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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!”
44
The Brothers Are Brought Back
1And 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 [grain] money in the mouth of the sack. 2Put my [personal] cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his grain money.” And the steward did as Joseph had told him. 3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had left the city, and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil [to us] for good [paid to you]? 5Is this not my lord’s drinking cup and the one which he uses for divination? You have done [a great and unforgivable] wrong in doing this.’ ”
6So the steward overtook them and he said these words to them. 7They said to him, “Why does my lord speak these things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Please remember, the money which we found in the mouths of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Is it likely then that we would steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9With whomever of your servants your master’s cup is found, let him die, and the rest of us will be my lord’s slaves.” 10And the steward said, “Now let it be as you say; he with whom the cup is found will be my slave, but the rest of you shall be blameless.” 11Then every man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack [confident the cup would not be found among them]. 12The steward searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they tore their clothes [in grief]; and after each man had loaded his donkey again, they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him. 15Joseph spoke harshly to them, “What is this thing that you have done? Do you not realize that such a man as I can indeed practice divination and foretell [everything you do without outside knowledge of it]?” 16So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we reply? Or how can we clear ourselves, since God has exposed the sin and guilt of your servants? Behold, we are my lord’s slaves, the rest of us as well as he with whom the cup is found.” 17But Joseph said, “Far be it from me that I should do that; but the man in whose hand the cup has been found, he will be my servant; and as for [the rest of] you, get up and go in peace to your father.”
18Then Judah approached him, and said, “O my lord, please let your servant say a word to you in private, and do not let your anger blaze against your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh [so I speak as if directly to him]. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20We said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and a young [brother, Benjamin, the] child of his old age. Now his brother [Joseph] is dead, and he alone is left of [the two sons born of] his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may actually see him.’ 22But we said to my lord, ‘The #The Hebrew word for “young man” does not indicate extreme youth. Benjamin was about thirty-three years old at this time.young man cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you shall not see my face again.’ 24So when we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said. 25Our father said, ‘Go back [to Egypt], and buy us a little food.’ 26But we said, ‘We cannot go down [to Egypt]. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down [there]; for we [were sternly told that we] cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me [only] two sons. 28And one [son] went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29If you take this one also from me, and harm or an accident happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’ 30Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the young man is not with us, since #Lit his soul is knit with the young man’s soul.his life is bound up in the young man’s life, 31when he sees that the young man is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in [great] sorrow. 32For your servant became security for the young man to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Now, therefore, please let your servant (Judah) remain here instead of the youth [to be] a slave to my lord, and let the young man go home with his brothers. 34How can I go up to my father if the young man is not with me—for fear that I would see the tragedy that would overtake my [elderly] father [if Benjamin does not return]?”