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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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CHAPTER 43
1In the meantime hunger oppressed greatly all the land,
2and when the meats were wasted or consumed, which they [had] brought from Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, Turn ye again, and buy ye a little of meats to us.
3Judah answered, That man announced to us, under witnessing of an oath, and said, Ye shall not see my face, if ye shall not bring with you your least brother;
4therefore if thou wilt send him with us, we shall go down together, and we shall buy necessaries to thee;
5else if thou wilt not, we shall not go down; for as we said oft, the man announced to us, and said, Ye shall not see my face without your least brother.
6Forsooth Israel said to them, Ye did this into my wretchedness, that ye showed to him, that ye had also another brother.
7And they answered, The man asked us by order our generation, if our father lived, if we had another brother; and we answered pursuingly to him, by that that he asked; whether we might know that he would say, Bring ye your brother with you?
8And Judah said to his father, Send the child with me#43:8 Benjamin would have been over 30 years old at this time., that we go, and may live, lest we die, and thou, and our little children;
9I shall take the child, require thou him again of mine hand; if I shall not bring him again, and betake him to thee, I shall be guilty of sin against thee in all time;
10if this delay, or tarrying, had not been, we had come thence now another time.
11Therefore Israel, their father, said to them, If it is need so to be, do ye that that ye will; take ye of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and bear ye gifts to the man, a little of gum, and of honey, and of storax, that is, a precious gum, and of myrrh, that is, a bitter gum, and of terebinth, that is, best resins, and of almonds;
12and bear ye with you double money, and bear ye again that money which ye found in [the] bags, lest peradventure it be done by error, or unwittingly, or by negligence;
13but also take ye your brother, and go ye to the man;
14forsooth my God Almighty make him peaceable or pleasable, or queme-ful, to you, and send he again your brother, whom he holdeth in bonds, and also this Benjamin; forsooth I shall be now as made bare without sons.
15Therefore the men took gifts, and double money, and Benjamin; and they went down into Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16And when he had seen them and Benjamin together, he commanded the dispenser of his house, and said, Lead these men into the house, and slay some beasts, and make a feast; for they shall eat with me today.
17He did as it was commanded or as it was bidden to him, and he led the men into the house;
18and there they were afeared, and they said together, We be brought in for the money which we bare again before in our sacks, that he put challenge against us, and make subject by violence to servage both us and our asses.
19Wherefore they nighed in the gates, and spake to the dispenser,
20Lord, we pray, that thou hear us; we came down now before that we should buy meats;
21when those were bought, and we headed home, when we came to the inn, we opened our bags, and we found the money in the mouths of our sacks, which money we have brought again now in the same weight;
22but also we have brought other silver, that we can buy those things that be needful to us; it is not in our knowing who put the money in our purses.
23And he answered, Peace be to you, do not ye dread; your God, and [the] God of your father, gave to you treasures in your bags; for I have the money proved, which ye gave to me. And he led out Simeon to them;
24and when they were brought into the house, he brought water, and they washed their feet, and he gave their asses meats.
25Soothly they made ready their gifts till Joseph entered at midday, for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26Therefore Joseph entered into his house, and they offered gifts to him, and held them in their hands, and worshipped low to the earth.
27And he greeted them again meekly; and he asked them, and said, Whether your father, the eld [or old] man, is safe, of whom ye said to me? liveth he yet?
28Which answered, He is whole, thy servant our father liveth yet; and they were bowed, and worshipped him.
29Forsooth Joseph raised [up] his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother of the same womb, and he said, Is this your youngest brother, of whom ye said to me? And again Joseph said, My son, God have mercy on thee.
30And Joseph hasted into another part of the house, for his entrails were moved on his brother, and tears burst out, and he entered into a closet, and wept.
31And again when his face was washed, he went out, and refrained himself from weeping, and said, Set ye forth loaves.
32Which were set forth to Joseph by himself, and to his brethren by themselves, and to the Egyptians that ate together by themselves; for it is unleaveful to Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, and they guess such a feast unholy.
33Therefore they sat before him, the first begotten by right of the first begotten, and so on down to the youngest by his age; and they wondered greatly,
34when the parts were taken which they had received of him, and the more part came to Benjamin, so that it passed the others in five parts; and they drank, and were [ful] filled with him.