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Genesis 43

43
Decision to Return to Egypt
1Now the famine in the land was severe. # Gn 12:10; 41:56-57; 47:20 2When they had used up the grain they had brought back from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us some food.”
3But Judah said to him, “The man specifically warned us: ‘You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go, for the man said to us, ‘You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.’ ” # Gn 42:18-20; 44:23
6“Why did you cause me so much trouble? ” Israel asked. “Why did you tell the man that you had another brother? ”
7They answered, “The man kept asking about us and our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother? ’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’? ”
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me. We will be on our way so that we may live and not die — neither we, nor you, nor our children. 9I will be responsible for him. You can hold me personally accountable! # Lit can seek him from my hand If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I will be guilty before you forever. # Gn 42:37; 44:32 10If we had not wasted time, we could have come back twice by now.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and take them down to the man as a gift — some balsam and some honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds. # Gn 37:25; Jr 8:22; Ezk 27:17 12Take twice as much money with you. Return the money that was returned to you in the top of your bags. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and go back at once to the man. 14May God Almighty cause the man to be merciful to you so that he will release your other brother and Benjamin to you. As for me, if I am deprived of my sons, then I am deprived.” # Gn 42:36
The Return to Egypt
15The men took this gift, double the amount of money, and Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, # Lit to the one who was over his house “Take the men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they will eat with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph had said and brought them to Joseph’s house.
18But the men were afraid because they were taken to Joseph’s house. They said, “We have been brought here because of the money that was returned in our bags the first time. They intend to overpower us, seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.” 19So they approached Joseph’s steward # Lit approached the one who was over the house and spoke to him at the doorway of the house.
20They said, “Sir, we really did come down here the first time only to buy food. 21When we came to the place where we lodged for the night and opened our bags of grain, each one’s money was at the top of his bag! # Gn 42:27,35 It was the full amount of our money, and we have brought it back with us. 22We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our money in the bags.”
23Then the steward said, “May you be well. Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24The steward brought the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet, # Gn 18:4; 19:2; 24:32 and got feed for their donkeys. 25Since the men had heard that they were going to eat a meal there, they prepared their gift for Joseph’s arrival at noon. 26When Joseph came home, they brought him the gift they had carried into the house, and they bowed to the ground before him.
27He asked if they were well, and he said, “How is your elderly father that you told me about? Is he still alive? ”
28They answered, “Your servant our father is well. He is still alive.” And they bowed down to honor him.
29When he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about? ” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph hurried out because he was overcome with emotion for his brother, and he was about to weep. He went into an inner room to weep. 31Then he washed his face and came out. Regaining his composure, # Gn 45:1 he said, “Serve the meal.”
32They served him by himself, his brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, since that is abhorrent to them. # Gn 46:34; Ex 8:26 33They were seated before him in order by age, from the firstborn to the youngest. The men looked at each other in astonishment. 34Portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, and Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of theirs. # Gn 35:24; 45:22 They drank, and they got intoxicated with Joseph.
43
Joseph's brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin
1The famine in Canaan got worse, 2until finally, Jacob's family had eaten all the grain they had bought in Egypt. So Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy some more grain.”
3-5Judah replied, “The governor strictly warned us that we would not be allowed to see him unless we brought our youngest brother with us. If you let us take Benjamin along, we will go and buy grain. But we won't go without him!”
6Jacob asked, “Why did you cause me so much trouble by telling the governor you had another brother?”
7They answered, “He asked a lot of questions about us and our family. He wanted to know if you were still alive and if we had any more brothers. All we could do was answer his questions. How could we know he would tell us to bring along our brother?”
8Then Judah said to his father, “Let Benjamin go with me, and we will leave straight away, so that none of us will starve to death. 9I promise to bring him back safely, and if I don't, you can blame me as long as I live. 10If we had not wasted all this time, we could already have been there and back twice.”
11Their father said:
If Benjamin must go with you, take the governor a gift of some of the best things from our own country, such as perfume, honey, spices, pistachio nuts, and almonds.#43.11 honey, spices, pistachio nuts, and almonds: Some of these foods were still available in Canaan, but the main food was bread, and there was no grain to make bread. 12Also take along twice the amount of money for the grain, because there must have been some mistake when the money was put back in your sacks. 13Take Benjamin with you and leave right away.
14When you go in to see the governor, I pray that God All-Powerful will be good to you and that the governor will let your other brother and Benjamin come back home with you. If I must lose my children, I suppose I must.
15The brothers took the gifts, twice the amount of money, and Benjamin. Then they hurried off to Egypt. When they stood in front of Joseph, 16he saw Benjamin and told the servant in charge of his house, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and cook it, so they can eat with me at midday.”
17The servant did as he was told and took the brothers to Joseph's house. 18But on the way they got worried and started thinking, “We are being taken there because of the money that was put back in our sacks last time. He will arrest us, make us his slaves, and take our donkeys.”
19So when they arrived at Joseph's house, they said to the servant in charge, 20“Sir, we came to Egypt once before to buy grain. 21But when we stopped for the night, we each found in our grain sacks the exact amount we had paid. We have brought that money back, 22together with enough money to buy more grain. We don't know who put the money in our sacks.”
23“It's all right,” the servant replied. “Don't worry. The God you and your father worship must have put the money there, because I received your payment in full.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24The servant took them into Joseph's house and gave them water to wash their feet. He also tended their donkeys. 25The brothers got their gifts ready to give to Joseph at midday, since they had heard they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought, and they bowed down to him. 27After Joseph had asked how they were, he said, “What about your elderly father? Is he still alive?”
28They answered, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And again they bowed down to Joseph.
29When Joseph looked around and saw his brother Benjamin, he said, “This must be your youngest brother, the one you told me about. God bless you, my son.”
30Straight away he rushed off to his room and cried because of his love for Benjamin. 31After washing his face and returning, he was able to control himself and said, “Serve the meal!”
32Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at another. The Egyptians sat at yet another table, because Egyptians felt it was disgusting to eat with Hebrews. 33To the surprise of Joseph's brothers, they were seated in front of him according to their ages, from the eldest to the youngest. 34They were served food from Joseph's table, and Benjamin was given five times as much as each of the others. So Joseph's brothers drank with him and had a good time.