1Then Joseph instructed his chamberlain as follows: 'Fil these men's sacks with as much food as theycan carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack. 2And put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one's sack as wel as the money for hisrations.' He did as Joseph had instructed. 3At daybreak, the men were sent off with their donkeys. 4They had gone only a little way from the city, when Joseph said to his chamberlain, 'Away now andfol ow those men. When you catch up with them, say to them, "Why have you repaid good with evil? 5Is this not what my lord uses for drinking and also for reading omens? What you have done is wrong."' 6So when he caught up with them he repeated these words. 7They asked him, 'What does my lord mean? Your servants would never think of doing such a thing. 8Look, we brought you back the money we found in the mouths of our sacks, al the way from Canaan.Are we likely to have stolen silver or gold from your master's house? 9Whichever of your servants is found to have it shall die, and the rest of us shal be slaves of my lord.' 10'Very wel , then, it shal be as you say,' he replied, 'the one on whom it is found shall become myslave, but the rest of you can go free.' 11Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each opened his own. 12He searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and found the cup inBenjamin's sack. 13Then they tore their clothes, and when each man had reloaded his donkey they returned to the city. 14When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph's house he was still there, so they fell on the groundin front of him. 15'What do you mean by doing this?' Joseph asked them. 'Did you not know that a man such as I am isa reader of omens?' 16'What can we answer my lord?' Judah replied. 'What can we say? How can we clear ourselves? Godhimself has uncovered your servants' guilt. Here we are then, my lord's slaves, we no less than the one in whose possession the cup was found.' 17'I could not think of doing such a thing,' he replied. 'The man in whose possession the cup was foundshall be my slave, but you can go back unhindered to your father.' 18At this, Judah went up to him and said, 'May it please my lord, let your servant have a word privatelywith my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19My lord questioned his servants, "Have you father or brother?" 20And we said to my lord, "We have an old father, and a younger brother born of his old age. Hisbrother is dead, so he is the only one by that mother now left, and his father loves him." 21Then you said to your servants, "Bring him down to me, so that I can set eyes on him." 22We replied to my lord, "The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves him, his father will die." 23But you said to your servants, "If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you wil notbe admitted to my presence again." 24When we went back to your servant my father, we repeated to him what my lord had said. 25So when our father said, "Go back and get us a little food," 26we said, "We cannot go down. We shall go only if our youngest brother is with us for, unless ouryoungest brother is with us, we shal not be admitted to the man's presence." 27So your servant our father said to us, "You know that my wife bore me two children. 28When one of them left me, I supposed that he must have been torn to pieces, and I have never seenhim since. 29If you take this one from me too and any harm comes to him, you wil send my white head down toSheol with grief." 30If I go to your servant my father now, and we do not have the boy with us, he will die as soon as hesees that the boy is not with us, for his heart is bound up with him; 31and your servants will have sent your servant our father's white head down to Sheol with grief. 32Now your servant went surety to my father for the boy. I said: "If I do not bring him back to you, letme bear the blame before my father al my life." 33Let your servant stay, then, as my lord's slave in place of the boy, I implore you, and let the boy goback with his brothers. 34How indeed could I go back to my father and not have the boy with me? I could not bear to see themisery that would overwhelm my father.'
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