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Genesis 44Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Joseph Tests His Brothers

44 Then he commanded the one who was over his household, saying, “Fill the sacks of the men with food as much as they are able to carry, and put each one’s money in the mouth of his sack. And my cup—the cup of silver—you shall put into the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and the money for his grain. And he did according to the word of Joseph that he had commanded. When the morning light came the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. They went out of the city, and had not gone far when Joseph said to the one who was over his house, “Arise! Pursue after the men and overtake them. Then you shall say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? Is this not that from which my master drinks? Now he himself certainly practices divination with it. You have done evil in what you have done.’” When he overtook them he spoke these words to them. And they said to him, “Why has my lord spoken according to these words? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Behold, the money that we found in the mouth of our sacks we returned to you from the land of Canaan. Now why would we steal silver or gold from the house of my lord? Whoever is found with it from among your servants shall die. And moreover, we will become slaves to my lord.” 10 Then he said, “Now also according to your words, thus will it be. He who is found with it shall be my slave, but you shall be innocent.” 11 Then each man quickly brought down his sack to the ground, and each one opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the oldest and finishing with the youngest. And the cup was found in the sack of Benjamin. 13 Then they tore their clothes, and each one loaded his donkey and they returned to the city.

14 And Judah and his brothers came to the house of Joseph—now he was still there—they fell before him to the ground. 15 Then Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Did you not know that a man who is like me surely practices divination?” 16 And Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? Now how can we show ourselves innocent? God has found the guilt of your servants! Behold, we are slaves to my lord, both we and also he in whose hand the cup was found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose hand the cup was found, he will become my slave. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.” 18 But Judah drew near to him and said, “Please my lord, let your servant speak a word in the ears of my lord, and let not your anger burn[a] against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.[b] 19 My lord had asked his servants, saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a younger brother, the child of his old age, and his brother died, and he alone remains from his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may set my eyes upon him.’ 22 Then we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he should leave his father, then he[c] would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not again see my face.’ 24 And it happened that we went up to your servant, my father, and told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, ‘Buy a little food for us,’ 26 then we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we shall go down. For we will not be able to see the face of the man unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant, my father, said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore two sons to me. 28 One went out from me, and I said, “Surely he must have been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 And if you take this one also from me, and he encounters harm, you will bring down my gray head in sorrow to Sheol.’ 30 So now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us—now his life is bound up with his life— 31 it shall happen that when he sees that the boy is gone, he will die. And your servants will bring down the gray head of your servant, our father, to Sheol with sorrow. 32 For your servant is pledged as surety for the boy by my father, saying, If I do not bring him to you, then I shall be culpable to my father forever. 33 So then, please let your servant remain in place of the boy as a slave to my lord, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34 For how can I go up to my father if the boy is not with me? I do not want to see[d] the misery which will find my father.”


  1. Genesis 44:18 Literally “let not your nose become hot”
  2. Genesis 44:18 Literally “like you like Pharaoh”
  3. Genesis 44:22 That is, the father (Jacob/Israel)
  4. Genesis 44:34 Literally “lest I see”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software


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