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katapi HOME Genesis 43:1-34 - Joseph's brothers return with Benjamin.  Gn.43.1-34

43 1 The famine was still severe in the country. 43 2 When they had used up the corn they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, 'Go back and buy a little more corn for us to eat.' 43 3 But Judah replied, 'The man plainly warned us that we must not go into his presence unless our brother was with us. 43 4 If you let our brother go with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 43 5 But if you will not let him, we will not go; for the man said to us, "You shall not come into my presence, unless your brother is with you." ' 43 6 Israel said, 'Why have you treated me so badly? Why did you tell the man that you had yet another brother?' 43 7 They answered, 'He questioned us closely about ourselves and our family: "Is your father still alive?" he asked, "Have you a brother?", and we answered his questions. How could we possibly know that he would tell us to bring our brother to Egypt?' 43 8 Judah said to his father Israel, 'Send the boy with me; then we can start at once. By doing this we shall save our lives, ours, yours, and our dependants', and none of us will starve. 43 9 I will go surety for him and you may hold me responsible. If I do not bring him back and restore him to you, you shall hold me guilty all my life. 43 10 If we had not wasted all this time, by now we could have gone back twice over.'

43 11 Their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be so, then do this: take in your baggage, as a gift for the man, some of the produce for which our country is famous: a little balsam, a little honey, gum tragacanth, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 43 12 Take double the amount of silver and restore what was returned to you in your packs; perhaps it was a mistake. 43 13 Take your brother with you and go straight back to the man. 43 14 May God Almighty make him kindly disposed to you, and may he send back the one whom you left behind, and Benjamin too. As for me, if I am bereaved, then I am bereaved.' 43 15 So they took the gift and double the amount of silver, and with Benjamin they started at once for Egypt, where they presented themselves to Joseph.

43 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, 'Bring these men indoors, kill a beast and make dinner ready, for they will eat with me at noon.' 43 17 He did as Joseph told him and brought the men into the house. 43 18 When they came in they were afraid, for they thought, 'We have been brought in here because of that affair of the silver which was replaced in our packs the first time. He means to trump up some charge against us and victimize us, seize our asses and make us his slaves.' 43 19 So they approached Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the door of the house. 43 20 They said, 'Please listen, my lord. After our first visit to buy food, 43 21 when we reached the place where we were to spend the night, we opened our packs and each of us found his silver in full weight at the top of his pack. We have brought it back with us, 43 22 and have added other silver to buy food. We do not know who put the silver in our packs.' 43 23 He answered, 'Set your minds at rest; do not he afraid. It was your God, the God of your father, who hid treasure for you in your packs. I did receive the silver.' Then he brought Simeon out to them. 43 24 The steward brought them into Joseph's house and gave them water to wash their feet, and provided fodder for their asses. 43 25 They had their gifts ready when Joseph arrived at noon, for they had heard that they were to eat there.

43 26 When Joseph came into the house, they presented him with the gifts which they had brought, bowing to the ground before him. 43 27 He asked them how they were and said, 'Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?' 43 28 They answered, 'Yes, my lord, our father is still alive and well.' And they bowed low and prostrated themselves. 43 29 Joseph looked and saw his own mother's son, his brother Benjamin, and asked, 'Is this your youngest brother, of whom you told me?', and to Benjamin he said, 'May God be gracious to you, my son!' 43 30 Joseph was overcome; his feelings for his brother mastered him, and he was near to tears. So he went into the inner room and wept. 43 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and, holding back his feelings, he ordered the meal to be served. 43 32 They served him by himself, and the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who were at dinner were also served separately ; for Egyptians hold it an abomination to eat with Hebrews. 43 33 The brothers were seated in his presence, the eldest first according to his age and so on down to the youngest: they looked at one another in astonishment. 43 34 Joseph sent them each a portion from what was before him, but Benjamin's was five times larger than any of the other portions. Thus they drank with him and all grew merry.


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