1And Joseph commanded the steward of his house, saying: Fill their sacks with corn, as much as they can hold; and put the money of every one in the top of his sack.
2And in the mouth of the younger's sack put my silver cup, and the price which he gave for the wheat. And it was so done.
3And when the morning arose, they were sent away with their asses.
4And when they were now departed out of the city, and had gone forward a little way, Joseph sending for the steward of his house, said: Arise, and pursue after the men. And when thou hast overtaken them, say to them: Why have you returned evil for good?
5The cup which you have stolen is that in which my lord drinketh, and in which he is wont to divine: you have done a very evil thing.
6He did as he had commanded him. And having overtaken them, he spoke to them the same words.
7And they answered: Why doth our lord speak so, as though thy servants had committed so heinous a fact?
8The money, that we found in the top of our sacks, we brought back to thee from the land of Chanaan: How then should it be that we should steal out of thy lord's house, gold or silver?
9With whomsoever of thy servants shall be found that which thou seekest, let him die, and we will be the bondmen of my lord.
10And he said to them: Let it be according to your sentence. With whomsoever it shall be found, let him be my servant, and you shall be blameless.
11Then they speedily took down their sacks to the ground, and every man opened his sack.
12Which when he had searched, beginning at the eldest, and ending at the youngest, he found the cup in Benjamin's sack.
13Then they rent their garments, and loading their asses again, returned into the town.
14And Juda at the head of his brethren went in to Joseph (for he was not yet gone out of the place): and they altogether fell down before him on the ground.
15And he said to them: Why would you do so? Know you not that there is no one like me in the science of divining.
16And Juda said to him: What shall we answer my lord? Or what shall we say, or be able justly to allege? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: Behold, we are all bondmen to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found.
17Joseph answered: God forbid that I should do so. He that stole the cup, he shall be my bondman. And go you away free to your father.
18Then Juda coming nearer, said boldly: I beseech thee, my lord, let thy servant speak a word in thy ears, and be not angry with thy servant; for after Pharao thou art
19My lord. Thou didst ask thy servants the first time: Have you a father or a brother?
20And we answered thee, my lord: We have a father an old man, and a young boy, that was born in his old age; whose brother by the mother is dead: and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him tenderly.
21And thou saidst to thy servants: Bring him hither to me, and I will set my eyes on him.
22We suggested to my lord: The boy cannot leave his father; for if he leave him, he will die.
23And thou saidst to thy servants: Except your youngest brother come with you, you shall see my face no more.
24Therefore when we were gone up to thy servant our father, we told him all that my lord had said.
25And our father said: Go again, and buy us a little wheat.
26And we said to him: We cannot go. If our youngest brother go down with us, we will set out together; otherwise, without him we dare not see the man's face.
27Whereunto he answered: You know that my wife bore me two.
28One went out, and you said: A beast devoured him. And hitherto he appeareth not.
29If you take this also, and any thing befall him in the way, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow unto hell.
30Therefore if I shall go to thy servant our father, and the boy be wanting (whereas his life dependeth upon the life of him):
31And he shall see that he is not with us, he will die, and thy servants shall bring down his gray hairs with sorrow unto hell.
32Let me be that proper servant, who took him into my trust, and promised, saying: If I bring him not again, I will be guilty of sin against my father for ever.
33Therefore I thy servant will stay instead of the boy in the service of my lord, and let the boy go up with his brethren.
34For I cannot return to my father without the boy, lest I be a witness of the calamity that will oppress my father.
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Joseph’s Silver Cup
1When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph gave these instructions to his palace manager: “Fill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money back into his sack. 2Then put my personal silver cup at the top of the youngest brother’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” So the manager did as Joseph instructed him.
3The brothers were up at dawn and were sent on their journey with their loaded donkeys. 4But when they had gone only a short distance and were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you repaid my kindness with such evil? 5Why have you stolen my master’s silver cup,#44:5 As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks this phrase. which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have done!’”
6When the palace manager caught up with the men, he spoke to them as he had been instructed.
7“What are you talking about?” the brothers responded. “We are your servants and would never do such a thing! 8Didn’t we return the money we found in our sacks? We brought it back all the way from the land of Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If you find his cup with any one of us, let that man die. And all the rest of us, my lord, will be your slaves.”
10“That’s fair,” the man replied. “But only the one who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
11They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and opened them. 12The palace manager searched the brothers’ sacks, from the oldest to the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 13When the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded their donkeys again and returned to the city.
14Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him. 15“What have you done?” Joseph demanded. “Don’t you know that a man like me can predict the future?”
16Judah answered, “Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves—all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack.”
17“No,” Joseph said. “I would never do such a thing! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Speaks for His Brothers
18Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
19“My lord, previously you asked us, your servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we responded, ‘Yes, my lord, we have a father who is an old man, and his youngest son is a child of his old age. His full brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him very much.’
21“And you said to us, ‘Bring him here so I can see him with my own eyes.’ 22But we said to you, ‘My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.’ 23But you told us, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you will never see my face again.’
24“So we returned to your servant, our father, and told him what you had said. 25Later, when he said, ‘Go back again and buy us more food,’ 26we replied, ‘We can’t go unless you let our youngest brother go with us. We’ll never get to see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife had two sons, 28and one of them went away and never returned. Doubtless he was torn to pieces by some wild animal. I have never seen him since. 29Now if you take his brother away from me, and any harm comes to him, you will send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.#44:29 Hebrew to Sheol; also in 44:31.’
30“And now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father’s life is bound up in the boy’s life. 31If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, your servants, will indeed be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave. 32My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.’
33“So please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!”
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