1But the famine in the country grew worse, 2and when they had finished eating the supplies which they had brought from Egypt their father said tothem, 'Go back and get us a little food.' 3'But', Judah replied, 'the man expressly warned us, "You wil not be admitted to my presence unlessyour brother is with you." 4If you are ready to send our brother with us, we will go down and get food for you. 5But if you are not ready to send him, we will not go down, in view of the man's warning, "You wil notbe admitted to my presence unless your brother is with you." ' 6Then Israel said, 'Why did you bring this misery on me by tel ing the man you had another brother?' 7They replied, 'He kept questioning us about ourselves and our family, asking, "Is your father stillalive?" and, "Have you another brother?" That is why we told him. How could we know he was going to say,"Bring your brother down here"?' 8Judah then said to his father Israel, 'Send the boy with me, and let us be off and go, if we are tosurvive and not die, we, you, and our dependants. 9I wil go surety for him, and you can hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you andproduce him before you, let me bear the blame al my life. 10Indeed, if we had not wasted so much time we should have been there and back twice by now!' 11Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be so, then do this: take some of the country's bestproducts in your baggage and take them to the man as a gift: some balsam, some honey, gum tragacanth, resin,pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take double the amount of money with you and return the money put back in the mouths of yoursacks; it may have been a mistake. 13Take your brother, and go back to the man. 14May El Shaddai move the man to be kind to you, and al ow you to bring back your other brother andBenjamin. As for me, if I must be bereaved, bereaved I must be.' 15The men took this gift; they took double the amount of money with them, and Benjamin. They set off,went down to Egypt and presented themselves before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them he said to his chamberlain, 'Take these men into the house.Slaughter a beast and prepare it, for these men are to eat with me at midday.' 17The man did as Joseph had ordered, and took the men to Joseph's house. 18The men were afraid at being taken to Joseph's house and said, 'We are being taken there becauseof the money replaced in our sacks the first time. They wil set on us; they wil fal on us and make slaves of us,and take our donkeys too.' 19So they went up to Joseph's chamberlain and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20'By your leave, sir,' they said, 'we came down once before to get supplies, 21and when we reached camp and opened our sacks, there was each man's money in the mouth of hissack, to the full. But we have brought it back with us, 22and we have brought more money with us for the supplies. We do not know who put our money inour sacks.' 23'Set your minds at ease,' he replied, 'do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father puttreasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.' And he brought Simeon out to them. 24The man then took the men into Joseph's house. He offered them water to wash their feet, and gavetheir donkeys fodder. 25They arranged their gift while they waited for Joseph to come at midday, for they had heard theywere to dine there. 26When Joseph arrived at the house they offered him the gift they had with them, bowing low beforehim. 27He greeted them pleasantly, asking, 'Is your father wel , the old man you told me of ? Is he stillalive?' 28'Your servant our father is wel ,' they replied, 'he is stil alive,' and they bowed respectful y. 29Looking about, he saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son. 'Is this your youngest brother', heasked, 'of whom you told me?' And he added, 'God be good to you, my son.' 30Joseph hurried out; so strong was the affection he felt for his brother that he wanted to cry. He wentinto his room and there he wept. 31After washing his face he returned and, controlling himself, gave the order: 'Serve the meal.' 32He was served separately; so were they, and so were the Egyptians who ate in his household, forthe Egyptians could not take food with Hebrews; Egyptians have a horror of doing so. 33They were placed facing him in order of seniority, from the eldest to the youngest, and the menlooked at one another in amazement. 34He had portions carried to them from his own dish, the portion for Benjamin being five times largerthan any of the others. And they feasted with him and drank freely.
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