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Genesis 43 Good News Translation (GNT)

Joseph's Brothers Return to Egypt with Benjamin

43 The famine in Canaan got worse, and when the family of Jacob had eaten all the grain which had been brought from Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy a little food for us.”

Judah said to him, “The man sternly warned us that we would not be admitted to his presence unless we had our brother with us. If you are willing to send our brother with us, we will go and buy food for you. If you are not willing, we will not go, because the man told us we would not be admitted to his presence unless our brother was with us.”

Jacob said, “Why did you cause me so much trouble by telling the man that you had another brother?”

They answered, “The man kept asking about us and our family, ‘Is your father still living? Do you have another brother?’ We had to answer his questions. How could we know that he would tell us to bring our brother with us?”

Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will leave at once. Then none of us will starve to death. I will pledge my own life, and you can hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you safe and sound, I will always bear the blame. 10 If we had not waited so long, we could have been there and back twice by now.”

11 Their father said to them, “If that is how it has to be, then take the best products of the land in your packs as a present for the governor: a little resin, a little honey, spices, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take with you also twice as much money, because you must take back the money that was returned in the top of your sacks. Maybe it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother and return at once. 14 May Almighty God cause the man to have pity on you, so that he will give Benjamin and your other brother back to you. As for me, if I must lose my children, I must lose them.”

15 So the brothers took the gifts and twice as much money, and set out for Egypt with Benjamin. There they presented themselves to Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant in charge of his house, “Take these men to my house. They are going to eat with me at noon, so kill an animal and prepare it.” 17 The servant did as he was commanded and took the brothers to Joseph's house.

18 As they were being brought to the house, they were afraid and thought, “We are being brought here because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time. They will suddenly attack us, take our donkeys, and make us his slaves.” 19 So at the door of the house, they said to the servant in charge, 20 “If you please, sir, we came here once before to buy food. 21 When we set up camp on the way home, we opened our sacks, and each man found his money in the top of his sack—every bit of it. We have brought it back to you. 22 We have also brought some more money with us to buy more food. We do not know who put our money back in our sacks.”

23 The servant said, “Don't worry. Don't be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sacks for you. I received your payment.” Then he brought Simeon to them.

24 The servant took the brothers into the house. He gave them water so that they could wash their feet, and he fed their donkeys. 25 They got their gifts ready to present to Joseph when he arrived at noon, because they had been told that they were to eat with him. 26 When Joseph got home, they took the gifts into the house to him and bowed down to the ground before him. 27 He asked about their health and then said, “You told me about your old father—how is he? Is he still alive and well?”

28 They answered, “Your humble servant, our father, is still alive and well.” And they knelt and bowed down before him.

29 When Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, he said, “So this is your youngest brother, the one you told me about. God bless you, my son.” 30 Then Joseph left suddenly, because his heart was full of tender feelings for his brother. He was about to break down, so he went to his room and cried. 31 After he had washed his face, he came out, and controlling himself, he ordered the meal to be served. 32 Joseph was served at one table and his brothers at another. The Egyptians who were eating there were served separately, because they considered it beneath their dignity to eat with Hebrews. 33 The brothers had been seated at the table, facing Joseph, in the order of their age from the oldest to the youngest. When they saw how they had been seated, they looked at one another in amazement. 34 Food was served to them from Joseph's table, and Benjamin was served five times as much as the rest of them. So they ate and drank with Joseph until they were drunk.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Genesis 43 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Brothers Come Again, Bringing Benjamin

43 Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.” But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’” Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die—you and we and also our little ones. I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the man—a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man; 14 may God Almighty[a] grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 15 So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph said, and 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, replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make slaves of us and take our donkeys.” 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the entrance to the house. 20 They said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; 21 and when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each one’s money in the top of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it back with us. 22 Moreover we have brought down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He replied, “Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 When the steward[b] had brought the men into Joseph’s house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they had heard that they would dine there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. 27 He inquired about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and did obeisance. 29 Then he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30 With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, “Serve the meal.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 When they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 43:14 Traditional rendering of Heb El Shaddai
  2. Genesis 43:24 Heb the man
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Genesis 43 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

43 But the famine was severe in the land; so when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” Y’hudah said to him, “The man expressly warned us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; but if you will 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.’” Isra’el said, “Why did you bring such trouble my way by telling the man you had another brother?” They answered, “The man kept questioning us about ourselves and about our kinsmen. He asked, ‘Is your father still alive?’ ‘Do you have another brother?’ and we answered according to the literal meaning of his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”

Y’hudah said to Isra’el his father, “Send the boy with me; and we will make preparations and leave; so that we may stay alive and not die, both we and you, and also our little ones. I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I fail to bring him to you and present him to your face, let me bear the blame forever. 10 Except for our lengthy delay, we would have been there again by now.”

11 Their father Isra’el answered them, “If that’s how it is, do this: take in your containers some of the land’s best products, and bring the man a gift — some healing resin, a little honey, aromatic gum, opium, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take twice the amount of money with you; and return the money that came back with you in your packs — it could have been an oversight. 13 Yes, and take your brother too; and get ready; and go again to the man. 14 May El Shaddai give you favor in the man’s sight, so that he will release to you your other brother as well as Binyamin. As for me, if I must lose my children, lose them I will.” 15 The men took that gift, and they took twice the money with them, and Binyamin; then they prepared, went down to Egypt and stood before Yosef.

(vi) 16 When Yosef saw Binyamin with them, he said to his household manager, “Take the men inside the house, kill the animals and prepare the meat. These men will dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Yosef ordered and brought the men into Yosef’s house.

18 Upon being ushered inside Yosef’s house, the men became fearful. They said, “It’s because of the money that was returned in our packs the first time that we have been brought inside — so that he can use it as an excuse to attack us, take us as slaves and seize our donkeys too.” 19 So they approached the manager of Yosef’s household and spoke to him at the entrance of the house: 20 “Please, my lord, the first time we indeed came down to buy food; 21 but when we got to camp, we opened our packs, and there inside our packs was each man’s money, the full amount. We have brought it back with us; 22 moreover, we have brought down other money to buy food. We have no idea who put our money in our packs.” 23 “Stop worrying,” he replied, “don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father put treasure in your packs. As for your money — I was the one who received it.” Then he brought Shim‘on out to them.

24 The man brought the men into Yosef’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet, and he provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 Then they got their gift ready for Yosef’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were going to eat a meal there. 26 When Yosef arrived home, they went in the house and presented him with the gift they had brought with them, then prostrated themselves before him on the ground. 27 He asked them how they were and inquired, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They answered, “Your servant our father is well; yes, he is still alive,” as they bowed in respect. 29 He looked up and saw Binyamin his brother, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” and added, “May God be good to you, my son.”

(vii) 30 Then Yosef hurried out, because his feelings toward his brother were so strong that he wanted to cry; he went into his bedroom and there he wept. 31 Then he washed his face and came out, but he controlled himself as he gave the order to serve the meal. 32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians included at the meal by themselves — Egyptians don’t eat with Hebrews, because that is abhorrent to them. 33 So they sat there facing him, the firstborn in the place of honor, the youngest in last place; and the men expressed their amazement to each other. 34 Each was given his serving there in front of him, but Binyamin’s portion was five times as large as any of theirs. So they drank and enjoyed themselves with him.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Genesis 43 The Message (MSG)

43 1-2 The famine got worse. When they had eaten all the food they had brought back from Egypt, their father said, “Go back and get some more food.”

3-5 But Judah said, “The man warned us most emphatically, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’ If you’re ready to release our brother to go with us, we’ll go down and get you food. But if you’re not ready, we aren’t going. What would be the use? The man told us, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’”

Israel said, “Why are you making my life so difficult! Why did you ever tell the man you had another brother?”

They said, “The man pressed us hard, asking pointed questions about our family: ‘Is your father alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How did we know that he’d say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”

8-10 Judah pushed his father Israel. “Let the boy go; I’ll take charge of him. Let us go and be on our way—if we don’t get going, we’re all going to starve to death—we and you and our children, too! I’ll take full responsibility for his safety; it’s my life on the line for his. If I don’t bring him back safe and sound, I’m the guilty one; I’ll take all the blame. If we had gone ahead in the first place instead of procrastinating like this, we could have been there and back twice over.”

11-14 Their father Israel gave in. “If it has to be, it has to be. But do this: stuff your packs with the finest products from the land you can find and take them to the man as gifts—some balm and honey, some spices and perfumes, some pistachios and almonds. And take plenty of money—pay back double what was returned to your sacks; that might have been a mistake. Take your brother and get going. Go back to the man. And may The Strong God give you grace in that man’s eyes so that he’ll send back your other brother along with Benjamin. For me, nothing’s left; I’ve lost everything.”

15-16 The men took the gifts, double the money, and Benjamin. They lost no time in getting to Egypt and meeting Joseph. When Joseph saw that they had Benjamin with them, he told his house steward, “Take these men into the house and make them at home. Butcher an animal and prepare a meal; these men are going to eat with me at noon.”

17-18 The steward did what Joseph had said and took them inside. But they became anxious when they were brought into Joseph’s home, thinking, “It’s the money; he thinks we ran off with the money on our first trip down here. And now he’s got us where he wants us—he’s going to turn us into slaves and confiscate our donkeys.”

19-22 So they went up to Joseph’s house steward and talked to him in the doorway. They said, “Listen, master. We came down here one other time to buy food. On our way home, the first night out we opened our bags and found our money at the mouth of the bag—the exact amount we’d paid. We’ve brought it all back and have plenty more to buy more food with. We have no idea who put the money in our bags.”

23 The steward said, “Everything’s in order. Don’t worry. Your God and the God of your father must have given you a bonus. I was paid in full.” And with that, he presented Simeon to them.

24-25 He then took them inside Joseph’s house and made them comfortable—gave them water to wash their feet and saw to the feeding of their donkeys. The brothers spread out their gifts as they waited for Joseph to show up at noon—they had been told that they were to have dinner with him.

26 When Joseph got home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought and bowed respectfully before him.

27 Joseph welcomed them and said, “And your old father whom you mentioned to me, how is he? Is he still alive?”

28 They said, “Yes—your servant our father is quite well, very much alive.” And they again bowed respectfully before him.

29 Then Joseph picked out his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son. He asked, “And is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”

30-31 Deeply moved on seeing his brother and about to burst into tears, Joseph hurried out into another room and had a good cry. Then he washed his face, got a grip on himself, and said, “Let’s eat.”

32-34 Joseph was served at his private table, the brothers off by themselves and the Egyptians off by themselves (Egyptians won’t eat at the same table with Hebrews; it’s repulsive to them). The brothers were seated facing Joseph, arranged in order of their age, from the oldest to the youngest. They looked at one another wide-eyed, wondering what would happen next. When the brothers’ plates were served from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s plate came piled high, far more so than his brothers. And so the brothers feasted with Joseph, drinking freely.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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