Genesis 43-45 Bible in Basic English

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Joseph's Brethren Return with Benjamin

43 1  And when the grain which they had got in Egypt was all used up, their father said to them, Go again and get us a little food. 2  And Judah said to him, The man said to us with an oath, You are not to come before me again without your brother. 3  If you will let our brother go with us, we will go down and get food: 4  But if you will not send him, we will not go down: for the man said to us, You are not to come before me if your brother is not with you. 5  And Israel said, Why were you so cruel to me as to say to him that you had a brother? 6  And they said, The man put a number of questions to us about ourselves and our family, saying, Is your father still living? have you another brother? And we had to give him answers; how were we to have any idea that he would say, Come back with your brother? 7  Then Judah said to Israel, his father, Send the boy with me, and let us be up and going, so that we and you and our little ones may not come to destruction. 8  Put him into my care and make me responsible for him: if I do not give him safely back to you, let mine be the sin for ever. 9  Truly, if we had not let the time go by, we might have come back again by now. 10  Then their father Israel said to them, If it has to be so, then do this: take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels to give the man, perfumes and honey and spices and nuts:

11  And take twice as much money with you; that is to say, take back the money which was put in your bags, for it may have been an error; 12  And take your brother and go back to the man: 13  And may God, the Ruler of all, give you mercy before the man, so that he may give you back your other brother and Benjamin. If my children are to be taken from me; there is no help for it. 14  So they took what their father said for the man, and twice as much money in their hands, and Benjamin, and went on their journey to Egypt, and came before Joseph.

15  And when Joseph saw Benjamin, he said to his chief servant, Take these men into my house, and make ready a meal, for they will take food with me in the middle of the day. 16  And the servant did as Joseph said, and took the men into Joseph's house. 17  Now the men were full of fear because they had been taken into Joseph's house and they said, It is because of the money which was put back in our bags the first time; he is looking for something against us, so that he may come down on us and take us and our asses for his use. 18  So they went up to Joseph's chief servant at the door of the house, 19  And said, O my lord, we only came down the first time to get food; 20  And when we came to our night's resting-place, on opening our bags we saw that every man's money was in the mouth of his bag, all our money in full weight: and we have it with us to give it back; 21  As well as more money, with which to get food: we have no idea who put our money in our bags. 22  Then the servant said, Peace be with you: have no fear: your God, even the God of your father, has put wealth in your bags for you: I had your money. Then he let Simeon come out to them. 23  And the servant took them into Joseph's house, and gave them water for washing their feet; and he gave their asses food. 24  And they got ready the things for Joseph before he came in the middle of the day: for word was given to them that they were to have a meal there. 25  And when Joseph came in, they gave him the things which they had for him, and went down to the earth before him.

26  And he said, How are you? is your father well, the old man of whom you were talking to me? is he still living? 27  And they said, Your servant, our father, is well, he is still living. And they went down on their faces before him. 28  Then, lifting up his eyes, he saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother's son, and he said, Is this your youngest brother of whom you gave me word? And he said, God be good to you, my son. 29  Then Joseph's heart went out to his brother, and he went quickly into his room, for he was overcome with weeping. 30  Then, after washing his face, he came out, and controlling his feelings said, Put food before us. 31  And they put a meal ready for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians who were with him by themselves; because the Egyptians may not take food with the Hebrews, for that would make them unclean. 32  And they were all given their seats before him in order of birth, from the oldest to the youngest: so that they were looking at one another in wonder. 33  And Joseph sent food to them from his table, but he sent five times as much to Benjamin as to any of the others. And they took wine freely with him.

The Missing Cup

44 1  Then he gave orders to the servant who was over his house, saying, Put as much food into the men's bags as will go into them, and put every man's money in the mouth of his bag; 2  And put my cup, my silver cup, in the youngest one's bag, with his money. So he did as Joseph said. 3  And at dawn the men, with their asses, were sent away. 4  And when they had gone only a little way out of the town, Joseph said to the servant who was over his house, Go after them; and when you overtake them, say to them, Why have you done evil in reward for good? 5  Is not this the cup from which my lord takes wine and by which he gets knowledge of the future? Truly, you have done evil. 6  So he overtook them and said these words to them. 7  And they said to him, Why does my lord say such words as these? far be it from your servants to do such a thing: 8  See, the money which was in the mouth of our bags we gave back to you when we came again from Canaan: how then might we take silver or gold from your lord's house? 9  If it comes to light that any of your servants has done this, let him be put to death, and we will be your lord's servants. 10  And he said, Let it be as you say: he in whose bag it is seen will become my servant; and you will not be responsible. 11  Then every man quickly got his bag down and undid it. 12  And he made a search, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was in Benjamin's bag. 13  Then in bitter grief they put the bags on the asses again and went back to the town. 14  So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house; and he was still there: and they went down on their faces before him. 15  And Joseph said, What is this thing which you have done? had you no thought that such a man as I would have power to see what is secret? 16  And Judah said, What are we to say to my lord? how may we put ourselves right in his eyes? God has made clear the sin of your servants: now we are in your hands, we and the man in whose bag your cup was seen. 17  Then he said, Far be it from me to do so: but the man who had my cup will be my servant; and you may go back to your father in peace.

Judah Pleads for Benjamin

18  Then Judah came near him, and said, Let your servant say a word in my lord's ears, and let not your wrath be burning against your servant: for you are in the place of Pharaoh to us. 19  My lord said to his servants, Have you a father or a brother? 20  And we said to my lord, We have an old father and a young child, whom he had when he was old; his brother is dead and he is the only son of his mother, and is very dear to his father. 21  And you said to your servants, Let him come down to me with you, so that I may see him. 22  And we said to my lord, His father will not let him go; for if he went away his father would come to his death. 23  But you said to your servants, If your youngest brother does not come with you, you will not see my face again. 24  And when we went back to your servant, our father, we gave him an account of my lord's words. 25  And our father said, Go again and get us a little food. 26  And we said, Only if our youngest brother goes with us will we go down; for we may not see the man's face again if our youngest brother is not with us. 27  And our father said to us, You have knowledge that my wife gave me two sons; 28  The one went away from me, and I said, Truly he has come to a violent death; and from that time I have not seen him, 29  If now you take this one from me, and some evil comes to him, you will make my grey head go down in sorrow to the underworld. 30  If then I go back to your servant, my father, without the boy, because his life and the boy's life are one, 31  When he sees that the boy is not with us, he will come to his death, and our father's grey head will go down in sorrow to the underworld. 32  For I made myself responsible for the boy to my father, saying, If I do not give him safely back to you, let mine be the sin for ever. 33  So now let me be my lord's servant here in place of the boy, and let him go back with his brothers. 34  For how may I go back to my father without the boy, and see the evil which will come on my father?

Joseph Makes Himself Known to His Brethren

45 1  Then Joseph, unable to keep back his feelings before those who were with him, gave orders for everyone to be sent away, and no one was present when he made clear to his brothers who he was. 2  And so loud was his weeping, that it came to the ears of the Egyptians and all Pharaoh's house. 3  And Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph: is my father still living? But his brothers were not able to give him an answer for they were troubled before him. 4  Then Joseph said to his brothers, Come near to me. And they came near, And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom you sent into Egypt. 5  Now do not be troubled or angry with yourselves for sending me away, because God sent me before you to be the saviour of your lives. 6  For these two years have been years of need, and there are still five more years to come in which there will be no ploughing or cutting of grain. 7  God sent me before you to keep you and yours living on earth so that you might become a great nation. 8  So now it was not you who sent me here, but God: and he has made me as a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9  Now go quickly to my father, and say to him, Your son Joseph says, God has made me ruler over all the land of Egypt: come down to me straight away: 10  The land of Goshen will be your living-place, and you will be near me; you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks and herds and all you have: 11  And there I will take care of you, so that you and your family may not be in need, for there are still five bad years to come. 12  Now truly, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which says these things to you. 13  Give my father word of all my glory in Egypt and of all you have seen; and come back quickly with my father. 14  Then, weeping, he took Benjamin in his arms, and Benjamin himself was weeping on Joseph's neck. 15  Then he gave a kiss to all his brothers, weeping over them; and after that his brothers had no fear of talking to him.

16  And news of these things went through Pharaoh's house, and it was said that Joseph's brothers were come; and it seemed good to Pharaoh and his servants. 17  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Say to your brothers, Put your goods on your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan; 18  And get your father and your families and come back to me: and I will give you all the good things of Egypt, and the fat of the land will be your food. 19  And say to them, This you are to do: take carts from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and get your father and come back. 20  And take no thought for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours. 21  And the children of Israel did as he said; and Joseph gave them carts as had been ordered by Pharaoh, and food for their journey. 22  To every one of them he gave three changes of clothing; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred bits of silver and five changes of clothing. 23  And to his father he sent ten asses with good things from Egypt on their backs, and ten she-asses with grain and bread and food for his father on the journey. 24  And he sent his brothers on their way, and said to them, See that you have no argument on the road.

25  So they went up from Egypt and came to the land of Canaan, to their father Jacob. 26  And they said to him, Joseph is living, and is ruler over all the land of Egypt. And at this word Jacob was quite overcome, for he had no faith in it. 27  And they gave him an account of everything Joseph had said to them; and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent for them, his spirit came back to him: 28  And Israel said, It is enough: Joseph my son is still living; I will go and see him before my death.

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