1In the mean time the famine was heavy upon all the land.
2And when they had eaten up all the corn, which they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said to his sons: Go again and buy us a little food.
3Juda answered: The man declared unto us with the attestation of an oath, saying: You shall not see my face, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.
4If therefore thou wilt send him with us, we will set out together, and will buy necessaries for thee.
5But if thou wilt not, we will not go: for the man, as we have often said, declared unto us, saying: You shall not see my face without your youngest brother.
6Israel said to them: You have done this for my misery in that you told him you had also another brother.
7But they answered: The man asked us in order concerning our kindred: if our father lived: if we had a brother: and we answered him regularly, according to what he demanded. Could we know what he would say: Bring hither your brother with you?
8And Juda said to his father: Send the boy with me, that we may set forward, and may live: lest both we and our children perish.
9I take the boy upon me; require him at my hand. Unless I bring him again, and restore him to thee, I will be guilty of sin against thee for ever.
10If delay had not been made, we had been here again the second time.
11Then Israel said to them: If it must needs be so, do what you will. Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down presents to the man, a little balm, and honey, and storax, myrrh, turpentine, and almonds.
12And take with you double money; and carry back what you found in your sacks, lest perhaps it was done by mistake.
13And take also your brother, and go to the man.
14And may my almighty God make him favourable to you; and send back with you your brother, whom he keepeth, and this Benjamin. And as for me I shall be desolate without children.
15So the men took the presents, and double money, and Benjamin: and went down into Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16And when he had seen them, and Benjamin with them, he commanded the steward of his house, saying: Bring in the men into the house, and kill victims, and prepare a feas;: because they shall eat with me at noon.
17He did as he was commanded, and brought the men into the house.
18And they being much afraid, said there one to another: Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we are brought in: that he may bring upon us a false accusation, and by violence make slaves of us and our asses.
19Wherefore going up to the steward of the house, at the door,
20They said: Sir, we desire thee to hear us: We came down once before to buy food.
21And when we had bought, and come to the inn, we opened our sacks, and found our money in the mouths of the sacks: which we have now brought again in the same weight.
22And we have brought other money besides, to buy what we want: we cannot tell who put it in our bags.
23But he answered: Peace be with you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father hath given you treasure in your sacks. For the money, which you gave me, I have for good. And he brought Simeon out to them.
24And having brought them into the house, he fetched water; and they washed their feet, and he gave provender to their asses.
25But they made ready the presents, against Joseph came at noon: for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26Then Joseph came into his house, and they offered him the presents holding them in their hands: and they bowed down with their face to the ground.
27But he, courteously saluting them again, asked them, saying: Is the old man your father in health, of whom you told me? Is he yet living?
28And they answered: Thy servant, our father, is in health; he is yet living. And bowing themselves they made obeisance to him.
29And Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin his brother, by the same mother, and said: Is this your young brother, of whom you told me? And he said: God be gracious to thee, my son.
30And he made haste because his heart was moved upon his brother, and tears gushed out. And going into his chamber he wept.
31And when he had washed his face, coming out again, he refrained himself, and said: Set bread on the table.
32And when it was set on, for Joseph apart, and for his brethren apart, for the Egyptians also that ate with him, apart, (for it is unlawful for the Egyptians to eat with the Hebrews, and they think such a feast profane).
33They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his age. And they wondered very much:
34Taking the messes which they received of him: and the greater mess came to Benjamin, so that it exceeded by five parts. And they drank, and were merry with him.
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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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