The Return to Egypt
1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2So it came about, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” 3Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man sternly warned #43:3 Lit us, sayingus, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, #43:6 Lit to tellby telling the man whether you still had another brother?” 7But they said, “The man specifically asked about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we #43:7 Lit told him according to these wordsanswered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8So Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. 9I myself will take responsibility for him! You may demand him back from #43:9 Lit my handme. If I do not bring him back to you and present him to you, then #43:9 Lit I will be culpable before you all the daysyou can let me take the blame forever. 10For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your #43:11 Or vesselsbags, and carry down to the man as a gift, a little balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and #43:11 Or resinous barkmyrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14and may #43:14 Heb El ShaddaiGod Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved!” 15So the men took this gift, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they set out and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make preparations; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17So the man did as Joseph said, and #43:17 Lit the man broughtbrought the men to Joseph’s house. 18Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, so that he may #43:18 Lit roll himself upon usattack us and #43:18 Lit fall uponoverpower us, and take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19So they approached Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21and it happened when we came to the campsite, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the opening of his sack, our money in #43:21 Lit its weightfull. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23But he said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; your #43:23 Lit your money had come to memoney was in my possession.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25So they prepared the gift #43:25 Lit untilfor Joseph’s arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat #43:25 Lit breada meal there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the gift which was in their hand, and they bowed down to the ground before him. 27Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” Then they bowed down again #43:28 I.e., great respect and honor to a superiorin homage. 29And as he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph then hurried out, for #43:30 Lit his compassion grew warmhe was deeply stirred over his brother, and he looked for a place to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, “#43:31 Lit Set on breadServe the meal.” 32Then they served him by himself, and #43:32 Lit themJoseph’s brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33Now they #43:33 Lit satwere seated before him, from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34Then he took portions to them from #43:34 Lit his facehis own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank freely with him.
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Joseph’s brothers return with Benjamin
1The famine was severe in the land, 2and when they had eaten all the grain that they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3Judah said to him, “The man was absolutely serious when he said, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’ 4If you agree to send our brother with us, then we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you don’t agree to send him, then we can’t go down because the man said to us, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’”
6Israel said, “Why have you caused me such pain by telling the man you had another brother?”
7They said, “The man asked us pointedly about our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we told him just what we’ve said. How were we to know he’d say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the young man with me. Let’s get ready to leave so that we can stay alive and not die—we, you, and our children. 9I will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, it will be my fault forever. 10If we hadn’t waited so long, we would’ve returned twice by now.”
11Their father Israel said to them, “If it has to be, then do this. Take in your bags some of the land’s choice produce, and bring it down to the man as a gift: a little medicinal resin, a little honey, gum, resin, pistachios, and almonds. 12Take twice as much silver with you, and take back the silver returned in the top of your sacks. It might have been a mistake. 13And take your brother, get ready, and go back to the man. 14May God Almighty#43.14 Heb El Shaddai or God of the Mountain make the man compassionate toward you so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin with you. But me, if I’m left childless, then I’m left childless.”
15So the men took this gift. They took twice as much silver with them, together with Benjamin. They left, traveled down to Egypt, and received an audience with Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “Bring the men to the house and slaughter an animal and prepare it because the men will have dinner with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18When they were brought to Joseph’s house, the men were frightened and said, “We’ve been brought here because of the silver put back in our sacks on our first trip so he can overpower us, capture us, make slaves of us, and take our donkeys.”
19They approached the man who was Joseph’s household manager and spoke to him at the house’s entrance: 20“Please, Master, we came down the first time just to buy food, 21but when we stopped to spend the night and opened our sacks, there was the exact amount of each man’s silver at the top of his sack. We’ve brought it back with us, 22and we’ve brought down with us additional silver to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23He said, “You are fine. Don’t be afraid. Your God and your father’s God must have hidden a treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24The manager brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and feed for their donkeys. 25They prepared the gift, anticipating Joseph’s arrival at noon, since they had heard that they would have a meal there. 26When Joseph came into the house, they presented him the gift they had brought with them into the house, and they bowed low in front of him. 27He asked them how they were and said, “How is your elderly father, about whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28They said, “Your servant our father is fine. He’s still alive.” And they bowed down again with deep respect.
29Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, and he said, “Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about? God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph’s feelings for his brother were so strong he was about to weep, so he rushed to another room and wept there. 31He washed his face, came back, pulled himself together, and said, “Set out the dinner.” 32So they set out his food by himself, their food by themselves, and the Egyptians’ who ate with him by themselves because Egyptians don’t allow themselves to eat with Hebrews; the Egyptians think it beneath their dignity. 33They were seated in front of him from the oldest to the youngest in their exact birth order, and the men looked at each other with amazement. 34Portions of food from Joseph’s table were brought to them, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as theirs. So they drank together and were at ease.
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