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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
Joseph’s Brothers Return with Benjamin
1Now the famine was #Gen. 41:54, 57; 42:5; 45:6, 11severe in the land. 2And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go #Gen. 42:2; 44:25back, buy us a little food.”
3But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your #Gen. 42:20; 43:5; 44:23brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ”
6And Israel said, “Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had still another brother?”
7But they said, “The man asked us pointedly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we told him according to these words. Could we possibly have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may #Gen. 42:2; 47:19live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. #Gen. 42:37; 44:32; Philem. 18, 19If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10For if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.”
11And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and #Gen. 32:20; 33:10; 43:25, 26; (Prov. 18:16)carry down a present for the man—a little #Gen. 37:25; Jer. 8:22; Ezek. 27:17balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money #Gen. 42:25, 35; 43:21, 22that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, and arise, go back to the man. 14And may God #Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 48:3Almighty #Gen. 39:21; Ps. 106:46give you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. #Gen. 42:36; Esth. 4:16If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!”
15So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went #Gen. 39:1; 46:3, 6down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the #Gen. 24:2; 39:4; 44:1steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.” 17Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18Now the men were #Gen. 42:28afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and seize us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”
19When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house, 20and said, “O sir, #Gen. 42:3, 10we indeed came down the first time to buy food; 21but #Gen. 42:27, 35it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand. 22And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
23But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought #Gen. 42:24Simeon out to them.
24So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and #Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 24:32gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there.
26And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and #Gen. 37:7, 10; 42:6; 44:14bowed down before him to the earth. 27Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man #Gen. 29:6; 42:11, 13; 43:7; 45:3; 2 Kin. 4:26of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” #Gen. 37:7, 10And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.
29Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, #Gen. 35:17, 18his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother #Gen. 42:13of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Now #1 Kin. 3:26his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and #Gen. 42:24; 45:2, 14, 15; 46:29wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the #Gen. 43:25bread.”
32So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the #Gen. 41:12; Ex. 1:15Hebrews, for that is #Gen. 46:34; Ex. 8:26an abomination to the Egyptians. 33And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his #Gen. 27:36; 42:7; Deut. 21:16, 17birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another. 34Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was #Gen. 35:24; 45:22five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.