1 Meanwhile, the famine pressed heavily on all the land.
2 And having consumed the provisions that they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, "Return and buy us a little food."
3 Judah answered: "The man himself declared to us, under the attestation of an oath, saying: 'You will not see my face, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.'
4 If therefore you are willing to send him with us, we will travel together, and we will buy necessities for you.
5 But if you are not willing, we will not go. For the man, as we have often said, declared to us, saying: 'You will not see my face without your youngest brother.' "
6 Israel said to them, "You have done this for my misery, in that you revealed to him that you also had another brother."
7 But they responded: "The man questioned us in order, concerning our family: whether our father lived, if we had a brother. And we answered him respectively, according to what he demanded. How could we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother with you?' "
8 Likewise, Judah said to his father: "Send the boy with me, so that we may set out and be able to live, lest we and our little ones should die.
9 I accept the boy; require him at my hand. Unless I lead him back and restore him to you, I will be guilty of a sin against you for all time.
10 If a delay had not intervened, by now we would have returned here a second time."
11 Therefore, their father Israel said to them: "If it is necessary to do so, then do what you will. Take, in your vessels, from the best fruits of the land, and carry down gifts to the man: a little resin, and honey, and storax ointment, oil of myrrh, turpentine, and almonds.
12 Also, take with you double the money, and carry back what you found in your sacks, lest perhaps it was done in error.
13 But also take your brother, and go to the man.
14 Then may my Almighty God cause him to be pleased by you. And send your brother, whom he holds, back with you, along with this one, Benjamin. But as for me, without my children, I will be like one who is bereaved."
15 Therefore, the men took the gifts, and double the money, and Benjamin. And they went down into Egypt, and they stood in the presence of Joseph.
16 And when he had seen them and Benjamin together, he instructed the steward of his house, saying: "Lead the men into the house, and kill victims, and prepare a feast, because they will be eating with me at midday."
17 He did what he had been ordered to do, and he brought the men into the house.
18 And there, being terrified, they said one to another: "Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we have been brought in, so that he may unleash a false accusation against us, and by violence subjugate both us and our donkeys into servitude."
19 For this reason, approaching the steward of the house at his door,
20 they said: "We beg you, lord, to hear us. We came down once before to buy food.
21 And having bought it, when we arrived at the inn, we opened our sacks and found the money in the mouths of the sacks, which we now have carried back in the same amount.
22 But we have also brought other silver, so that we may buy those things that are necessary for us. It is not on our conscience who had placed it in our bags."
23 But he responded: "Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you the treasure in your sacks. As for the money that you gave to me, I held it as a test." And he led Simeon out to them.
24 And having led them into the house, he brought water, and they washed their feet, and he gave fodder to their donkeys.
25 But they also prepared the gifts, until Joseph entered at midday. For they had heard that they would eat bread there.
26 And so Joseph entered his house, and they offered him the gifts, holding them in their hands. And they reverenced prone on the ground.
27 But he, gently greeting them again, questioned them, saying: "Is your father, the old man about whom you spoke to me, in good health? Is he still alive?"
28 And they answered: "Your servant, our father, is safe; he is still alive." And bowing, they reverenced him.
29 Then Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin, his brother of the same womb, and he said, "Is this your little brother, about whom you spoke to me?" And again, he said, "May God be compassionate to you, my son."
30 And he hurried out, because his heart had been moved over his brother, and tears gushed out. And going into his chamber, he wept.
31 And when he had washed his face, coming out again, he composed himself, and he said, "Set out bread."
32 And when it was set out, separately for Joseph, and separately for his brothers, likewise separately for the Egyptians, who ate at the same time, (for it is unlawful for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, and they consider feasting in this way to be profane)
33 they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his state of life. And they wondered exceedingly,
34 taking the portions that they received from him. And the greater portion went to Benjamin, so much so that it exceeded five parts. And they drank and became inebriated along with him.
Decision to Return to Egypt
1Now the famine in the land was severe.#Gn 12:10; 41:56–57; 47:20 2When they had used up the grain they had brought back from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3But Judah said to him, “The man specifically warned us, ‘You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go, for the man said to us, ‘You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.’”#Gn 42:18–20; 44:23
6“Why have you caused me so much trouble?” Israel asked. “Why did you tell the man that you had another brother?”
7They answered, “The man kept asking about us and our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me. We will be on our way so that we may live and not die — neither we, nor you, nor our dependents. 9I will be responsible for him. You can hold me personally accountable!#43:9 Lit can seek him from my hand If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I will be guilty before you forever.#Gn 42:37; 44:32 10If we had not delayed, we could have come back twice by now.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and take them down to the man as a gift — a little balsam and a little honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.#Gn 37:25; Jr 8:22; Ezk 27:17 12Take twice as much silver with you. Return the silver that was returned to you in the top of your bags. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and go back at once to the man. 14May God Almighty cause the man to be merciful to you so that he will release your other brother and Benjamin to you. As for me, if I am deprived of my sons, then I am deprived.”#Gn 42:36
The Return to Egypt
15The men took this gift, double the amount of silver, and Benjamin. They immediately went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, “Take the men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they will eat with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph had said and brought them to Joseph’s house.
18But the men were afraid because they were taken to Joseph’s house. They said, “We have been brought here because of the silver that was returned in our bags the first time. They intend to overpower us, seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.” 19So they approached Joseph’s steward#43:19 Lit approached the one who was over the house and spoke to him at the doorway of the house.
20They said, “My lord, we really did come down here the first time only to buy food. 21When we came to the place where we lodged for the night and opened our bags of grain, each one’s silver was at the top of his bag!#Gn 42:27,35 It was the full amount of our silver, and we have brought it back with us. 22We have brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in the bags.”
23Then the steward said, “May you be well. Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags. I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24The steward brought the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet,#Gn 18:4; 19:2; 24:32 and got feed for their donkeys. 25Since the men had heard that they were going to eat a meal there, they prepared their gift for Joseph’s arrival at noon. 26When Joseph came home, they brought him the gift they had carried into the house, and they bowed to the ground before him.
27He asked if they were well, and he said, “How is your elderly father that you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28They answered, “Your servant our father is well. He is still alive.” And they knelt low and paid homage to him.
29When he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph hurried out because he was overcome with emotion for his brother, and he was about to weep. He went into an inner room and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out. Regaining his composure,#Gn 45:1 he said, “Serve the meal.”
32They served him by himself, his brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, since that is detestable to them.#Gn 46:34; Ex 8:26 33They were seated before him in order by age, from the firstborn to the youngest. The men looked at each other in astonishment. 34Portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, and Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of theirs.#Gn 35:24; 45:22 They drank and became drunk with Joseph.
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