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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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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.