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Genesis 43

43
1In the mean time the famine was heavy upon all the land.
2And when they had eaten up all the corn, which they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said to his sons: Go again and buy us a little food.
3Juda answered: The man declared unto us with the attestation of an oath, saying: You shall not see my face, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.
4If therefore thou wilt send him with us, we will set out together, and will buy necessaries for thee.
5But if thou wilt not, we will not go: for the man, as we have often said, declared unto us, saying: You shall not see my face without your youngest brother.
6Israel said to them: You have done this for my misery in that you told him you had also another brother.
7But they answered: The man asked us in order concerning our kindred: if our father lived: if we had a brother: and we answered him regularly, according to what he demanded. Could we know what he would say: Bring hither your brother with you?
8And Juda said to his father: Send the boy with me, that we may set forward, and may live: lest both we and our children perish.
9I take the boy upon me; require him at my hand. Unless I bring him again, and restore him to thee, I will be guilty of sin against thee for ever.
10If delay had not been made, we had been here again the second time.
11Then Israel said to them: If it must needs be so, do what you will. Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down presents to the man, a little balm, and honey, and storax, myrrh, turpentine, and almonds.
12And take with you double money; and carry back what you found in your sacks, lest perhaps it was done by mistake.
13And take also your brother, and go to the man.
14And may my almighty God make him favourable to you; and send back with you your brother, whom he keepeth, and this Benjamin. And as for me I shall be desolate without children.
15So the men took the presents, and double money, and Benjamin: and went down into Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16And when he had seen them, and Benjamin with them, he commanded the steward of his house, saying: Bring in the men into the house, and kill victims, and prepare a feas;: because they shall eat with me at noon.
17He did as he was commanded, and brought the men into the house.
18And they being much afraid, said there one to another: Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we are brought in: that he may bring upon us a false accusation, and by violence make slaves of us and our asses.
19Wherefore going up to the steward of the house, at the door,
20They said: Sir, we desire thee to hear us: We came down once before to buy food.
21And when we had bought, and come to the inn, we opened our sacks, and found our money in the mouths of the sacks: which we have now brought again in the same weight.
22And we have brought other money besides, to buy what we want: we cannot tell who put it in our bags.
23But he answered: Peace be with you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father hath given you treasure in your sacks. For the money, which you gave me, I have for good. And he brought Simeon out to them.
24And having brought them into the house, he fetched water; and they washed their feet, and he gave provender to their asses.
25But they made ready the presents, against Joseph came at noon: for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26Then Joseph came into his house, and they offered him the presents holding them in their hands: and they bowed down with their face to the ground.
27But he, courteously saluting them again, asked them, saying: Is the old man your father in health, of whom you told me? Is he yet living?
28And they answered: Thy servant, our father, is in health; he is yet living. And bowing themselves they made obeisance to him.
29And Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin his brother, by the same mother, and said: Is this your young brother, of whom you told me? And he said: God be gracious to thee, my son.
30And he made haste because his heart was moved upon his brother, and tears gushed out. And going into his chamber he wept.
31And when he had washed his face, coming out again, he refrained himself, and said: Set bread on the table.
32And when it was set on, for Joseph apart, and for his brethren apart, for the Egyptians also that ate with him, apart, (for it is unlawful for the Egyptians to eat with the Hebrews, and they think such a feast profane).
33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his age. And they wondered very much:
34Taking the messes which they received of him: and the greater mess came to Benjamin, so that it exceeded by five parts. And they drank, and were merry with him.
43
1-2The famine got worse. When they had eaten all the food they had brought back from Egypt, their father said, “Go back and get some more food.”
3-5But Judah said, “The man warned us most emphatically, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’ If you’re ready to release our brother to go with us, we’ll go down and get you food. But if you’re not ready, we aren’t going. What would be the use? The man told us, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’”
6Israel said, “Why are you making my life so difficult! Why did you ever tell the man you had another brother?”
7They said, “The man pressed us hard, asking pointed questions about our family: ‘Is your father alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How did we know that he’d say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8-10Judah pushed his father Israel. “Let the boy go; I’ll take charge of him. Let us go and be on our way—if we don’t get going, we’re all going to starve to death—we and you and our children, too! I’ll take full responsibility for his safety; it’s my life on the line for his. If I don’t bring him back safe and sound, I’m the guilty one; I’ll take all the blame. If we had gone ahead in the first place instead of procrastinating like this, we could have been there and back twice over.”
11-14Their father Israel gave in. “If it has to be, it has to be. But do this: stuff your packs with the finest products from the land you can find and take them to the man as gifts—some balm and honey, some spices and perfumes, some pistachios and almonds. And take plenty of money—pay back double what was returned to your sacks; that might have been a mistake. Take your brother and get going. Go back to the man. And may The Strong God give you grace in that man’s eyes so that he’ll send back your other brother along with Benjamin. For me, nothing’s left; I’ve lost everything.”
15-16The men took the gifts, double the money, and Benjamin. They lost no time in getting to Egypt and meeting Joseph. When Joseph saw that they had Benjamin with them, he told his house steward, “Take these men into the house and make them at home. Butcher an animal and prepare a meal; these men are going to eat with me at noon.”
17-18The steward did what Joseph had said and took them inside. But they became anxious when they were brought into Joseph’s home, thinking, “It’s the money; he thinks we ran off with the money on our first trip down here. And now he’s got us where he wants us—he’s going to turn us into slaves and confiscate our donkeys.”
19-22So they went up to Joseph’s house steward and talked to him in the doorway. They said, “Listen, master. We came down here one other time to buy food. On our way home, the first night out we opened our bags and found our money at the mouth of the bag—the exact amount we’d paid. We’ve brought it all back and have plenty more to buy more food with. We have no idea who put the money in our bags.”
23The steward said, “Everything’s in order. Don’t worry. Your God and the God of your father must have given you a bonus. I was paid in full.” And with that, he presented Simeon to them.
24-25He then took them inside Joseph’s house and made them comfortable—gave them water to wash their feet and saw to the feeding of their donkeys. The brothers spread out their gifts as they waited for Joseph to show up at noon—they had been told that they were to have dinner with him.
26When Joseph got home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought and bowed respectfully before him.
27Joseph welcomed them and said, “And your old father whom you mentioned to me, how is he? Is he still alive?”
28They said, “Yes—your servant our father is quite well, very much alive.” And they again bowed respectfully before him.
29Then Joseph picked out his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son. He asked, “And is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
30-31Deeply moved on seeing his brother and about to burst into tears, Joseph hurried out into another room and had a good cry. Then he washed his face, got a grip on himself, and said, “Let’s eat.”
32-34Joseph was served at his private table, the brothers off by themselves and the Egyptians off by themselves (Egyptians won’t eat at the same table with Hebrews; it’s repulsive to them). The brothers were seated facing Joseph, arranged in order of their age, from the oldest to the youngest. They looked at one another wide-eyed, wondering what would happen next. When the brothers’ plates were served from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s plate came piled high, far more so than his brothers. And so the brothers feasted with Joseph, drinking freely.