Bible: Genesis 43-45

The Second Journey to Egypt

43:1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 1  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 2  us, ‘You will not see my face 3  unless your brother is with you.’ 43:4 If you send 4  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.’

43:6 Israel said, “Why did you bring this trouble 5  on me by telling 6  the man you had one more brother?

43:7 They replied, “The man questioned us 7  thoroughly 8  about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ 9  So we answered him in this way. 10  How could we possibly know 11  that he would say, 12 Bring your brother down?

43:8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. 13  Then we will live 14  and not die – we and you and our little ones. 43:9 I myself pledge security 15  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. 16  43:10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back 17  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; 18  you must take back 19  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 20  to the man. 21  43:14 May the sovereign God 22  grant you mercy before the man so that he may release 23  your other brother 24  and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.” 25 

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 26  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 27  brought the men into Joseph’s house. 28 

43:18 But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of 29  the money that was returned in our sacks last time. 30  He wants to capture us, 31  make us slaves, and take 32  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 33  the first time 34  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 35 in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it. 36  43:22 We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!

43:23Everything is fine,” 37  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. 38  I had your money.” 39  Then he brought Simeon out to them.

43:24 The servant in charge 40  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 41  at noon, for they had heard 42  that they were to have a meal 43  there.

43:26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, 44  and they bowed down to the ground before him. 43:27 He asked them how they were doing. 45  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. 46 

43:29 When Joseph looked up 47  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.” 48  43:30 Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome by affection for his brother 49  and was at the point of tears. 50  So he went to his room and wept there.

43:31 Then he washed his face and came out. With composure he said, 51 Set out the food.” 43:32 They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, 52  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 53  to do so.) 54  43:33 They sat before him, arranged by order of birth, beginning with the firstborn and ending with the youngest. 55  The men looked at each other in astonishment. 56  43:34 He gave them portions of the food set before him, 57  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. 58 

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 59  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. 60 

44:3 When morning came, 61  the men and their donkeys were sent off. 62  44:4 They had not gone very far from the city 63  when Joseph said 64  to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once! 65  When you overtake 66  them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 44:5 Doesn’t my master drink from this cup 67  and use it for divination? 68  You have done wrong!’ 69 

44:6 When the man 70  overtook them, he spoke these words to them. 44:7 They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things? 71  Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 72  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, 73  he will die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves!

44:10 He replied, “You have suggested your own punishment! 74  The one who has it will become my slave, 75  but the rest of 76  you will go free.” 77  44:11 So each man quickly lowered 78  his sack to the ground and opened it. 44:12 Then the man 79  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 80  came back to Joseph’s house. He was still there, 81  and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing? 82  Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination? 83 

44:16 Judah replied, “What can we say 84  to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? 85  God has exposed the sin of your servants! 86  We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”

44:17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose hand the cup was found will become my slave, but the rest of 87  you may go back 88  to your father in peace.”

44:18 Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you. 89  Please do not get angry with your servant, 90  for you are just like Pharaoh. 91  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. 92  The boy’s 93  brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, 94  and his father loves him.’

44:21Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see 95  him.’ 96  44:22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father 97  will die.’ 98  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.

44:25Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 44:26 But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. 99  If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, 100  for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’

44:27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons. 101  44:28 The first disappeared 102  and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since. 44:29 If you take 103  this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair 104  in tragedy 105  to the grave.’ 106 

44:30So 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. 107  44:31 When he sees the boy is not with us, 108  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, 109  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.’

44:33So 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 110  my father’s pain.” 111 

The Reconciliation of the Brothers

45:1 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants, 112  so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained 113  with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 45:2 He wept loudly; 114  the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. 115 

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, 116  for God sent me 117  ahead of you to preserve life! 45:6 For these past two years there has been famine in 118  the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 45:7 God sent me 119  ahead of you to preserve you 120  on the earth and to save your lives 121  by a great deliverance. 45:8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser 122  to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 45:9 Now go up to my father quickly 123  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 124  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 125  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. 126  45:13 So tell 127  my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly! 128 

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 129  in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased 130  Pharaoh and his servants. 45:17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go 131  to the land of Canaan! 45:18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you 132  the best land in Egypt and you will eat 133  the best 134  of the land.’ 45:19 You are also commanded to say, 135  ‘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 136  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. 137  Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed, 138  and he gave them provisions for the journey. 45:22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them, 139  but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes. 140  45:23 To his father he sent the following: 141  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.” 142 

45:25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 143  45:26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned, 144  for he did not believe them. 45:27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them, 145  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.”

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