Joseph’s Plan to Trap His Brothers
1Joseph commanded the man in charge of his house,
“Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry. Put each man’s money in his sack. 2Then put my silver cup in the youngest brother’s sack along with the money for his grain.” He did what Joseph told him.
3At dawn the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to the man in charge of his house, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you paid me back with evil when I was good to you? 5Isn’t this the cup that my master drinks from and that he uses for telling the future? What you have done is evil!’ ”
6When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7They answered him, “Sir, how can you say such things? We would never think of doing anything like that! 8We brought the money we found in our sacks back from Canaan. So why would we steal any silver or gold from your master’s house? 9If one of us has it, he will die, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
10“I agree,” he said. “We’ll do what you’ve said. The man who has the cup will be my slave, and the rest of you can go free.”
11Each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12Then the man made a thorough search. He began with the oldest and ended with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13When they saw this, they tore their clothes in grief. Then each one loaded his donkey and went back into the city.
14Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house while Joseph was still there. Immediately, they bowed with their faces touching the ground. 15Joseph asked them, “What have you done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out because he knows the future?”
16“Sir, what can we say to you?” Judah asked. “How else can we explain it? How can we prove we’re innocent? God has uncovered our guilt. Now all of us are your slaves, including the one who had the cup.”
17But Joseph said, “I would never think of doing that! Only the man who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you can go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Defends Benjamin
18Then Judah went up to Joseph and said, “Please, sir, let me speak openly with you. Don’t be angry with me, although you are equal to Pharaoh. 19Sir, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20We answered, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother born to him when he was already old. The boy’s brother is dead, so he’s the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21“Then you said to us, ‘Bring him here to me so that I can see him myself.’ 22We replied, ‘The boy can’t leave his father. If the boy leaves him, his father will die.’ 23Then you told us, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come here with you, you will never be allowed to see me again.’ 24When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said.
25“Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little more food.’ 26We answered, ‘We can’t go back. We can only go back if our youngest brother is with us. The man won’t see us unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then our father said to us, ‘You know that my wife ⌞Rachel⌟ gave me two sons. 28One is gone, and I said, “He must have been torn to pieces!” I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take this one away from me too and anything happens to him, you’ll drive this gray-haired old man to his grave.’
30“Our father’s life is wrapped up with the boy’s life. If I come ⌞home⌟ without the boy 31and he sees that the boy isn’t ⌞with me⌟, he’ll die. The grief would drive our gray-haired old father to his grave.
32“I guaranteed my father that the boy would come back. I said, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, then you can blame me the rest of my life, Father.’ 33Sir, please let me stay and be your slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34How could I go back to my father if the boy isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father’s misery!”
Learn More About GOD'S WORD
GOD'S WORD® Translation ©1995, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2019, 2020 by God's Word to the Nations Mission Society. All rights reserved.
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.’
Learn More About Young's Literal Translation 1898
maintained by the British and Foreign Bible Society