The Brothers Are Brought Back

44 (A)Then he commanded his house steward, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the opening of his sack. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the opening of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain.” And he did [a]as Joseph had told him. [b]As soon as it was light, the men were sent away, they with their donkeys. They had just left (B)the city, and were not far away, when Joseph said to his house steward, “Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? Is this not that from which my lord drinks, and which he indeed uses for (C)divination? You have done wrong in doing this!’”

So [c]he overtook them and spoke these words to them. And they said to him, “Why does my lord say such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Behold, (D)the money which we found in the opening of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? (E)With whomever of your servants it is found, he shall die, and we also shall be my lord’s (F)slaves.” 10 So he said, “Now let it indeed be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, but the rest of you shall be considered innocent.” 11 Then they hurried, each man lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and (G)the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they (H)tore their clothes in grief, and when each man had loaded his donkey, they returned to (I)the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there, and (J)they fell down to the ground before him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What is this thing that you have done? Do you not know that a man who is like me can indeed practice (K)divination?” 16 So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What words can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s (L)slaves, both we and the one in whose [d]possession the cup has been found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose [e]possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

18 Then Judah approached him and said, “Oh my lord, may your servant please speak a word in my lord’s ears, and [f](M)do not be angry with your servant; for (N)you are equal to Pharaoh. 19 (O)My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and (P)a little boy born in our father’s old age. Now (Q)his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘(R)Bring him down to me so that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, [g]his father would die.’ 23 You said to your servants, however, ‘(S)Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24 So it came about when we went up to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And (T)our father said, ‘Go back, buy us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that (U)my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one left me, and (V)I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29 If you also take this one from [h]me, and harm happens to him, you will (W)bring my gray hair down to Sheol in [i]sorrow.’ 30 So now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us—since [j](X)our father’s life is so attached to the boy’s life— 31 when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die. So your servants will (Y)bring the gray hair of your servant, our father, down to Sheol in sorrow. 32 For your servant (Z)accepted responsibility for the boy from my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then [k]my father can let me take the blame forever.’ 33 So now, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34 For how shall I go up to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear that I may see the evil that would [l]overtake my father.”


  1. Genesis 44:2 Or according to the word
  2. Genesis 44:3 Lit The morning was light
  3. Genesis 44:6 I.e., the steward
  4. Genesis 44:16 Lit hand
  5. Genesis 44:17 Lit hand
  6. Genesis 44:18 Lit let not your anger burn against
  7. Genesis 44:22 Lit he would
  8. Genesis 44:29 Lit my face
  9. Genesis 44:29 Lit evil
  10. Genesis 44:30 Lit his soul is bound with his soul
  11. Genesis 44:32 Lit I will be culpable for all the days before my father
  12. Genesis 44:34 Lit find