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Genesis 44

44
Joseph’s Plan to Trap His Brothers
1Joseph commanded the man in charge of his house,
“Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry. Put each man’s money in his sack. 2Then put my silver cup in the youngest brother’s sack along with the money for his grain.” He did what Joseph told him.
3At dawn the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to the man in charge of his house, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you paid me back with evil when I was good to you? 5Isn’t this the cup that my master drinks from and that he uses for telling the future? What you have done is evil!’ ”
6When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7They answered him, “Sir, how can you say such things? We would never think of doing anything like that! 8We brought the money we found in our sacks back from Canaan. So why would we steal any silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If one of us has it, he will die, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“I agree,” he said. “We’ll do what you’ve said. The man who has the cup will be my slave, and the rest of you can go free.”
11Each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12Then the man made a thorough search. He began with the oldest and ended with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13When they saw this, they tore their clothes in grief. Then each one loaded his donkey and went back into the city.
14Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house while Joseph was still there. Immediately, they bowed with their faces touching the ground. 15Joseph asked them, “What have you done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out because he knows the future?”
16“Sir, what can we say to you?” Judah asked. “How else can we explain it? How can we prove we’re innocent? God has uncovered our guilt. Now all of us are your slaves, including the one who had the cup.”
17But Joseph said, “I would never think of doing that! Only the man who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you can go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Defends Benjamin
18Then Judah went up to Joseph and said, “Please, sir, let me speak openly with you. Don’t be angry with me, although you are equal to Pharaoh. 19Sir, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother born to him when he was already old. The boy’s brother is dead, so he’s the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21“Then you said to us, ‘Bring him here to me so that I can see him myself.’ 22We replied, ‘The boy can’t leave his father. If the boy leaves him, his father will die.’ 23Then you told us, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come here with you, you will never be allowed to see me again.’ 24When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said.
25“Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little more food.’ 26We answered, ‘We can’t go back. We can only go back if our youngest brother is with us. The man won’t see us unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then our father said to us, ‘You know that my wife ⌞Rachel⌟ gave me two sons. 28One is gone, and I said, “He must have been torn to pieces!” I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take this one away from me too and anything happens to him, you’ll drive this gray-haired old man to his grave.’
30“Our father’s life is wrapped up with the boy’s life. If I come ⌞home⌟ without the boy 31and he sees that the boy isn’t ⌞with me⌟, he’ll die. The grief would drive our gray-haired old father to his grave.
32“I guaranteed my father that the boy would come back. I said, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, then you can blame me the rest of my life, Father.’ 33Sir, please let me stay and be your slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34How could I go back to my father if the boy isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father’s misery!”
44
1 AND HE commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, with his grain money. And [the steward] did according to what Joseph had said.
3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys.
4 When they had left the city and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, Why have you rewarded evil for good? [Why have you stolen the silver cup?]
5 Is it not my master's drinking cup with which he divines [the future]? You have done wrong in doing this.
6 And the steward overtook them, and he said to them these same words.
7 They said to him, Why does my lord say these things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing!
8 Note that the money which we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Is it likely then that we would steal from your master's house silver or gold?
9 With whomever of your servants [your master's cup] is found, not only let that one die, but the rest of us will be my lord's slaves.
10 And the steward said, Now let it be as you say: he with whom [the cup] is found shall be my slave, but [the rest of] you shall be blameless.
11 Then quickly every man lowered his sack to the ground and every man opened his sack.
12 And [the steward] searched, beginning with the eldest and stopping with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
13 Then they rent their clothes; and after each man had loaded his donkey again, they returned to the city.
14 Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house, for he was still there; and they fell prostrate before him.
15 Joseph said to them, What is this thing that you have done? Do you not realize that such a man as I can certainly detect and know by divination [everything you do without other knowledge of it]?
16 And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? What shall we reply? Or how shall we clear ourselves, since God has found out and exposed the iniquity of your servants? Behold, we are my lord's slaves, the rest of us as well as he with whom the cup is found.
17 But [Joseph] said, God forbid that I should do that; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for [the rest of] you, arise and go in peace to your father.
18 Then Judah came close to [Joseph] and said, O my lord, let your servant, I pray you, speak a word to you in private, and let not your anger blaze against your servant, for you are as Pharaoh [so I will speak as if directly to him].
19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have you a father or a brother?
20 And we said to my lord, We have a father–an old man–and a young [brother, the] child of his old age; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's [offspring], and his father loves him.
21 And you said to your servants, Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.
22 And we said to my lord, The lad cannot leave his father; for if he should do so, his father would die.
23 And you told your servants, Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you shall not see my face again.
24 And when we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
25 And our father said, Go again and buy us a little food.
26 But we said, We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man's face except our youngest brother is with us.
27 And your servant my father said to us, You know that [Rachel] my wife bore me two sons:
28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn to pieces, and I have never seen him since.
29 And if you take this son also from me, and harm or accident should befall him, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow and evil to Sheol (the place of the dead).
30 Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad's life and his soul knit with the lad's soul,
31 When he sees that the lad is not with us, he will die; and your servants will be responsible for his death and will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.
32 For your servant became security for the lad to my father, saying, If I do not bring him to you, then I will bear the blame to my father forever.
33 Now therefore, I pray you, let your servant remain instead of the youth [to be] a slave to my lord, and let the young man go home with his [half] brothers.
34 For how can I go up to my father if the lad is not with me?–lest I witness the woe and the evil that will come upon my father.