Old Testament

Genesis 43
431The famine in the land was severe, 2so when they had eaten all the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy a little more food for us.”
3Judah said to him, “The man sternly warned us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you, 5but if you do not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man that you had another brother?”
7They said, “The man interrogated us about ourselves and about our relatives. He asked, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and we will get up and go, so that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9I will serve as a guarantee for him. You can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him in front of you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10Look, if we had not delayed, we certainly could have returned for a second time by now.”
11Their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then this is what you should do: Put some of the best products of the land into your containers and take a gift for the man: a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 12Also take double the amount of silver with you. Take back the silver that was returned into the mouths of your bags. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13Also take your brother. Get going and return to the man. 14May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that he will release your other brother and Benjamin to you. But if I am deprived of my children, I am deprived.”
15The men took that present, and they took double the amount of silver with them. They also took Benjamin. They got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager[] of his house, “Bring the men into the house. Butcher an animal and prepare it, for the men will dine with me at noon.”
17The manager did as Joseph commanded and brought the men to Joseph's house. 18The brothers were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house. They said, “Because of the money that was returned into our bags the first time, we are being brought in, so that he may find a pretext against us, pounce on us, seize us as slaves, and take our donkeys.”
19They approached the manager of Joseph's house and spoke to him at the door of the house. 20They said, “Please, my lord, we really did come down the first time to buy food. 21When we came to the lodging place, we opened our bags, and to our surprise each man's silver was in the mouth of his bag, the full amount of our money.[] We have brought it back with us. 22We have also brought down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money into our bags.”
23He said, “There is no problem. Do not be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your bags. I received your money.” He brought Simeon out to them. 24The man brought the men into Joseph's house and gave them water, so they could wash their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder. 25They prepared the gift for Joseph, who was coming at noon, because they heard that they would be eating bread there.
26When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gift that they had brought to the house, and they bowed down to the ground in front of him. 27He asked them about their welfare: “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28They said, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.”[] They bowed down and prostrated themselves.
29Joseph looked up and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother's son, and he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” He said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome by his emotions over his brother, and he looked for a place to weep. He went into his room and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out. After he regained control of himself, he said, “Serve the meal.”
32They served Joseph by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians do not eat with Hebrews, for that is repulsive to the Egyptians. 33The brothers were seated in front of him. They were lined up in order, starting with the firstborn based on his birthright down to the youngest based on his youth, and the men expressed their amazement to each other. 34He sent servings to them from his table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They were drinking and they were feeling the effects.[]


  • 43:16 Or steward
  • 43:21 There were no coins at this time. Money was silver that was weighed out.
  • 43:28 The Greek Old Testament adds a sentence: And he said, “Blessed be that man by God.”
  • 43:34 The word refers to some level of intoxication, not just to drinking a beverage.