Genesis 43 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt with Benjamin
43 The famine in Canaan got worse, 2 until finally, Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain they had bought in Egypt. So Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy some more grain.”
3-5 Judah replied, “The governor strictly warned us that we would not be allowed to see him unless we brought our youngest brother with us. If you let us take Benjamin along, we will go and buy grain. But we won’t go without him!”
6 Jacob asked, “Why did you cause me so much trouble by telling the governor you had another brother?”
7 They answered, “He asked a lot of questions about us and our family. He wanted to know if you were still alive and if we had any more brothers. All we could do was answer his questions. How could we know he would tell us to bring along our brother?”
8 Then Judah said to his father, “Let Benjamin go with me, and we will leave right away, so that none of us will starve to death. 9 I promise to bring him back safely, and if I don’t, you can blame me as long as I live. 10 If we had not wasted all this time, we could already have been there and back twice.”
11 Their father said:
If Benjamin must go with you, take the governor a gift of some of the best things from our own country, such as perfume, honey, spices, pistachio nuts, and almonds.[a] 12 Also take along twice the amount of money for the grain, because there must have been some mistake when the money was put back in your sacks. 13 Take Benjamin with you and leave right away.
14 When you go in to see the governor, I pray that God All-Powerful will be good to you and that the governor will let your other brother and Benjamin come back home with you. If I must lose my children, I suppose I must.
15 The brothers took the gifts, twice the amount of money, and Benjamin. Then they hurried off to Egypt. When they stood in front of Joseph, 16 he saw Benjamin and told the servant in charge of his house, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and cook it, so they can eat with me at noon.”
17 The servant did as he was told and took the brothers to Joseph’s house. 18 But on the way they got worried and started thinking, “We are being taken there because of the money that was put back in our sacks last time. He will arrest us, make us his slaves, and take our donkeys.”
19 So when they arrived at Joseph’s house, they said to the servant in charge, 20 “Sir, we came to Egypt once before to buy grain. 21 But when we stopped for the night, we each found in our grain sacks the exact amount we had paid. We have brought that money back, 22 together with enough money to buy more grain. We don’t know who put the money in our sacks.”
23 “It’s all right,” the servant replied. “Don’t worry. The God you and your father worship must have put the money there, because I received your payment in full.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The servant took them into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet. He also tended their donkeys. 25 The brothers got their gifts ready to give to Joseph at noon, since they had heard they were going to eat there.
26 When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought, and they bowed down to him. 27 After Joseph had asked how they were, he said, “What about your elderly father? Is he still alive?”
28 They answered, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And again they bowed down to Joseph.
29 When Joseph looked around and saw his brother Benjamin, he said, “This must be your youngest brother, the one you told me about. God bless you, my son.”
30 Right away he rushed off to his room and cried because of his love for Benjamin. 31 After washing his face and returning, he was able to control himself and said, “Serve the meal!”
32 Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at another. The Egyptians sat at yet another table, because Egyptians felt it was disgusting to eat with Hebrews. 33 To the surprise of Joseph’s brothers, they were seated in front of him according to their ages, from the oldest to the youngest. 34 They were served food from Joseph’s table, and Benjamin was given five times as much as each of the others. So Joseph’s brothers drank with him and had a good time.
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