrong for them to eat with Hebrews.#43:32 The Egyptians … Hebrews The Egyptians would not eat with them because they were shepherds and ate meat from cattle, sheep, and goats. To the Egyptians, these animals represented some of their gods. See Gen. 46:34. 33Joseph’s brothers were seated at a table facing him. The brothers were looking at each other because, to their surprise, they had been seated in order, from the oldest to the youngest. 34Servants were taking food from Joseph’s table and bringing it to them. But the servants gave Benjamin five times more than the others. The brothers continued to eat and drink with Joseph until they were drunk.