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Genesis 43 International Standard Version (ISV)

Preparing to Return to Egypt

43 Meanwhile, the famine remained severe throughout the region. As a result, when Jacob’s family[a] was beginning to eat the last of the grain that they had brought back from Egypt, their father Jacob[b] told his sons, “Go back to Egypt and buy us some food.”

But Judah reminded him, “The man distinctly warned us: ‘You’ll never see my face unless your brother comes with you.’ So if you send our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy some food. But if you don’t send him, we’re not going, because the man told us, ‘You’ll never see my face unless your brother is with you.’”

Israel replied, “Why did you make all this trouble by telling the man that you have another brother?”

“The man specifically asked about us and our relatives,” they responded. “He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive?’ and ‘Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we have known that he would tell us to bring our brother back with us?”

“Send the young man with me,” Judah told his father Israel, “and we’ll get up and go so we can survive and not die—and that includes all of us, you and our families.[c] I’ll even offer myself to guarantee that I’ll be responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back and present him to you, I’ll personally bear the consequences forever. 10 After all, if we hadn’t delayed, we could have been there and back[d] twice by now!”

Jacob Gives Instructions for the Trip

11 “If that’s the way it has to be,” their father Israel replied, “then do this: take some of the best produce of the land in your containers and take them to the man as a gift—some resin ointment, some honey, fragrant resins, myrrh, pistachios, and almonds. 12 Also take twice as much money with you so you can return the money that had been replaced in the mouth of your sacks. Maybe it was an accounting[e] mistake on his part. 13 And be sure to take your brother, too. So get up, return to the man, 14 and may God Almighty cause the man to show compassion toward you. May he send all of you back, including your other brother and Benjamin. Now as for me, if I lose my children, I lose them.”

15 So the men took their gift and twice as much money, got up, took Benjamin with them, and set out for Egypt. Eventually they appeared before Joseph.

Joseph Sees Benjamin

16 As soon as Joseph noticed that Benjamin had come with them, he ordered his palace manager, “Bring the men into the palace.[f] Slaughter an animal and prepare it, because these men will be dining with me for lunch.”[g] 17 So the man did what Joseph had ordered, and brought the men to Joseph’s palace.

18 The men were terrified as they were being taken to Joseph’s palace. “It’s because of that money that was returned to our sacks the first time we were brought to him,” they reasoned. “He’s seeking an excuse to attack us, enslave us, and confiscate our donkeys!”

19 So they approached Joseph’s palace manager and talked with him at the palace entrance. 20 “Your Excellency,” they said, “The first time we came here to buy food, 21 when we arrived at our overnight lodging place, we opened our sacks and discovered each man’s money was still in the mouth of his sack. All of our money was there! We’ve brought it back with us in full. 22 We’ve also brought along some more money to buy supplies, but we don’t know who put our money back into our sacks.”

23 “Relax,” the manager said. “You can stop being afraid, now. Your God, the God of your father, has placed hidden treasure within those sacks for you. I’ve been paid in full.” Then he brought Simeon out to them, 24 ushered the men into Joseph’s palace, gave them water to wash their feet, and provided[h] fodder for their donkeys. 25 Then off he went to prepare the honorary meal that was to be made ready for Joseph’s arrival at noon, since they had been informed that they were going to be eating there.

Joseph Inquires about His Family

26 When Joseph arrived at his palace, his brothers[i] brought to him their gifts that they had carried with them and bowed to the ground in front of him.

27 Joseph asked them how they had been doing. “Is your father well, the older gentleman about whom you spoke?” he inquired. “Is he still alive?”

28 “Your servant, our father, is doing well,” they replied. “He is still alive.” Then they bowed down in humility.

29 As Joseph looked up and recognized his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother about whom you spoke to me?” And he addressed him directly, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”[j]

30 At this, Joseph hurried out, deeply moved because of his brother, and looked for a place to weep by himself. He entered his personal quarters, wept there awhile,[k] 31 then washed his face and came out. Barely controlling himself, he ordered his staff to serve the meal.

32 Joseph’s staff[l] served him by himself, his brothers[m] separately, and the Egyptian staff members by themselves, because the Egyptians wouldn’t take their meal with the Hebrews, since doing so was detestable for the Egyptians. 33 Meanwhile, the brothers[n] were seated in front of Joseph in birth order, from firstborn to youngest. The men stared at one another in astonishment. 34 Joseph[o] himself brought portions to them from his own table, except that he provided to Benjamin five times as much as he did for each of the others. So they feasted together and drank freely with Joseph.[p]

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 43:2 Lit. As they
  2. Genesis 43:2 The Heb. lacks Jacob
  3. Genesis 43:8 Lit our defenseless ones; i.e. their wives and children
  4. Genesis 43:10 Lit. have returned
  5. Genesis 43:12 The Heb. lacks accounting
  6. Genesis 43:16 Lit. house, and so through v. 26
  7. Genesis 43:16 Or me at midday; i.e. at noon
  8. Genesis 43:24 The Heb. lacks provided
  9. Genesis 43:26 Lit. palace, they
  10. Genesis 43:29 Or you, Benny; i.e., perhaps a nickname for Joseph’s brother Benjamin
  11. Genesis 43:30 The Heb. lacks awhile
  12. Genesis 43:32 Lit. They
  13. Genesis 43:32 Lit. and them
  14. Genesis 43:33 Lit. they
  15. Genesis 43:34 Lit. He
  16. Genesis 43:34 Lit. him
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Genesis 43 New International Version (NIV)

The Second Journey to Egypt

43 Now the famine was still severe in the land. So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”

But Judah said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”

Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”

They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’ We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10 As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14 And may God Almighty[a] grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”

15 So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.”

17 The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.

19 So they went up to Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “We beg your pardon, our lord,” they said, “we came down here the first time to buy food. 21 But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us. 22 We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”

23 “It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.

26 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27 He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?”

28 They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.

29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.

31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, “Serve the food.”

32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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