Genesis 43

The Return to Egypt

1 1Now the famine was severe in the land.
2 So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, "Go back, buy us a little food."
3 Judah spoke to him, however, saying, "2The man solemnly warned us, 'You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.'
4 "If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.
5 "But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, 'You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.' "
6 Then Israel said, "Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?"
7 But they said, "The man questioned particularly about us and our relatives, saying, '3Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' So we answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down '?"
8 Judah said to his father Israel, "Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, 4that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones.
9 "5I myself will be surety for him; you may hold * me responsible * for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever *.
10 "For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice."
11 Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man 6as a present, a little 7balm and a little honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.
12 "Take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand 8the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake.
13 "Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man;
14 and may 9God Almighty 10grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you 11your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, 12if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
15 So the men took 13this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

Joseph Sees Benjamin

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his 14house steward *, "Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon."
17 So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph's house.
18 Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, "It is because * of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys."
19 So they came near to Joseph's house steward * *, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house,
20 and said, "Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food,
21 and it came about when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, 15each man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full. So 16we have brought it back in our hand.
22 "We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks."
23 He said, "Be at ease, do not be afraid. 17Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money." Then 18he brought Simeon out to them.
24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph's house and 19gave them water, and they 20washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder.
25 So they prepared 21the present for Joseph's coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and 22bowed to the ground before him.
27 Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, "23Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?"
28 They said, "Your servant our father is well; he is still alive." 24They bowed down in homage.
29 As he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, he said, "Is this 25your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?" And he said, "26May God be gracious to you, my son."
30 Joseph hurried out for 27he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and 28wept there.
31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he 29controlled himself and said, "Serve the meal."
32 So they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is 30loathsome to the Egyptians.
33 Now they were seated before him, 31the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment.
34 He took portions to them from his own table, 32but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
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