A Silver Cup in a Sack
1Joseph told the manager of his house what to do. “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry,” he said. “Put each man’s money in his sack. 2Then put my silver cup in the youngest one’s sack. Put it there along with the money he paid for his grain.” So the manager did what Joseph told him to do.
3When morning came, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They hadn’t gone very far from the city when Joseph spoke to his manager. “Go after those men right away,” he said. “Catch up with them. Say to them, ‘My master was good to you. Why have you paid him back by doing evil? 5Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from? Doesn’t he also use it to find things out? You have done an evil thing.’ ”
6When the manager caught up with them, he told them what Joseph had said. 7But they said to him, “Why do you say these things? We would never do anything like that! 8We even brought back to you from Canaan the money we found in our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If you find out that any of us has the cup, he will die. And the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“All right, then,” he said. “As you wish. The one found to have the cup will become my slave. But the rest of you will not be blamed.”
11Each of them quickly put his sack down on the ground and opened it. 12Then the manager started to search. He began with the oldest and ended with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13When that happened, they were so upset they tore their clothes. Then all of them loaded their donkeys and went back to the city.
14Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in. They threw themselves down on the ground in front of him. 15Joseph said to them, “What have you done? Don’t you know that a man like me has ways to find things out?”
16“What can we say to you?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove we haven’t done anything wrong? God has shown you that we are guilty. We are now your slaves. All of us are, including the one found to have the cup.”
17But Joseph said, “I would never do anything like that! Only the man found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
18Then Judah went up to him. He said, “Please, sir. Let me speak a word to you. Don’t be angry with me, even though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19You asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have an old father. A young son was born to him when he was old. His brother is dead. He’s the only one of his mother’s sons left. And his father loves him.’
21“Then you said to us, ‘Bring him down to me. I want to see him for myself.’ 22We said to you, ‘The boy can’t leave his father. If he does, his father will die.’ 23But you told us, ‘Your youngest brother must come down here with you. If he doesn’t, you won’t see my face again.’ 24So we went back to my father. We told him what you had said.
25“Then our father said, ‘Go back. Buy a little more food.’ 26But we said, ‘We can’t go down. We’ll only go if our youngest brother goes there with us. We can’t even see the man’s face unless our youngest brother goes with us.’
27“Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife had two sons by me. 28One of them went away from me. And I said, “He must have been torn to pieces.” I haven’t seen him since. 29What if you take this one from me too and he is harmed? Then you would cause me to die as a sad old man. I would go down into the grave full of pain and suffering.’
30“So now, what will happen if the boy isn’t with us when I go back to my father? His life depends on the boy’s life. 31When he sees that the boy isn’t with us, he’ll die. Because of us, he’ll go down into the grave as a sad old man. 32I promised my father I would keep the boy safe. I said, ‘Father, I’ll bring him back to you. If I don’t, you can put the blame on me for the rest of my life.’
33“Now then, please let me stay here. Let me be your slave in place of the boy. Let the boy return with his brothers. 34How can I go back to my father if the boy isn’t with me? No! Don’t let me see the pain and suffering that would come to my father.”
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B'resheet (Gen) 44
1Then he ordered the manager of his household, “Fill the men’s packs with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money just inside his pack. 2And put my goblet, the silver one, just inside the pack of the youngest, along with his grain money.” He did what Yosef told him to do.
3At daybreak the men were sent off with their donkeys; 4but before they were far from the city Yosef said to his manager, “Up, go after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5Isn’t this the goblet my lord drinks from, indeed the one he uses for divination? What you have done is evil!’” 6So he caught up with them and said these words to them. 7They replied, “Why does my lord speak this way? Heaven forbid that we should do such a thing! 8Why, the money we found inside our packs we brought back to you from the land of Kena‘an! So how would we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9Whichever one of us the goblet is found with, let him be put to death — and the rest of us will be my lord’s slaves!” 10He replied, “Fine; let it be as you have said: whichever one it is found with will be my slave. But the rest of you will be blameless.” 11Then each hurried to put his pack down on the ground, and each one opened his pack. 12He searched, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the goblet was found in the pack belonging to Binyamin. 13At this, they tore their clothes from grief. Then each man loaded up his donkey and returned to the city.
(A: Maftir) 14Y’hudah and his brothers arrived at Yosef’s house. He was still there, and they fell down before him on the ground. (S: Maftir) 15Yosef said to them, “How could you do such a thing? Don’t you know that a man such as myself can learn the truth by divination?” 16Y’hudah said, “There’s nothing we can say to my lord! How can we speak? There’s no way we can clear ourselves! God has revealed your servants’ guilt; so here we are, my lord’s slaves — both we and also the one in whose possession the cup was found.” 17But he replied, “Heaven forbid that I should act in such a way. The man in whose possession the goblet was found will be my slave; but as for you, go in peace to your father.”
Haftarah Mikketz: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 3:15–4:1
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Mikketz: Acts 7:9–16 (specifically vv. 11–12)
Parashah 11: Vayigash (He approached) 44:18–47:27
18Then Y’hudah approached Yosef and said, “Please, my lord! Let your servant say something to you privately; and don’t be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father? or a brother?’ 20We answered my lord, ‘We have a father who is an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one whose brother is dead; so that of his mother’s children he alone is left; and his father loves him.’ 21But you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, so that I can see him.’ 22We answered my lord, ‘The boy can’t leave his father; if he were to leave his father, his father would die.’ 23You said to your servants, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 24We went up to your servant my father and told him what my lord had said; 25but when our father said, ‘Go again, and buy us some food,’ 26we answered, ‘We can’t go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go down, because we can’t see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons: 28the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29Now if you take this one away from me too, and something happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sh’ol with grief.’ 30So now if I go to your servant my father, and the boy isn’t with us — seeing how his heart is bound up with the boy’s heart — (ii) 31when he sees that the boy isn’t with us, he will die; and your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sh’ol with grief. 32For your servant himself guaranteed his safety; I said, ‘If I fail to bring him to you, then I will bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Therefore, I beg you, let your servant stay as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34For how can I go up to my father if the boy isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father so overwhelmed by anguish.”
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