43-Benjamin Goes to Egypt 

The famine was sore in the land. Jacob and his sons and their families had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt. 

Jacob (to his sons): Go again and buy us a little food in Egypt.

Judah: The man in Egypt solemnly warned us, saying, You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you. If you will send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy food. But if you will not send him, we will not go down to Egypt: for the man said to us, You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.

Israel (Jacob): Why have you dealt so ill with me, as to tell the man in Egypt that you had yet another brother?

Israel’s sons: The man asked us directly of our state and of our kindred, saying, Is your father still alive? have you another brother? We told him according to the tenor of these words. Could we know that he would say, Bring your brother down?

Judah: Send the lad with me, and we will go; that we may live and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones. I will be surety for him. Of my hand shall you require him. If I do not bring him to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever. If we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned a second time.

Israel: If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it back in your hand; for perhaps it was an oversight. Take also your brother Benjamin and go again to the man. God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your brother Simeon and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am truly bereaved.

The brothers took the presents their father suggested, double money and Benjamin. They went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

Joseph saw Benjamin with them.

Joseph (to the ruler of his house): Bring these men home. Slay and make the meat ready because these men shall dine with me at noon.

The ruler of Joseph’s house did as he instructed and brought the men into Joseph’s house. The men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house.

The brothers (to themselves): We are brought to this place because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time. He seeks occasion against us to take us for bondmen and our donkeys. They came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house. 

Joseph’s brothers: Sir, we came down the first time to buy food. After we left, we came to the inn, we opened our sacks, and every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it again in our hand and other money to buy food. We don’t know who put our money in our sacks.

The steward: Peace be to you, fear not. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks: I have your money.

The steward brought Simeon out to them, then he took all of them into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and provender for their animals.

They got their present ready for Joseph, who would come at noon: for they heard that they would eat bread there. When Joseph came home, they brought him the present into the house and bowed themselves to the earth before him.  

Joseph: Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?

His brothers: Our father is in good health, he is still alive.

And they bowed down their head and then bowed themselves to the earth before him..

Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son.

Joseph: Is this your younger brother, of whom you spoke?

Joseph (to Benjamin): God be gracious to you, my son.

Joseph yearned for his brother and hastily sought for a place to weep. He entered into his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and went out and refrained himself.

Joseph: Set out bread.

The servants set out a place for Joseph by himself, and places for his brothers by themselves, and for the Egyptians, who ate with him, by themselves.

The Egyptians did not eat with the Hebrews, because it was an abomination to the Egyptians. Every shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians. (Genesis 46:34)

The servants seated his brothers before him, from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth. The brothers marveled one to another.

Joseph sent food to them from the table before him. Benjamin was served five times so much as any of the others.

They drank and were merry with him.

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