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 some 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 did you cause 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 children. 9I will be responsible for him. You can hold me personally accountable! # 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 wasted time, 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 — some balsam and some honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds. # Gn 37:25; Jr 8:22; Ezk 27:17 12Take twice as much money with you. Return the money 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 money, and Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, # Lit to the one who was over his house “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 money 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 # Lit approached the one who was over the house and spoke to him at the doorway of the house.
20They said, “Sir, 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 money was at the top of his bag! # Gn 42:27,35 It was the full amount of our money, and we have brought it back with us. 22We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our money 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 money.” 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 bowed down to honor 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 to weep. 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 abhorrent 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 they got intoxicated with Joseph.
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The Return to Egypt
1Now the famine was very severe in the land [of Canaan]. 2And it happened that when the families of Jacob’s sons had finished eating [all of] the grain which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” 3But Judah said to him, “The man [representing Pharaoh] solemnly and sternly warned us, saying, ‘You will not see my face [again] unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down [to Egypt] and buy you food. 5But if you will not send him, we will not go down there; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6And Israel (Jacob) said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man that you had another brother?” 7And they said, “The man asked us straightforward questions about ourselves and our relatives. He said, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we #Lit told him upon the mouth of these words.answered him accordingly. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down [here to Egypt]’? ” 8Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the young man with me and we will get up and go [buy food], so that we may live and not die [of starvation], we as well as you and our little ones. 9I will be security (a guarantee) for him; #Lit from my hand you shall require him.you may hold me [personally] responsible for him. If I do not bring him [back] to you and place him [safely] before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever. 10For if we had not delayed like this, surely by now we would have returned the second time.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this; take some of the choicest products of the land in your sacks, and carry it as a present [of tribute] to the man [representing Pharaoh], a little balm and a little honey, aromatic spices or gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take double the [amount of] money with you, and take back the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother [Benjamin] also, and get up, and go to the man; 14and may #Heb El Shaddai.God Almighty grant you compassion and favor before the man, so that he will release to you your other brother [Simeon] and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children [Joseph, Simeon, and Benjamin], I am bereaved.” 15Then the men took the present, and they took double the [amount of] money with them, and Benjamin; then they left and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and kill an animal and make [a meal] ready; for the men will dine with me at noon.” 17So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and [expecting the worst] they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time [we came] that we are being brought in, so that he may find a reason to accuse us and assail us, and take us as slaves, and seize our donkeys.” 19So they approached the steward of Joseph’s house, and talked with him at the entrance of the house, 20and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down here the first time to buy food; 21and when we arrived at the inn [after leaving here], we opened our sacks and there was each man’s money [with which he had paid for grain], in full, returned in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back [this time]. 22We have also brought down with us additional money to buy food; we do not know who put our money [back] in our sacks [last time].” 23But the steward [encouraged them and] said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father has [miraculously] given you treasure in your sacks. I [already] had your money [which you paid to us].” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the steward brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed [the dust off] their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25So they prepared the present [of tribute] for Joseph before his arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present [of tribute] which they had with them and bowed to the ground before him. 27He asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed down [their heads before Joseph] in respect. 29And he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s [only other] son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” And Joseph said, “God be gracious to you and show you favor, my son.” 30Then Joseph hurried out [of the room] because his heart was deeply touched over his brother, and he sought privacy to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out, and, restraining himself, said, “Let the meal be served.” 32So the servants served Joseph by himself [in honor of his rank], and his brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because [according to custom] the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is #I.e. an abomination, a violation of holiness or distinction.loathsome to the Egyptians. 33Now Joseph’s brothers were seated [by the steward] before him [in the order of their birth]—the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked at one another in astonishment [because so much was known about them]. 34Joseph selected and sent portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely and celebrated with him.
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