Genesis 44:13-34Contemporary English Version (CEV)
13 This upset the brothers so much that they began tearing their clothes in sorrow. Then they loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers got there, Joseph was still at home. So they bowed down to Joseph, 15 who asked them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know I could find out?”
16 “Sir, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we prove we are innocent? God has shown that we are guilty. And now all of us are your slaves, especially the one who had the cup.”
17 Joseph told them, “I would never punish all of you. Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home to your father.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18 Judah went over to Joseph and said:
Sir, you have as much power as the king[a] himself, and I am only your slave. Please don’t get angry if I speak. 19 You asked us if our father was still alive and if we had any more brothers. 20 So we told you, “Our father is a very old man. In fact, he was already old when Benjamin was born. Benjamin’s brother is dead. Now Benjamin is the only one of the two brothers who is still alive, and our father loves him very much.”
21 You ordered us to bring him here, so you could see him for yourself. 22 We told you that our father would die if Benjamin left him. 23 But you warned us that we could never see you again, unless our youngest brother came with us. 24 So we returned to our father and reported what you had said.
25 Later our father told us to come back here and buy more grain. 26 But we answered, “We can’t go back to Egypt without our youngest brother. We will never be let in to see the governor, unless he is with us.”
27 Sir, our father then reminded us that his favorite wife had given birth to two sons. 28 One of them was already missing and had not been seen for a long time. My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal, 29 and he said, “I am an old man. If you take Benjamin from me, and something happens to him, I will die of a broken heart.”
30 That’s why Benjamin must be with us when I go back to my father. He loves him so much 31 that he will die if Benjamin doesn’t come back with me. 32 I promised my father that I would bring him safely home. If I don’t, I told my father he could blame me the rest of my life.
33 Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers. 34 How can I face my father if Benjamin isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father in such sorrow.
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