Joseph Sets a Trap
1Then Joseph gave a command to his servant. He said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry. Then put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put the youngest brother’s money in his sack too. But also put my special silver cup in his sack.” So the servant obeyed Joseph.
3Early the next morning the brothers and their donkeys were sent back to their country. 4After they had left the city, Joseph said to his servant, “Go and follow the men. Stop them and say to them, ‘We were good to you! So why have you been bad to us? Why did you steal my master’s silver cup?#44:4 Why did … silver cup This is from the ancient Greek version. 5My master drinks from that cup, and he uses it to learn secret things. What you did was wrong!’”
6So the servant obeyed. He rode out to the brothers and stopped them. The servant said to them what Joseph had told him to say.
7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why does the governor say these things? We wouldn’t do anything like that! 8We brought back the money that we found in our sacks before. So surely we wouldn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find the silver cup in any of our sacks, let that man die. You can kill him, and we will be your slaves.”
10The servant said, “I agree, except that only the man who is found to have the cup will be my slave. The others will be free.”
The Trap Is Sprung; Benjamin Is Caught
11Then every brother quickly opened his sack on the ground. 12The servant started looking in the sacks. He started with the oldest brother and ended with the youngest. He found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers were very sad. They tore their clothes to show their sadness. They put their sacks back on the donkeys and went back to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house, Joseph was still there. The brothers fell to the ground and bowed down before him. 15Joseph said to them, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know that I have a special way of learning secrets? No one is better at this than I am!”
16Judah said, “Sir, there is nothing we can say. There is no way to explain. There is no way to show that we are not guilty. God has judged us guilty for something else we have done. So all of us, even Benjamin, will be your slaves.”
17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. You others can go in peace to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Sir, please let me speak plainly with you. Please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are like Pharaoh himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have a father—he is an old man. And we have a younger brother. Our father loves him because he was born while our father was old. This youngest son’s brother is dead, so he is the only son who is left from that mother. Our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy cannot come. He cannot leave his father. If his father loses him, his father will be so sad that he will die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘You must bring your youngest brother, or I will not sell you grain again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you said.
25“Later, our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some more food.’ 26We said to our father, ‘We cannot go without our youngest brother. The governor said he will not sell us grain again until he sees our youngest brother.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28I let one son go away, and he was killed by a wild animal. And I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take my other son away from me, and something happens to him, I will be sad enough to die.’ 30Now, imagine what will happen when we go home without our youngest brother—he is the most important thing in our father’s life! 31Our father will die if he sees that the boy isn’t with us—and it will be our fault. We will send our father to his grave a very sad man.
32“I took responsibility for the young boy. I told my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me for the rest of my life.’ 33So now I beg you, please let the boy go back with his brothers, and I will stay and be your slave. 34I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I am very afraid of what would happen to my father.”
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1And he commandeth him who [is] over his house, saying, ‘Fill the bags of the men [with] food, as they are able to bear, and put the money of each in the mouth of his bag;
2and my cup, the silver cup, thou dost put in the mouth of the bag of the young one, and his corn-money;’ and he doth according to the word of Joseph which he hath spoken.
3The morning is bright, and the men have been sent away, they and their asses —
4they have gone out of the city — they have not gone far off — and Joseph hath said to him who [is] over his house, ‘Rise, pursue after the men; and thou hast overtaken them, and thou hast said unto them, Why have ye recompensed evil for good?
5Is not this that with which my lord drinketh? and he observeth diligently with it; ye have done evil [in] that which ye have done.’
6And he overtaketh them, and speaketh unto them these words,
7and they say unto him, ‘Why doth my lord speak according to these words? far be it from thy servants to do according to this word;
8lo, the money which we found in the mouth of our bags we brought back unto thee from the land of Canaan, and how do we steal from the house of thy lord silver or gold?
9with whomsoever of thy servants it is found, he hath died, and we also are to my lord for servants.’
10And he saith, ‘Now, also, according to your words, so it [is]; he with whom it is found becometh my servant, and ye are acquitted;’
11and they hasten and take down each his bag to the earth, and each openeth his bag;
12and he searcheth — at the eldest he hath begun, and at the youngest he hath completed — and the cup is found in the bag of Benjamin;
13and they rend their garments, and each ladeth his ass, and they turn back to the city.
14And Judah — his brethren also — cometh in unto the house of Joseph, and he is yet there, and they fall before him to the earth;
15and Joseph saith to them, ‘What [is] this deed that ye have done? have ye not known that a man like me doth diligently observe?’
16And Judah saith, ‘What do we say to my lord? what do we speak? and what — do we justify ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; lo, we [are] servants to my lord, both we, and he in whose hand the cup hath been found;’
17and he saith, ‘Far be it from me to do this; the man in whose hand the cup hath been found, he becometh my servant; and ye, go ye up in peace unto your father.’
18And Judah cometh nigh unto him, and saith, ‘O, my lord, let thy servant speak, I pray thee, a word in the ears of my lord, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant — for thou art as Pharaoh.
19My lord hath asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father or brother?
20and we say unto my lord, We have a father, an aged one, and a child of old age, a little one; and his brother died, and he is left alone of his mother, and his father hath loved him.
21‘And thou sayest unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, and I set mine eye upon him;
22and we say unto my lord, The youth is not able to leave his father, when he hath left his father, then he hath died;
23and thou sayest unto thy servants, If your young brother come not down with you, ye add not to see my face.
24‘And it cometh to pass, that we have come up unto thy servant my father, that we declare to him the words of my lord;
25and our father saith, Turn back, buy for us a little food,
26and we say, We are not able to go down; if our young brother is with us, then we have gone down; for we are not able to see the man's face, and our young brother not with us.
27‘And thy servant my father saith unto us, Ye — ye have known that two did my wife bare to me,
28and the one goeth out from me, and I say, Surely he is torn — torn! and I have not seen him since;
29when ye have taken also this from my presence, and mischief hath met him, then ye have brought down my grey hairs with evil to sheol.
30‘And now, at my coming in unto thy servant my father, and the youth not with us (and his soul is bound up in his soul),
31then it hath come to pass when he seeth that the youth is not, that he hath died, and thy servants have brought down the grey hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to sheol;
32for thy servant obtained the youth by surety from my father, saying, If I bring him not in unto thee — then I have sinned against my father all the days.
33‘And now, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the youth a servant to my lord, and the youth goeth up with his brethren,
34for how do I go up unto my father, and the youth not with me? lest I look on the evil which doth find my father.’
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