The Return to Egypt

43 (A)Now the famine was severe in the land. So it came about, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “(B)The man sternly warned [a]us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, [b]by telling the man whether you still had another brother?” But they said, “The man specifically asked about us and our relatives, saying, ‘(C)Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we [c]answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” So Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, (D)so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. (E)I myself will take responsibility for him! You may demand him back from [d]me. If I do not bring him back to you and present him to you, then [e]you can let me take the blame forever. 10 For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your [f]bags, and carry down to the man (F)as a gift, a little (G)balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and [g]myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand (H)the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14 and may [h](I)God Almighty (J)grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you (K)your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, (L)if I am bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved!” 15 So the men took (M)this gift, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they set out and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

Joseph Sees Benjamin

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his (N)house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make preparations; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 So the man did as Joseph said, and [i]brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, so that he may [j]attack us and [k]overpower us, and take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19 So they approached Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21 and it happened when we came to the campsite, that we opened our sacks, and behold, (O)each man’s money was in the opening of his sack, our money in [l]full. So (P)we have brought it back in our hand. 22 We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 But he said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid. (Q)Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; your [m]money was in my possession.” Then (R)he brought Simeon out to them. 24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and (S)gave them water, and they (T)washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25 So they prepared (U)the gift [n]for Joseph’s arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat [o]a meal there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the gift which was in their hand, and they (V)bowed down to the ground before him. 27 Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “(W)Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” Then (X)they bowed down again [p]in homage. 29 And as he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this (Y)your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” Then he said, “(Z)May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph then hurried out, for [q](AA)he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he looked for a place to weep; so he entered his chamber and (AB)wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he (AC)controlled himself and said, “[r]Serve the meal.” 32 Then they served him by himself, and [s]Joseph’s brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an (AD)abomination to the Egyptians. 33 Now they [t]were seated before him, from (AE)the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34 Then he took portions to them from [u]his own table, (AF)but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank freely with him.

The Brothers Are Brought Back

44 (AG)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 [v]as Joseph had told him. [w]As soon as it was light, the men were sent away, they with their donkeys. They had just left (AH)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 (AI)divination? You have done wrong in doing this!’”

So [x]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, (AJ)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? (AK)With whomever of your servants it is found, he shall die, and we also shall be my lord’s (AL)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 (AM)the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they (AN)tore their clothes in grief, and when each man had loaded his donkey, they returned to (AO)the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there, and (AP)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 (AQ)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 (AR)slaves, both we and the one in whose [y]possession the cup has been found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose [z]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 [aa](AS)do not be angry with your servant; for (AT)you are equal to Pharaoh. 19 (AU)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 (AV)a little boy born in our father’s old age. Now (AW)his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘(AX)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, [ab]his father would die.’ 23 You said to your servants, however, ‘(AY)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 (AZ)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 (BA)my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one left me, and (BB)I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29 If you also take this one from [ac]me, and harm happens to him, you will (BC)bring my gray hair down to Sheol in [ad]sorrow.’ 30 So now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us—since [ae](BD)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 (BE)bring the gray hair of your servant, our father, down to Sheol in sorrow. 32 For your servant (BF)accepted responsibility for the boy from my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then [af]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 [ag]overtake my father.”

Joseph Deals Kindly with His Brothers

45 Then Joseph could not control himself in front of everyone standing before him, and he shouted, “Have everyone leave me!” So there [ah]was no one with him (BG)when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. Then (BH)he [ai]wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard about it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “(BI)I am Joseph! (BJ)Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for (BK)they were terrified in his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come [aj]closer to me.” And they came [ak]closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you (BL)sold to Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry [al]with yourselves because (BM)you sold me here, for (BN)God sent me ahead of you [am]to save lives. For the famine has been in the land (BO)these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. So (BP)God sent me ahead of you to ensure for you a remnant on the earth, and to [an]keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a (BQ)father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father, and (BR)say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 For you shall live in the land of (BS)Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your [ao]grandchildren, and your flocks and your herds and all that you have. 11 There I will also (BT)provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be impoverished.”’ 12 Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you. 13 Now you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen; and you must hurry and (BU)bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and (BV)wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.

16 Now when (BW)the [ap]news was heard in Pharaoh’s house [aq]that Joseph’s brothers had come, it [ar]pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your livestock and [as]go to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households and come to me; and (BX)I will give you the [at]best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.’ 19 Now you are ordered, ‘Do this: [au]take (BY)wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come. 20 And do not [av]concern yourselves with your property, for the [aw]best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

21 Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them (BZ)wagons according to the [ax]command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To [ay]each of them he gave (CA)changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and (CB)five changes of garments. 23 And to his father he sent [az]the following: ten male donkeys loaded with the [ba]best things of Egypt, ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and sustenance for his father [bb]on the journey.

24 So he sent his brothers away, and [bc]as they departed, he said to them, “Do not [bd]quarrel on the journey.” 25 Then they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan, to their father Jacob. 26 And they told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But [be]he was stunned, for (CC)he did not believe them. 27 When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the (CD)wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, then the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 Then Israel said, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”


  1. Genesis 43:3 Lit us, saying
  2. Genesis 43:6 Lit to tell
  3. Genesis 43:7 Lit told him according to these words
  4. Genesis 43:9 Lit my hand
  5. Genesis 43:9 Lit I will be culpable before you all the days
  6. Genesis 43:11 Or vessels
  7. Genesis 43:11 Or resinous bark
  8. Genesis 43:14 Heb El Shaddai
  9. Genesis 43:17 Lit the man brought
  10. Genesis 43:18 Lit roll himself upon us
  11. Genesis 43:18 Lit fall upon
  12. Genesis 43:21 Lit its weight
  13. Genesis 43:23 Lit your money had come to me
  14. Genesis 43:25 Lit until
  15. Genesis 43:25 Lit bread
  16. Genesis 43:28 I.e., great respect and honor to a superior
  17. Genesis 43:30 Lit his compassion grew warm
  18. Genesis 43:31 Lit Set on bread
  19. Genesis 43:32 Lit them
  20. Genesis 43:33 Lit sat
  21. Genesis 43:34 Lit his face
  22. Genesis 44:2 Or according to the word
  23. Genesis 44:3 Lit The morning was light
  24. Genesis 44:6 I.e., the steward
  25. Genesis 44:16 Lit hand
  26. Genesis 44:17 Lit hand
  27. Genesis 44:18 Lit let not your anger burn against
  28. Genesis 44:22 Lit he would
  29. Genesis 44:29 Lit my face
  30. Genesis 44:29 Lit evil
  31. Genesis 44:30 Lit his soul is bound with his soul
  32. Genesis 44:32 Lit I will be culpable for all the days before my father
  33. Genesis 44:34 Lit find
  34. Genesis 45:1 Lit stood
  35. Genesis 45:2 Lit gave forth his voice in weeping
  36. Genesis 45:4 Lit near
  37. Genesis 45:4 Lit near
  38. Genesis 45:5 Lit in your eyes
  39. Genesis 45:5 Lit for preservation of life
  40. Genesis 45:7 As in MT; another reading (cf. LXX) keep alive for you a great remnant
  41. Genesis 45:10 Lit children’s children
  42. Genesis 45:16 Lit voice
  43. Genesis 45:16 Lit saying, “Joseph’s brothers have come”
  44. Genesis 45:16 Lit was good in the eyes of
  45. Genesis 45:17 Lit come, go
  46. Genesis 45:18 Lit good
  47. Genesis 45:19 Lit take for yourselves
  48. Genesis 45:20 Lit let your eye look with regret upon your vessels
  49. Genesis 45:20 Lit good
  50. Genesis 45:21 Lit mouth
  51. Genesis 45:22 Lit all of them he gave each man
  52. Genesis 45:23 Lit like this
  53. Genesis 45:23 Lit good
  54. Genesis 45:23 Lit for
  55. Genesis 45:24 Lit they departed; and he said
  56. Genesis 45:24 Lit be agitated
  57. Genesis 45:26 Lit his heart grew numb

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