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Genesis 44 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Joseph ordered his house steward: "Fill the men's bags with food - all they can carry - and replace each one's money at the top of the bag. 1 Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: "Fill the men's sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man's silver in the mouth of his sack.
2 Then put my chalice, my silver chalice, in the top of the bag of the youngest, along with the money for his food." He did as Joseph ordered. 2 Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one's sack, along with the silver for his grain." And he did as Joseph said.
3 At break of day the men were sent off with their donkeys. 3 As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
4 They were barely out of the city when Joseph said to his house steward, "Run after them. When you catch up with them, say, 'Why did you pay me back evil for good? 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, "Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid good with evil?
5 This is the chalice my master drinks from; he also uses it for divination. This is outrageous!'" 5 Isn't this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.' "
6 He caught up with them and repeated all this word for word. 6 When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them.
7 They said, "What is my master talking about? We would never do anything like that! 7 But they said to him, "Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that!
8 Why, the money we found in our bags earlier, we brought back all the way from Canaan - do you think we'd turn right around and steal it back from your master? 8 We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master's house?
9 If that chalice is found on any of us, he'll die; and the rest of us will be your master's slaves." 9 If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord's slaves."
10 The steward said, "Very well then, but we won't go that far. Whoever is found with the chalice will be my slave; the rest of you can go free." 10 "Very well, then," he said, "let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame."
11 They outdid each other in putting their bags on the ground and opening them up for inspection. 11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it.
12 The steward searched their bags, going from oldest to youngest. The chalice showed up in Benjamin's bag. 12 Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
13 They ripped their clothes in despair, loaded up their donkeys, and went back to the city. 13 At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14 Joseph was still at home when Judah and his brothers got back. They threw themselves down on the ground in front of him. 14 Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.
15 Joseph accused them: "How can you have done this? You have to know that a man in my position would have discovered this." 15 Joseph said to them, "What is this you have done? Don't you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?"
16 Judah as spokesman for the brothers said, "What can we say, master? What is there to say? How can we prove our innocence? God is behind this, exposing how bad we are. We stand guilty before you and ready to be your slaves - we're all in this together, the rest of us as guilty as the one with the chalice." 16 "What can we say to my lord?" Judah replied. "What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants' guilt. We are now my lord's slaves--we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup."
17 "I'd never do that to you," said Joseph. "Only the one involved with the chalice will be my slave. The rest of you are free to go back to your father." 17 But Joseph said, "Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father in peace."
18 Judah came forward. He said, "Please, master; can I say just one thing to you? Don't get angry. Don't think I'm presumptuous - you're the same as Pharaoh as far as I'm concerned. 18 Then Judah went up to him and said: "Please, my lord, let your servant speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself.
19 You, master, asked us, 'Do you have a father and a brother?' 19 My lord asked his servants, 'Do you have a father or a brother?'
20 And we answered honestly, 'We have a father who is old and a younger brother who was born to him in his old age. His brother is dead and he is the only son left from that mother. And his father loves him more than anything.' 20 And we answered, 'We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother's sons left, and his father loves him.'
21 "Then you told us, 'Bring him down here so I can see him.' 21 "Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.'
22 We told you, master, that it was impossible: 'The boy can't leave his father; if he leaves, his father will die.' 22 And we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.'
23 "And then you said, 'If your youngest brother doesn't come with you, you won't be allowed to see me.' 23 But you told your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.'
24 "When we returned to our father, we told him everything you said to us. 24 When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
25 So when our father said, 'Go back and buy some more food,' 25 "Then our father said, 'Go back and buy a little more food.'
26 we told him flatly, 'We can't. The only way we can go back is if our youngest brother is with us. We aren't allowed to even see the man if our youngest brother doesn't come with us.' 26 But we said, 'We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go. We cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.'
27 "Your servant, my father, told us, 'You know very well that my wife gave me two sons. 27 "Your servant my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons.
28 One turned up missing. I concluded that he'd been ripped to pieces. I've never seen him since. 28 One of them went away from me, and I said, "He has surely been torn to pieces." And I have not seen him since.
29 If you now go and take this one and something bad happens to him, you'll put my old gray, grieving head in the grave for sure.' 29 If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in misery.'
30 "And now, can't you see that if I show up before your servant, my father, without the boy, this son with whom his life is so bound up, 30 "So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy's life,
31 the moment he realizes the boy is gone, he'll die on the spot. He'll die of grief and we, your servants who are standing here before you, will have killed him. 31 sees that the boy isn't there, he will die. Your servants will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave in sorrow.
32 And that's not all. I got my father to release the boy to show him to you by promising, 'If I don't bring him back, I'll stand condemned before you, Father, all my life.' 32 Your servant guaranteed the boy's safety to my father. I said, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!'
33 "So let me stay here as your slave, not this boy. Let the boy go back with his brothers. 33 "Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord's slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.
34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? Oh, don't make me go back and watch my father die in grief!" 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father."