Bible: Genesis 37-45
37:2 This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, 3 was taking care of 4 the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster 5 working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. 6 Joseph brought back a bad report about them 7 to their father.
37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons 8 because he was a son born to him late in life, 9 and he made a special 10 tunic for him. 37:4 When Joseph’s 11 brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, 12 they hated Joseph 13 and were not able to speak to him kindly. 14
37:5 Joseph 15 had a dream, 16 and when he told his brothers about it, 17 they hated him even more. 18 37:6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 19 37:7 There we were, 20 binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down 21 to it!” 37:8 Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?” 22 They hated him even more 23 because of his dream and because of what he said. 24
37:9 Then he had another dream, 25 and told it to his brothers. “Look,” 26 he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 37:10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? 27 Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 28 37:11 His brothers were jealous 29 of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said. 30
37:12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 37:13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers 31 are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” 32 Joseph replied. 33 37:14 So Jacob 34 said to him, “Go now and check on 35 the welfare 36 of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob 37 sent him from the valley of Hebron.
37:15 When Joseph reached Shechem, 38 a man found him wandering 39 in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 37:16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell 40 me where they are grazing their flocks.” 37:17 The man said, “They left this area, 41 for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
37:18 Now Joseph’s brothers 42 saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 37:19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 43 37:20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild 44 animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!” 45
37:21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph 46 from their hands, 47 saying, 48 “Let’s not take his life!” 49 37:22 Reuben continued, 50 “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” 51 (Reuben said this 52 so he could rescue Joseph 53 from them 54 and take him back to his father.)
37:23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 55 of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 37:24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; 56 there was no water in it.)
37:25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up 57 and saw 58 a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 59 37:26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 37:27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, 60 for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 61 37:28 So when the Midianite 62 merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled 63 him 64 out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites 65 then took Joseph to Egypt.
37:29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! 66 He tore his clothes, 37:30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 37:31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, 67 and dipped the tunic in the blood. 37:32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father 68 and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
37:33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! 69 Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 37:34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, 70 and mourned for his son many days. 37:35 All his sons and daughters stood by 71 him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” 72 So Joseph’s 73 father wept for him.
Judah and Tamar
38:2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man 81 named Shua. 82 Judah acquired her as a wife 83 and had marital relations with her. 84 38:3 She became pregnant 85 and had a son. Judah named 86 him Er. 38:4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 38:5 Then she had 87 yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib. 88
38:6 Judah acquired 89 a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the
38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with 90 your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise 91 up a descendant for your brother.” 92 38:9 But Onan knew that the child 93 would not be considered his. 94 So whenever 95 he had sexual relations with 96 his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely 97 so as not to give his brother a descendant. 38:10 What he did was evil in the
38:11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, 99 “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” 100 So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
38:12 After some time 101 Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with 102 his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 Tamar was told, 103 “Look, your father-in-law is going up 104 to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 38:14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because 105 she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 106
38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute 107 because she had covered her face. 38:16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” 108 (He did not realize 109 it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 110 38:17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 111 38:18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. 112 She became pregnant by him. 38:19 She left immediately, 113 removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
38:20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah 114 the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, 115 but Hirah 116 could not find her. 38:21 He asked the men who were there, 117 “Where is the cult prostitute 118 who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 38:23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things 119 for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. 120 I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
38:24 After three months Judah was told, 121 “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, 122 and as a result she has become pregnant.” 123 Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 38:25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word 124 to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” 125 Then she said, “Identify 126 the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 38:26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright 127 than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her 128 again.
38:27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 38:28 While she was giving birth, one child 129 put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 38:29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. 130 She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” 131 So he was named Perez. 132 38:30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah. 133
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. 134 An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, 135 purchased him from 136 the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 39:2 The
Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 153 39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 154 Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 155 39:8 But he refused, saying 156 to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 157 to his household with me here, 158 and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 159 39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 160 such a great evil and sin against God?” 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 161 to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 162 to her invitation to have sex with her. 163
39:11 One day 164 he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 165 were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 166 outside. 167 39:13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 39:14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought 168 in a Hebrew man 169 to us to humiliate us. 170 He tried to have sex with me, 171 but I screamed loudly. 172 39:15 When he heard me raise 173 my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”
39:16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 39:17 This is what she said to him: 174 “That Hebrew slave 175 you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 176 39:18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”
39:19 When his master heard his wife say, 177 “This is the way 178 your slave treated me,” 179 he became furious. 180 39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 181 the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 182
39:21 But the
The Cupbearer and the Baker
40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer 188 to the king of Egypt and the royal baker 189 offended 190 their master, the king of Egypt. 40:2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, 191 the cupbearer and the baker, 40:3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 40:4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them. 192
They spent some time in custody. 193 40:5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream 194 the same night. 195 Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 196 40:6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 197 40:7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 198 40:8 They told him, “We both had dreams, 199 but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them 200 to me.”
40:9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: 201 “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 40:10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 40:11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his 202 cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 203
40:12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent 204 three days. 40:13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you 205 and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before 206 when you were cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me 207 when it goes well for you, and show 208 me kindness. 209 Make mention 210 of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 211 40:15 for I really was kidnapped 212 from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”
40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, 213 he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread 214 on my head. 40:17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”
40:18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent 215 three days. 40:19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you 216 and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
40:20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” 217 the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position 218 so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 40:22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 219 40:23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him. 220
Joseph’s Rise to Power
41:1 At the end of two full years 221 Pharaoh had a dream. 222 As he was standing by the Nile, 41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 223 and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 224 and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 225 41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 226 on one stalk, healthy 227 and good. 41:6 Then 228 seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 229
41:8 In the morning he 230 was troubled, so he called for 231 all the diviner-priests 232 of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, 233 but no one could interpret 234 them for him. 235 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 236 41:10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards – me and the chief baker. 41:11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning. 237 41:12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant 238 of the captain of the guards, 239 was with us there. We told him our dreams, 240 and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us. 241 41:13 It happened just as he had said 242 to us – Pharaoh 243 restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.” 244
41:14 Then Pharaoh summoned 245 Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, 246 and there is no one who can interpret 247 it. But I have heard about you, that 248 you can interpret dreams.” 249 41:16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, 250 but God will speak concerning 251 the welfare of Pharaoh.” 252
41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 253 by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 254 41:19 Then 255 seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 256 as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 257 fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 258 no one would have known 259 that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 260 seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 261 seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 262 to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 263
41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. 264 God has revealed 265 to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 266 41:26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 267 41:27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent 268 seven years of famine. 41:28 This is just what I told 269 Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 41:30 But seven years of famine will occur 270 after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate 271 the land. 41:31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered 272 because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe. 273 41:32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh 274 because the matter has been decreed 275 by God, and God will make it happen soon. 276
41:33 “So now Pharaoh should look 277 for a wise and discerning man 278 and give him authority 279 over all the land of Egypt. 41:34 Pharaoh should do 280 this – he should appoint 281 officials 282 throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt 283 during the seven years of abundance. 41:35 They should gather all the excess food 284 during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority 285 they should store up grain so the cities will have food, 286 and they should preserve it. 287 41:36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” 288
41:37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials. 289 41:38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, 290 one in whom the Spirit of God is present?” 291 41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning 292 as you are! 41:40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. 293 Only I, the king, will be greater than you. 294
41:41 “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place 295 you in authority over all the land of Egypt.” 296 41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen 297 clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 41:43 Pharaoh 298 had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 299 and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 300 So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 301 no one 302 will move his hand or his foot 303 in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 304 He also gave him Asenath 305 daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 306 to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 307 all the land of Egypt.
41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 308 when he began serving 309 Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 310 Pharaoh and was in charge of 311 all the land of Egypt. 41:47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests. 312 41:48 Joseph 313 collected all the excess food 314 in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. 315 In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 41:49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, 316 until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.
41:50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. 317 Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. 318 41:51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 319 saying, 320 “Certainly 321 God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 41:52 He named the second child Ephraim, 322 saying, 323 “Certainly 324 God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
41:53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 41:54 Then the seven years of famine began, 325 just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 41:55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt, 326 “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 327 Joseph opened the storehouses 328 and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 329 came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.
Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
42:1 When Jacob heard 330 there was grain in Egypt, he 331 said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?” 332 42:2 He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us 333 so that we may live 334 and not die.” 335
42:3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 42:4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, 336 for he said, 337 “What if some accident 338 happens 339 to him?” 42:5 So Israel’s sons came to buy grain among the other travelers, 340 for the famine was severe in the land of Canaan.
42:6 Now Joseph was the ruler of the country, the one who sold grain to all the people of the country. 341 Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down 342 before him with 343 their faces to the ground. 42:7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger 344 to them and spoke to them harshly. He asked, “Where do you come from?” They answered, 345 “From the land of Canaan, to buy grain for food.” 346
42:8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 42:9 Then Joseph remembered 347 the dreams he had dreamed about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see if our land is vulnerable!” 348
42:10 But they exclaimed, 349 “No, my lord! Your servants have come to buy grain for food! 42:11 We are all the sons of one man; we are honest men! Your servants are not spies.”
42:12 “No,” he insisted, “but you have come to see if our land is vulnerable.” 350 42:13 They replied, “Your servants are from a family of twelve brothers. 351 We are the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father at this time, 352 and one is no longer alive.” 353
42:14 But Joseph told them, “It is just as I said to you: 354 You are spies! 42:15 You will be tested in this way: As surely as Pharaoh lives, 355 you will not depart from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 42:16 One of you must go and get 356 your brother, while 357 the rest of you remain in prison. 358 In this way your words may be tested to see if 359 you are telling the truth. 360 If not, then, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 42:17 He imprisoned 361 them all for three days. 42:18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do as I say 362 and you will live, 363 for I fear God. 364 42:19 If you are honest men, leave one of your brothers confined here in prison 365 while the rest of you go 366 and take grain back for your hungry families. 367 42:20 But you must bring 368 your youngest brother to me. Then 369 your words will be verified 370 and you will not die.” They did as he said. 371
42:21 They said to one other, 372 “Surely we’re being punished 373 because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was 374 when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress 375 has come on us!” 42:22 Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t sin against the boy,’ but you wouldn’t listen? So now we must pay for shedding his blood!” 376 42:23 (Now 377 they did not know that Joseph could understand them, 378 for he was speaking through an interpreter.) 379 42:24 He turned away from them and wept. When he turned around and spoke to them again, 380 he had Simeon taken 381 from them and tied up 382 before their eyes.
42:25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill 383 their bags with grain, to return each man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. His orders were carried out. 384 42:26 So they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left. 385
42:27 When one of them 386 opened his sack to get feed for his donkey at their resting place, 387 he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 388 42:28 He said to his brothers, “My money was returned! Here it is in my sack!” They were dismayed; 389 they turned trembling one to another 390 and said, “What in the world has God done to us?” 391
42:29 They returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying, 42:30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us 392 as if we were 393 spying on the land. 42:31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies! 42:32 We are from a family of twelve brothers; we are the sons of one father. 394 One is no longer alive, 395 and the youngest is with our father at this time 396 in the land of Canaan.’
42:33 “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain 397 for your hungry households and go. 42:34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know 398 that you are honest men and not spies. 399 Then I will give your brother back to you and you may move about freely in the land.’” 400
42:35 When they were emptying their sacks, there was each man’s bag of money in his sack! When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were afraid. 42:36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You are making me childless! Joseph is gone. 401 Simeon is gone. 402 And now you want to take 403 Benjamin! Everything is against me.”
42:37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may 404 put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care 405 and I will bring him back to you.” 42:38 But Jacob 406 replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. 407 If an accident happens to him on the journey you have to make, then you will bring down my gray hair 408 in sorrow to the grave.” 409
The Second Journey to Egypt
43:1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 410 43:2 When they finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Return, buy us a little more food.”
43:3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned 411 us, ‘You will not see my face 412 unless your brother is with you.’ 43:4 If you send 413 our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you. 43:5 But if you will not send him, we won’t go down there because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
43:7 They replied, “The man questioned us 416 thoroughly 417 about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ 418 So we answered him in this way. 419 How could we possibly know 420 that he would say, 421 ‘Bring your brother down’?”
43:8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. 422 Then we will live 423 and not die – we and you and our little ones. 43:9 I myself pledge security 424 for him; you may hold me liable. If I do not bring him back to you and place him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 425 43:10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back 426 twice by now!”
43:11 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 take a gift down to the man – a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 43:12 Take double the money with you; 427 you must take back 428 the money that was returned in the mouths of your sacks – perhaps it was an oversight. 43:13 Take your brother too, and go right away 429 to the man. 430 43:14 May the sovereign God 431 grant you mercy before the man so that he may release 432 your other brother 433 and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.” 434
43:15 So the men took these gifts, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they hurried down to Egypt 435 and stood before Joseph. 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant who was over his household, “Bring the men to the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me at noon.” 43:17 The man did just as Joseph said; he 436 brought the men into Joseph’s house. 437
43:18 But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of 438 the money that was returned in our sacks last time. 439 He wants to capture us, 440 make us slaves, and take 441 our donkeys!” 43:19 So they approached the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 43:20 They said, “My lord, we did indeed come down 442 the first time 443 to buy food. 43:21 But when we came to the place where we spent the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found his money – the full amount 444 – in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it. 445 43:22 We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!”
43:23 “Everything is fine,” 446 the man in charge of Joseph’s household told them. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. 447 I had your money.” 448 Then he brought Simeon out to them.
43:24 The servant in charge 449 brought the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave food to their donkeys. 43:25 They got their gifts ready for Joseph’s arrival 450 at noon, for they had heard 451 that they were to have a meal 452 there.
43:26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, 453 and they bowed down to the ground before him. 43:27 He asked them how they were doing. 454 Then he said, “Is your aging father well, the one you spoke about? Is he still alive?” 43:28 “Your servant our father is well,” they replied. “He is still alive.” They bowed down in humility. 455
43:29 When Joseph looked up 456 and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, whom you told me about?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 457 43:30 Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome by affection for his brother 458 and was at the point of tears. 459 So he went to his room and wept there.
43:31 Then he washed his face and came out. With composure he said, 460 “Set out the food.” 43:32 They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, 461 and another for the Egyptians who were eating with him. (The Egyptians are not able to eat with Hebrews, for the Egyptians think it is disgusting 462 to do so.) 463 43:33 They sat before him, arranged by order of birth, beginning with the firstborn and ending with the youngest. 464 The men looked at each other in astonishment. 465 43:34 He gave them portions of the food set before him, 466 but the portion for Benjamin was five times greater than the portions for any of the others. They drank with Joseph until they all became drunk. 467
The Final Test
44:1 He instructed the servant who was over his household, “Fill the sacks of the men with as much food as they can carry and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 44:2 Then put 468 my cup – the silver cup – in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” He did as Joseph instructed. 469
44:3 When morning came, 470 the men and their donkeys were sent off. 471 44:4 They had not gone very far from the city 472 when Joseph said 473 to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once! 474 When you overtake 475 them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 44:5 Doesn’t my master drink from this cup 476 and use it for divination? 477 You have done wrong!’” 478
44:6 When the man 479 overtook them, he spoke these words to them. 44:7 They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things? 480 Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 481 44:8 Look, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Why then would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 44:9 If one of us has it, 482 he will die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves!”
44:10 He replied, “You have suggested your own punishment! 483 The one who has it will become my slave, 484 but the rest of 485 you will go free.” 486 44:11 So each man quickly lowered 487 his sack to the ground and opened it. 44:12 Then the man 488 searched. He began with the oldest and finished with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 44:13 They all tore their clothes! Then each man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
44:14 So Judah and his brothers 489 came back to Joseph’s house. He was still there, 490 and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing? 491 Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination?” 492
44:16 Judah replied, “What can we say 493 to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? 494 God has exposed the sin of your servants! 495 We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”
44:18 Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you. 498 Please do not get angry with your servant, 499 for you are just like Pharaoh. 500 44:19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 44:20 We said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young boy who was born when our father was old. 501 The boy’s 502 brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, 503 and his father loves him.’
44:21 “Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see 504 him.’ 505 44:22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father 506 will die.’ 507 44:23 But you said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 44:24 When we returned to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
44:25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 44:26 But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. 508 If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, 509 for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’
44:27 “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons. 510 44:28 The first disappeared 511 and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since. 44:29 If you take 512 this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair 513 in tragedy 514 to the grave.’ 515
44:30 “So now, when I return to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us – his very life is bound up in his son’s life. 516 44:31 When he sees the boy is not with us, 517 he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father in sorrow to the grave. 44:32 Indeed, 518 your servant pledged security for the boy with my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame before my father all my life.’
44:33 “So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave instead of the boy. As for the boy, let him go back with his brothers. 44:34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see 519 my father’s pain.” 520
The Reconciliation of the Brothers
45:1 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants, 521 so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained 522 with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 45:2 He wept loudly; 523 the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. 524
45:3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him because they were dumbfounded before him. 45:4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 45:5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here, 525 for God sent me 526 ahead of you to preserve life! 45:6 For these past two years there has been famine in 527 the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 45:7 God sent me 528 ahead of you to preserve you 529 on the earth and to save your lives 530 by a great deliverance. 45:8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser 531 to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 45:9 Now go up to my father quickly 532 and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not delay! 45:10 You will live 533 in the land of Goshen, and you will be near me – you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. 45:11 I will provide you with food 534 there because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise you would become poor – you, your household, and everyone who belongs to you.”’ 45:12 You and my brother Benjamin can certainly see with your own eyes that I really am the one who speaks to you. 535 45:13 So tell 536 my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly!” 537
45:14 Then he threw himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 45:15 He kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After this his brothers talked with him.
45:16 Now it was reported 538 in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased 539 Pharaoh and his servants. 45:17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go 540 to the land of Canaan! 45:18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you 541 the best land in Egypt and you will eat 542 the best 543 of the land.’ 45:19 You are also commanded to say, 544 ‘Do this: Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives. Bring your father and come. 45:20 Don’t worry 545 about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt will be yours.’”
45:21 So the sons of Israel did as he said. 546 Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed, 547 and he gave them provisions for the journey. 45:22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them, 548 but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes. 549 45:23 To his father he sent the following: 550 ten donkeys loaded with the best products of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, food, and provisions for his father’s journey. 45:24 Then he sent his brothers on their way and they left. He said to them, “As you travel don’t be overcome with fear.” 551
45:25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 552 45:26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned, 553 for he did not believe them. 45:27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them, 554 and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, their father Jacob’s spirit revived. 45:28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”