1 The famine was severe in the land. 2When they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.”
3 Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you’ll send our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy you food; 5but if you don’t send him, we won’t go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’”
6 Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?”
7 They said, “The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8 Judah said to Israel, his father, “Send the boy with me, and we’ll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones. 9I’ll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don’t bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever; 10for if we hadn’t delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now.”
11 Their father, Israel, said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds; 12and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man. 14May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
15 The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and prepare; for the men will dine with me at noon.”
17 The man did as Joseph commanded, and the man brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “Because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time, we’re brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys.” 19They came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food. 21When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand. 22We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don’t know who put our money in our sacks.”
23 He said, “Peace be to you. Don’t be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” He brought Simeon out to them. 24The man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder. 25They prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to the earth before him. 27He asked them of their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?”
28 They said, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” They bowed down humbly. 29He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” He said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there. 31He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, “Serve the meal.”
32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians don’t eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled with one another. 34He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.
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The Brothers Go Back to Egypt
1Still no food grew in the land of Canaan. 2When Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, Jacob said to them, “Go to Egypt again and buy a little more grain for us to eat.”
3But Judah said to Jacob, “The governor of that country strongly warned us, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back with you, you will not be allowed to see me.’ 4If you will send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The governor of that country warned us that we would not see him if we didn’t bring Benjamin with us.”
6Israel said, “Why did you tell the man you had another brother? You have caused me a lot of trouble.”
7The brothers answered, “He questioned us carefully about ourselves and our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ We just answered his questions. How could we know he would ask us to bring our other brother to him?”
8Then Judah said to his father Jacob, “Send Benjamin with me, and we will go at once so that we, you, and our children may live and not die. 9I will guarantee you that he will be safe, and I will be personally responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life. 10If we had not wasted all this time, we could have already made two trips.”
11Then their father Jacob said to them, “If it has to be that way, then do this: Take some of the best foods in our land in your packs. Give them to the man as a gift: some balm, some honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take twice as much money with you this time, and take back the money that was returned to you in your sacks last time. Maybe it was a mistake. 13And take Benjamin with you. Now leave and go to the man. 14I pray that God Almighty will cause the governor to be merciful to you and that he will allow Simeon and Benjamin to come back with you. If I am robbed of my children, then I am robbed of them!”
15So the brothers took the gifts. They also took twice as much money as they had taken the first time, and they took Benjamin. They hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant in charge of his house, “Bring those men into my house. Kill an animal and prepare a meal. Those men will eat with me today at noon.” 17The servant did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18The brothers were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house and thought, “We were brought here because of the money that was put in our sacks on the first trip. He wants to attack us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.” 19So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the door of the house. 20They said, “Master, we came here once before to buy food. 21While we were going home, we stopped for the night and when we opened our sacks each of us found all his money in his sack. We brought that money with us to give it back to you. 22And we have brought more money to pay for the food we want to buy this time. We don’t know who put that money in our sacks.”
23But the servant answered, “It’s all right. Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sacks. I got the money you paid me for the grain last time.” Then the servant brought Simeon out to them.
24The servant led the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave their donkeys food to eat. 25The men prepared their gift to give to Joseph when he arrived at noon, because they had heard they were going to eat with him there.
26When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gift they had brought into the house and bowed down to the ground in front of him. 27Joseph asked them how they were doing. He said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28The brothers answered, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” And they bowed low before Joseph to show him respect.
29When Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, who had the same mother as he, Joseph asked, “Is this your youngest brother you told me about?” Then he said to Benjamin, “God be good to you, my son!” 30Then Joseph hurried off because he had to hold back the tears when he saw his brother Benjamin. So Joseph went into his room and cried there. 31Then he washed his face and came out. He controlled himself and said, “Serve the meal.”
32So they served Joseph at one table, his brothers at another table, and the Egyptians who ate with him at another table. This was because Egyptians did not like Hebrews and never ate with them. 33Joseph’s brothers were seated in front of him in order of their ages, from oldest to youngest. They looked at each other because they were so amazed. 34Food from Joseph’s table was taken to them, but Benjamin was given five times more food than the others. Joseph’s brothers ate and drank freely with him.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.