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Genesis 43

43
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt
1Now the famine in the land was severe. 2And it happened that as they finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt their father said to them, “Return and buy a little food for us.” 3Then Judah said to him, “The man solemnly admonished us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send#Literally “if there is a sending” our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you, 5but if you will not send#Literally “if there is no sending” him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6Then Israel said, “Why did you bring trouble to me by telling the man you still had a brother?” 7And they said, “The man asked explicitly about us and about our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ And we answered him according to these words. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring down your brother’?” 8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us arise and go, so that we will live and not die—you, we, and our children. 9I myself will be surety for him. You may seek him from my hand. If I do not bring him back to you and present him before you, then I will stand guilty before you forever. 10Surely if we had not hesitated by this time we would have returned twice.” 11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so then do this. Take some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, and pistachios and almonds. 12And take double the money in your hands. Take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13And take your brother. Now arise and return to the man. 14And may El-Shaddai#Often translated “God Almighty” grant you compassion before the man that he may release your other brother to you and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15So the men took this gift, and they took double money in their hands, and Benjamin, and they rose up and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them he said to the one who was over his household, “Bring the men into the house and slaughter and prepare an animal, for the men shall eat with me at noon.” 17And the man did as Joseph had said, and the man brought the men into the house of Joseph. 18And the men were afraid when they were brought into the house of Joseph. And they said “We were brought here on account of the money that was returned to our sacks the first time, that he might attack us and fall upon us to take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19So they approached the man who was over Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the doorway of the house. 20And they said, “Please, my lord, we surely came down once before to buy food, 21but when we came to the place of lodging and we opened our sacks, then behold, each one’s money was in the mouth of his sack—our money in its full weight—so we have returned with it in our hands. 22Now, other money we have brought down in our hand to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23And he said, “Peace to you; do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father must have given you a treasure in your sacks; your money came to me.” And he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and he gave them water and washed their feet, and gave fodder to their donkeys. 25Then they laid out#Or “prepared” the gift until Joseph came at noon, for they had heard that they were to eat food there. 26And when Joseph came into the house they brought the gift that was in their hand into the house to him, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27And he greeted them#Literally “he asked peace for them” and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they knelt and bowed down. 29Then he lifted up his eyes and saw Benjamin his brother, the son of his mother, and said, “Is this your youngest brother of whom you told me?” And he continued,#Or “said” “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Then Joseph hurried away,#Literally “made haste” being overcome with emotion#Literally “his compassion boiled up” toward his brother, and sought for a place to cry. Then he went into a room and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and went out, now controlling himself, and said, “Serve the food.” 32And they served him#That is, Joseph by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, for Egyptians could not dine#Literally “were not able to eat food” with Hebrews, because that was a detestable thing to Egyptians. 33And they were seated before him from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another#Literally “each to his companion” amazed. 34And portions were served to them from his table,#Literally “his presence” and the portion of Benjamin was five times greater than the portion of any of them. And they drank and became drunk with him.
43
The second journey to Egypt
1Now the famine was still severe in the land. 2So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, ‘Go back and buy us a little more food.’
3But Judah said to him, ‘The man warned us solemnly, “You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.” 4If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, “You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.” ’
6Israel asked, ‘Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?’
7They replied, ‘The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. “Is your father still living?” he asked us. “Do you have another brother?” We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, “Bring your brother down here”?’
8Then Judah said to Israel his father, ‘Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. 9I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.’
11Then their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be, then do this: put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift – a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14And may God Almighty#43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.’
15So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, ‘Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.’
17The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house. 18Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, ‘We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.’
19So they went up to Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20‘We beg your pardon, our lord,’ they said, ‘we came down here the first time to buy food. 21But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver – the exact weight – in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us. 22We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.’
23‘It’s all right,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.’ Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
26When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27He asked them how they were, and then he said, ‘How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?’
28They replied, ‘Your servant our father is still alive and well.’ And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.
29As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?’ And he said, ‘God be gracious to you, my son.’ 30Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.
31After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, ‘Serve the food.’
32They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.