1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2And when they had eaten the grain which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” 3But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; 5but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so ill as to tell the man that you had another brother?” 7They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions; could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9I will be surety for him; of my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever; 10for if we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take double the money with you; carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man; 14may God Almighty#43.14 Heb El Shaddai grant you mercy before the man, that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 15So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin; and they arose and 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 slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph bade him, and brought the men to Joseph's house. 18And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, to make slaves of us and seize our asses.” 19So they went up to the steward of Joseph's house, and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; 21and when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was every man's money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it again with us, 22and we have brought other money down in our hand to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23He replied, “Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24And when the man had brought the men into Joseph's house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their asses provender, 25they made ready the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which they had with them, and bowed down to him to the ground. 27And he inquired about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28They said, “Your servant our father is well, he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and made obeisance. 29And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30Then Joseph made haste, for his heart yearned for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, “Let food be served.” 32They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked at one another in amazement. 34Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.
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The Brothers Return to Egypt
1But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan. 2When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”
3But Judah said, “The man was serious when he warned us, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy more food. 5But if you don’t let Benjamin go, we won’t go either. Remember, the man said, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”
6“Why were you so cruel to me?” Jacob#43:6 Hebrew Israel; also in 43:11. See note on 35:21. moaned. “Why did you tell him you had another brother?”
7“The man kept asking us questions about our family,” they replied. “He asked, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation—and not only we, but you and our little ones. 9I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever. 10If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.”
11So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts—balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Also take double the money that was put back in your sacks, as it was probably someone’s mistake. 13Then take your brother, and go back to the man. 14May God Almighty#43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai. give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.”
15So the men packed Jacob’s gifts and double the money and headed off with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.” 17So the man did as Joseph told him and took them into Joseph’s palace.
18The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken into Joseph’s house. “It’s because of the money someone put in our sacks last time we were here,” they said. “He plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.”
A Feast at Joseph’s Palace
19The brothers approached the manager of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace. 20“Sir,” they said, “we came to Egypt once before to buy food. 21But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money—the exact amount paid—was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us. 22We also have additional money to buy more food. We have no idea who put our money in our sacks.”
23“Relax. Don’t be afraid,” the household manager told them. “Your God, the God of your father, must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment.” Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.
24The manager then led the men into Joseph’s palace. He gave them water to wash their feet and provided food for their donkeys. 25They were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon.
26When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him. 27After greeting them, he asked, “How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?”
28“Yes,” they replied. “Our father, your servant, is alive and well.” And they bowed low again.
29Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Joseph asked. “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept. 31After washing his face, he came back out, keeping himself under control. Then he ordered, “Bring out the food!”
32The waiters served Joseph at his own table, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians who ate with Joseph sat at their own table, because Egyptians despise Hebrews and refuse to eat with them. 33Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age, from oldest to youngest. 34And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
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