18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:(A) 19 If you are honest men,(B) let one of your brothers stay here in prison,(C) while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households.(D) 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me,(E) so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother.(F) We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress(G) has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?(H) But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting(I) for his blood.”(J) 23 They did not realize(K) that Joseph could understand them,(L) since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep,(M) but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.(N)

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain,(O) to put each man’s silver back in his sack,(P) and to give them provisions(Q) for their journey.(R) After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys(S) and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey,(T) and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack.(U) 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank(V) and they turned to each other trembling(W) and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”(X)

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan,(Y) they told him all that had happened to them.(Z) They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us(AA) and treated us as though we were spying on the land.(AB) 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies.(AC) 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’(AD)

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go.(AE) 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men.(AF) Then I will give your brother back to you,(AG) and you can trade[a] in the land.(AH)’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver!(AI) When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened.(AJ) 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more,(AK) and now you want to take Benjamin.(AL) Everything is against me!(AM)

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care,(AN) and I will bring him back.”(AO)

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead(AP) and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him(AQ) on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave(AR) in sorrow.(AS)

The Second Journey to Egypt

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

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

Israel(BA) asked, “Why did you bring this trouble(BB) 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?’(BC) he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’(BD) We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”(BE)

Then Judah(BF) said to Israel(BG) 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.(BH) I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him.(BI) If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame(BJ) before you all my life.(BK) 10 As it is, if we had not delayed,(BL) we could have gone and returned twice.”

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

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

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

19 So they went up to Joseph’s steward(CM) 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.(CN) 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.(CO) 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,(CP) has given you treasure in your sacks;(CQ) I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.(CR)

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

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

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

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

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

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,(DL) for that is detestable to Egyptians.(DM) 33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn(DN) to the youngest;(DO) 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.(DP) So they feasted(DQ) and drank freely with him.

A Silver Cup in a Sack

44 Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house:(DR) “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack.(DS) Then put my cup,(DT) the silver one,(DU) in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.

As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.(DV) They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward,(DW) “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil?(DX) Isn’t this the cup(DY) my master drinks from and also uses for divination?(DZ) This is a wicked thing you have done.’”

When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. But they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants(EA) to do anything like that!(EB) We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan(EC) the silver(ED) we found inside the mouths of our sacks.(EE) So why would we steal(EF) silver or gold from your master’s house? If any of your servants(EG) is found to have it, he will die;(EH) and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.(EI)

10 “Very well, then,” he said, “let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it(EJ) will become my slave;(EK) the rest of you will be free from blame.”(EL)

11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 Then the steward(EM) proceeded to search,(EN) beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest.(EO) And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.(EP) 13 At this, they tore their clothes.(EQ) Then they all loaded their donkeys(ER) and returned to the city.

14 Joseph was still in the house(ES) when Judah(ET) and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.(EU) 15 Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done?(EV) Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?(EW)

16 “What can we say to my lord?(EX)” Judah(EY) replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence?(EZ) God has uncovered your servants’(FA) guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves(FB)—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.(FC)

17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do such a thing!(FD) Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave.(FE) The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.”(FF)


  1. Genesis 42:34 Or move about freely
  2. Genesis 43:14 Hebrew El-Shaddai

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