Genesis 37-45 New English Translation (NET Bible)
2 This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son,[c] was taking care of[d] the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster[e] working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives.[f] Joseph brought back a bad report about them[g] to their father.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons[h] because he was a son born to him late in life,[i] and he made a special[j] tunic for him. 4 When Joseph’s[k] brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them,[l] they hated Joseph[m] and were not able to speak to him kindly.[n]
5 Joseph[o] had a dream,[p] and when he told his brothers about it[q] they hated him even more.[r] 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had:[s] 7 There we were,[t] binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down[u] to it!” 8 Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?”[v] They hated him even more[w] because of his dream and because of what he said.[x]
9 Then he had another dream,[y] and told it to his brothers. “Look,”[z] he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had?[aa] Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?”[ab] 11 His brothers were jealous[ac] of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said.[ad]
12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers[ae] are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,”[af] Joseph replied.[ag] 14 So Jacob[ah] said to him, “Go now and check on[ai] the welfare[aj] of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob[ak] sent him from the valley of Hebron.
15 When Joseph reached Shechem,[al] a man found him wandering[am] in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell[an] me where they are grazing their flocks.” 17 The man said, “They left this area,[ao] for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 Now Joseph’s brothers[ap] saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams![aq] 20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild[ar] animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!”[as]
21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph[at] from their hands,[au] saying,[av] “Let’s not take his life!”[aw] 22 Reuben continued,[ax] “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.”[ay] (Reuben said this[az] so he could rescue Joseph[ba] from them[bb] and take him back to his father.)
23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him[bc] of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty;[bd] there was no water in it.)
25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up[be] and saw[bf] a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt.[bg] 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him,[bh] for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed.[bi] 28 So when the Midianite[bj] merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled[bk] him[bl] out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites[bm] then took Joseph to Egypt.
29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it![bn] He tore his clothes, 30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat,[bo] and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father[bp] and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him![bq] Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth,[br] and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters stood by[bs] him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.”[bt] So Joseph’s[bu] father wept for him.
Judah and Tamar
38 At that time Judah left[bz] his brothers and stayed[ca] with an Adullamite man[cb] named Hirah. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.[cc] Judah acquired her as a wife[cd] and slept with her.[ce] 3 She became pregnant[cf] and had a son. Judah named[cg] him Er. 4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 5 Then she had[ch] yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib.[ci]
6 Judah acquired[cj] a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord killed him.
8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with[ck] your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise up[cl] a descendant for your brother.”[cm] 9 But Onan knew that the child[cn] would not be considered his.[co] So whenever[cp] he slept with[cq] his brother’s wife, he wasted his emission on the ground[cr] so as not to give his brother a descendant. 10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord[cs] killed him too.
11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought,[ct] “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.”[cu] So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
12 After some time[cv] Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with[cw] his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 Tamar was told,[cx] “Look, your father-in-law is going up[cy] to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because[cz] she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.)[da]
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute[db] because she had covered her face. 16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come, please, I want to sleep with you.”[dc] (He did not realize it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me so that you may sleep with me?” 17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?”[dd] 18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her, then slept with her,[de] and she became pregnant by him. 19 She left immediately,[df] removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah[dg] the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge,[dh] but Hirah[di] could not find her. 21 He asked the men who were there,[dj] “Where is the cult prostitute[dk] who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things[dl] for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest.[dm] I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24 After three months Judah was told,[dn] “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution,[do] and as a result she has become pregnant.”[dp] Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word[dq] to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.”[dr] Then she said, “Identify[ds] the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright[dt] than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He was not physically intimate with her again.[du]
27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28 While she was giving birth, one child[dv] put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him.[dw] She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!”[dx] So he was named Perez.[dy] 30 Afterward his brother came out—the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand—and he was named Zerah.[dz]
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
39 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt.[ea] An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard,[eb] purchased him from[ec] the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph. He was successful[ed] and lived[ee] in the household of his Egyptian master. 3 His master observed that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he was doing successful.[ef] 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant.[eg] Potiphar appointed Joseph[eh] overseer of his household and put him in charge[ei] of everything he owned. 5 From the time[ej] Potiphar[ek] appointed him over his household and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed[el] the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that he had, both[em] in his house and in his fields.[en] 6 So Potiphar[eo] left[ep] everything he had in Joseph’s care;[eq] he gave no thought[er] to anything except the food he ate.[es]
Now Joseph was well built and good-looking.[et] 7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of[eu] Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me.”[ev] 8 But he refused, saying[ew] to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought[ex] to his household with me here,[ey] and everything that he owns he has put into my care.[ez] 9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do[fa] such a great evil and sin against God?” 10 Even though she continued to speak[fb] to Joseph day after day, he did not respond[fc] to her invitation to go to bed with her.[fd]
11 One day[fe] he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants[ff] were there in the house. 12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Come to bed[fg] with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran[fh] outside.[fi] 13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought[fj] in a Hebrew man[fk] to us to humiliate us.[fl] He tried to go to bed with me,[fm] but I screamed loudly.[fn] 15 When he heard me raise[fo] my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”
16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 17 This is what she said to him:[fp] “That Hebrew slave[fq] you brought to us tried to humiliate me,[fr] 18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”
19 When his master heard his wife say,[fs] “This is the way[ft] your slave treated me,”[fu] he became furious.[fv] 20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison,[fw] the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison.[fx]
21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness.[fy] He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden.[fz] 22 The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing.[ga] 23 The warden did not concern himself[gb] with anything that was in Joseph’s[gc] care because the Lord was with him and whatever he was doing the Lord was making successful.
The Cupbearer and the Baker
40 After these things happened, the cupbearer[gd] to the king of Egypt and the royal baker[ge] offended[gf] their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials,[gg] the cupbearer and the baker, 3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them.[gh]
They spent some time in custody.[gi] 5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream[gj] the same night.[gk] Each man’s dream had its own meaning.[gl] 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed.[gm] 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”[gn] 8 They told him, “We both had dreams,[go] but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them[gp] to me.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph:[gq] “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his[gr] cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”[gs]
12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent[gt] three days. 13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you[gu] and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before[gv] when you were cupbearer. 14 But remember me[gw] when it goes well for you, and show[gx] me kindness.[gy] Make mention[gz] of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison,[ha] 15 for I really was kidnapped[hb] from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable,[hc] he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread[hd] on my head. 17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”
18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent[he] three days. 19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you[hf] and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up”[hg] the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position[hh] so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted.[hi] 23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph—he forgot him.[hj]
Joseph’s Rise to Power
41 At the end of two full years[hk] Pharaoh had a dream.[hl] As he was standing by the Nile, 2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile,[hm] and they grazed in the reeds. 3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile,[hn] and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river.[ho] 4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing[hp] on one stalk, healthy[hq] and good. 6 Then[hr] seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream.[hs]
8 In the morning he[ht] was troubled, so he called for[hu] all the diviner-priests[hv] of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams,[hw] but no one could interpret[hx] them for him.[hy] 9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures.[hz] 10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards—me and the chief baker. 11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning.[ia] 12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant[ib] of the captain of the guards,[ic] was with us there. We told him our dreams,[id] and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us.[ie] 13 It happened just as he had said[if] to us—Pharaoh[ig] restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.”[ih]
14 Then Pharaoh summoned[ii] Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream,[ij] and there is no one who can interpret[ik] it. But I have heard about you, that[il] you can interpret dreams.”[im] 16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power,[in] but God will speak concerning[io] the welfare of Pharaoh.”[ip]
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing[iq] by the edge of the Nile. 18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds.[ir] 19 Then[is] seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows[it] as these in all the land of Egypt! 20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven[iu] fat cows. 21 When they had eaten them,[iv] no one would have known[iw] that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 22 I also saw in my dream[ix] seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Then[iy] seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this[iz] to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.”[ja]
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning.[jb] God has revealed[jc] to Pharaoh what he is about to do.[jd] 26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning.[je] 27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent[jf] seven years of famine. 28 This is just what I told[jg] Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 30 But seven years of famine will occur[jh] after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate[ji] the land. 31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered[jj] because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe.[jk] 32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh[jl] because the matter has been decreed[jm] by God, and God will make it happen soon.[jn]
33 “So now Pharaoh should look[jo] for a wise and discerning man[jp] and give him authority[jq] over all the land of Egypt. 34 Pharaoh should do[jr] this—he should appoint[js] officials[jt] throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt[ju] during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should gather all the excess food[jv] during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority[jw] they should store up grain so the cities will have food,[jx] and they should preserve it.[jy] 36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.”[jz]
37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials.[ka] 38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph,[kb] one in whom the Spirit of God is present?”[kc] 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning[kd] as you are! 40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands.[ke] Only I, the king, will be greater than you.[kf]
41 “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place[kg] you in authority over all the land of Egypt.”[kh] 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen[ki] clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 Pharaoh[kj] had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command,[kk] and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!”[kl] So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission[km] no one[kn] will move his hand or his foot[ko] in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah.[kp] He also gave him Asenath[kq] daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[kr] to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of[ks] all the land of Egypt.
46 Now Joseph was 30 years old[kt] when he began serving[ku] Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by[kv] Pharaoh and was in charge of[kw] all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests.[kx] 48 Joseph[ky] collected all the excess food[kz] in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities.[la] In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea,[lb] until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.
50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came.[lc] Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother.[ld] 51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh,[le] saying,[lf] “Certainly[lg] God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 52 He named the second child Ephraim,[lh] saying,[li] “Certainly[lj] God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 54 Then the seven years of famine began,[lk] just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt,[ll] “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56 While the famine was over all the earth,[lm] Joseph opened the storehouses[ln] and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 57 People from every country[lo] came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.
Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
42 When Jacob heard[lp] there was grain in Egypt, he[lq] said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?”[lr] 2 He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us[ls] so that we may live[lt] and not die.”[lu]
3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers,[lv] for he said,[lw] “What if some accident[lx] happens[ly] to him?” 5 So Israel’s sons came to buy grain among the other travelers,[lz] for the famine was severe in the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was the ruler of the country, the one who sold grain to all the people of the country.[ma] Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down[mb] before him with[mc] their faces to the ground. 7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger[md] to them and spoke to them harshly. He asked, “Where do you come from?” They answered,[me] “From the land of Canaan, to buy grain for food.”[mf]
8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9 Then Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and he said to them, “You are spies;[mg] you have come to see if our land is vulnerable!”[mh]
10 But they exclaimed,[mi] “No, my lord! Your servants have come to buy grain for food! 11 We are all the sons of one man; we are honest men! Your servants are not spies.”
12 “No,” he insisted, “but you have come to see if our land is vulnerable.”[mj] 13 They replied, “Your servants are from a family of twelve brothers.[mk] We are the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father at this time,[ml] and one is no longer alive.”[mm]
14 But Joseph told them, “It is just as I said to you:[mn] You are spies! 15 You will be tested in this way: As surely as Pharaoh lives,[mo] you will not depart from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 One of you must go and get[mp] your brother, while[mq] the rest of you remain in prison.[mr] In this way your words may be tested to see if[ms] you are telling the truth.[mt] If not, then, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 He imprisoned[mu] them all for three days. 18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do as I say[mv] and you will live,[mw] for I fear God.[mx] 19 If you are honest men, leave one of your brothers confined here in prison[my] while the rest of you go[mz] and take grain back for your hungry families.[na] 20 But you must bring[nb] your youngest brother to me. Then[nc] your words will be verified[nd] and you will not die.” They did as he said.[ne]
21 They said to one another,[nf] “Surely we’re being punished[ng] because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was[nh] when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress[ni] has come on us!” 22 Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t sin against the boy,’ but you wouldn’t listen? So now we must pay for shedding his blood!”[nj] 23 (Now[nk] they did not know that Joseph could understand them,[nl] for he was speaking through an interpreter.)[nm] 24 He turned away from them and wept. When he turned around and spoke to them again,[nn] he had Simeon taken[no] from them and tied up[np] before their eyes.
25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill[nq] their bags with grain, to return each man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. His orders were carried out.[nr] 26 So they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.[ns]
27 When one of them[nt] opened his sack to get feed for his donkey at their resting place,[nu] he saw his money in the mouth of his sack.[nv] 28 He said to his brothers, “My money was returned! Here it is in my sack!” They were dismayed;[nw] they turned trembling to one another[nx] and said, “What in the world has God done to us?”[ny]
29 They returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us[nz] as if we were[oa] spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies! 32 We are from a family of twelve brothers; we are the sons of one father.[ob] One is no longer alive,[oc] and the youngest is with our father at this time[od] in the land of Canaan.’
33 “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain[oe] for your hungry households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know[of] that you are honest men and not spies.[og] Then I will give your brother back to you and you may move about freely in the land.’”[oh]
35 When they were emptying their sacks, there was each man’s bag of money in his sack! When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were afraid. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You are making me childless! Joseph is gone.[oi] Simeon is gone.[oj] And now you want to take[ok] Benjamin! Everything is against me.”
37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may[ol] put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care[om] and I will bring him back to you.” 38 But Jacob[on] replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left.[oo] If an accident happens to him on the journey you have to make, then you will bring down my gray hair[op] in sorrow to the grave.”[oq]
The Second Journey to Egypt
43 Now the famine was severe in the land.[or] 2 When they finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Return, buy us a little more food.”
3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned[os] us, ‘You will not see my face[ot] unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you send[ou] our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you. 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.’”
7 They replied, “The man questioned us[ox] thoroughly[oy] about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’[oz] So we answered him in this way.[pa] How could we possibly know[pb] that he would say,[pc] ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately.[pd] Then we will live[pe] and not die—we and you and our little ones. 9 I myself pledge security[pf] 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.[pg] 10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back[ph] twice by now!”
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. 12 Take double the money with you;[pi] you must take back[pj] the money that was returned in the mouths of your sacks—perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother too, and go right away[pk] to the man.[pl] 14 May the Sovereign God[pm] grant you mercy before the man so that he may release[pn] your other brother[po] and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.”[pp]
15 So the men took these gifts, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they hurried down to Egypt[pq] and stood before Joseph. 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.” 17 The man did just as Joseph said; he[pr] brought the men into Joseph’s house.[ps]
18 But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of[pt] the money that was returned in our sacks last time.[pu] He wants to capture us,[pv] make us slaves, and take[pw] our donkeys!” 19 So they approached the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 They said, “My lord, we did indeed come down[px] the first time[py] to buy food. 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[pz]—in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it.[qa] 22 We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!”
23 “Everything is fine,”[qb] 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.[qc] I had your money.”[qd] Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The servant in charge[qe] brought the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave food to their donkeys. 25 They got their gifts ready for Joseph’s arrival[qf] at noon, for they had heard[qg] that they were to have a meal[qh] there.
26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside,[qi] and they bowed down to the ground before him. 27 He asked them how they were doing.[qj] Then he said, “Is your aging father well, the one you spoke about? Is he still alive?” 28 “Your servant our father is well,” they replied. “He is still alive.” They bowed down in humility.[qk]
29 When Joseph looked up[ql] 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.”[qm] 30 Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome by affection for his brother[qn] and was at the point of tears.[qo] So he went to his room and wept there.
31 Then he washed his face and came out. With composure he said,[qp] “Set out the food.” 32 They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers,[qq] 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[qr] to do so.)[qs] 33 They sat before him, arranged by order of birth, beginning with the firstborn and ending with the youngest.[qt] The men looked at each other in astonishment.[qu] 34 He gave them portions of the food set before him,[qv] 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.[qw]
The Final Test
44 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. 2 Then put[qx] 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.[qy]
3 When morning came,[qz] the men and their donkeys were sent off.[ra] 4 They had not gone very far from the city[rb] when Joseph said[rc] to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once![rd] When you overtake[re] them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5 Doesn’t my master drink from this cup[rf] and use it for divination?[rg] You have done wrong!’”[rh]
6 When the man[ri] overtook them, he spoke these words to them. 7 They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things?[rj] Far be it from your servants to do such a thing![rk] 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? 9 If one of us has it,[rl] he will die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves!”
10 He replied, “You have suggested your own punishment![rm] The one who has it will become my slave,[rn] but the rest of[ro] you will go free.”[rp] 11 So each man quickly lowered[rq] his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 Then the man[rr] searched. He began with the oldest and finished with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 13 They all tore their clothes! Then each man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14 So Judah and his brothers[rs] came back to Joseph’s house. He was still there,[rt] and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing?[ru] Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination?”[rv]
16 Judah replied, “What can we say[rw] to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves?[rx] God has exposed the sin of your servants![ry] We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”
18 Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you.[sb] Please do not get angry with your servant,[sc] for you are just like Pharaoh.[sd] 19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 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.[se] The boy’s[sf] brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left,[sg] and his father loves him.’
21 “Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see[sh] him.’[si] 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father[sj] will die.’[sk] 23 But you said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24 When we returned to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26 But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there.[sl] If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go,[sm] for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’
27 “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons.[sn] 28 The first disappeared[so] and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since. 29 If you take[sp] this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair[sq] in tragedy[sr] to the grave.’[ss]
30 “So 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.[st] 31 When he sees the boy is not with us,[su] he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father in sorrow to the grave. 32 Indeed,[sv] 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.’
33 “So 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. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see[sw] my father’s pain.”[sx]
The Reconciliation of the Brothers
45 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants,[sy] so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained[sz] with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 He wept loudly;[ta] the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.[tb]
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. 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. 5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here,[tc] for God sent me[td] ahead of you to preserve life! 6 For these past two years there has been famine in[te] the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God sent me[tf] ahead of you to preserve you[tg] on the earth and to save your lives[th] by a great deliverance. 8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser[ti] to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Now go up to my father quickly[tj] 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! 10 You will live[tk] in the land of Goshen, and you will be near me—you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. 11 I will provide you with food[tl] there because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise you would become poor—you, your household, and everyone who belongs to you.”’ 12 You and my brother Benjamin can certainly see with your own eyes that I really am the one who speaks to you.[tm] 13 So tell[tn] my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly!”[to]
14 Then he threw himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After this his brothers talked with him.
16 Now it was reported[tp] in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased[tq] Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go[tr] to the land of Canaan! 18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you[ts] the best land in Egypt and you will eat[tt] the best[tu] of the land.’ 19 You are also commanded to say,[tv] ‘Do this: Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives. Bring your father and come. 20 Don’t worry[tw] about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt will be yours.’”
21 So the sons of Israel did as he said.[tx] Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed,[ty] and he gave them provisions for the journey. 22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them,[tz] but to Benjamin he gave 300 pieces of silver and five sets of clothes.[ua] 23 To his father he sent the following:[ub] ten donkeys loaded with the best products of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, food, and provisions for his father’s journey. 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.”[uc]
25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.[ud] 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned,[ue] for he did not believe them. 27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them,[uf] and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, their father Jacob’s spirit revived. 28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”