Genesis Chapter 43 to 44 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Jacob Lets Benjamin go to Egypt

43 The time of hunger was very bad in that country. 2The people ate all the grain they had brought from Egypt. When that grain was gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go to Egypt and buy some more grain for us to eat.” 3But Judah said to Jacob, “But the governor of that country warned us. He said, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back to me, then I will refuse to talk to you.’ 4If you will send Benjamin with us, then we can go down and buy grain. 5But if you refuse to send Benjamin, then we will not go. That man warned us to not come back without him.”  6Israel (Jacob) said, “Why did you tell him you had another brother? Why did you do such a bad thing to me?” 7The brothers answered, “That man asked lots of questions. He wanted to know all about us and about our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother at home?’ We only answered his questions. We didn’t know he would ask us to bring our brother to him!” 8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Let Benjamin go with me. I will take care of him. We have to go to Egypt to get food. If we don’t go, then we will all die, including our children. 9I will make sure he is safe. I will be responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, then you can blame me forever. 10If you had let us go before, we could already have made two trips for food.” 11Then their father Israel said, “If it is really true, then take Benjamin with you. But take some gifts to the governor. Take some of the things we have been able to gather in our land. Take him some honey, pistachio nuts, almonds, gum, and myrrh.* 12Take twice as much money with you this time. Take the money that was given back to you after you paid last time. Maybe the governor made a mistake. 13Take Benjamin, and go back to the man. 14I pray that God All-Powerful will help you when you stand before the governor. I pray that he will let Benjamin, and also Simeon, come back safely. If not, I will again be sad from losing my son.” 15So the brothers took the gifts to give to the governor. And the brothers took twice as much money with them as they took the first time. This time, Benjamin went with the brothers to Egypt.

The Brothers At Joseph’s House

16In Egypt, Joseph saw Benjamin with them. Joseph said to his servant, “Bring those men into my house. Kill an animal and cook it. Those men will eat with me at noon today.” 17The servant did as he was told. He brought the men into Joseph’s house. 18The brothers were scared when they were taken to Joseph’s house. They said, “We have been brought here because of the money that was put back in our sacks the last time. They will use that as proof against us. And they will steal our donkeys and make us slaves.” 19So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house. 20They said, “Sir, I promise this is the truth: The last time we came, we came to buy food. 21–22On the way home, we opened our sacks and found our money in every sack. We don’t know how it got there. But we brought that money with us to give it back to you. And we have brought more money to pay for the food that we want to buy this time.” 23But the servant answered, “Don’t be afraid; believe me. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sack as a gift. I remember that you paid me for the grain the last time.” Then the servant brought Simeon out of the prison. 24The servant led the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water. And they washed their feet. Then he gave their donkeys food to eat. 25The brothers heard that they were going to eat with Joseph. So they worked until noon preparing their gifts for him. 26Joseph came home, and the brothers gave him the gifts that they had brought with them. Then they bowed down on the ground in front of him. 27Joseph asked them how they were doing. Joseph said, “How is your elderly father you told me about. Is he still alive and well?” 28The brothers answered, “Yes sir, our father is still alive.” And they again bowed before Joseph.

Joseph Sees His Brother Benjamin

29Then Joseph saw his brother, Benjamin. (Benjamin and Joseph had the same mother.) Joseph said, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then Joseph said to Benjamin, “God bless you, my son!” 30Then Joseph ran from the room. Joseph wanted very much to show his brother Benjamin that he loved him. He felt like crying, {but he didn’t want his brothers to see him crying}. So Joseph ran to his room and cried there. 31Then Joseph washed his face and came out. He took control of himself and said, “Now it is time to eat.” 32The servants seated Joseph at a table by himself. His brothers were at another table by themselves. And the Egyptians were at table by themselves. The Egyptians believed that it was wrong for them to eat with Hebrews. 33Joseph’s brothers sat at a table in front of him. The brothers were sitting in order, from the oldest brother to the youngest. All the brothers kept looking at each other, wondering what was happening. 34Servants were taking food from Joseph’s table and bringing it to them. But the servants gave Benjamin five times more than the others. The brothers continued to eat and drink there with Joseph until they were almost drunk.

gum and myrrh The sap from certain plants. This was used to make expensive perfumes and incense.

Joseph Sets a Trap

44 Then Joseph gave a command to his servant. Joseph said, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much grain as they can carry. And put each man’s money into his sack with the grain. 2Put the youngest brother’s money in his sack too. But also put my special silver cup in his sack.” So the servant obeyed Joseph. 3Early the next morning, the brothers and their donkeys were sent back to their country. 4After they had left the city, Joseph said to his servant, “Go and follow the men. Stop them and say to them, ‘We were good to you! So why have you been bad to us? Why did you steal my master’s silver cup? 5My master drinks from that cup and he uses it to learn secret things. What you did was wrong!’” 6So the servant obeyed. He rode out to the brothers and stopped them. The servant said the things to them that Joseph told him to say. 7But the brothers said to the servant, “Why does the governor say these things? We wouldn’t do anything like that! 8We brought back the money that we found in our sacks before. So surely we wouldn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9If you find that silver cup in any of our sacks, then let that man die. You can kill him, and we will be your slaves.” 10The servant said, “We will do as you say. {But I will not kill the man.} If I find the silver cup, then that man will be my slave. The others will be free.”

The Trap Is Sprung; Benjamin Is Caught

11Then every brother quickly opened his sack on the ground. 12The servant started looking in the sacks. He started with the oldest brother and ended with the youngest. He found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13The brothers were very sad. They tore their clothes to show their sadness. They put their sacks back on the donkeys and went back to the city. 14Judah and his brothers went back to Joseph’s house. Joseph was still there. The brothers fell to the ground and bowed down before him. 15Joseph said to them, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know that I have a special way of learning secrets. No person can do this better than me!” 16Judah said, “Sir, there is nothing we can say! There is no way to explain. There is no way to show that we are not guilty. God has judged us guilty for something else we did. So all of us, even Benjamin, will be your slaves.” 17But Joseph said, “I will not make you all slaves! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. You others can go in peace to your father.”

Judah Pleads for Benjamin

18Then Judah went to Joseph and said, “Sir, please let me speak plainly with you. Please don’t be angry with me. I know that you are like Pharaoh himself. 19When we were here before, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, ‘We have a father—he is an old man. And we have a young brother. Our father loves that son because he was born while our father was old. And that young son’s brother is dead. So this is the only son that is left born from that mother. Our father loves him very much.’ 21Then you said to us, ‘Then bring that brother to me. I want to see him.’ 22And we said to you, ‘That young boy can’t come. He can’t leave his father. If his father loses him, then his father would be so sad that he would die.’ 23But you said to us, ‘You must bring your youngest brother or I will not sell you grain again.’ 24So we went back to our father and told him what you said. 25“Later, our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some more food.’ 26And we said to our father, ‘We can’t go without our youngest brother. The governor said he will not sell us grain again until he sees our youngest brother.’ 27Then my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel gave me two sons. 28I let one son go away, and he was killed by a wild animal. And I haven’t seen him since. 29If you take my other son away from me, and something happens to him, then I will be sad enough to die.’ 30Now, imagine what will happen when we go home without our youngest brother—that boy is the most important thing in our father’s life! 31Our father will die if he sees that the boy isn’t with us—and it will be our fault! We will send our father to his grave a very sad man! 32“I took responsibility for the young boy. I told my father, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, then you can blame me all my life.’ 33So now I beg you, please let the boy go back with his brothers. And I will stay and be your slave. 34I can’t go back to my father if the boy is not with me. I am very afraid of what would happen to my father.”

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