Genesis 43

Now the famine was grave in the land, so when they’d finished eating the rations they’d brought
Up from Egypt, their father told them, “Return there, buy us more rations.” But Judah thought.
Judah told him, “The man had warned us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother’s with you.’
So if you will let our brother go with us, we’ll go down there and buy rations to give you.
But if you will not let him go, we will not go down, because the man said to us all,
‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” This made Israel’s face fall.
He said, “Why did you serve me so ill, telling this man that another brother you’ve got?”
They replied, “The man asked about us, and about our family, and kept asking a lot.
Saying things like, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And so
We responded accordingly. Could we know he’d say, ‘Bring your brother down’? Could we know?”

Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the lad in my care, we’ll be on our way,
So we may live and not die– we, you, and our children. The boy’s safety I pledge this day.
I will act as his pledge, at my hand you may seek him. If I don’t bring him back to you,
And set him before you, then I’ll forever bear the guilt that my duty I couldn’t do.
Indeed, had we not lingered, we could have been there and back twice in this time we just spake.”
Then their father Israel said to them all, “If it must be so, then do this thing: Take.
Take some of the choice produce of this land in your baggage, take them as gifts to the man–
Some basalm, honey, balm and laudanum, pistachios and almonds. Take in your hand
Silver doubled, two times over all of the silver that you found returned in your packs,
Return it in your hand, perhaps it was an oversight; if so they might want it back.
Take your brother too. Rise and return to the man, and may God Almighty grant to you
Mercy from the man, so he’ll release your other brother to you, and Benjamin too.
As for me, if I must be bereaved, then I must be bereaved.” The brothers took the gift,
Silver two times over and Benjamin as well, and went down to Egypt, to Joseph.
There they stood before him, and when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he told his house steward,
“Take those men in the house, and then slaughter an animal, have it prepared and procured,
For it is with me that these man shall dine this noon.” The man did just as Joseph instructed,
He brought the men into Joseph’s house, but the men were afraid at how they’d been conducted.
They were frightened to be there and said, “It’s because of the silver that we’ve been brought in,
All that silver returned in our packs last time makes us look like we’ve committed a sin.
They will take offense, roll on us, fall on us, seize us as slaves, and our asses as well.”
So they went to the chief steward of Joseph’s house at the entrance and said, “We must tell.
Please my lord, hear us out. We came down here before to buy rations, but that very night,
When we camped and then opened our packs, each man’s silver was in the packs, stacked to full height.
But we’ve brought it back here in our hand, and more silver as well to buy food rations here.
We do not know who put our silver in our packs.” He replied, “All is well, do not fear.
Your God, the God of your father must have put treasure in your bags for you, I’ve been paid,
Since your silver has already come to me.” And Simeon before them he conveyed.
Then the man had them come into Joseph’s house, and gave them water for washing their feet,
And gave their asses food. They prepared the gifts, until Joseph came back at noon to eat.

When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they’d brought to the house, from their hand, and then bowed.
They bowed low to the ground before him. Joseph greeted them, asked of their welfare aloud,
“Is your old father well, the one of whom you spoke? Is he still in good health?” They replied,
“It is well with your servant our father, he is in good health, and gladly has not died.”
They bowed in homage. Joseph then lifted his eyes up and saw his brother Benjamin,
The son of his mother, and he said, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you mentioned?”
Then he said to him, “May God be gracious to you, my boy.” With that, Joseph hurried out.
For he was overcome with feelings for his brother, and had to weep to let it out.
Joseph entered a chamber and wept there. He then washed his face, and returned, in control.
He said, “Serve bread!” They served him by himself, and them by themselves, with their own bread and rolls,
The Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, for with Hebrews they would not break bread.
(Such things are an abomination for Egyptians.) In his presence, they were seated,
The firstborn according to his firstborn-rank, the youngest according to his youth-rank.
And the brothers all stared at each other, astonished. (Was this an elaborate prank?)
Joseph had courses taken to them from his table, especially for Benjamin,
Whose food portions were five times as large as theirs were. Then they drank and were merry with him.

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