Genesis 43-45 Revised Standard Version

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Joseph's Brethren Return with Benjamin

43 1  Now the famine was severe in the land. 2  And when they had eaten the grain which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go again, buy us a little food." 3  But Judah said to him, "The man solemnly warned us, saying, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.' 4  If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; 5  but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.'" 6  Israel said, "Why did you treat me so ill as to tell the man that you had another brother?" 7  They replied, "The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' What we told him was in answer to these questions; could we in any way know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down'?" 8  And Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9  I will be surety for him; of my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever; 10  for if we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice."

11  Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12  Take double the money with you; carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13  Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man; 14  may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."

15  So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin; and they arose and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16  When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon." 17  The man did as Joseph bade him, and brought the men to Joseph's house. 18  And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, "It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, to make slaves of us and seize our asses." 19  So they went up to the steward of Joseph's house, and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20  and said, "Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; 21  and when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was every man's money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it again with us, 22  and we have brought other money down in our hand to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks." 23  He replied, "Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money." Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24  And when the man had brought the men into Joseph's house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their asses provender, 25  they made ready the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26  When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which they had with them, and bowed down to him to the ground. 27  And he inquired about their welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?" 28  They said, "Your servant our father is well, he is still alive." And they bowed their heads and made obeisance. 29  And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!" 30  Then Joseph made haste, for his heart yearned for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. 31  Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, "Let food be served." 32  They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33  And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked at one another in amazement. 34  Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

The Missing Cup

44 1  Then he commanded the steward of his house, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack, 2  and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain." And he did as Joseph told him. 3  As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their asses. 4  When they had gone but a short distance from the city, Joseph said to his steward, "Up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you returned evil for good? Why have you stolen my silver cup? 5  Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he divines? You have done wrong in so doing.'" 6  When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. 7  They said to him, "Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing! 8  Behold, the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan; how then should we steal silver or gold from your lord's house? 9  With whomever of your servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's slaves." 10  He said, "Let it be as you say: he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and the rest of you shall be blameless." 11  Then every man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and every man opened his sack. 12  And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13  Then they rent their clothes, and every man loaded his ass, and they returned to the city. 14  When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, he was still there; and they fell before him to the ground. 15  Joseph said to them, "What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can indeed divine?" 16  And Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord's slaves, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found." 17  But he said, "Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father."

Judah Pleads for Benjamin

18  Then Judah went up to him and said, "O my lord, let your servant, I pray you, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant; for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19  My lord asked his servants, saying, 'Have you a father, or a brother?' 20  And we said to my lord, 'We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's children; and his father loves him.' 21  Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes upon him.' 22  We said to my lord, 'The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.' 23  Then you said to your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.' 24  When we went back to your servant my father we told him the words of my lord. 25  And when our father said, 'Go again, buy us a little food,' 26  we said, 'We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down; for we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.' 27  Then your servant my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons; 28  one left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn to pieces; and I have never seen him since. 29  If you take this one also from me, and harm befalls him, you will bring down my gray hairs in sorrow to Sheol.' 30  Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the lad's life, 31  when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32  For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, 'If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame in the sight of my father all my life.' 33  Now therefore, let your servant, I pray you, remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord; and let the lad go back with his brothers. 34  For how can I go back to my father if the lad is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would come upon my father."

Joseph Makes Himself Known to His Brethren

45 1  Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him; and he cried, "Make every one go out from me." So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2  And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3  And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. 4  So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, I pray you." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5  And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6  For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7  And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8  So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9  Make haste and go up to my father and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry; 10  you shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have; 11  and there I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come; lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty.' 12  And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13  You must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Make haste and bring my father down here." 14  Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15  And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

16  When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, "Joseph's brothers have come," it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well. 17  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say to your brothers, 'Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan; 18  and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.' 19  Command them also, 'Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20  Give no thought to your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'" 21  The sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22  To each and all of them he gave festal garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five festal garments. 23  To his father he sent as follows: ten asses loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. 24  Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, "Do not quarrel on the way."

25  So they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26  And they told him, "Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt." And his heart fainted, for he did not believe them. 27  But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived; 28  and Israel said, "It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive; I will go and see him before I die."

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