The famine was severe in the land,
and when they had eaten all the grain that they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and buy us a little food."
Judah said to him, "The man was absolutely serious when he said, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.'
If you agree to send our brother with us, then we will go down and buy you food.
But if you don't agree to send him, then we can't go down because the man said to us, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.'"
Israel said, "Why have you caused me such pain by telling the man you had another brother?"
They said, "The man asked us pointedly about our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?' So we told him just what we've said. How were we to know he'd say, ‘Bring your brother down here'?"
Judah said to his father Israel, "Send the young man with me. Let's get ready to leave so that we can stay alive and not die—we, you, and our children.
I will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I don't bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, it will be my fault forever.
If we hadn't waited so long, we would've returned twice by now."
Their father Israel said to them, "If it has to be, then do this. Take in your bags some of the land's choice produce, and bring it down to the man as a gift: a little medicinal resin, a little honey, gum, resin, pistachios, and almonds.
Take twice as much silver with you, and take back the silver returned in the top of your sacks. It might have been a mistake.
And take your brother, get ready, and go back to the man.
May God Almighty make the man compassionate toward you so that he may send back our other brother and Benjamin with you. But me, if I'm left childless, then I'm left childless."
So the men took this gift. They took twice as much silver with them, together with Benjamin. They left, traveled down to Egypt, and received an audience with Joseph.
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, "Bring the men to the house and slaughter an animal and prepare it because the men will have dinner with me at noon."
The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph's house.
When they were brought to Joseph's house, the men were frightened and said, "We've been brought here because of the silver put back in our sacks on our first trip so he can overpower us, capture us, make slaves of us, and take our donkeys."
They approached the man who was Joseph's household manager and spoke to him at the house's entrance:
"Please, Master, we came down the first time just to buy food,
but when we stopped to spend the night and opened our sacks, there was the exact amount of each man's silver at the top of his sack. We've brought it back with us,
and we've brought down with us additional silver to buy food. We don't know who put our silver in our sacks."
He said, "You are fine. Don't be afraid. Your God and your father's God must have hidden a treasure in your sacks. I received your money." Then he brought Simeon out to them.
The manager brought the men into Joseph's house and gave them water to wash their feet and feed for their donkeys.
They prepared the gift, anticipating Joseph's arrival at noon, since they had heard that they would have a meal there.
When Joseph came into the house, they presented him the gift they had brought with them into the house, and they bowed low in front of him.
He asked them how they were and said, "How is your elderly father, about whom you spoke? Is he still alive?"
They said, "Your servant our father is fine. He's still alive." And they bowed down again with deep respect.
Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother's son, and he said, "Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about? God be gracious to you, my son."
Joseph's feelings for his brother were so strong he was about to weep, so he rushed to another room and wept there.
He washed his face, came back, pulled himself together, and said, "Set out the dinner."
So they set out his food by himself, their food by themselves, and the Egyptians' who ate with him by themselves because Egyptians don't allow themselves to eat with Hebrews; the Egyptians think it beneath their dignity.
They were seated in front of him from the oldest to the youngest in their exact birth order, and the men looked at each other with amazement.
Portions of food from Joseph's table were brought to them, but Benjamin's portion was five times as large as theirs. So they drank together and were at ease.