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Genesis 44

44
1And he commanded him who was over his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry; and put every man's money in the mouth of his sack. 2And put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain-money. And he did according to the word of Joseph which he had spoken. 3In the morning, when it was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. 4They were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, when Joseph said to him who was over his house, Up! follow after the men; and when thou overtakest them, thou shalt say to them, Why have ye rewarded evil for good? 5Is not this it in which my lord drinks, and in which indeed he divines? Ye have done evil in what ye have done. 6And he overtook them, and he spoke to them these words. 7And they said to him, Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from thy servants to do such a thing! 8Behold, the money that we found in our sacks' mouths we have brought again to thee from the land of Canaan; and how should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? 9With whomsoever of thy servants it is found, let him die; and we also will be my lord's bondmen. 10And he said, Now also let it be according to your words: let him with whom it is found be my bondman, but ye shall be blameless. 11And they hasted and laid down every man his sack on the ground, and opened every man his sack. 12And he searched carefully: he began at the eldest, and ended at the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13Then they rent their clothes, and loaded every man his ass, and they returned to the city. 14And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; and he was still there; and they fell down before him to the ground. 15And Joseph said to them, What deed is this which ye have done? Did ye not know that such a man as I can certainly divine? 16And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak, and how justify ourselves? God#GodHebrew: Elohim has found out the iniquity of thy servants; behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he in whose hand the cup has been found. 17And he said, Far be it from me to do so! The man in whose hand the cup has been found, he shall be my bondman; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.
18Then Judah came near to him, and said, Ah! my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant; for thou art even as Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? 20And we said to my lord, We have an aged father, and a child born to him in his old age, yet young; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother; and his father loves him. 21And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down to me, that I may set mine eye on him. 22And we said to my lord, The youth cannot leave his father: if he should leave his father, his father would die. 23And thou saidst to thy servants, Unless your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 24And it came to pass when we came up to thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25And our father said, Go again, buy us a little food. 26But we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down; for we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us. 27And thy servant my father said to us, Ye know that my wife bore me two sons; 28and the one went out from me, and I said, He must certainly have been torn in pieces; and I have not seen him again hitherto. 29And if ye take this one also from me, and mischief should befall him, ye will bring down my grey hairs with misery to Sheol. 30And now, when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad is not with us, — seeing that his life is bound up with his life, 31it will come to pass when he sees that the lad is not there, that he will die; and thy servants will bring down the grey hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32For thy servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, If I bring him not to thee, then I shall be guilty toward my father all my days. 33And now, let thy servant stay, I pray thee, instead of the lad a bondman to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren; 34for how should I go up to my father if the lad were not with me? — lest I see the evil that would come on my father.
44
Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to his servant. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry. Then put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put the youngest brother’s money in his sack too. But also put my special silver cup in his sack.” So the servant obeyed Joseph.
3Early the next morning the brothers and their donkeys were sent back to their country. 4After they had left the city, Joseph said to his servant, “Go and follow the men. Stop them and say to them, ‘We were good to you! So why have you been bad to us? Why did you steal my master’s silver cup?#44:4 Why did … silver cup This is from the ancient Greek version. 5My master drinks from that cup, and he uses it to learn secret things. What you did was wrong!’”
6So the servant obeyed. He rode out to the brothers and stopped them. The servant said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why does the governor say these things? We wouldn’t do anything like that! 8We brought back the money that we found in our sacks before. So surely we wouldn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find the silver cup in any of our sacks, let that man die. You can kill him, and we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “I agree, except that only the man who is found to have the cup will be my slave. The others will be free.”
The Trap Is Sprung; Benjamin Is Caught
11Then every brother quickly opened his sack on the ground. 12The servant started looking in the sacks. He started with the oldest brother and ended with the youngest. He found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers were very sad. They tore their clothes to show their sadness. They put their sacks back on the donkeys and went back to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there. The brothers fell to the ground and bowed down before him. 15Joseph said to them, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know that I have a special way of learning secrets? No one is better at this than I am!”
16Judah said, “Sir, there is nothing we can say. There is no way to explain. There is no way to show that we are not guilty. God has judged us guilty for something else we have done. So all of us, even Benjamin, will be your slaves.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. You others can go in peace to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Sir, please let me speak plainly with you. Please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are like Pharaoh himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have a father—he is an old man. And we have a younger brother. Our father loves him because he was born while our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only son who is left from that mother. Our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot come. He cannot leave his father. If his father loses him, his father will be so sad that he will die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘You must bring your youngest brother, or I will not sell you grain again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. The governor said he will not sell us grain again until he sees our youngest brother.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28I let one son go away, and he was killed by a wild animal. And I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take my other son away from me, and something happens to him, I will be sad enough to die.’ 30Now, imagine what will happen when we go home without our youngest brother—he is the most important thing in our father’s life! 31Our father will die if he sees that the boy isn’t with us—and it will be our fault. We will send our father to his grave a very sad man.
32“I took responsibility for the young boy. I told my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me for the rest of my life.’ 33So now I beg you, please let the boy go back with his brothers, and I will stay and be your slave. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I am very afraid of what would happen to my father.”