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Genesis 44-47 Common English Bible (CEB)

Joseph tests his brothers

44 Joseph gave commands to his household manager: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they’ll hold, and put each man’s silver at the top of his sack. Put my cup, the silver cup, on top of the youngest brother’s sack, together with the silver for his grain.” So he did just as Joseph told him to do.

At dawn, the men and their donkeys were sent off. They had left the city but hadn’t gone far when Joseph said to his household manager, “Get ready, go after the men and catch up with them! Ask them, ‘Why have you repaid hospitality with ingratitude?[a] Isn’t this the cup[b] my master drinks from and uses to discover God’s plans?[c] What you’ve done is despicable.’”

When he caught up to them, he repeated these words. They replied, “Why does my master talk to us like this? Your servants would never do such a thing. The silver that we found at the top of our sacks, we’ve just brought back to you from the land of Canaan. We didn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. Whoever of your servants is found with it will be put to death, and we’ll be my master’s slaves.”

10 He said, “Fine. We’ll do just as you’ve said. Whoever is found with it will be my slave, and the rest of you will go free.” 11 Everyone quickly lowered their sacks down to the ground and each opened his sack. 12 He searched the oldest first and the youngest last, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 At this, they tore their clothing. Then everyone loaded their donkeys, and they returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground in front of him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What’s this you’ve done? Didn’t you know someone like me can discover God’s plans?”[d]

16 Judah replied, “What can we say to my master? What words can we use? How can we prove we are innocent? God has found your servants guilty. We are now your slaves, all of us, including the one found with the cup.”

17 Joseph said, “I’d never do such a thing. Only the man found with the cup will be my slave. As for the rest of you, you are free to go back to your father.”

Judah appeals for Benjamin

18 Judah approached him and said, “Please, my master, allow your servant to say something to my master without getting angry with your servant since you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My master asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or brother?’ 20 And we said to my master, ‘Yes, we have an elderly father and a young brother, born when he was old. His brother is dead and he’s his mother’s only child. But his father loves him.’ 21 You told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him.’ 22 And we said to my master, ‘The young man can’t leave his father. If he leaves, his father will die.’ 23 You said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come down with you, you’ll never see my face again.’

24 “When we went back to my father your servant, we told him what you said. 25 Our father told us, ‘Go back and buy for us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We can’t go down. We will go down only if our youngest brother is with us. We won’t be able to gain an audience with the man without our youngest brother with us.’ 27 Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave birth to two sons for me. 28 One disappeared and I said, “He must have been torn up by a wild animal,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29 And if you take this one from me too, something terrible will happen to him, and you will send me—old as I am—to my grave in despair.’ 30 When I now go back to your servant my father without the young man—whose life is so bound up with his— 31 and when he sees that the young man isn’t with us,[e] he will die, and your servants will have sent our father your servant—old as he is—to his grave in grief. 32 I, your servant, guaranteed the young man’s safety to my father, telling him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, it will be my fault forever.’ 33 Now, please let your servant stay as your slave instead of the young man so that he can go back with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father without the young man? I couldn’t bear to see how badly my father would be hurt.”

Joseph reveals his identity

45 Joseph could no longer control himself in front of all his attendants, so he declared, “Everyone, leave now!” So no one stayed with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians and Pharaoh’s household heard him. Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m Joseph! Is my father really still alive?” His brothers couldn’t respond because they were terrified before him.

Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” and they moved closer. He said, “I’m your brother Joseph! The one you sold to Egypt. Now, don’t be upset and don’t be angry with yourselves that you sold me here. Actually, God sent me before you to save lives. We’ve already had two years of famine in the land, and there are five years left without planting or harvesting. God sent me before you to make sure you’d survive[f] and to rescue your lives in this amazing way. You didn’t send me here; it was God who made me a father to Pharaoh, master of his entire household, and ruler of the whole land of Egypt.

“Hurry! Go back to your father. Tell him this is what your son Joseph says: ‘God has made me master of all of Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t delay. 10 You may live in the land of Goshen, so you will be near me, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everyone with you. 11 I will support you there, so you, your household, and everyone with you won’t starve, since the famine will still last five years.’ 12 You and my brother Benjamin have seen with your own eyes that I’m speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about my power in Egypt and about everything you’ve seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his shoulder. 15 He kissed all of his brothers and wept, embracing them. After that, his brothers were finally able to talk to him.

Joseph’s brothers return for Jacob

16 When Pharaoh’s household heard the message “Joseph’s brothers have arrived,” both Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Give your brothers these instructions: Load your pack animals and go back to the land of Canaan. 18 Get your father and your households and come back to me. Let me provide you with good things from the land of Egypt so that you may eat the land’s best food. 19 Give them these instructions too: Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your children and wives, and pick up your father and come back. 20 Don’t worry about your possessions because you will have good things from the entire land of Egypt.”

21 So Israel’s sons did that. Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh instructed, and he gave them provisions for the road. 22 To all of them he gave a change of clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothing. 23 To his father he sent ten male donkeys carrying goods from Egypt, ten female donkeys carrying grain and bread, and rations for his father for the road. 24 He sent his brothers off; and as they were leaving, he told them, “Don’t be worried about the trip.”[g]

25 So they left Egypt and returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They announced to him, “Joseph’s still alive! He’s actually ruler of all the land of Egypt!” Jacob’s heart nearly failed, and he didn’t believe them.

27 When they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, Jacob recovered. 28 Then Israel said, “This is too much! My son Joseph is still alive! Let me go and see him before I die.”

Jacob’s household moves to Egypt

46 Israel packed up everything he owned and traveled to Beer-sheba. There he offered sacrifices to his father Isaac’s God. God said to Israel in a vision at night, “Jacob! Jacob!” and he said, “I’m here.” He said, “I am El,[h] your father’s God. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt because I will make a great nation of you there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I promise to bring you out again. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.” Then Jacob left Beer-sheba. Israel’s sons put their father Jacob, their children, and their wives on the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They took their livestock and their possessions that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and arrived in Egypt, Jacob and all of his children with him. His sons and grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all of his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

These are the names of the Israelites who went to Egypt, including Jacob and his sons. Jacob’s oldest son was Reuben. Reuben’s sons were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 Simeon’s sons were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, whose mother was a Canaanite. 11 Levi’s sons were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 Judah’s sons were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. Er and Onan both died in the land of Canaan. Perez’s sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13 Issachar’s sons were Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. 14 Zebulun’s sons were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram. Her daughter was Dinah. All of these persons, including his sons and daughters, totaled 33.

16 Gad’s sons were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17 Asher’s sons were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. She bore these to Jacob, a total of 16 persons.

19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 20 To Joseph, in the land of Egypt, were born Manasseh and Ephraim. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis,[i] bore them to him. 21 Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are Rachel’s sons who were born to Jacob, a total of 14 persons.

23 Dan’s son[j] was Hushim. 24 Naphtali’s sons were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. She bore these to Jacob, a total of 7 persons. 26 All of the persons going to Egypt with Jacob—his own children, excluding Jacob’s sons’ wives—totaled 66 persons. 27 Joseph’s sons born to him in Egypt were 2 persons. Thus, all of the persons in Jacob’s household going to Egypt totaled 70.

28 Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph so that Joseph could explain the way to Goshen. Then they arrived in the land of Goshen. 29 Joseph hitched up his chariot and went to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he arrived, he threw his arms around his neck and wept, embracing him for a long time. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now after seeing your face. You are really still alive!”

Jacob’s household settles in Egypt

31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “Let me go up and inform Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have arrived. 32 The men are shepherds, because they own livestock. They’ve brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh summons you and says, ‘What do you do?’ 34 say, ‘Your servants have owned livestock since we were young, both we and our ancestors,’ so that you will be able to settle in the land of Goshen, since Egyptians think all shepherds are beneath their dignity.”

47 Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”

They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”

Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11 Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.

Joseph centralizes power in Egypt

13 There was no food in the land because the famine was so severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan dried up from the famine. 14 Joseph collected all of the silver to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain, which people came to buy, and he deposited it in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15 The silver from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan had been spent, and all of the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes, just because the silver is gone?”

16 Joseph said, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock if the silver is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food for the horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year with food in exchange for all of their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We can’t hide from my master that the silver is spent and that we’ve given the livestock to my master. All that’s left for my master is our corpses and our farmland. 19 Why should we die before your eyes, we and our farmland too? Buy us and our farms for food, and we and our farms will be under Pharaoh’s control. Give us seed so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that our farmland won’t become unproductive.” 20 So Joseph bought all of Egypt’s farmland for Pharaoh because every Egyptian sold his field when the famine worsened. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21 He moved the people to the cities[k] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he didn’t buy the farmland of the priests because Pharaoh allowed the priests a subsidy, and they were able to eat from the subsidy Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they didn’t have to sell their farmland.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Since I’ve now purchased you and your farmland for Pharaoh, here’s seed for you. Plant the seed on the land. 24 When the crop comes in, you must give one-fifth to Pharaoh. You may keep four-fifths for yourselves, for planting fields, and for feeding yourselves, those in your households, and your children.”

25 The people said, “You’ve saved our lives. If you wish, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26 So Joseph made a law that still exists today: Pharaoh receives one-fifth from Egypt’s farmland. Only the priests’ farmland didn’t become Pharaoh’s.

Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

27 Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. They settled in it, had many children, and became numerous. 28 After Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, and after he had lived a total of 147 years, 29 Israel’s death approached. He summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “If you would be so kind, lay your hand under my thigh, and be loyal and true to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. 30 When I lie down with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their grave.”

Joseph said, “I will do just as you say.”

31 Israel said, “Give me your word!” and Joseph gave his word. Then Israel slumped down at the head of the bed.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 44:4 LXX adds Why have you stolen my silver cup?
  2. Genesis 44:5 Syr; MT lacks cup.
  3. Genesis 44:5 Or uses for divination
  4. Genesis 44:15 Or can practice divination
  5. Genesis 44:31 Sam, LXX; MT lacks with us.
  6. Genesis 45:7 Or survive on earth
  7. Genesis 45:24 Or Don’t quarrel during the trip.
  8. Genesis 46:3 Or God
  9. Genesis 46:20 Heb On
  10. Genesis 46:23 Or sons
  11. Genesis 47:21 Sam, LXX he made the people slaves
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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