Joseph asked them, "What have you done? Don't you know that a man like me can find things out because he knows the future?"
"Sir, what can we say to you?" Judah asked. "How else can we explain it? How can we prove we're innocent? God has uncovered our guilt. Now all of us are your slaves, including the one who had the cup."
But Joseph said, "I would never think of doing that! Only the man who had the cup will be my slave. The rest of you can go back to your father in peace."
Then Judah went up to Joseph and said, "Please, sir, let me speak openly with you. Don't be angry with me, although you are equal to Pharaoh.
Sir, you asked us, 'Do you have a father or a brother?'
We answered, 'We have a father who is old and a younger brother born to him when he was already old. The boy's brother is dead, so he's the only one of his mother's sons left, and his father loves him.'
"Then you said to us, 'Bring him here to me so that I can see him myself.'
We replied, 'The boy can't leave his father. If the boy leaves him, his father will die.'
Then you told us, 'If your youngest brother doesn't come here with you, you will never be allowed to see me again.'
When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said.
"Then our father said, 'Go back and buy us a little more food.'