Now the famine was still severe in the land.
So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and buy us a little more food."
But Judah said to him, "The man warned us solemnly, 'You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.'
If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you.
But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, 'You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.' "
Israel asked, "Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?"
They replied, "The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. 'Is your father still living?' he asked us. 'Do you have another brother?' We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, 'Bring your brother down here'?"
Then Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die.
I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life.
As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice."
Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift--a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.
Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.
Take your brother also and go back to the man at once.
And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved."
So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare dinner; they are to eat with me at noon."
The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph's house.
Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, "We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys."
So they went up to Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.
"Please, sir," they said, "we came down here the first time to buy food.
But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver--the exact weight--in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us.
We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don't know who put our silver in our sacks."
"It's all right," he said. "Don't be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver." Then he brought Simeon out to them.
The steward took the men into Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys.
They prepared their gifts for Joseph's arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.
He asked them how they were, and then he said, "How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?"
They replied, "Your servant our father is still alive and well." And they bowed low to pay him honor.
As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother's son, he asked, "Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?" And he said, "God be gracious to you, my son."
Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.
After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, "Serve the food."
They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians.
The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment.
When portions were served to them from Joseph's table, Benjamin's portion was five times as much as anyone else's. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
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.
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.
As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
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?
Isn't this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.' "
When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them.
But they said to him, "Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that!
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?
If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord's slaves."
"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."
Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it.
Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.
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?"
"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."
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."
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.
My lord asked his servants, 'Do you have a father or a brother?'
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.'
"Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.'
And we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.'
But you told your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.'
When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
"Then our father said, 'Go back and buy a little more food.'
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.'
"Your servant my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons.
One of them went away from me, and I said, "He has surely been torn to pieces." And I have not seen him since.
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.'
"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,
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.
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!'
"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.
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."
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.
Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"
4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ?6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."7
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."10
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."15
When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."18
"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,19honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' "20
"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."22
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."25
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."27
Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.