Genesis 44 | MSG Bible | YouVersion
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Genesis 44

44
1-2Joseph ordered his house steward: “Fill the men’s bags with food—all they can carry—and replace each one’s money at the top of the bag. Then put my chalice, my silver chalice, in the top of the bag of the youngest, along with the money for his food.” He did as Joseph ordered.
3-5At break of day the men were sent off with their donkeys. They were barely out of the city when Joseph said to his house steward, “Run after them. When you catch up with them, say, ‘Why did you pay me back evil for good? This is the chalice my master drinks from; he also uses it for divination. This is outrageous!’”
6He caught up with them and repeated all this word for word.
7-9They said, “What is my master talking about? We would never do anything like that! Why, the money we found in our bags earlier, we brought back all the way from Canaan—do you think we’d turn right around and steal it back from your master? If that chalice is found on any of us, he’ll die; and the rest of us will be your master’s slaves.”
10The steward said, “Very well then, but we won’t go that far. Whoever is found with the chalice will be my slave; the rest of you can go free.”
11-12They outdid each other in putting their bags on the ground and opening them up for inspection. The steward searched their bags, going from oldest to youngest. The chalice showed up in Benjamin’s bag.
13They ripped their clothes in despair, loaded up their donkeys, and went back to the city.
14Joseph was still at home when Judah and his brothers got back. They threw themselves down on the ground in front of him.
15Joseph accused them: “How can you have done this? You have to know that a man in my position would have discovered this.”
16Judah as spokesman for the brothers said, “What can we say, master? What is there to say? How can we prove our innocence? God is behind this, exposing how bad we are. We stand guilty before you and ready to be your slaves—we’re all in this together, the rest of us as guilty as the one with the chalice.”
17“I’d never do that to you,” said Joseph. “Only the one involved with the chalice will be my slave. The rest of you are free to go back to your father.”
18-20Judah came forward. He said, “Please, master; can I say just one thing to you? Don’t get angry. Don’t think I’m presumptuous—you’re the same as Pharaoh as far as I’m concerned. You, master, asked us, ‘Do you have a father and a brother?’ And we answered honestly, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother who was born to him in his old age. His brother is dead and he is the only son left from that mother. And his father loves him more than anything.’
21-22“Then you told us, ‘Bring him down here so I can see him.’ We told you, master, that it was impossible: ‘The boy can’t leave his father; if he leaves, his father will die.’
23“And then you said, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come with you, you won’t be allowed to see me.’
24-26“When we returned to our father, we told him everything you said to us. So when our father said, ‘Go back and buy some more food,’ we told him flatly, ‘We can’t. The only way we can go back is if our youngest brother is with us. We aren’t allowed to even see the man if our youngest brother doesn’t come with us.’
27-29“Your servant, my father, told us, ‘You know very well that my wife gave me two sons. One turned up missing. I concluded that he’d been ripped to pieces. I’ve never seen him since. If you now go and take this one and something bad happens to him, you’ll put my old gray, grieving head in the grave for sure.’
30-32“And now, can’t you see that if I show up before your servant, my father, without the boy, this son with whom his life is so bound up, the moment he realizes the boy is gone, he’ll die on the spot. He’ll die of grief and we, your servants who are standing here before you, will have killed him. And that’s not all. I got my father to release the boy to show him to you by promising, ‘If I don’t bring him back, I’ll stand condemned before you, Father, all my life.’
33-34“So let me stay here as your slave, not this boy. Let the boy go back with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? Oh, don’t make me go back and watch my father die in grief!”

Genesis 44

44
Joseph’s Cup
1And he commanded the #Gen. 43:16steward of his house, saying, #Gen. 42:25“Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you #1 Sam. 25:21repaid evil for good? 5Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”
6So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. 8Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan #Gen. 43:21the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9With whomever of your servants it is found, #Gen. 31:32let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”
10And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you shall be blameless.” 11Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12So he searched. He began with the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they #Gen. 37:29, 34; Num. 14:6; 2 Sam. 1:11tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.
14So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they #Gen. 37:7, 10fell before him on the ground. 15And Joseph said to them, “What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?”
16Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has #(Num. 32:23)found out the iniquity of your servants; here #Gen. 44:9we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”
17But he said, #Prov. 17:15“Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
Judah Intercedes for Benjamin
18Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and #Gen. 18:30, 32; Ex. 32:22do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and #Gen. 37:3; 43:8; 44:30a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is #Gen. 42:38dead, and he #Gen. 46:19alone is left of his mother’s children, and his #Gen. 42:4father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, #Gen. 42:15, 20‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22And we said to my lord, #Gen. 43:3, 5‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’
24“So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25And #Gen. 43:2our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26But 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 unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that #Gen. 30:22–24; 35:16–18; 46:19my wife bore me two sons; 28and the one went out from me, and I said, #Gen. 37:31–35“Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. 29But if you #Gen. 42:36, 38; 44:31take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’
30“Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since #(1 Sam. 18:1; 25:29)his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, #Gen. 43:9‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Now therefore, please #Ex. 32:32let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”