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Joseph Tests His Brothers

44 Then he commanded the one over his household saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they are able to carry and put money in the opening of each man’s sack. Put my cup, the silver cup, in the opening of the sack of the youngest along with his grain money.” So he did as Joseph told him.

When the morning dawned, the men were sent off, they and their donkeys. They left the city and did not get far, when Joseph said to the one over his household, “Get up, go after the men. When you catch up to them, say to them, “Why have you repaid evil for good? Isn’t this the one from which my lord drinks? He even uses it especially to discern by divination. What you’ve done is evil!” So he caught up to them and spoke these words to them.

They said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing as this. Look, the money we found in the opening of our bags, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. So how could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? Whoever among your servants is found with it, let him die! And we, we’ll also be my lord’s slaves.”

10 “Even now let it be according to your words,” he said. “The one with whom it is found shall be my slave. But the rest of you shall be innocent.”

11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack. 12 He searched them beginning with the eldest and finishing with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they tore their clothing, and each one loaded up his donkey and they returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers entered Joseph’s house, he was still there. They fell to the ground before him. 15 “What’s this deed you’ve done?” Joseph said to them, “Didn’t you know that a man like me can discern by divination?”

16 Then Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—both we as well as the one in whose hand the cup was found.”

17 But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The one in whose hand the cup was found—he will be my slave. But you, go up to your father in peace.”

Parashat Vayigash

Judah Pleads for Benjamin

18 Then Judah approached him and said, “I beg your pardon, my lord. Please let your servant say a word in my lord’s ears, and don’t be angry with your servant, since you are like Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20 So we said to my lord, ‘We have a father who is old, a child born to him of his old age is young. Now his brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I can look at him.’ 22 But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave his father, he would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you won’t see my face again.’

24 “Now when we went up to your servant, my father, we told him my lord’s words. 25 Then our father said, ‘Go back, buy us a little grain for food.’ 26 So we said, ‘We won’t go down unless we have our youngest brother with us—then we’ll go down. For we won’t see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’

27 “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One went out from me, so I said, “He must have been torn to shreds,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29 And if you also take this one away from before me and an accident happens to him, then you’ll bring my grey hair down to the evil of Sheol.’

30 “Now if I come to your servant my father and the boy isn’t with us, since his life is bound to his life, 31 when he sees that the boy is no more, he’ll die. Then your servants will bring the grey hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief. 32 For your servant became pledge for the boy with my father saying, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before my father all my days.’ 33 So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go up with his brothers. 34 For how can I go up to my father and the boy is not with me? Else I must see the evil that would come upon my father!”

A Silver Cup in a Sack

44 Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house:(A) “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack.(B) Then put my cup,(C) the silver one,(D) in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.

As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.(E) They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward,(F) “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil?(G) Isn’t this the cup(H) my master drinks from and also uses for divination?(I) This is a wicked thing you have done.’”

When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. But they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants(J) to do anything like that!(K) We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan(L) the silver(M) we found inside the mouths of our sacks.(N) So why would we steal(O) silver or gold from your master’s house? If any of your servants(P) is found to have it, he will die;(Q) and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.(R)

10 “Very well, then,” he said, “let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it(S) will become my slave;(T) the rest of you will be free from blame.”(U)

11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 Then the steward(V) proceeded to search,(W) beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest.(X) And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.(Y) 13 At this, they tore their clothes.(Z) Then they all loaded their donkeys(AA) and returned to the city.

14 Joseph was still in the house(AB) when Judah(AC) and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.(AD) 15 Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done?(AE) Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?(AF)

16 “What can we say to my lord?(AG)” Judah(AH) replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence?(AI) God has uncovered your servants’(AJ) guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves(AK)—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.(AL)

17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do such a thing!(AM) Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave.(AN) The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.”(AO)

18 Then Judah(AP) went up to him and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord,(AQ) let me speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry(AR) with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants,(AS) ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’(AT) 20 And we answered, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age.(AU) His brother is dead,(AV) and he is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’(AW)

21 “Then you said to your servants,(AX) ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.’(AY) 22 And we said to my lord,(AZ) ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.’(BA) 23 But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’(BB) 24 When we went back to your servant my father,(BC) we told him what my lord(BD) had said.(BE)

25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy a little more food.’(BF) 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go. We cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’(BG)

27 “Your servant my father(BH) said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons.(BI) 28 One of them went away from me, and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.”(BJ) And I have not seen him since.(BK) 29 If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave(BL) in misery.’(BM)

30 “So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father,(BN) and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy’s life,(BO) 31 sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die.(BP) Your servants(BQ) will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave(BR) in sorrow. 32 Your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father. I said, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!’(BS)

33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave(BT) in place of the boy,(BU) and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery(BV) that would come on my father.”(BW)

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