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Genesis 43

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1And the famine was grievous in the land. 2And it came to pass, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, Go again, buy us a little food. 3And Judah spoke to him, saying, The man did positively testify to us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, unless your brother be with you. 4If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food; 5but if thou do not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, Ye shall not see my face, unless your brother be with you. 6And Israel said, Why did ye deal so ill with me as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother? 7And they said, The man asked very closely after us, and after our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye a brother? And we told him according to the tenor of these words. Could we at all know that he would say, Bring your brother down? 8And Judah said to Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live, and not die, both we and thou and our little ones. 9I will be surety for him: of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not to thee, and set him before thy face, then shall I be guilty toward thee for ever. 10For had we not lingered, we should now certainly have returned already twice.
11And their father Israel said to them, If it is then so, do this: take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a gift: a little balsam and a little honey, tragacanth and ladanum, pistacia-nuts and almonds. 12And take other money in your hand, and the money that was returned to you in the mouth of your sacks, carry back in your hand: perhaps it is an oversight. 13And take your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14And the Almighty ·God#GodHebrew: El give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother and Benjamin! And I, if I be bereaved of children, am bereaved.
15And the men took that gift, and took double money in their hand, and Benjamin, and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and came before Joseph. 16And Joseph saw Benjamin with them, and said to the man who was over his house, Bring the men into the house, and slaughter cattle, and make ready; for the men shall eat with me at noon. 17And the man did as Joseph had said; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. 18And the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph's house, and said, Because of the money that was returned to us in our sacks at the beginning are we brought in, that he may turn against us, and fall upon us and take us for bondmen, and our asses. 19And they came up to the man that was over Joseph's house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house, 20and said, Ah! my lord, we came indeed down at the first to buy food. 21And it came to pass when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money according to its weight; and we have brought it again in our hand. 22And other money have we brought down in our hand to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks. 23And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God#GodHebrew: Elohim and the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; your money came to me. And he brought Simeon out to them. 24And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses food. 25And they made ready the gift for Joseph's coming at noon; for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought him the gift that was in their hand, into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth. 27And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well — the old man of whom ye spoke? Is he yet alive? 28And they said, Thy servant our father is well; he is yet alive. And they bowed, and made obeisance. 29And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother of whom ye spoke to me? And he said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim be gracious to thee, my son! 30And Joseph made haste, for his bowels burned for his brother; and he sought a place to weep, and he went into the chamber, and wept there. 31And he washed his face, and came out, and controlled himself, and said, Set on bread. 32And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians. 33And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth; and the men marvelled one at another. 34And he had portions carried to them from before him. And Benjamin's portion was five times greater than the portions of them all. And they drank, and made merry with him.
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1The famine continued to be really bad in Canaan, 2so once they had finished the grain they'd brought from Egypt, their father told them, “You have to go back and buy some more grain for us.”
3But Judah responded, “The man was adamant when he warned us, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother Benjamin with us then we'll go and buy food for you. 5But if you won't send him, then we won't go, because the man was very clear, ‘I won't even see you unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why have you made things so bad for me by telling the man you had another brother?” Israel asked.
7“The man kept on asking direct questions about us and our family like ‘Is your father still alive?’ and ‘Do you have another brother?’” they replied. “We just answered his questions. How were we to know he'd say, ‘Bring your brother here!’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy in my care, and we'll leave immediately, so that we can stay alive and not die—and that includes you and us and our children! 9I promise to take care of him—I'll be personally responsible for bringing him back to you. If I don't, then I will always carry the blame! 10Now let's go, because if we hadn't hesitated, we could have gone there and come back twice by now.”
11“If it has to be, then this is what you'll do,” Israel replied. “Take with you the best our country produces. Pack your bags with gifts for the man—balm, a little honey, spices, myrrh, pistachios, and almonds. 12Take double the money that was returned to you in your sacks—maybe it was a mistake. 13Take your brother and go back to the man right away. 14May God Almighty make the man treat you kindly so when you come before him he'll release your other brother and send Benjamin back. As for me, if I am to lose all my children, then so be it.”
15So they packed the gifts, took double the money, and set off, accompanied by Benjamin. They arrived in Egypt and went to have an audience with Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin was with them, he told his household supervisor, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and make a meal, for they are going to eat with me at noon.”
17The man did as Joseph ordered and took them to Joseph's house. 18They were really worried that they were being taken to Joseph's house. “It's because of the money that was put in our sacks the first time we came,” they said to each other. “That's why we're being brought in—so he can accuse us and attack us! He'll make us his slaves and take our donkeys!”
19So they went and spoke to Joseph's household supervisor at the entrance to the house. 20“Please excuse us, my lord,” they said. “We came down the first time to buy food, 21and when we stopped for the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found our money—the exact amount—at the top of our sacks. So we've brought it back with us. 22We've also brought more money to buy food. We've no idea who put our money in our sacks!”
23“Everything's fine!” he told them. “Don't worry! Your God, the God of your father, must have given you the treasure#43:23. “Treasure”: the word refers of course to the money, and is one used to describe money that is hidden or buried. hidden in your sacks. I got your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to meet them. 24The steward took them inside Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet, and supplied food for their donkeys. 25They got their gifts ready for when Joseph would come at noon, because they had found out that they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph arrived at the house they gave him the gifts they had brought for him, and bowed low to the ground before him. 27He asked how they were, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father doing that you spoke of? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes, your servant our father is still alive, and is well,” they replied and bowed low in respect.
29Then Joseph looked over at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” he asked. “God be gracious to you, my son,” he said.
30Joseph had to run out quickly because he was becoming so emotional at seeing his brother.#43:30. He hadn't seen Benjamin for more than 20 years. He looked for a place to cry, and went to his room to weep there. 31Then he washed his face, got his emotions under control, and went back out. “Serve the food,” he ordered.
32Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians were also served at another table, because Egyptians cannot eat with Hebrews because they find this repulsive.#43:32. It appears that since the Egyptians revered the cow goddess Isis they viewed anyone (including Hebrews) who ate such meat as unclean. 33The brothers had been seated in front of him in order by age, from the firstborn, the oldest, down to the youngest, and they looked at each other in complete surprise.#43:33. It would of course have been impossible for anyone without intimate family knowledge to do this. 34The food was served to them from Joseph's table, and Benjamin received five times as much as anyone else. So they ate and drank plenty with him.