43 1BUT THE hunger and destitution and starvation were very severe and extremely distressing in the land [Canaan]. 2And when [the families of Jacob’s sons] had eaten up the grain which the men had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, Go again; buy us a little food. 3But Judah said to him, The man solemnly and sternly warned us, saying, You shall not see my face again unless your brother is with you. 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down [to Egypt] and buy you food; 5But if you will not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you. 6And Israel said, Why did you do me such a wrong and suffer this evil to come upon me by telling the man that you had another brother? 7And they said, The man asked us straightforward questions about ourselves and our relatives. He said, Is your father still alive? Have you another brother? And we answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, Bring your brother down here? 8And Judah said to Israel his father, Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9I will be security for him; you shall require him of me [personally]; if I do not bring him back to you and put him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10For if we had not lingered like this, surely by now we would have returned the second time. 11And their father Israel said to them, If it must be so, now do this; take of the choicest products in the land in your sacks and carry down a present to the man, a little balm (balsam) and a little honey, aromatic spices and gum (of rock rose) or ladanum, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12And take double the [grain] money with you; and the money that was put back in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again with you; there is a possibility that [its being in your sacks] was an oversight. 13Take your brother and arise and return to the man; 14May God Almighty give you mercy and favor before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved [of my sons], I am bereaved. 15Then the men took the present, and they took double the [grain] money with them, and Benjamin; and they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, Bring the men into the house and kill an animal and make ready, for the men will dine with me at noon. 17And the man did as Joseph ordered and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18The men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, We are brought in because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time we came, so that he may find occasion to accuse and assail us, take us for slaves, and seize our donkeys. 19So they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house and talked with him at the door of the house, 20And said, O sir, we came down truly the first time to buy food; 21And when we came to the inn, we opened our sacks and there was each man’s money, full weight, returned in the mouth of his sack. Now we have brought it back again. 22And we have brought down with us other money to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks. 23But [the steward] said, Peace be to you, fear not; your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money. And he brought Simeon out to them. 24And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys provender. 25And they made ready the present they had brought for Joseph before his coming at noon, for they heard that they were to dine there. 26And when Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which they had with them, and bowed themselves to him to the ground. 27He asked them of their welfare and said, Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive? 28And they answered, Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive. And they bowed down their heads and made obeisance. 29And he looked up and saw his [full] brother Benjamin, his mother’s [only other] son, and said, Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? And he said, God be gracious to you, my son! 30And Joseph hurried from the room, for his heart yearned for his brother, and he sought privacy to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31And he washed his face and went out, and, restraining himself, said, Let dinner be served. 32And [the servants] set out [the food] for [Joseph] by himself, and for [his brothers] by themselves, and for those Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, according to the Egyptian custom not to eat food with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33And [Joseph’s brothers] were given seats before him--the eldest according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked at one another amazed [that so much was known about them]. 34[Joseph] took and sent helpings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank freely and were merry with him.
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