1 Then Joseph instructed the steward of his house, saying: "Fill their sacks with grain, as much as they are able to hold. And place each one's money at the top of the sack.
2 But place my silver bowl, and the price that he gave for the wheat, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest." And so it was done.
3 And when morning arose, they were sent away with their donkeys.
4 And now they had departed from the city and had set out a short distance. Then Joseph, sending for the steward of his house, said: "Rise up and pursue the men. And when you have overtaken them, say: 'Why have you returned evil for good?
5 The cup that you have stolen, it is that from which my lord drinks, and in which he is accustomed to discern signs. You have done a very sinful thing.' "
6 He did as he had been ordered. And having overtaken them, he spoke to them according to the order.
7 And they responded: "Why does our lord speak in this way, as though your servants had committed such a shameful act?
8 The money, which we found at the top of our sacks, we carried back to you from the land of Canaan. So in what way does it follow that we would steal, from the house of your lord, gold or silver?
9 Whichever of your servants will be found to have what you seek, may he die, and we shall be the servants of my lord."
10 And he said to them: "Let it be according to your verdict. With whomever it will be found, let him be my servant, but you will be unharmed."
11 And so, they quickly placed their sacks down to the ground, and each one was opened.
12 And when he had searched, beginning with the oldest, all the way to the youngest, he found the cup in Benjamin's sack.
13 But they, tearing their garments and burdening their donkeys again, returned to the town.
14 And Judah, first among his brothers, entered to Joseph (for he had not yet departed from the place) and together they all fell down before him to the ground.
15 And he said to them: "Why would you choose to act in this way? Could you be ignorant that there is no one like me in the knowledge of discerning signs?"
16 And Judah said to him, "What could we answer to my lord? And what would we be able to say, or to justly claim? God has discovered the iniquity of your servants. See, we have all become servants to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found."
17 Joseph responded: "Far be it from me that I should act in this way. He who stole the cup, he will be my servant. But you may go away free to your father."
18 Then Judah, approaching closer, said confidently: "I beg you, my lord, let your servant speak a word in your ears, and do not be angry with your servant. For you are next to Pharaoh.
19 My lord, you questioned your servants before: 'Do you have a father or a brother?'
20 And we answered you, my lord: 'There is our father, an old man, and a young boy, who was born in his old age. His brother of the same womb has died, and he alone is left to his mother and father, who truly love him tenderly.'
21 And you said to your servants, 'Bring him to me, and I will set my eyes on him.'
22 We suggested to my lord: 'The boy is not able to leave his father. For if he sends him away, he will die.'
23 And you said to your servants: 'Unless your youngest brother arrives with you, you will not see my face any more.'
24 Therefore, when we had gone up to your servant our father, we explained to him all that my lord had spoken.
25 And our father said: 'Return and buy us a little wheat.'
26 And we said to him: 'We cannot go. If our youngest brother descends with us, we will set out together. Otherwise, in his absence, we do not dare to see the face of the man.'
27 To which he responded: 'You know that my wife conceived twice by me.
28 One went out, and you said, "A beast devoured him." And since then, he has not appeared.
29 If you take this one also, and anything happens to him on the way, you will lead my grey hairs down with grief to the grave.'
30 Therefore, if I would have gone to your servant, our father, with the boy not present, (though his life depends upon the life of him)
31 and if he were to see that he is not with us, he would die, and your servants will lead his grey hairs down with sorrow to the grave.
32 Let me be your very own servant, for I accepted this one into my trust, and I promised, saying: 'Unless I lead him back, I will be guilty of a sin against my father for all time.'
33 And so I, your servant, will remain in place of the boy, in ministry to my lord, and then let the boy go up with his brothers.
34 For I cannot return to my father without the boy, lest I appear as a witness to the calamity that will oppress my father."
The Missing Cup
1-2Later, Joseph told the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men's grain sacks with as much as they can hold and put their money in the sacks. Also put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother.” The servant did as he was told.
3Early the next morning, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4But they had not gone far from the city when Joseph told the servant, “Go after those men! When you catch them, say, ‘My master has been good to you. So why have you stolen his silver cup? 5Not only does he drink from his cup, but he also uses it to learn about the future. You have done a terrible thing.’ ”
6When the servant caught up with them, he said exactly what Joseph had told him to say. 7But they replied, “Sir, why do you say such things? We would never do anything like that! 8We even returned the money we found in our grain sacks when we got back to Canaan. So why would we want to steal any silver or gold from your master's house? 9If you find that one of us has the cup, then kill him, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“Good!” the man replied, “I'll do what you have said. But only the one who has the cup will become my slave. The rest of you can go free.”
11Each of the brothers quickly put his sack on the ground and opened it. 12Joseph's servant started searching the sacks, beginning with the one that belonged to the oldest brother. When he came to Benjamin's sack, he found the cup. 13This upset the brothers so much that they began tearing their clothes in sorrow. Then they loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers got there, Joseph was still at home. So they bowed down to Joseph, 15who asked them, “What have you done? Didn't you know I could find out?”
16“Sir, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we say we are innocent, when God has shown we are guilty? And now all of us are your slaves, especially the one who had the cup.”
17Joseph told them, “I would never punish all of you. Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Judah went over to Joseph and said:
Sir, you have as much power as the king#44.18 the king: See the note at 12.15. himself, and I am only your slave. Please don't get angry if I speak. 19You asked us if our father was still alive and if we had any more brothers. 20So we told you, “Our father is a very old man. In fact, he was already old when Benjamin was born. Benjamin's brother is dead. Now Benjamin is the only one of the two brothers who is still alive, and our father loves him very much.”
21You ordered us to bring him here, so you could see him for yourself. 22We told you that our father would die if Benjamin left him. 23But you warned us that we could never see you again, unless our youngest brother came with us. 24So we returned to our father and reported what you had said.
25Later our father sent us back here to buy more grain. 26But we told him, “We can't go back to Egypt without our youngest brother. We will never be let in to see the governor, unless he is with us.”
27Sir, our father then reminded us that his favorite wife had given birth to two sons. 28One of them was already missing and had not been seen for a long time. My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal, 29and he said, “I am an old man. If you take Benjamin from me, and something happens to him, I will die of a broken heart.”
30That's why Benjamin must be with us when I go back to my father. He loves him so much 31that he will die if Benjamin doesn't come back with me. 32I promised my father that I would bring him safely home. If I don't, I told my father he could blame me the rest of my life.
33Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers. 34How can I face my father if Benjamin isn't with me? I couldn't bear to see my father in such sorrow.
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