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The Bible in Living English
43 But the famine was severe in the country; 2 and when they had finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt their father said to them “Go buy us a little food again.” 3 And Judah said to him “The man gave us fair warning ‘You are not to see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you let our brother go with us we will go down and buy you food; 5 but if you do not, we will not go down, because the man said to us ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” 6 And Israel said “Why did you make trouble for me telling the man whether you had another brother?” 7 And they said “The man asked about us and about our home, ‘Is your father still alive?’ ‘Have you a brother?’ and we answered him correspondingly; were we to know he would say ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8 and Judah said to his father Israel “Send the boy with me, and let us make a start and go, and keep ourselves alive and not die ourselves and you and our children. 9 I will be responsible for him; you may demand him from my hands; if I do not bring him to you and set him before you I shall be criminal before you always. 10 For if we had not delayed we should have been back twice already.” 11* And their father Israel said to them “Well, if that is the way it is, do this: take in your packs some of the specialties of the country and carry them down to the man as a present—a little balm and a little honey, gum and labdanum, pistachio nuts and almonds— 12 and take double money with you, and take back in your hands the money that was returned in the mouths of your bags; it may have been a mistake. 13 And take your brother and start off and go back to the man, 14** and may El Shaddai grant that a feeling of sympathy comes before the man’s mind, and may he let your other brother go, and Benjamin; and as for me, when I am robbed of my children I am.” 15 And the men took this present, and double money with them, and Benjamin, and started off and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16 And Joseph saw Benjamin with them, and said to the steward of his house “Take the men into the house and kill some meat and get things ready, because the men are to eat with me at noon”; 17 and the man did as Joseph said, and took the men into Joseph’s house. 18 And the men were afraid because they were taken into Joseph’s house, and said “It is for the affair about the money that came back in our bags at first that we are being brought in, so as to spring a charge against us and fall foul of us and take us for slaves, and our donkeys.” 19 And they approached the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke to him at the door of the house 20 and said “O, sir, we did come down at first to buy food; 21* and when we came to our stopping-place for the night we opened our bags and found everyone’s money in the mouth of his bag, our silver in full weight; and we have brought it back with us, 22 and brought down other money with us to buy food. We do not know who laid our money in our bags.” 23 And he said “You are all right; do not be afraid; your God, your father’s God, has given you treasure trove in your bags; your money reached me”; and he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet, and gave feed for their donkeys. 25 And they got the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they had heard that they were to eat the meal there. 26 And Joseph came into the house, and they brought the present they had with them into the house to him and bent to the ground to do him reverence; 27 and he asked them how they were, and said “Is your old father of whom you spoke all right? is he still alive?” 28 And they said “Your servant our father is all right, he is still alive”; and they bowed down and did reverence. 29 And he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said “Is this your youngest brother whom you told me of?” and he said “God be gracious to you, son.” 30 And Joseph, because his feelings were stirred and he wanted to weep, hurried into his chamber and wept there; 31 and he washed his face and came out and repressed his feelings and said “Set on the dinner.” 32 And they set for him separately and for them separately and for the Egyptians who ate with him separately, because the Egyptians cannot eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they were seated before him the elder suitably to his seniority and the younger to his juniority; and the men were mystified and called each other’s attention. 34 And he had helpings from before him carried to them; and Benjamin’s helping was five times greater than the helping of any of them. And they drank with him till the wine overcame them.