Joseph Tests His Brothers
1Then he commanded the one over his household saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they are able to carry and put money in the opening of each man’s sack.
2Put my cup, the silver cup, in the opening of the sack of the youngest along with his grain money.” So he did as Joseph told him.
3When the morning dawned, the men were sent off, they and their donkeys.
4They left the city and did not get far, when Joseph said to the one over his household, “Get up, go after the men. When you catch up to them, say to them, “Why have you repaid evil for good?
5Isn’t this the one from which my lord drinks? He even uses it especially to discern by divination. What you’ve done is evil!”
6So he caught up to them and spoke these words to them.
7They said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing as this.
8Look, the money we found in the opening of our bags, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. So how could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house?
9Whoever among your servants is found with it, let him die! And we, we’ll also be my lord’s slaves.”
10“Even now let it be according to your words,” he said. “The one with whom it is found shall be my slave. But the rest of you shall be innocent.”
11Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack.
12He searched them beginning with the eldest and finishing with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.
13Then they tore their clothing, and each one loaded up his donkey and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers entered Joseph’s house, he was still there. They fell to the ground before him.
15“What’s this deed you’ve done?” Joseph said to them, “Didn’t you know that a man like me can discern by divination?”
16Then Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—both we as well as the one in whose hand the cup was found.”
17But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The one in whose hand the cup was found—he will be my slave. But you, go up to your father in peace.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah approached him and said, “I beg your pardon, my lord. Please let your servant say a word in my lord’s ears, and don’t be angry with your servant, since you are like Pharaoh.
19My lord asked his servants saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’
20So we said to my lord, ‘We have a father who is old, a child born to him of his old age is young. Now his brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left, and his father loves him.’
21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I can look at him.’
22But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave his father, he would die.’
23Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you won’t see my face again.’
24“Now when we went up to your servant, my father, we told him my lord’s words.
25Then our father said, ‘Go back, buy us a little grain for food.’
26So we said, ‘We won’t go down unless we have our youngest brother with us—then we’ll go down. For we won’t see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore me two sons.
28One went out from me, so I said, “He must have been torn to shreds,” and I haven’t seen him since.
29And if you also take this one away from before me and an accident happens to him, then you’ll bring my grey hair down to the evil of Sheol.’
30“Now if I come to your servant my father and the boy isn’t with us, since his life is bound to his life,
31when he sees that the boy is no more, he’ll die. Then your servants will bring the grey hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief.
32For your servant became pledge for the boy with my father saying, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before my father all my days.’
33So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go up with his brothers.
34For how can I go up to my father and the boy is not with me? Else I must see the evil that would come upon my father!”
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The Brothers Are Brought Back
1And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s [grain] money in the mouth of the sack. 2Put my [personal] cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his grain money.” And the steward did as Joseph had told him. 3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4When they had left the city, and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil [to us] for good [paid to you]? 5Is this not my lord’s drinking cup and the one which he uses for divination? You have done [a great and unforgivable] wrong in doing this.’ ”
6So the steward overtook them and he said these words to them. 7They said to him, “Why does my lord speak these things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8Please remember, the money which we found in the mouths of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Is it likely then that we would steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9With whomever of your servants your master’s cup is found, let him die, and the rest of us will be my lord’s slaves.” 10And the steward said, “Now let it be as you say; he with whom the cup is found will be my slave, but the rest of you shall be blameless.” 11Then every man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack [confident the cup would not be found among them]. 12The steward searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13Then they tore their clothes [in grief]; and after each man had loaded his donkey again, they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him. 15Joseph spoke harshly to them, “What is this thing that you have done? Do you not realize that such a man as I can indeed practice divination and foretell [everything you do without outside knowledge of it]?” 16So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we reply? Or how can we clear ourselves, since God has exposed the sin and guilt of your servants? Behold, we are my lord’s slaves, the rest of us as well as he with whom the cup is found.” 17But Joseph said, “Far be it from me that I should do that; but the man in whose hand the cup has been found, he will be my servant; and as for [the rest of] you, get up and go in peace to your father.”
18Then Judah approached him, and said, “O my lord, please let your servant say a word to you in private, and do not let your anger blaze against your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh [so I speak as if directly to him]. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20We said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and a young [brother, Benjamin, the] child of his old age. Now his brother [Joseph] is dead, and he alone is left of [the two sons born of] his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may actually see him.’ 22But we said to my lord, ‘The #The Hebrew word for “young man” does not indicate extreme youth. Benjamin was about thirty-three years old at this time.young man cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you shall not see my face again.’ 24So when we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said. 25Our father said, ‘Go back [to Egypt], and buy us a little food.’ 26But we said, ‘We cannot go down [to Egypt]. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down [there]; for we [were sternly told that we] cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me [only] two sons. 28And one [son] went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29If you take this one also from me, and harm or an accident happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’ 30Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the young man is not with us, since #Lit his soul is knit with the young man’s soul.his life is bound up in the young man’s life, 31when he sees that the young man is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in [great] sorrow. 32For your servant became security for the young man to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33Now, therefore, please let your servant (Judah) remain here instead of the youth [to be] a slave to my lord, and let the young man go home with his brothers. 34How can I go up to my father if the young man is not with me—for fear that I would see the tragedy that would overtake my [elderly] father [if Benjamin does not return]?”
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