The Missing Cup
1Joseph commanded the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men's sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man's money in the top of his sack. 2Put my silver cup in the top of the youngest brother's sack, together with the money for his corn.” He did as he was told. 3Early in the morning the brothers were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4When they had gone only a short distance from the city, Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Hurry after those men. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you paid back evil for good? 5Why did you steal my master's silver cup?#44.5 One ancient translation Why did you steal my master's silver cup?; Hebrew does not have these words. It is the one he drinks from, the one he uses for divination. You have committed a serious crime!’ ”
6When the servant caught up with them, he repeated these words. 7They answered him, “What do you mean, sir, by talking like this? We swear that we have done no such thing. 8You know that we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money we found in the top of our sacks. Why then should we steal silver or gold from your master's house? 9Sir, if any one of us is found to have it, he will be put to death, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10He said, “I agree; but only the one who has taken the cup will become my slave, and the rest of you can go free.” 11So they quickly lowered their sacks to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12Joseph's servant searched carefully, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13The brothers tore their clothes in sorrow, loaded their donkeys, and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, he was still there. They bowed down before him, 15and Joseph said, “What have you done? Didn't you know that a man in my position could find you out by practising divination?”
16“What can we say to you, sir?” Judah answered. “How can we argue? How can we clear ourselves? God has uncovered our guilt. All of us are now your slaves and not just the one with whom the cup was found.”
17Joseph said, “Oh, no! I would never do that! Only the one who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back safe and sound to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Judah went up to Joseph and said, “Please, sir, allow me to speak with you freely. Don't be angry with me; you are like the king himself. 19Sir, you asked us, ‘Have you got a father or another brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother, born to him in his old age. The boy's brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother's children still alive; his father loves him very much.’ 21Sir, you told us to bring him here, so that you could see him, 22and we answered that the boy could not leave his father; if he did, his father would die. 23Then you said, ‘You will not be admitted to my presence again unless your youngest brother comes with you.’
24“When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said. 25Then he told us to return and buy a little food. 26We answered, ‘We cannot go; we will not be admitted to the man's presence unless our youngest brother is with us. We can go only if our youngest brother goes also.’ 27Our father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel bore me only two sons. 28One of them has already left me. He must have been torn to pieces by wild animals, because I have not seen him since he left. 29If you take this one from me now and something happens to him, the sorrow you would cause me would kill me, old as I am.’
30-31“And now, sir,” Judah continued, “if I go back to my father without the boy, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with me, he will die. His life is wrapped up with the life of the boy, and he is so old that the sorrow we would cause him would kill him. 32What is more, I pledged my life to my father for the boy. I told him that if I did not bring the boy back to him, I would bear the blame all my life. 33And now, sir, I will stay here as your slave in place of the boy; let him go back with his brothers. 34How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I cannot bear to see this disaster come upon my father.”
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.
1Afterward he commanded his steward, saying, Fill the mens sackes with foode, as much as they can carry, and put euery mans money in his sackes mouth. 2And put my cup, I meane the siluer cup, in the sackes mouth of the yongest, and his corne money. And he did according to the commandement that Ioseph gaue him. 3And in the morning the men were sent away, they, and their asses. 4And when they went out of the citie not farre off, Ioseph sayd to his stewarde, Vp, follow after the men: and when thou doest ouertake them, say vnto them, Wherefore haue ye rewarded euill for good? 5Is that not the cuppe, wherein my Lord drinketh? and in the which he doeth deuine and prophecie? ye haue done euill in so doing. 6And when he ouertooke them, he sayde those wordes vnto them. 7And they answered him, Wherefore sayeth my lorde such wordes? God forbid that thy seruants should do such a thing. 8Behold, the money which we found in our sackes mouthes, wee brought againe to thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steale out of thy lordes house siluer or golde? 9With whomesoeuer of thy seruants it bee found, let him dye, and we also will be my lordes bondmen. 10And he said, Now then let it be according vnto your wordes: he with whome it is found, shall be my seruant, and ye shalbe blamelesse. 11Then at once euery man tooke downe his sacke to the grounde, and euery one opened his sacke. 12And he searched, and began at the eldest and left at the yongest: and the cuppe was found in Beniamins sacke. 13Then they rent their clothes, and laded euery man his asse, and went againe into the citie. 14So Iudah and his brethren came to Iosephs house (for he was yet there) and they fel before him on the ground. 15Then Ioseph sayd vnto them, What acte is this, which ye haue done? know ye not that such a man as I, can deuine and prophecie? 16Then sayd Iudah, What shall we say vnto my lord? what shall we speake? and howe can we iustifie our selues? God hath found out the wickednesse of thy seruants: beholde, we are seruants to my Lord, both wee, and he, with whome the cuppe is founde. 17But he answered, God forbid, that I should doe so, but the man, with whome the cuppe is founde, he shalbe my seruant, and go ye in peace vnto your father. 18Then Iudah drewe neere vnto him, and sayde, O my Lord, let thy seruant nowe speake a worde in my lordes eares, and let not thy wrath be kindled against thy seruant: for thou art euen as Pharaoh. 19My Lord asked his seruants, saying, Haue ye a father, or a brother? 20And we answered my Lord, We haue a father that is olde, and a young childe, which he begate in his age: and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loueth him. 21Now thou saidest vnto thy seruants, Bring him vnto me, that I may set mine eye vpon him. 22And we answered my lord, The childe can not depart from his father: for if he leaue his father, his father would die. 23Then saydest thou vnto thy seruants, Except your yonger brother come downe with you, looke in my face no more. 24So when we came vnto thy seruant our father, and shewed him what my lord had sayd, 25And our father sayde vnto vs, Goe againe, bye vs a litle foode, 26Then we answered, We can not go downe: but if our yongest brother go with vs, then will we go downe: for we may not see the mans face, except our yongest brother be with vs. 27Then thy seruant my father sayde vnto vs, Ye knowe that my wife bare me two sonnes, 28And the one went out from me, and I said, Of a suretie he is torne in pieces, and I sawe him not since. 29Nowe yee take this also away from me: if death take him, then yee shall bring my graye head in sorowe to the graue. 30Nowe therefore, when I come to thy seruant my father, and the childe be not with vs (seeing that his life dependeth on the childes life) 31Then when hee shall see that the childe is not come, he will die: so shall thy seruants bring the graye head of thy seruant our father with sorowe to the graue. 32Doubtlesse thy seruant became suertie for the childe to my father, and said, If I bring him not vnto thee againe, then I will beare the blame vnto my father for euer. 33Nowe therefore, I pray thee, let me thy seruant bide for the childe, as a seruant to my Lord, and let the childe go vp with his brethren. 34For how can I go vp to my father, if the childe be not with me, vnlesse I woulde see the euil that shall come on my father?
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